Thursday 9 August 2012

No surprise that Bruce Beresford-Redman denied amparo

A few weeks ago Mexico's Fourth District Court in Cancun denied an injunction for Bruce Beresford-Redman, the American television producer charged with murdering his wife.
As a result, Beresford-Redman, who was extradited from the United States last February, will remain in detention.

Beresford-Redman at his hearing

In Mexico, this injunction is known as an "amparo". The amparo’s purpose is to protect an accused’s rights under the Mexican Constitution. At any point during a trial a lawyer may propose filing an amparo.

However, early appeals, which occur during or before a trial, as in this case, rarely result in the release of the prisoner. And even if an amparo is upheld a trial usually proceeds. Mexican judges have significant power, and can effectively rule that though constitutional rights may have been violated the public interest nonetheless dictates that a trial should occur.

Beresford-Redman’s lawyer, Carlos Grajales Betancourt, filed for amparo in March, shortly after his client’s extradition. Beresford-Redman is accused of murdering his wife, Monica Ferreira Burgos, in April 2010, when the couple were visiting Mexico with their two young children.

Beresford-Redman, who worked on such reality TV shows as Survivor and Pimp My Ride, has expressed concern for his safety while in jail. There have been at least a dozen violent outbreaks during his incarceration. Now it looks as though he will have to wait out his entire trial, which is expected to take from eight months to a year.

For more on this see The damning evidence against Bruce Beresford-Redman.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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