updated 8/13/2009 2:40:14 PM ET 2009-08-13T18:40:14

The parents and supporters of a Frenchwoman convicted of kidnapping by a Mexican court urged French travelers Thursday to boycott Mexico, just as the vacation season is at its peak.

"Mexico isn't just beautiful beaches anymore. More and more it's about human rights violations," said Jean-Luc Romero, president of Innocent Florence Organization, a committee created to push for the release of Florence Cassez. "We shouldn't travel there."

Cassez, 34, and her former boyfriend, Israel Vallarta, were arrested in December 2005 and sentenced to 60 years in prison for kidnapping, organized crime and firearms offenses in April.

The arrests came when police raided a house on the outskirts of Mexico City and rescued three people, including a child, who had been held captive for more than two months.

Cassez has acknowledged that she lived at that ranch, but maintains her innocence. She says she simply dated Vallarta and did not know the people at the ranch had been kidnapped.

Cassez' supporters said at a news conference in Paris Thursday that she was innocent and should be sent home to serve out her sentence there in line with international norms.

‘She is completely innocent’
They also charged that the investigation and trial were rife with violations. They said that authorities had not properly notified her of the charges against her and dragged their feet on the sentencing, in violation of local laws.

"She is completely innocent," said Cassez' father, Bernard.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sought to have Cassez sent to France. But his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, has indicated that Cassez would not be sent to France because there were no guarantees that she would serve out the entire sentence there.

On Thursday, Mexican authorities reiterated that Cassez was rightly sentenced and that her case was closed.

"This has gone through several stages and all have confirmed this is the right person and she is guilty," said a spokeswoman for Mexico's federal Attorney General's Office, who was not authorized to give her name in line with department policy.

Cassez' parents also urged French vacationers to boycott Mexico and send their daughter postcards from other tourist destinations to show support. They also asked for contributions to help the family cover legal and travel fees.

There was no immediate comment from Mexican tourism officials on the boycott call.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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