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Resignation rocks 'Paulette' case in Mexico

May 26, 2010 |  7:47 pm

Bazbaz The top law enforcement official in the so-called Paulette case in Mexico resigned after widespread incredulity over his agency's handling of the investigation in the death of a 4-year-old girl in her home. Alberto Bazbaz, attorney general of the state of Mexico (which surrounds Mexico City on three sides), announced his resignation during a news conference.

But the attorney general stood by his finding that Paulette Gebara Farah died of asphyxia in her bed, not as a result of foul play. The case has been widely discussed among commentators and on social-networking sites in Mexico. The Bazbaz resignation adds another black eye to the state of the criminal justice system in Mexico, and sets off further speculation about the political ramifications of the Paulette case for Enrique Pena Nieto, the governor of Mexico state and front-runner in the next presidential election.

 That would have been inconceivable when the case first broke -- a mystery surrounding a developmentally disabled girl who went missing in her own home. The case deepened after the detention of her parents and two nannies, and later, an all-out media war between the estranged couple, Mauricio Gebara and Lisette Farah.

Staff writer Ken Ellingwood noted in our first news story on the Paulette mystery: "The case has also taken on political meaning. Politicians with Mexico state's two opposition parties, the conservative National Action Party and left-leaning Democratic Revolution Party, are taking aim at Bazbaz's handling of the case and, by extension, the competence of the state's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party."

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Alberto Bazbaz. Credit: Noticieros Televisa