Tag Archives: Cassez

Florence Cassez to serve term in Mexico

President Felipe Calderón and Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa announced that the government had rejected the request to repatriate Florence Cassez, a French citizen, to France to serve her sentence under the terms of the Strasbourg Convention. When Nicolas Sarkozy visited Mexico in March, the ‘Affaire Cassez’ was one of the French president’s principal agenda items. She was convicted in 2008 of kidnapping, membership in a criminal gang, and possession of forbidden weapons. She was sentenced to 96 years in prison, which was later reduced to 60 years. Calderón said “it was not acceptable to Mexico” that she could be released or have her sentence reduced if she returned to France.  “The federal government is committed to seeing that the victims of kidnapping and their families will get justice,” he said.  (Universal 6/22, Excelsior 6/22)

Manlio calls on President to ‘hitch up his pants’

PRI Senate leader Manlio Fabio Beltrones called on the President to take the decisions that the Executive had to take, including the location of the refinery, the repatriation of convicted French kidnapper Florence Cassez, and whether to allow partial U.S. ownership of Citigroup subsidiary Banamex. “The three decisions require that President Felipe Calderón hitch up his pants once and for all…. We don’t want more doubts, more indecision,” he said. (Reforma 3/19, Universal 3/20)

‘Affaire Cassez’ overshadows Sarkozy visit to Mexico

In a speech to the Mexican Senate, French President Nicolas Sarkozy appealed for the repatriation of Florence Cassez, a French citizen who is serving a 60-year sentence for being part of a kidnap gang, despite requests from the Mexican Foreign Ministry and the congressional leadership not to do so. Cassez was arrested in 2005 in a much criticized bust by the AFI (then headed by SSP Secretary Genaro García Luna) that was staged for the benefit of Televisa’s camera crews. Mexico is a signatory to the Strasbourg Convention with the EU, which allows for foreign prisoners to be repatriated to their home countries to serve out their sentences. Presidents Calderón and Sarkozy agreed to form a binational commission to examine the legal issues involved. Speaking in Paris, author Carlos Fuentes noted, “There is a very strong nationalist reaction in Mexico over this case. But the reaction also has to do with … the system of injustice that rules in Mexico. All this noise is not just directed at the presence of a French criminal, but at the reality that so many Mexican criminals evade justice and make a joke of the laws.” (Reforma 3/11, Universal 3/13)