Re: “Caso Florence Cassez Prevaleció la justicia, ganan México y víctimas”

20 minutes
Dear La PrensaEditor,

Your article, Caso Florence Cassez Prevaleció la justicia, ganan Mexico y víctimas, applauds the Mexican Supreme Court for its decision of February 10 2012, not to support the French citizen’s innocence who was convicted on kidnapping charges and then condemned to 60 years in prison. However, somehow one can feel skeptical at the title and tone of your article which preemptively condemns Cassez. In the same vein, there has been at least some questions that justice was unequivocally dispensed in the Cassez case, and that her basic rights in fact have been violated after her “presumption of innocence” was not firmly respected. Indeed, on April 25, 2008 she was condemned to 96 years in prison after being found guilty, even though solid evidence was far from convincing. However, on March 4, 2009 Florence Cassez obtained a Break on appeal and her sentence was reduced from 96 to 60 years of incarceration[. Whether the Mexican justice was to prevail, as your article stipulated, first you must respect that basic human rights unequivocally met the highest standards in all phases of the trial. According to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has proved to be the most hallowed norm of international human rights, “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Due to the fact that only one out of every ten crimes ever gets reported, according to the country’s National Human Rights Commission, Cassez’s case has represented more than a mere symbolic impact.  Although the Mexican crime rate is demonstrably increasing, even at times spiraling out of control, with the political authorities creating a media blitz in responding to such a critical situation, in order to guarantee that the general public remains attentive on their “heroic” actions, as the effictiveness of the criminal justice system is constantly in a evaluation mode.  Your article disproportionately focuses on Cassez’s presumed guilt, while hardly mentioning the troubling details of the trial’s grievous lack of transparency, which is nothing short of scandalous. Transparency has to be effective because its absence seriously invites the creation of a habitat for corruption. Indeed, the lack of reliable evidence, in this case, prevents justice from prevailing rather than guarantying it.


Emma Begag

COHA research associate