Aviation News

May 20, 2011

Bolivian Pastor Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for 2009 Aeromexico Hijacking

Mexican authorities on Thursday announced that a Bolivian pastor was sentenced to over 7 years in prison for the hijacking of an airplane in 2009.

Aeromexico 737-800 XA-MIA

Aeromexico 737-800 XA-MIA climbs out of JFK. (Photo by John Musolino)

Josmar Flores Pereira was found guilty of taking control of a passenger airplane through threats and illegally kidnap people. He was sentenced to 7 years and seven months in prison.

Flores Pereira, a former alcoholic and drug addict that turned to Christianity, was also ordered to pay a fine of 10,905 Mexican pesos ($937) as well as 738,222 Mexican pesos ($63,450) to Aeromexico, the owner of the hijacked airplane.

The defendant has been imprisoned since his arrest. On September 9, 2009, the Bolivian national was arrested by Federal Police agents at Mexico City’s International Airport.

Flores Pereira hijacked Aeromexico Flight 576 flight from Cancun to Mexico City while threatening to detonate a device he claimed to be a bomb. The alleged explosive device was a couple of juice cans with wires.

The Bolivian pastor was in Mexico organizing and holding a series of meetings to predicate his Christian beliefs. He later alleged that he never intended to detonate any explosives.

Furthermore, Flores Pereira said that his actions were designed to alert authorities over a devastating earthquake that he claimed God informed him in a dream. The disaster never took place and the defendant was imprisoned while awaiting trial.

The defendant was denied parole but he will be able to appeal the court’s ruling in order to receive a reduced prison term.

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