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Mexican man claims he has been falsely imprisoned for 19yrs, ‘victim’ alive in US

Mexican man claims he has been falsely imprisoned for 19yrs, ‘victim’ alive in US
A man arrested and accused of the murder of a 19-year-old in Mexico has claimed that he has been falsely imprisoned for almost 19 years and is the victim of an elaborate insurance scam involving local police.

Music teacher Manuel Germán Ramírez Valdovinos was arrested in May of 2000 in the town of Tepexpan, close to Mexico City, accused of the murder of Manuel Martínez Elizalde. He alleges that eight police officers raided his home during a party for his infant son and that he was beaten as he was arrested.  

He then claims that the officers tortured him by suspending him from chains and exposing him to electric shocks. He was then transferred multiple times before his eventual court appearance where he was accused of murder despite a near total lack of evidence and a dearth of any witnesses.

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He was sentenced to 40 years in prison but immediately appealed the sentence citing “diverse irregularities,” including the fact that the body presented as that of the victim looked nothing like Martínez Elizalde, including different skin tone and height, as determined by two independent experts, La Jornada reported.  

He now claims that the supposed victim lives in the US thanks to falsely procured life insurance money of roughly 1.5 million Mexican Pesos (roughly $75,000) and has also undergone surgery to alter his appearance. This May, he will have been 19 years in prison for a crime he claims he did not commit.

Ramírez Valdovinos published a video in 2015 asking Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for help, but the Mexican government did not intervene in his case.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is investigating the case under the Istanbul Protocol, which covers the investigation of cases of torture, cruel or unusual punishment, and inhumane imprisonment.

The Mexican Government may recommend his release, which many hope will take place before May, though it remains unclear whether any action will be taken by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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