Florence Cassez, the French woman recently released after being imprisoned in Mexico for seven years on kidnapping charges, has spoken out from her home country, saying that García Luna, Mexico’s Secretary of Public Safety, wanted her dead.
"Garcia Luna’s objective was to demolish me,” she said in an interview with Paris Match. “I was in his hands. He wanted me dead."
Cassez, who was serving a 60 year prison sentenced, was released on January 23 after a 3-2 decision by Mexico’s Supreme Court. Her case was notorious as much for the extreme misconduct on the part of investigators as for the evidence against her. The continuing scourge of kidnapping left many in Mexico enraged at her release, thinking that it was a political move on the part of the new PRI administration of Peña Nieto to curry favour with France.
In 2009 Cassez was transferred to the harsh Santa Marta prison complex, which she interpreted as being "for talking too much with the press ". She claimed to have suffered greatly at Santa Marta, where she was monitored 24/7 by security cameras and, she says, often insulted and harassed by other inmates.
She also claimed that her lawyers believed García Luna to have been responsible for her “fake arrest”. This occurred the day after she was detained. It involved a media circus in which security forces called up the press, then staged an improvised “raid” and faux take-down at the kidnappers’ safe house on a farm south of Mexico City.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) allegedly has a large file on García Luna, who came under increased scrutiny after the August 24, 2012 ambush by Mexican federal police on a United States embassy vehicle. According to the Mexican weekly Proceso, the DEA believes García Luna may have ties to drug traffickers. Apparently, he begged the Americans for forgiveness after the attack on the embassy vehicle, a consideration that may have been forthcoming after arrests were made.
Florence Cassez interviewed upon her "arrest" - you can hear her French accent - and the testimony of victims who, though blindfolded, claim to have recognized her voice and accent when held captive.
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