The Ciudad Juarez Femicide Declassification Project

College of DuPage - Geography Department

The Cynthia Kiecker Case

US citizen Cynthia Kiecker and her Mexican citizen husband, Ulises Perazabal, were arrested and charged with killing a teenager in Chihuahua City. After being tortured repeatedly, Kiecker and Perazabal were placed in the Chihuahua prison while a long, strange diplomatic and courtroom battle played out. They were eventually released, and taken by the Consulate's armored car across the border into El Paso. The documentary record surrounding the Kiecker case has now been declassified, and is being made available for the first time.

The Document Collection

Document 1: "Arrest: Cynthia Louise Kicker" [sic]. Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 6 June 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 0379. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The Consulate's initial report of Kiecker's arrest. Note: "Consul Was Notified By Media On June 03, 2003." A more detailed report was cabled on June 13, 2003, as Ciudad Juarez 0891.

Document 2: "Arrest Update: Kiecker, Cynthia Louise." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 13 June 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 0891. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

Cynthia Kiecker and Ulises Perzabal were arrested in the early morning hours of May 31, 2003. Transported by State Judicial Police to "The Academy," Kiecker was tortured for four hours. "The torture included being blindfolded and doused with water while simultaneously having electric shocks administered with a hand held devlice. She also reported that a gun was placed to her head and her life was threatened. She stated that she was subjected to both mental and emotional abuse by being forced to listen to the screams of her husband while he was also being tortured. She further stated that during this ordeal she was forced to make a statement under duress in which she confessed to killing the victim. Mrs. Kiecker claims her statement was false and done only to spare herself and her husband further physical abuse."

"[American Citizen Services] Chief also protested the lack of consular notification. From the time of her arrest, all documents state that Mrs. Kiecker is an American citizen but Post learned of her arrest through the media and to date has never been formally notified of her detention by the Mexican authorities."

"Since her legal representation was still unclear at that time, ACS Chief met with the public defender assigned to the case. He refused to discuss the case in front of any colleagues. However, he later shared information privately and expressed his concerns for his personal safety and his continued employment if he successfully defended the couple in light of the importance the State Attorney General has personally attached to prosecution of this case."

Document 3: "Arrest Update: Cynthia Louise Kiecker." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 2 July 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 2373. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"On July 01, 2003 Post learned through media reports that, on June 30, 2003 at a press conference in Chihuahua City, the two main witnesses in the homicide of a 16-year-old girl in Chihuahua City retracted their initial testimonies, claiming they, like the accused, had been tortured by the State Police authorities to implicate AMCIT Cynthia Kiecker and her LPR husband, Ulises Perzabal. The couple's defense attorney stated that charges would have to be withdrawn now that the main evidence against them no longer exists."

Document 4: "Arrest Update: Consulate Follows Up on Protest Concerning Allegations of Police Torture of U.S. Citizen." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 8 August 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 4919. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

Consulate officials met with the state Attorney General, Jesus Jose Solis Silva, "to follow-up on our June letter of formal protest citing alleged torture of Amcit Cynthia Louise Kiecker...Little has been done since we formally requested an investigation on June 10, 2003...Solis listened carefully as we explained his obligation under the Vienna Convention to provide consular notification. We noted that in recent memory his office had not met this obligation. He acknowledged the need to improve, but seemed relatively unconcerned."

Document 5: "Arrest Update: Witness Against Amcit Recants, Claims Police Tortured Him." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 19 August 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 005435. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"Manuel Lopez, a homeless man, appeared as one of the main witnesses for the state...The legal secretary read to the court the statement obtained from Lopez weeks ago by the Chihuahua state Attorney General's office (PGE - Procuraduria General del Estado). Lopez was asked if the statement was accurate. He stated the statement was not true. Lopez indicated that the PGE obtained the statement by torturing him...Lopez told the court that the police officers put him in a white van and took him to the old Police Academy or "La Academia." He stated that the police put a towel around his neck and strangled him while interrogating him repeatedly about his relationship with Cynthia Louise Kiecker and her husband Ulysis [sic] Perzabal. The court heard Lopez describe the police wetting his body and applying electric shocks to his back and genitals while asking him leading questions about Kiecker and Perazabal...Lopez said he will never forget the sound emitted by the electrical device used to send electric currents through his body while inflicting severe pain..."

Document 6: "Arrest Update: Inconsistencies in Chihuahua State's Murder Case Against Amcit." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 24 August 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 006271. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The forensic doctor who examined the remains alleged to be of Viviana Rayas failed to appear at court. However, Dr. Samuel Francisco Villa, who examined Kiecker and Perzabal during their detention, testified. "Upon examining Ulises Perzabal (Kiecker's husband), Villa found several injuries in the genital area. Villa claimed that Perzabal told him that he (Perzabal) had the injuried [sic] before he was detained. The Acting ACS Chief saw Perzabal shake his head in dissapproval [sic] at the doctor's statement. In his testimony, Villa acknowledged that Perzabal's injuries had been there more than 24 hours and less than 72 hours. He admitted that he failed to report the the injuries in the medical certification."

Document 7: "Arrest Update: Father of Alleged Murder Victim Testifies." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 27 August 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 006631. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"On August 25, 2003, Jose Cirilo Rayas, the father of alleged murder victim Viviana Rayas, testified in the on-going hearings in the murder charges brought against Amcit Cynthia Kiecker by the state of Chihuahua. Rayas is the leader of the powerful Department of Transportation workers union in Chihuahua. Rayas' daughter went missing in mid-March. After two months of frustration and anguish, Rayas made an open threat that the union would paralyze Chihuahua state construction projects if his daughter's disappearance was not solved soon. Within days, the police arrested Kiecker and her Mexican husband...In late May, Jose Cirilo Rayas...gave initial statements to the press to the effect that he was 'absolutely sure' that the remains delivered to him...were those of his daughter...By the time of the August 25 hearing, Rayas' confidence in the investigatory capacity of the Chihuahua state police had faded. His testimony indicated that the authorities failed to perform DNA tests, even though Rayas requested the tests be done....He is no longer sure of the identity of the remains."

"On May 27, according to police reports, passers-by found a body in advanced stages of decomposition (but still with flesh on the bones) in the desert by the south highway leading out of Chihuahua City. One glaring inconsistency in police records shows that the passers-by found the remains and the forensic doctor performed the examination of the remains at the exact same place and time. Police claimed to have found a large blood stain on the floor in Kiecker's house over two months after Viviana's disappearance. The blood stain turned out to be paint."

This cable was retransmitted as Ciudad Juarez 07250, 1 September 2003.

Document 8: "Arrest Update: American Woman Describes Torture at Hands of Chihuahua Police." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 5 September 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 008185. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

Cynthia Kiecker testified on September 2, 2003. "She said that several police broke down the door to her house at 1:00 in the morning on Saturday, May 31, 2003. She claimed the police dragged her by her long, red hair about a half a block down the street...Then the police threw her in a white van and place a plastic bag over her head...Kiecker told the court that police beat her with their fists and slapped her with open hands...police threw her in a room with a bed, splashed water on her, and shocked her witha two-pronged device..."

"The next day...she was taken to a room with some eight police officers and a female investigator named Saenz. She put in front of a video camera and told to recount the story she had been told the night before. Kiecker claims that she said that the story was a lie and that she and her husband had nothing to do with the murder. At that point the police turned off the camera. Kiecker says that a large irate policeman told her, 'Don't act stupid. You better tell it exactly like you did last night or we're going to shove a big stick up your ass. You'll be really sorry. I've had enough of this crap."

Document 9: "Arrest Update: Another Witness Retracts Original Statement." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 11 September 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 008599. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

A friend of Cynthia Kiecker, Erika Perez, recanted her signed statement incriminating the couple. Perez claimed psychological torture, with the police "threatening to send her to prison for '8-10 years,' which would result in a devastating separation from her toddler son...In the September 9 proceedings, Perez was under intense pressure. Accompanied by her lawyer, Perez was notified at the outset that there was a warrant for her arrest. She was given no explanation as to the reason for the putative arrest. The following day the authorities said they had made a mistake and there was no warrant. Often on the verge of tears due to tactics such as this, Perez nevertheless retracted."

Document 10: "Arrest Update: Possible Motion for Kiecker's Release." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 7 October 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 010418. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"Her lawyer is planning to request her release under a provision of Chihuahua state law that authorizes parole for accused persons who appear to be exonerated by evidence presented in court."

Document 11: "EACT FW: Motion Filed for Cynthia Kiecker's Release." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 3 November 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 000083. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The attorney for one of the three witnesses who originally implicated Kiecker and Perzabal testified. His client 'is concerned that the police will arrest him again, as they have threatened to do with other witnesses" and refuses to appear in court. The attorney met with the witness shortly after his release from police custody (when the Kieckers were arrested). "He saw burns on his client's head, chest, and back, as well as inflammation of his nose."

Kiecker's lawyer field a motion for conditional release on October 31, 2003.

Document 12: "EACT FW: Motion for Kiecker's Release Denied." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 12 November 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 012549. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"The court decided that the defense's arguments were not applicable to a motion for release. In addition...the type of release sought by Kiecker is not available to those accused of serious crimes."

Document 13: "EACT FW: Federal Amparo Filed in Kiecker Case." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 5 December 2003. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 014067. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The motion for conditional release was denied, so Kiecker's attorney filed a motion for review with a federal court. Also mentioned in this cable is David Meza, accused of killing his cousin, Neyra Azucena Cervantes in Chihuahua City. Cynthia's mother, Carol, was actively working the international media to pressure the Mexican government for her daughter's release.

Document 14: "Questions for the Record Submitted to Assistant Secretary Roger Noriega by Sen. Norm Coleman (#2A)." United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations. 23 March 2004. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-02-506) to Keith Yearman.

"Our Embassy in Mexico City and our Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez have formally protested the treatment of Cynthia Kiecker and raise her case at every opportunity. Senior officials of the Department have also raised the matter with their Mexican counterparts and will continue to do so."

Document 15: "Kiecker Arrest Update: State Attorney General Fails to Investigate Torture Allegations." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 13 April 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 005299. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

Consul General Maurice Parker met with state Attorney General Jesus Antonio Pinon Jimenez on March 25, 2004. Parker pressed Pinon, at least lightly, on the Juarez murders and on the Kiecker case. Of note this ominous report from Parker:

"Post has discovered that former Chihuahua state Attorney General (PGJE) Jesus Solis Silva ordered his staff in August 2003 to halt the investigation into the allegations for torture by state police (PJE) of U.S. citizen prisoner Cynthia Kiecker and her legal permanent resident husband Ulises Perzabal. The AG instructed his staff to delay the investigation until the state murder trials of Ms. Keicker and Mr. Perzabal are completed. According to a document in ConGen possession, the former Attorney General stopped the investigation only days after responding to a letter of protest from teh Consulate General; his response stated that the AG's office would thoroughly investiage the allegations of torture and report its findings to post. ConGen is concerned that the AG's office will use stall tactics to delay a judicial decision until after state government elections, scheduled for July 2004, to prevent the allegations of torture from becoming a matter of record during judicial deliberations."

Document 16: "Final Hearing Completed in Kiecker Case." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 20 May 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 007401. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The brother of witness Melito Sibaja Juarez testified. Sibaja's attorney had previously testified, but Sibaja himself refused to appear in court. The brother's testimony mirrored that of the attorney - that Melito had been tortured. "Carol Kiecker was quite a bit more upbeat about her daughter's case than the last time she spoke with ACS Chief, and although she continues to be frustrated by the slow pace of the Chihuahua court, she is feeling hopeful that the end result will be her daughter's liberation."

Document 17: "Kiecker Case: Chihuahua Attorney General Provides Novel Interpretation of Vienna Convention." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 27 May 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 007888. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"In a formal response to Post's letter of protest, Chihuahua state Attorney General Jesus Antonio Pinon denied that the arresting police and prosecutors had violated the Vienna Convention by not notifying post of the arrest of Amcit Cynthia Kiecker. He claims that since Kiecker did not request to see a consular officer, his office had no obligation to inform the consulate of Kiecker's arrest."

