Human Rights and Civil Society

Querétaro’s Human Rights Commission supports indigenous women’s appeal

On February 20, the State Commission on Human Rights of Querétaro (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos de Querétaro, CEDHQ) filed a complaint against the continued detention of two indigenous women. The family of Teresa González Cornelio and Alberta Alcántara Juan alleged that their due process rights were violated and that they are being held unfairly. The women’s attorneys are attempting to quickly appeal their recent conviction on the basis of procedural irregularities and lack of evidence. The two women were arrested in August of 2006 and were sentenced this month to 21 years in jail for kidnapping six agents of the Federal Investigations Agency (Agencia Federal de Investigaciones, AFI). A third woman was also charged for the same offense, but was let go for lack of evidence last September.

Their incarceration stems from an incident between six AFI agents and market vendors in the town of Santiago Mexquititlán on March 26, 2006. According to a legislative resolution introduced by two federal representatives, the AFI agents allegedly entered the town market dressed as civilians and claimed they were looking for drugs and pirated DVDs as part of a police operation. However, the local vendors doubted these claims and believed they were using their official authority to steal. An altercation between the two groups began, but local police authorities stepped in and offered to pay the vendors a given amount for damages suffered. Afterwards, the six agents alleged that they had been detained against their will during the incident. Prosecution charges resulting in the three women’s convictions followed.

Amnesty International has been involved in this case and declared the two women prisoners of conscience on February 12. The executive director of Amnesty International Mexico, Alberto Herrera, has stated that the organization believes there is no hard evidence against them and that their arrest was retribution for the incident in March 2006. The Governor Querétaro said Tuesday that, even though this is a federal matter that is out of the state government’s jurisdiction, he plans to meet with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República) to show solidarity with both sides’ concerns about justice.


El Informador. “Recibe CEDHQ queja por caso de indígenas.” NTX / BDVG. Febrero 21, 2010.

Herrera, Alberto. “Activistas piden liberar a indígenas acusadas de secuestro.” El Universal / RMP. Febrero 21, 2010.

Godínez Leal, Lourdes. “Por falta de pruebas, exonera la PGR a Jacinta Francisco.” CIMAC. Septiembre 9, 2009. “Pide Amnistía Internacional liberar a indígenas queretanas.” Notimex. Febrero 22, 2010.

Senado de la República. Proposiciones de Ciudadanos Legisladores: Proposición con punto de acuerdo respecto al caso de la Señora Jacinta Francisco Marcial. Mayo 20, 2009.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *