MEXICO CITY – A Mexican federal court annulled the nearly eight-year prison sentence of a Bolivian-born man who in 2009 tried to hijack a plane, citing evidence that Josmar Flores Pereira suffers from mental illness, judicial sources told Efe.
Judge Ricardo Paredes Calderon ordered Flores to be moved from jail to a rehabilitation center.
The incident on the plane took place in September 2009 and Flores, who settled in Mexico 20 years ago, was sentenced in May 2011.
It was about an hour into Aeromexico Flight 574’s 2˝-hour journey to the Mexican capital from the Caribbean resort of Cancun that Flores threatened the crew with a bomb that turned out to be fake.
The 104 passengers aboard the Boeing 737 did not become aware of the hijacking until after the plane landed in Mexico City, at which point the pilot informed passengers of a “situation” and told the women and children to move toward the rear of the aircraft.
The women and youngsters were the first to leave the plane, followed by the remaining passengers and then Flores, who was grabbed by police as he descended the stairs.
Flores, who had threatened to blow up the plane unless Mexican President Felipe Calderon agreed to meet with him, later told authorities he wanted to share with the head of a state his “divine revelation” about an impending earthquake.
Psychological examinations ordered by the appellate court showed that Flores is the victim of a mental disorder of persistent delirious ideas, has tried on three occasions to commit suicide and was a cocaine addict, the press following the case said.
Among other things, Flores believes that he is God’s mediator on Earth and is able to perform miracles, such us raising paralyzed people from the ground.
His condition is chronic and incurable, though capable of improvement with the right treatment, the daily Reforma said, citing the official psychiatric report. EFE