Human Rights and Civil Society · Transparency & accountability

Families of Casino Royale victims continue to fight for justice

The crosses that family members placed in honor of their deceased loved ones outside of Casino Royale have been taken down due to construction on the building. Photo: Julio Cesar Aguilar Fuentes, El Universal
The crosses that family members placed in honor of their deceased loved ones outside of Casino Royale have been taken down due to construction on the building. Photo: Julio Cesar Aguilar Fuentes, El Universal

01/19/13 – Almost a year and a half since the Casino Royale massacre that took place on August 25, 2011, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, the family and friends of the 52 victims killed in the attack continue their fight for honor and justice. (Read more about the grenade-ignited gasoline fire attack here).

Since the attack, federal authorities had taken over control of the casino for investigation purposes. However, the owner of Casino Royale, Carlos Alejandro Salinas Martínez, was given back control of the establishment earlier this month. Almost immediately after, construction workers disassembled a memorial that had been built in the victims’ honor because construction and remodeling to the outside of the building was set  to begin. The memorial, which had been standing since the day after the 2011 attack, was comprised of hand-made crosses and photographs of the victims, all of which were handed over to Samara Pérez Muñiz, a survivor of the attack and mother of 18-year-old Brad Xavier Muraira Pérez who perished in the blaze. Angered and saddened by the removal of the memorial, family members returned the day after to try to hang the crosses and photos back up. “We don’t want to bother anyone,” said Pérez Muñiz. “We want our loved ones to be respected.” The Nuevo León State Human Rights Commission (Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Estado de Nuevo León, CDHE) is also working to ensure a space within the casino grounds to be dedicated to honor the victims. Owner Salinas Martínez did agree to meet with family members about this possibility moving forward.

Despite having the memorial removed while the building undergoes construction to its exterior to repair the damages left from the attack, Salinas Martínez did announce that all of the victims’ families would receive 5 million pesos (almost $400,000 USD) as part of an insurance payout. The families, however, continue to push for more from authorities. On January 16, a small group of them traveled to meet with members of the Interior Ministry (Secretaría de Gobernación, Segob) to demand action from the federal government, specifically clarity on judicial proceedings and punishment for those complicit in the attack. Seven of the 27 suspected Zetas cartel members who were allegedly behind the attack were found guilty in December 2012 of their involvement and sentenced to between 75 and 100 years in prison. Yet the families are also calling for federal, state, and local authorities who were involved to be held accountable, particularly those whose lack of action in preventing the attack holds them responsible. Pérez Muñiz, one of the family members who met with Segob, said it was unbelievable that a firearms assault on the casino grounds was registered 30 minutes before the grenade attack on August 25, yet the 52-person massacre still occurred because the building was never properly secured.

Outside of the continued efforts to bring those involved in the attack to justice, construction is well under way on restoring the building that housed Casino Royale. Although no repairs can be made to the interior of the structure because the insurance settlement is not yet complete, work has been done on the exterior since the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) handed back control of the building.


Alberto Cedillo, Juan. “Siete implicados en incendio al Royale reciben sentencias de 75 a 100 años.” CNN México. December 14, 2012.

Salazar, Patricia. “Deudos reinstalan cruces en Casino Royale.” El Universal. January 8, 2013. 

Alberto Cedillo, Juan. “El seguro del Casino Royale incluye 5 mdp para familiares de víctimas.” CNN México. January 9, 2013. 

Notimex. “Remueven ruinas del casino Royale en espera de valuación de daños.” Diario de Yucatán. January 9, 2013.

Adalberto Villasana, J. “Exigen justicia familias de víctimas del ataque al Casino Royale.” La Prensa. January 16, 2013. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *