Innocent Man In Jail For 19yrs As Murder Vic Hides In US

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN

A human rights court is trying to release a Mexican man who has spent 19 years in prison for killing a family friend who is reportedly alive and well and living in the US after benefiting from a huge insurance payout.

Manuel German Ramirez Valdovines was arrested at his home in the village of Tepexpan in the central Mexican state of Mexico in May 2000.

He was subsequently sentenced to 43 years in prison for the murder of Manuel Martinez Elizalde, who he knew after the victim’s family had previously lent him some money.

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Pictures Credit: CEN

At the police station, the suspect allegedly confessed to the crime under torture.

However, while serving 19 years behind bars, Ramirez Valdovines has claimed that the victim’s father had an insurance payout of one million USD (770,534.22 GBP) for his son’s death.

The prisoner also said that the family paid 150,000 USD (115,580 GBP) to corrupt police officers to arrest and frame Ramirez Valdovinos, according to reports.

He claimed that the judicial process was full of irregularities and that the victim’s body was actually someone else who was three centimetres shorter with different physical characteristics to Martinez Elizalde.

The prisoner also said that the alleged victim has been living in the United States for the past two decades and regularly attends annual festivals in Tepexpan where he brazenly stands alongside his father.

Ramirez Valdovines said that his mother asked Mexican police to arrest Martinez Elizalde for faking his own murder numerous times, but they never did.

He also reportedly wrote to the state authorities on many occasions, but never received a reply.

According to local media, the case is now being considered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights who are investigating it under the Istanbul Protocol, also known as ‘The Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’.

The court will send its recommendations to the Mexican government and Ramirez Valdovinos should be released soon after, according to reports.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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