Document 18: "State Reaffirms Cynthia Kiecker's Guilt While Fox Declares Her Innocent." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 22 June 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 008748. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"On June 16, 2004, the state Attorney General's office responded to a letter of protest from the Consulate dated June 9, 2003, in which post initially reported Ms. Kiecker's credible allegations of torture. The Attorney General's report concluded that neither Kiecker, nor her husband, showed any evidence of having been tortured during their detention by Chihuahua state authorities."

"On June 18, Mexican President Vicente Fox met with U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (D-MN) [sic] and discussed the case of Ms. Kiecker. During the meeting a GOM representative reportedly informed Senator Coleman that on June 11, Chihuahua state officials had decided to drop the charges against Kiecker and Perzabal. A senior Chihuahua State judicial official has denied that the charges against Ms. Kiecker will be dropped, but he will receive confirmation from the state Attorney General and respond to post soonest."

Document 19: "Chihuahua State Will Not Withdraw Charges Against Cynthia Kiecker." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 24 June 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 008892. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"On June 23, 2004, Chihuahua's Deputy Attorney General Eduardo Gomez Arriaga stated to post that neither he nor Attorney General Pinon had knowledge of any motion to withdraw charges against Kiecker and Perzabal in the mruder case of Viviana Rayas. Gomez Arriaga was also unaware of how Mexican federal government officials might have received such erroneous information."

Document 20: "Senator Bingaman Discusses Cynthia Kiecker and Juarez Murders." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 2 July 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 009245. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-02-506) to Keith Yearman. [See also second version of this cable, as both have different redactions - combining the two provides a nearly-complete version of the entire document]

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman held a small meeting at New Mexico State University with representatives of non-governmental organizations, Carol Kiecker, the press, Joanne Joria (the Consulate's Public Affairs Officer), and others. "Carol Kiecker discussed recent developments in her daughter's case, and detailed the events of the last two weeks, when the Mexican Embassy erroneously told Senator Coleman (D-MN) and President Fox that murder charges against Cynthia and her husband would be dropped...ACS Chief spoke at length with Carol Kiecker following the meeting. She remains upset and frustrated after the confusion that arose out of the meeting between Pres. Fox and Senator Coleman. Although both Cynthia's lawyer and the state court's secretary of projects remain optimistic that Cynthia and Ulises will be cleared of the charges against them, [Carol] maintains no such hope. What little faith she may have had in the state judicial process at the beginning of this case has long since evaporated, and she continues to believe that an intervention by the Mexican federal government will be [Cynthia's] only salvation."

Document 21: "Kiecker's Defense Presents Forensic Specialist." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 21 July 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 010023. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The Washington Office on Latin America became involved, making arrangements for Lori Baker of Baylor University to become a defense expert. "During her initial viewing of the vertabrae from which the prosecution had taken DNA samples, Dr. Baker noted that the bones appeared to be those of a 35 year old woman...Dr. Baker also commented on the appalling manner in which the state had maintained the remains and other evidence alleged to be the personal belongings of the victim. The prosecution had overseen the washing and apparent cutting of the hair found on the human remains, claiming that the dirt and smell from the hair was overwhelming. In addition, teeth had been cut and some removed from the skull. There was no indication of proper handling or storage of any of the physical evidence in the case, and no documentation of chain of custody, normally standard in law enforcement procedures."

Document 22: "Morfin Discusses Kiecker Case." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 2 August 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 010571. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"Post briefly mentioned that Doctor Mario I. Alvarez Ledesma, Deputy Federal Attorney General for Human Rights, stated that the request to call on the Istanbul Protocol needed to be presented by the victim itself through her attorneys to the courthouse. While not explicitly disregarding the comments made by Alvarez Ledesma, an obviously disgruntled Morfin admitted that her request presented on June 23 has received an unfair bureaucratic treatment by the PGR....If needed, post asked if Morfin's office could provide guidance to Kiecker's defense attorneys in the preparation of such a document, since the Commissioner has already presented an initial request. Morfin agreed to provide such guidance 'unofficially' based on her own experience."

Document 23: "Kiecker's Judge Increases Presence in Trial" [Incomplete]. Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 5 August 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 010756. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"Judge Fabio Valdez personally conducted the 'careo' hearing in an attempt to clear up the discrepancies between statements made by Amcit Cynthia Kiecker, her LPR husband Ulises Perzabal, and the police officer implicated in their arrest and subsequent torture. Valdez indicated that he plans to conclude the case and issue a decision in early October, slipping the decision in under the radar during the formal transition in the governor's office at that time...He indicated that he hopes to use the confusing and hectic transition period as cover for his decision, implying that the decision will not be politically popular. Comment: Valdez's concern about slipping his decision in under the political radar seems to indicate that he is leaning towards finding Kiecker and Perzabal innocent of the murder of Viviana Rayas."

Document 24: "Kiecker's Lawyers Meet With Morfin's Office on Istanbul Protocol." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 10 August 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 010962. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The Consulate brought Guadalupe Morfin, Kiecker's attorney, and others together to discuss application of the Istanbul Protocol. Morfin presented a request for application to the PGR on June 23, 2004.

Document 25: "Kiecker Case: Experts Say Remains Could Be Alleged Victim's." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 9 September 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 012628. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

The Consulate participated in the exhumation of the victim's remains. Lori Baker and Steven Symes, forensic experts from the U.S., were brought in to handle the exhumation. The judge said "he was authorizing the exhumation for the sole purpose of conducting a DNA test to determine the DNA chain and compare it with the one obtained by a laboratory in Guanajuato. Despite Dr. Baker's contention that it would be very helpful to take blood samples of the victim's parents to obtain a more accurate result, the judge stated that he would request blood samples from the Rayas family only if Dr. Baker's DNA results did not match those of the lab in Guanajuato...Dr. Baker also commented that the judge's restrictions on the DNA test made her job significantly more difficult, as she will have to try to replicate the same testing procedure used by the lab in Guanajuato; simply using different chemical reagents or different equipment may skew her results."

"After the completion of the exhumation and examination of remains, both forensic experts mentioned to ACS staff that the remains did appear to be those of a teenaged girl. Since the remains were initially found and presented by the state as those of Viviana Rayas, there has been widespread suspicion that the bones were actually those of a middle-aged woman, but this may not be the case. Dr. Symes, a bone trauma expert, did not that the prosecution's theory of the victim's cause of death having been Kiecker's attack with a small jewelry-making tool was unlikely, given the position in the neck of the broken vertebrae presented by the prosecution as evidence of the purported attack."

Document 26: "Kiecker Case: State Blocks Istanbul Protocol Process." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 8 October 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 013689. Source: Freedom of Information Act request (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"According to the office of Commissioner Guadalupe Morfin, Chihuahua State officials have blocked the Federal Attorney General's (PGR) Office of Human Rights from conducting medical and psychological exams under the Istanbul Protocol in the cases of Amcit Cynthia Kiecker, her husband Ulises Perzabal, and David Meza...by claiming that further examination of the allegations of torture is not permitted by the Protocol, since the state has already conducted its own investigations."

Document 27: "Juarez Murders: El Cerillo Found Guilty Despite Istanbul Protocol Results." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 15 October 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 013961. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-02-506) to Keith Yearman.

"Meanwhile, the Istanbul Protocol process remains stalled for Amcit Cynthia Kiecker, her LPR husband Ulises Perzabal, and David Meza....Zapien stated that the judge in Kiecker and Perzabal's case is planning to issue a decision by the middle of November, and the Protocol would delay the timetable. Based on recent indications from the judge, Zapien believes that Kiecker and Perzabal will be found innocent of the mruder charges against them; he wants to make sure that a decision in November remains possible, particularly since the judge, appointed to the court by the previous governor's administration, believes that his appointment will not be confirmed by the new administration and that he will leave the court in mid-December."

