Chihuahua, Mexico: Kiecker and Perzábal Found Innocent in the City's Femicide
- FNS: Kiecker and Perzábal Found Innocent in Chihuahua City Femicide
On Friday, December 17, 2004 US-citizen Cynthia Kiecker and her Mexican
husband Ulises Perzábal were found innocent of the murder of 16-year-old
Viviana Rayas. Rayas was murdered in Chihuahua City in May 2003, according
to Chihuahua law enforcement.
Throughout their ordeal Kiecker and Perzábal stated that they were tortured
for days until they falsely confessed to murdering Rayas. During the trial
alleged witnesses reversed statements against the two saying that they were
also tortured or coerced into make false, incriminating statements.
Kiecker and Perzábal’s case received international attention and became an
embarrassment for the Fox administration. In June 2004, while in Minnesota
on a trade mission, President Fox told US Senator Norm Coleman that the
murder charges would most likely be dropped against Kiecker and Perzábal.
Then, approximately a week later, the Mexican embassy reversed the president
’s statement saying that the charges would continue and that it was charges
against the police officers accused of torturing Kiecker and Perzábal that
were being dropped.
According to Carol Kiecker, Cynthia’s mother, her daughter and son-in-law
left Mexico as soon as possible after their not guilty verdict. To insure
their safety they were whisked to El Paso by US consular officials in a
bullet-proof vehicle that was accompanied by Mexican federal police vehicles
and another vehicle with three US FBI agents.
Kiecker and Perzábal have said that they will live in Minnesota—Kiecker’s
home state—and will not be returning to Mexico for years. According to both
Cynthia and Carol Kiecker, the family plans to join the struggle for justice
being waged by others that have been unjustly incarcerated and by the
families of the serial-killing victims in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City.
Cirilo Rayas, the father of Viviana, says that he will not be quiet until
there is justice for his daughter, according to an article in the Chihuahua
newspaper El Pueblo. He plans to meet with the state attorney general to
discuss his daughters case, he said.
According to a December 18, 2004 article in the Chicago Tribune the Mexican
Secretary of the Interior criticized prosecutors noting that “"to blame the
innocent only foments impunity, and that only benefits the guilty."
Chihuahua prosecutors have said that they plan to appeal the acquittal.
El Pueblo (Chihuahua), December 17, 2004. Article by Carlos Hernández.
Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2004. Article by Hugh Dellios.
Greg Bloom, Outreach Coordinator
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Email address: gbloom@...
Phone: (505) 646-6817
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