Mexico Must Pay Indigenous Woman Wrongly Jailed for Kidnapping Federal Agents

Rick Kearns – Indian Country Today – Thursday July 10, 2014

Jacinta Francisco Marcial after win in court
Otomi Indian woman Jacinta Francisco Marcial spent more than three years in prison before being released on September 16 , 2009. In May of this year, Francisco Marcial won a high court decision for illegal imprisonment against the Mexican government. Image: Marco Ugarte/AP

In late May, for the first time in Mexican legal history, a high court ordered the government to pay damages and to issue a public apology for illegally imprisoning an indigenous woman.

However, the Attorney General is maneuvering to appeal the fines according to sources but until that happens, the Mexican Government has the obligation to follow the judicial order.

On May 28th, the Federal Fiscal and Administrative Tribunal of Mexico ordered the Attorney General to compensate Jacinta Francisco Marcial for illegally arresting and imprisoning her in 2006.

“Their recognition of innocence doesn’t represent justice,” asserted Mario Patron, Assistant Director of the Miguel Agostin Human Rights Center (MAHRC) which represented Marcial and other defendants in court. “There is too much impunity in this country. We need to hold all the agents and the public prosecutor responsible.”

“This sentence doesn’t just apply to Jacinta,” said Federal Court spokesperson Guillermo Chao at a press event after the announcement. “It will potentially apply to all people who are wrongly incarcerated and decide to issue a formal complaint with our court.”

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