Canadian Man Attempts Suicide In Mexican Prison

Pavel Kulisek and family

Jirina Kuliskova says her husband, Pavel Kulisek, tried to hang himself after being denied a psychiatrist and being told that he would be in prison for at least another eight months, with no sight of a trial yet.

“He gave up,” said Kuliskova. “And I’m hoping he gave up for just that moment. That he’s not going to give up and he’s going to fight again. I want him to fight again.”

Kuliskova is begging for high-level help from the Canadian government to put pressure on the Mexicans to move more quickly and bring her family hope they will be reunited again soon, she said.

Pavel Kulisek and his family were on a vacation in Mexico three years ago. Kulisek’s ATV buddy turned out to be a member of a Mexican drug cartel, and he was arrested on suspicion of being a member of organized crime.

The case against Kulisek hinges on the evidence of a corrupt former police officer and an investigation put together by a disgraced former prosecutor, who has been charged with being on the take from a rival drug cartel, according to a W5 investigation.

Kulisek’s Canadian lawyer has said that the only evidence against him would have been tossed out by a Canadian court long ago.

But delays in the Mexican system – where, unlike in Canada, the accused are expected to sit in jail by default – have piled up to the point where Kulisek has served three years in Punta Grande, a maximum security prison near Guadalajara.

Here is a link to a 4-part, 2-year old news story on the story.

Link to print news story.

[Fulano’s note: If you watch the 4-part news series on the case of Pavel Kilisek, who has now been in a Mexican jail more than three years with no charges being filed against him, you will hear the Canadian minister say over and over again that Mexico is a sovereign state and Canada does not interfere with the affairs of a sovereign state. Well, Libya is also a sovereign state and Canada is a member of NATO which is currently interfering in an undeclared war on that sovereign state.

Just saying….]


Presumed Guilty

Last August, Fulano blogged about a film by Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete on an innocent man who was sentenced to 20-years in a Mexican prison for a crime he did not commit.

The documentary on this incident went viral in Mexico, and was then banned by a Mexican court. The whole movie is still available on YouTube, where it has had over 250,000 views in the four days since it was uploaded on March 3, 2011. Here it is:


Follow-up: The Story of Florence Cassez

Fulano blogged about the The Story of Florence Cassez back on September 23, 2010. There is some more news.

A Mexican tribunal on Thursday struck down an appeal by a Frenchwoman sentenced to 60 years in prison on kidnapping-related charges, prompting an outcry from France’s foreign minister and reigniting a case that has stirred emotions in both countries for half a decade. 

Florence Cassez

The woman, Florence Cassez, was arrested near Mexico City in 2005 along with her boyfriend and convicted in 2009 of kidnapping, illegal weapons possession and organized crime.
Ms. Cassez, in her mid-30s, has always maintained her innocence.

In their decision, a panel of Mexico City judges argued that the procedural irregularities that formed the backbone of Ms. Cassez’s appeal didn’t justify overturning the previous conviction. 

The case has been a lightning rod for criticism both in Mexico, where kidnapping rates are high and sympathy for the accused is low, and in France, where the government has questioned the fairness of the trial. 

Mexican President Felipe Calderón in 2009 denied a request by his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, that Ms. Cassez be allowed to serve her sentence in France rather than in Mexico on concerns the sentence might be shortened. 

In a statement Thursday, French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie called the courts’ decision “deplorable” and said she wishes “more than anything to manifest my solidarity with our compatriot and her family.”

Link to article.

By the way, in case our readers are not familiar with the story, Florence Cassez is totally innocent. Mexicans convicted of murders where they admit to hacking off heads, dissolving bodies in lye and hanging bodies from bridges get prison terms of less than one-half the 60-years Mexico gave Florence Cassez.


Three Mexican Judges Want Asylum in US

Last month Fulano blogged about the death of anti-crime crusader Marisela Escobedo Ortiz.

Escobedo was murdered outside the government building in the northern city of Chihuahua. She tried to flee by running across the street, but the gunman chased her down and shot her in the head. A scandal resulted in the suspension of three judges who had ordered the release of the main suspect in the killing of Escobedo’s daughter for lack of evidence. This was after the killer had confessed to the crime and showed the police where the burned and dismembered body was left.

