Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Women Detained in Mexico Firebombing Awaiting Investigation Results

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Women Detained in Mexico Firebombing Awaiting Investigation Results

Article excerpt

Canadians held in Mexico awaiting their fate

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MONTREAL - A pair of Canadian women arrested following a Mexico City firebomb attack waited behind bars Thursday to learn whether they would face criminal charges -- or be set free.

Mexican authorities say they apprehended Amelie Pelletier and Fallon Rouiller Poisson earlier this week after a government office in the capital and an adjacent car dealership were struck by Molotov cocktails.

Mexico's federal attorney-general's office told The Canadian Press it viewed the firebombing as vandalism, but the ongoing investigation could lead to more serious criminal charges.

Spokesman Jose Luis Manjarrez says investigators were trying to determine what kind of role the Canadians may have played in an attack that damaged several vehicles at the car dealership. No injuries were reported.

"For now, for the authorities, it is considered an act of vandalism and not a terrorist act," Manjarrez said Thursday in a phone interview.

"It's an act of provocation by people who are demonstrating their disagreements by using radical means.

"But to be considered a terrorist act, it must correspond to a precise legal definition and that will be up to a judge to determine after the evidence has been examined."

The motive was not immediately clear, officials said.

A Mexico City prosecutor has told local media that police allege one of the Canadians was spotted discarding a backpack that contained a number of homemade explosive devices.

Police also arrested a Mexican national following the Molotov-cocktail attack, which hit the facade of a building that houses the offices of the Department of Communications and Transportation.

Manjarrez said investigators were trying to determine whether the intended firebomb target was the government office or the car dealership.

The fate of the women has raised concerns back in Canada.

On Thursday in Montreal, dozens of people showed their support for Pelletier and Poisson by holding a vigil outside the front entrance of a downtown building where the Mexican Consulate has an office.

Event organizers declined to answer questions from reporters, but a statement was read aloud to the gathering by well-known activist Jaggi Singh. …

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