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Free at last: Tapatio teens absolved of drugs charges

September 9, 2013

Julio & Sergio

After almost ten months of wrongful imprisonment, two teenage students from Guadalajara were finally released from jail in Mazatlan on Friday.

Despite U.S. authorities having proven their innocence and over 195,000 people having signed a petition calling for their release, Sergio Alejandro Torres Duarte, 18, and Julio Cesar Moreno Guzman, 19, endured 302 days of hell as the Attorney General’s Office in Sinaloa refused to yield to common sense. The nightmare ordeal only came to a belated end on Friday when a federal judge intervened in the case, absolving the pair of drug-trafficking charges and ordering their immediate release.

“I’m so happy to be back with my parents and my friends,” Moreno told the press at a euphoric reunion in Guadalajara on Saturday. “We didn’t see the end coming,” Torres added, “but thank God justice was done.”

As previously reported, the pair were detained at a police checkpoint in Esquinapa, Sinaloa on November 15, 2012, when officers found a package containing 914 grams of cocaine stashed in a secret compartment of their vehicle. However, the car had been bought by Torres’ father in February 2012 in an online auction of vehicles seized by U.S. authorities and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency later verified that the cocaine was from the same batch originally found in the car in 2010.

Governor Aristoteles Sandoval and Secretary General Arturo Zamora received the two boys and their families at the Casa Jalisco on Monday. Sandoval offered a scholarship to the pair – who were just a month away from graduating at Guadalajara’s TecMilenio Preparatoria when they were arrested – so that they can finally complete their studies, as well as vowing to provide them with legal advice.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jim Jaime Edwards permalink
    September 9, 2013 21:30

    Congratulations to you as well in raising public consciousness of the injustice of this matter in its onset and now the better resolve after 10 months of lingering injustice. It is appreciated that there can be any adjustment and better resolve after such a prolonged injustice. All in Mexico that believe in, pray for and speak up for a better Mexico can index this reference point of how there should be a preferred outcome. And yes I know there are other less successful outcomes of non-justice at the same time, north and south of the borders, all around the world… but in some places … in some periods there is only injustice and again in this case at least a declaration of justice at the end of 10 months. JEdwards@vistainnova.com

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