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The Supreme Court orders the immediate release of three men unjustly imprisoned for seven years


The highest court unanimously grants a plain and simple protection to Gonzalo García, Juan Luis López and Héctor Muñoz, protagonists of the Netflix documentary 'Reasonable doubt'

Frame from the Netflix series 'Reasonable Doubt: A Tale of Two Kidnappings', directed by Roberto Hernández.

After seven and a half years in a Tabasco prison, Gonzalo García, Juan Luis López and Héctor Muñoz are about to be released.

The 11 ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation have been unanimous in considering that the Prosecutor's evidence was insufficient to convict them of attempted kidnapping and have granted a plain and simple amparo that implies their immediate release.

In a session that has exposed the deficiencies and irregularities of the agents, prosecutors and judges involved in the case, portrayed in the Netflix documentary

Reasonable Doubt

, the plenary session of the high court of Mexico has been established as the tool to "correct a gross injustice."

On June 20, 2015, Héctor Muñoz suffered a traffic accident with a truck in front of a gas station in Ciudad Pemex (Tabasco).

After a fight with the driver, identified as ACP, and after being shot in the hand, Héctor was arrested and accused of having tried to kidnap this individual.

In addition to him, the agents arrested two other men —Gonzalo García and Juan Luis López— who were resting inside their vehicle at that same gas station.

They accused them and presented them as a gang of kidnappers.

The Supreme Court has proven that the police did not request the recordings of the scene of the events, they did not interview any witnesses, their versions contradict each other, they did not identify any evidence, they did not find any communication between the three men,

They did not insure weapons, they did not respect the chain of custody of the objects and vehicles involved.

The only witness to the events defended the innocence of the defendants.

As soon as they were arrested, the three men were taken to a secret Prosecutor's Office building where they were tortured: they were beaten and drowned with plastic bags.

Two days later, the Public Ministry conceded that there was insufficient evidence to prove the attempted kidnapping and ordered his release.

However, in the first of many unlikely twists, the agents then arrested them for the kidnapping of ACP's sister, identified as GLP, which had happened on May 26, 2015.

The entry on the scene of the documentary filmmaker Roberto Hernández and the lawyer Andrés Andrade achieved in June 2017 the acquittal of the three men for the crime of kidnapping LPG, since the men had strong alibis for the day the woman had been deprived of the freedom.

A crime for which, in addition, there were already other men arrested.

The same day they were to be released, the Prosecutor's Office avoided it by relaunching the accusation for the attempted kidnapping of ACP

In February 2018, the oral trial began in the Third Criminal Chamber of Orality of the Superior Court of Justice of the State of Tabasco.

It is this judicial process, which I consider the three men guilty and sentenced them to three years and six months in prison, which the SCJN has analyzed.

The ministers have considered that the right to the presumption of innocence of Gonzalo, Juan Luis and Héctor was totally violated.

And that the judges charged the accused with the responsibility of proving their innocence, when it is the opposite: the Prosecutor's Office is the one who must prove the guilt of the accused.

“This case exhibits such a patent insufficiency of evidence that the defense could have exercised the right to remain silent—that is, they could have kept silent,

After an exhaustive review of all the evidence, testimonies and evidence that proved that the three men had not intended to kidnap ACP, and that the judges did not consider, Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena also points out: "The only way to explain an exercise of dismissal as emphatic as the one adopted by the oral trial court is a constant presumption of guilt.”

The explanation for the attitude of the Prosecutor's Office has also been portrayed in the project of the Supreme Court that gives voice to the defense of the three defendants, which assured that everything "was the product of an intentional fabrication by the Prosecutor's Office, which would have dragged a series of errors from the first process promoted against the complainants for the kidnapping of GLP, sister of ACP, and that now, in some way, sought to compensate with the persecution of a new accusation obviously unfounded”.

The ministers have been blunt regarding the actions of the authorities: "It is a typical case where simply three people were in the wrong place, at the wrong time, where arbitrariness and abuse of power is evident, where torture is carried out, where Evidence is fabricated, where culprits are fabricated and where justice does not matter, the only thing that matters is satisfying a desire, I don't know if it is statistical or what other type of authority, ”Arturo Zaldívar, president of the SCJN, has argued emphatically.

"It is an accumulation of irregularities, I consider that this Supreme Court cannot remain silent in the face of the violation of their right to freedom, we cannot keep an accomplice silence, they were falsely accused", said the minister Yazmín Esquivel this Thursday, "I propose the highest possible degree of reparation and give a hearing to the authorities so that the investigations can be opened to clarify the administrative and criminal responsibilities that proceed.”

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-12-08

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