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Mexico's Calderon enters diplomatic spat with France

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Mexico's Calderon enters diplomatic spat with France


Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon has told France to respect his country’s legal system.

Earlier this month, Mexican judges upheld the conviction of Florence Cassez, a French woman sentenced to 60 years in jail for kidnapping.

Despite pressure from Paris, Calderon expressed confidence in the ruling.

‘‘We’re talking about a kidnapper, a woman who was part of a very dangerous criminal gang that was devoted to kidnapping Mexicans, that mutilated their fingers, that threatened their relatives. Besides, the victims themselves recognise the woman. They recognise her; they recognise her voice,’‘ Calderon declared.

Arrested in 2005, Cassez, now 36 years-old, was convicted for her part in three kidnappings.

Despite Mexico insisting her guilt has been proven, the French government says the case has serious flaws. President Sarkozy has demanded Cassez be allowed to serve her sentence in France and warned the decision to keep her jailed in Mexico could weigh on bilateral relations.

On Monday, the Mexican government suspended its participation in France’s year-long festival celebrating Mexican culture because of the diplomatic row.

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