Document 28: "Kiecker Case: Defense Will Not Wait For U.S. DNA Test Results." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and USEmbassy in Mexico City. 22 October 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 014246. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"Zapien learned yesterday that Dr. Lori Baker of Baylor University would be unable to have the DNA test results by today due to technical difficulties with one of the analytic machines used to run the test. She estimated that she would have the results by October 29 at the earliest, and Zapien fears that waiting this long would jeopardize Kiecker's chances of getting a decision out of the judge currently hearing her case. The judge does not expect to have his appointment renewed in December by the new state supreme court, and Zapien and the Kiecker family want to take advantage of the judge's apparent disposition to rule in favor of Kiecker and her LPR husband Ulises Perzabal before he steps down."

Document 29: "WHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Linda Jewell,s October 21, 2004, Meeting With Chihuahua Attorney General Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez" [sic]. Cable from State Department Headquarters to US Embassy in Mexico City. 21 October 2004. Cable Number: State 227015. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-02-506) to Keith Yearman.

In this heavily-excised cable, Linda Jewell and Alice Moore (Executive Director of Consular Affairs/Overseas Citizen Services) and Patricia Gonzalez meet in Washington. "DAS Jewell said the USG was profoundly concerned about the Cynthia Kiecker case and believed she had been a victim of torture. She said state officials had been blocking an impartial investigation of the torture allegations and asked for Gonzalez's help in letting the investigation proceed...Director Moore said the case had been devastating for the Kiecker family...She also emphasized the lack of consular notification in the case."

Document 30: "Kiecker Case: Amcit Cynthia Louise Kiecker and LPR Husband Are Acquitted." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to all US Consulates in Mexico, US Embassy in Mexico City and State Department Headquarters. 21 December 2004. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 016486. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

This cable provides a detailed timeline of the Kiecker case, including a September 4, 2003 meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Maura Harty and her Mexican counterpart at which the case was discussed. After the acquittal, "Acting ACS Chief and ConAsst waited for the couples release at the State Pentitentiary in Chihuahua City. ACS staff was assured by prison Director Oscar Valadez that Cynthia and Ulises would be turned over to U.S. Consulate personnel. In a sudden turn of events, prison authorities changed their plans and transferred Cynthia and Ulises, accompanied by armed prison guards in an unmarked van, to the 'Instituto Nacional de Migracion' (INM - Mexican Immigration) without notifying ACS staff beforehand. Acting ACS Chief, ConAsst and Post driver

Document 31: "Kudos to Consular Officers for Assistance to Cynthia Kiecker and Ulises Perzabal." Cable from State Department Headquarters to US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez and US Embassy in Mexico City. 10 January 2005. Cable Number: State 005572. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

A congratulatory cable from Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Maura Harty. "I highly commend the Ciudad Juarez ACS team" for "the extraordinary assistance provided to Cynthia Kiecker and Ulises Perzabal during their twenty-month incarceration."

Document 32: "Appeal on Cynthia Kieckerl" [sic]. Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters. 21 January 2005. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 000870. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"The Kieckers report that Cynthia's defense attorneys, Miguel Zapien and Arturo Arzate, have repeatedly called her demanding her return to Chihuahua to sign papers in person. She felt that because of the attorneys' pressure it was necessary to return to Chihuahua City, but felt it would be difficult because she and her husband were financially depleted and both fear for their safety...Post has serious reservations about the couple returning to Mexico, given the dubious nature of some of the proceedings, and we have expressed our concern to the Kieckers."

Document 33: "Istanbul Protocol Process Continues for Kiecker and Others." Cable from US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez to State Department Headquarters and US Embassy in Mexico City. 27 May 2005. Cable Number: Ciudad Juarez 004660. Source: Freedom of Information Act release (2005-05-180) to Keith Yearman.

"The Mexican Attorney General's Office (PGR) would like to continue the Istanbul Protocol process, begun during the incarceration of Kiecker and Perzabal during their trial, to make an official determination of whether Kiecker and Perzabal's allegations of torture at the hands of state police officials (PJE) are credible. The PGR is working with the new Mexican Consulate in St. Paul, MN, to coordinate the travel of PGR experts to interview Kiecker and Perzabal, who are willing to travel to the Consulate and continue with the Istanbul Protocol examinations."