Florence Cassez wants to sue former President Felipe Calderón
Florence Cassez was released from prison after Mexican ministers ruled that her trial was tainted - Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/REUTERS

Florence Cassez wants to sue former President Felipe Calderón

21/01/2020
16:10
Newsroom
Mexico City
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The comments were made after she learned about the arrest of Genaro García Luna

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Florence Cassez, a French citizen who was imprisoned in a Mexican jail for six years after being accused of kidnapping, said she will take legal action against former President Felipe Calderón. She told French media L’Express that “it’s time to be held accountable.”

“People realized that Genaro García Luna, Calderón’s protégé, was a drug trafficker. Everyone understands that he protected the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo Guzmán.”

The comments were made after she learned about the arrest of Genaro García Luna, the former Security Chief, who allegedly orchestrated a live reenactment of her arrest.

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Cassez also revealed she will seek a “reparation” from Felipe Caderón and said authorities shouldn’t forget about “Luis Palomino, Genaro García’s right hand, who brutalized Israel Vallarta in live TV, in the images of our false arrest (…) All these people live in total impunity.”

Florence Cassez added that: “all the people who were part of Calderón’s and García Luna’s schemes have to explain why they did it, why did they made up everything, and they have to say what did they get in exchange of their lies.”

Lawmaker accuses Felipe Calderón of being part of a criminal organization

She mentioned that an economic reparation is “a way of rehabilitation.”

Cassez states that minister Arturo Zaldívar and his family were threatened if they voted in favor of her release.

In regards to her former partner, Israel Vallarta, said he “he is a victim of the Mexican justice system, (which is) highly dysfunctional.”

In recent days, the head of the Supreme Court, minister Arturo Zaldívar, said former President Felipe Calderón pressed him in two emblematic cases: the ABC daycare, where dozens of children died and were injured in a fire, and the Florence Cassez case, a French woman accused of being part of a criminal organization.

A timeline of the Florence Cassez case:

2003: Florence Cassez, a French citizen, arrives in Mexico City as a tourist.

2005: Cassez starts working for a hotel chain and moves in with her boyfriend Israel Vallarta, a member of a kidnapping group.

This year, the now-extinct PGR announced it had dismantled the criminal organization called “Los Zodiacos,” which was linked to at least 10 kidnappings and one homicide. It was announced Cassez and Vallarta were members of the criminal group.

On December 9, 2005, a TV station broadcasted a special police unit, AFI, entering ranch “Las Chinitas,” located in the Mexico-Cuernavaca road, where it free three people who had been kidnapped by Vallarta, Cassez, and their accomplices.

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Photo: Reuters/Stringer

2006: The Mexican government acknowledged that the detention. Broadcasted in live TV, was a reenactment of the real arrest and confessed that Florence Cassez and her boyfriend were detained a day before the TV broadcast.

2008: Cassez is sentenced to 96 years in prison for kidnapping four people and for the possession of firearms.

2009: Her jail sentence is reduced to 60 years after an appeal.

In March 2009, then-President Felipe Calderón says Cassez won’t be extradited to France and will fulfill her prison sentence in Mexico. Two months later, David Orozco, a member of “Los Zodiacos,” testifies that Florence Cassez was the one who planned and executed the kidnappings, as well as the one who cared for the victims.

2010: The Mexican government confirms that the Florence Cassez case is closed and she is found guilty, based on evidence.

In May 2010, French President Nicolás Sarkozy asks Felipe Calderón to hand the French woman over to French authorities so she can fulfill her prison sentence in her home country.

2011: NGOs demands that the Judiciary does not give into France’s request.

In February 2011, the Supreme Court ratifies Cassez’s sentence. The decision sparks tension between Mexico and France.

In June 2011, a judge orders the release of several members of “Los Zodiacos.”

2012: The Supreme Court orders the immediate release of Florence Cassez. The ministers who voted in favor of her release include Arturo Zaldívar, Olga Sánchez Cordero, and Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena.

Felipe Calderón's administration is accused of having protected El Chapo

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