Photo: Otomi Indian women
Two Otomi Indian women are demanding that the Mexican federal Attorney General’s Office compensate them for the four years they spent in prison on kidnapping convictions that were later thrown out by the courts.
Alberta Alcantara and Teresa Gonzalez, who are from the central state of Queretaro, said in a press conference Tuesday that the AG’s office was trying to get out of its responsibility in the case.
The AG’s office filed a review motion on Feb. 7 in an effort to get out of paying compensation and making a public apology in the case, the women said.
“I cannot believe that the AG’s office does not accept the errors it made and I cannot believe that they keep saying it was us, even when we have shown that we are innocent, they keep insisting that there was a crime,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez, Alcantara and fellow Otomi Jacinta Francisco Marcial, who operated market stalls in Queretaro, were arrested in August 2006.
The three women were later sentenced to 21 years in prison on charges they kidnapped six federal agents who claimed that the vendors took them hostage in March 2006 during an operation targeting sellers of pirated DVDs.
The Supreme Court ordered the women released from prison in 2010.
Marcial was released from prison in September 2009, followed by Alcantara and Gonzalez on April 28, 2010.
“I just want all of this to end and for the president (Enrique Peña Nieto) to acknowledge that we are innocent. For the AG’s office to obey the Supreme Court ruling. I don’t want to continue doing this, it’s really tiring. Make good the harm done and let this end,” Alcantara said.
The Attorney General’s Office will not respond because it has taken the position that “we committed the crime and we are guilty even though we’ve shown that we are innocent,” Alcantara said.
A court ordered the federal AG’s office last November to compensate the two women for damages due to irregularities linked to prosecutors in the case.
Alcantara demanded that federal prosecutors admit that the women were innocent in the same media outlets used to accuse them of committing crimes.
The two women were accompanied at the press conference by Amnesty International and Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center representatives.