Mexico: Justice for Sergio Sánchez after 7 years in prison

The decision made today by a federal court to release Sergio Sánchez Arellano, who was arbitrarily detained in 2010 and remained imprisoned in a Mexico City prison for over seven years, represents a victory for justice and the defence of human rights, said Amnesty International.

“Sergio Sánchez Arellano’s case is a tragic illustration of the risk of being arbitrarily detained in Mexico. Arbitrary detentions by the police are an everyday occurrence in the country and create states of impunity in which further human rights violations such as torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions can take place”, said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Sergio Sánchez Arellano’s case is a tragic illustration of the risk of being arbitrarily detained in Mexico. Arbitrary detentions by the police are an everyday occurrence in the country and create states of impunity in which further human rights violations such as torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions can take place
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

 

“Sergio Sánchez spent almost eight years in prison. His release is undoubtedly a step towards justice but there is still a long way to go in order to guarantee reparations for the damages caused in this case and to prevent such cases from recurring”.

Amnesty International documented the case of Sergio Sánchez Arellano in its 2017 report False suspicions: arbitrary detentions by police in Mexico. Sergio used to sell sweets in his home town of Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, State of Mexico. He was arbitrarily detained in March 2010 by the investigation unit of the Federal District (Mexico City) police for alleged involvement in a murder and attempted robbery.

While detained, Sergio Sánchez was held incommunicado, beaten and threatened in an attempt to make him incriminate himself, but he did not do so. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 27 years and six months in prison following legal proceedings in which, to the best of the organization’s knowledge, his right to a fair trial was not respected.

In October 2017, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the principle of presumption of innocence had not been respected in his case, among other serious flaws in the proceedings, and therefore sent the case back to the Ninth Collegiate Criminal Court for the First Circuit so that it might issue a new amparo ruling, respecting Sergio Sánchez’s rights. Today this court ordered the release of Sergio Sánchez.