Photo: Jacinta Francisco Marcial
A court has ordered Mexico’s government to pay compensation to Jacinta Francisco Marcial, an Indian woman who spent three years in prison on a kidnapping conviction that was later thrown out by the courts.
The court voted 8-2 on Wednesday to order the Attorney General’s Office to pay compensation to Francisco Marcial for the economic and personal damages she sustained because it “did its job badly.”
Francisco Marcial, an Otomi Indian from the central state of Queretaro, was arrested in 2006 for allegedly kidnapping six federal law enforcement agents and was released from prison three years later.
Francisco Marcial, Alberta Alcantara and Teresa Gonzalez, who operated market stalls in Queretaro, were arrested in August 2006.
The three women were 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.
The AG’s office has 10 days to accept the ruling or file an appeal, attorney Luis Tapia Olivares, who represents Francisco Marcial, told Efe.
The Alcantara and Gonzalez cases have still not been resolved, but there is a good chance that the AG’s office will accept the compensation ruling in Francisco Marcial’s case, the attorney said.
“The AG’s office has said that it protects human rights, but in reality it does not do so. They are not accepting the fact that they are innocent of the charges on which they were prosecuted,” Tapia Olivares, who works for the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, said.