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December 16, 1998

Case: Philip Trae

Mexico correspondent of the Texas, United States, newspaper San Antonio Express-News.



Circumstances:   (+)

His body was found on December 16, 1998.

On November 28, 1998 he had begun a 10-day tour of mountainous areas of Nayarit, Durango and Jalisco states to compile a report on the Huichol Indians. His body was found on December 16, 1998 in an area of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.

Sentences:   (+)

2002:
On May 30, 2002 the Jalisco Supreme Court overturned the 2001 acquittal and Juan Chivarra de la Cruz and Miguel Hernández de la Cruz were sentenced to 13 years in prison. On April 26, 2004 the Jalisco Supreme Court upheld the conviction and increased the sentence to 20 years for each of the accused and awarded punitive damages.

Sentences reversed and acquittals:   (+)

Juan Chivarra de la Cruz and Miguel Hernández de la Cruz were acquitted on August 3, 2001.

In February 2003 a federal court overturned the conviction handed down in 2002.

Prisoners sentenced:   (+)


Released / Sentence commuted:   (+)


Jailed awaiting trial:   (+)

Juan Chivarra de la Cruz and Miguel Hernández de la Cruz were acquitted on August 3, 2001.

In February 2003 a federal court overturned the conviction handed down in 2002.

Suspects not charged:   (+)


Fugitives:   (+)

Juan Chivarra de la Cruz and Miguel Hernández de la Cruz remain at large.

Notes:   (+)

Juan Chivarra de la Cruz and Miguel Hernández de la Cruz were acquitted initially on August 3, 2001, a decision that was appealed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office to the Jalisco Supreme Court, which overturned it on May 30, 2002 and handed down a 13-year prison sentence. In turn, a federal court overturned the sentence in February 2003.

However, on April 26, 2004 the Jalisco Supreme Court held to its ruling, increasing each of the accused’s prison term to 20 years and ordering payment of financial reparations.


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