04/22/12 – On Friday, April 20, retired military General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro Escápite (70) died in an ambulance after being shot by a firearm at close range on the streets of Mexico City, the nation’s capital. According to witnesses and security videos that captured the incident, the assailant, who has yet to be identified, was talking with someone inside a car when General Acosta Chaparro walked by. The gunman then shot the general three times in the head before fleeing the scene, where an accomplice on a get-away motorcycle picked him up nearby. Authorities collected three 9-milimeter bullet casings, finger prints, and eye witness testimonies from the crime scene, which they have used to put together a profile of the suspect. The Federal District’s Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, PGJDF) is handling the case.
Despite serving in the military for 45 years, Acosta Chaparro’s career was marred with allegations of corruption and wrongdoing. He was accused of being involved in a 1970’s massacre of 22 peasants when the military and government suppressed the leftist guerrilla movements during the “Dirty War.” 30 years later he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in military prison for alleged ties to drug trafficking and protecting members of the Juárez Cartel. He only served seven years of his sentence, being released “after a federal court threw out his conviction, citing lack of evidence,” reported the Latin American Herald Tribune. Despite regaining his rank and title, which were stripped at his sentence, Acosta Chaparro retired in 2008, only a year after he was released from prison. Given his history of possible connections with drug trafficking, the PGJDF has suggested his murder was related.
Following the killing Friday, Acosta Chaparro’s body was sent to the Medical Forensic Services (Servicio Médico Forense, Semefo) for an autopsy. A service was held the day after at the Ministry of National Defense (Secretaría de Defensa Nacional, Sedena), where he was buried “without official distinction,” reported Excelsior. Nevertheless, family, friends, and colleagues remembered him as an honorable and hardworking man. “He was a man they wanted to demonize… but he always served his country,” said Aurelio de la Vega, who served under Acosta Chaparro in the Federal Security Office (Dirección Federal de Seguridad). Added a retired colonel at the service, “We only wish all generals could be like him.” In addition, many of Acosta Chaparro’s old colleagues adorned his grave with medals and military insignia in honor of his life and work.
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“Retired General Killed in Mexico City.” Latin American Herald Tribune. April 21, 2012.
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