Judge Catalina Ochoa

Now the three suspended judges, Nezahualcóyotl Zúñiga, Catalina Ochoa and Rafael Boudid, have released a letter saying that they had to let the murder suspect go because the authorities failed to present evidence sufficient to reach a finding of guilt. Furthermore, the letter states that if Mexico proceeds to bring the three judges to trial, they intend to seek political asylum in the United States.

Good luck with that one.

Link to article in Spanish.


Borderland Beat: Footprints of the Paramilitary

For those who still think Mexico is peace, love and fish tacos.

Borderland Beat: Footprints of the Paramilitary: “El Ignacio Alvarado Álvarez

On the morning of Tuesday, October 12, 2010, a detachment of eleven police officers were ambushed while patrolling a road on the outskirts of Culiacán, Sinaloa.

Eight were killed and three wounded. The next day, in the city of Chihuahua, the chief custodian of the local Cereso prison and five bodyguards were killed minutes after leaving the prison for home.

No authority has linked together both incidents, but one possible link is leading one of the branches of government to acknowledge for the first time what the federal government has consistently denied: the involvement of state sponsored paramilitary groups in the drug war.

In September, the Senate formally asked the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN) for detailed reports about the existence of these groups, whom it called “death squads” because it is believed they may be responsible for a large percentage of the 28,000 murders officially recognized in this war against the drug cartels, and for thousands of unsolved disappearances.

“These groups operate outside the law with the knowledge and complicity of the Mexican State,” said Senator Ricardo Monreal Avila, parliamentary coordinator of the Labour Party (PT) and one of the main sponsors of the request for information from Cisen. It is thought that thousands of Army desertors, both soldiers and officers, and police officers fired for corruption make up these groups. They are “trained paramilitaries,” says the Senator.

Follow the link for the rest of the story.


Canadian man found dead in Mexico

Daniel Dion

The burnt body of an Ottawa-area man who was reported missing in Mexico has been found in the trunk of his rental car north of Acapulco, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department confirmed Sunday.

Daniel Dion, 51, was from Sherbrooke, Que., but lived near Ottawa in the town of Carleton Place.

According to a Foreign Affairs official, police in Mexico say there was a “crime against Dion,” but they revealed no details.

Unconfirmed reports say he was abducted and the rental car was set ablaze in Chilpancingo, 115 kilometres from Acapulco. His family was notified of the discovery Saturday night.

Dion had planned a month-long stay in the Mexican resort city for a business trip to sell “eco” purses. He was due to return home last week.

A news agency report in Mexico said he operated a purse manufacturing company that was to employ rehabilitated Mexican prisoners. It said he had access to hundreds of prisoners in eight rehabilitation centres in the state of Guerrero.

His family said Dion was in the country to promote a line of luxury purses he designed from recycled materials. Some of the purses feature gold and silver parts.

Local media reports said that Dion was last seen leaving a restaurant in Acapulco around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, and that he got into a car that was not his own, accompanied by three men.

Dion telephoned his wife on the night of Friday, Oct. 22, but the family heard no further news of him.

Family members flew to Mexico last week to help with the search and were providing DNA samples to police over the weekend.

Link to article.

The Canadian the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has recommended that Canadians travelling to Mexico exercise a high degree of caution.


“El Fito” Confesses

One of the men captured when the Mexican army and police confiscated 147 tons of marijuana in Tijuana this week has confessed to murdering a commander of the Baja state police.

Rodolfo Campos Montoya, “El Fito”

You can read the story here, in Spanish.

Fulano isn’t going to discuss the story, Fulano is going to discuss how the judicial system works in Mexico. The whole system is based upon confessions. Trials don’t usually happen. The police capture somebody, they get a confession, the prosecutor shows the confession to the judge, and the defendant is sentenced to jail. This all happens rapidly, in a matter of weeks. If the defendant won’t confess, he can sit in jail for years waiting for a trial, or else the police can coerce a few other people to be witnesses against the defendant. The jail time could be the same as if he confessed.

Now, “El Fito” is probably as guilty as all Hell. He was caught with the goods. However, no US court would ever admit as evidence a confession of a person who looked like that after a police interrogation.