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Mario Flores Seeks Clemency

Detective Guevarra Frame-Up Victim Seeks Clemency
Mario Flores Sits on Death Row Waiting for Justice
Tuesday, October 15th @ 9:00 am
State of Illinois Building, 18th Floor, Chicago
Mario Flores, who has been sitting on death row for 18 years, will go before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board this Tuesday at 9:00 am to ask for clemency based on his actual innocence. Community activists, led by Comite Exijimos Justicia (We Demand Justice Committee), will be there to support Mario Flores’ clemency petition.

In 1984 Mario Flores was an 18-year old diver with scholarship offers from ivy league colleges. He worked as a lifeguard for the Chicago Park District and was a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In November of 1984 his bright future ended when he was arrested for a first-degree murder that had occurred on New Year’s Day, 1984. No physical evidence ever linked him to the crime, the State’s case was based solely on statements made by one witness 11 months later. This so-called witness was a woman whose own son had been the original suspect. Eight witnesses who could support Mario’s alibi were never called to testify at trial. The investigation of Mario’s case was handled by Area 5 Police Detective Reynaldo Guevarra. Police Area 5 is the former home of Detective Joseph Miedzianowski, the head of the Chicago Gang Crimes Unit who was convicted last year of drug conspiracy and racketeering.

Comite Exigimos Justicia has documented over 25 cases involving Detective Guevarra which resulted in convictions of Latino men based on eye-witness testimony alone, no physical evidence was presented to link these men to the crimes. Where Detective Guevarra is concerned a clear pattern of police frame-ups has emerged. Court records document that at least one previous Guevarra conviction was reversed after appeal. In People vs. Xavier Arcos, 1996, the defense argued that the statement made by the alleged eyewitness was obtained through “duress, prompting or coercion” by Guevarra and the Appellate Court reversed the guilty verdict when they found that the alleged eyewitness was not credible.

Members of Comite Exijimos Justicia support the clemency petition of Mario Flores, as does the Mexican Consulate, who will also be in attendance. The name of Detective Reynaldo Guevarra has become synonymous in Humboldt Park with frame-ups and coercion. We will not stand for innocent men being wrongfully convicted and we will not allow Detective Guevarra’s corrupt detective work to lead to an innocent man’s death.
 
 

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