Aftermath of Journalist Killed in Mexico City

Navarte victims held by protesters (source:excelsior)

Navarte victims held by protesters (source:excelsior)

9/9/15 – (by frodriguez) – On July 31, 2015, journalist Ruben Espinoza Becerril was killed in an apartment in the Narvarte neighborhood, in Mexico City, along with four women, all with injuries all over their bodies and shot in the head. Mexico City’s authorities confirmed the identity of the journalist after his sister recognized Espinoza’s body at the Forensic Medical Service on August 1st, 2015. The female victims were identified as: Yesenia Quiroz (18) a makeup artist from the northern Mexican State of Baja California, Nicole (29) a Colombian national, allegedly Espinoza’s assistant, Nadia Vera (32) an activist from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, and Alejandra (40) from the State of Mexico and who was believed to work cleaning the apartment.

As investigations evolve, two have been detained in relation to the case and the whereabouts of two other suspected accomplices remain unknown. On August 11, Mexican authorities took Daniel Pacheco Gutierrez into custody and on September 1, authorities detained Abraham Torres Tranquilino. There is also one women believed to have been another accomplice; but her whereabouts remain unknown. Mexico City Attorney General Rodolfo Rios Garza has informed that his job is to achieve justice by finding those responsible for the mass killing.

Espinoza, originally from Mexico City, had lived and worked for decades in the Mexican state of Veracruz, but moved to Mexico City on June 9, 2015, after receiving threatening messages such as “Bájale o te va a pasar lo mismo que a Regina Martinez,” referring he could have the same ending as Regina Martinez, journalist and Espinoza’s former boss, killed in April 2012.

There have been allegations of possible involvement of Veracruz’s state authorities in the killing of Espinoza and the four women. According to El Universal, Nadia Vera, one of the victims, filled an official report in 2014 blaming Veracruz’s Governor Javier Duarte for whatever could happened to her. Mexico’s Attorney General’s office called Governor Duarte to provide a statement on the case. Duarte denied any relationship or responsibility to the crime, and assured he would collaborate with further investigations.

In the absence of a conclusive investigation, journalists and civil rights activists, both in Mexico and abroad, have engaged in protests. Under the administration of Governor of Veracruz Javier Duarte de Ochoa, twelve journalists have been killed.

Sources: 

“Asesinan en el DF a Rubén Espinosa, fotoperiodista de Proceso” Proceso, August 1, 2015.
http://www.proceso.com.mx/412006/2015/08/01/reporta-articulo-19-como-desaparecido-a-fotoperiodista-de-proceso

Ortiz Cortez, Guillermina. “Protestas en el DF y varios estados por la muerte de Rubén Espinosa” CNN Mexico, August 2, 2015.
http://www.cnnmexico.com/nacional/2015/08/02/protestas-en-el-df-y-varios-estados-por-la-muerte-de-ruben-espinosa

“El crimen de la Narvarte: repercusiones internacionales” LaJornada, August 17, 2015.
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/08/17/edito

“¿Quiénes son las víctimas del multihomicidio en la Narvarte?” Excelsior, August 4 2015.
http://www.excelsior.com.mx/comunidad/2015/08/04/1038402

“Hallazgos del Caso Narvarte” El Universal, August 18, 2015.
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/seguridad/2015/08/18/hallazgos-del-caso-narvarte

 

PRD mayoral candidate decapitated in Guerrero

Mayoral candidate Aidé Nava González appears here in an advertisement for her candidacy before her death. Photo: Excelsior.

Mayoral candidate Aidé Nava González appears here in an advertisement for her candidacy before her death. Photo: Excelsior.

03/19/15 — Aidé Nava González, the 42-year-old Democratic Revolution Party (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) mayoral candidate for Ahuacuotzingo, Guerrero, was abducted by six armed men during a meeting she was having with her associates on March 9, 2015. She was found dead the next evening on the outskirts of the Ahuacuotzingo municipality on the road connecting Tlapa and Chilpancingo. According to the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office’s (Fiscalía General del Estado, FGE) autopsy report, the cause of her death was due to shock caused by loss of blood from decapitation, which proves that Nava was alive at the time of her decapitation. Such a violent crime is often associated with the work of organized crime groups, which is also in line with the narcomensaje (“narco-message”) left with her body that was addressed to politicians that “do not want to align themselves.”

This is not the first time Nava González’ family was targeted by organized crime in recent years since her husband, Francisco Quiñónez Ramirez, became mayor of Ahuacoutzingo in 2009. On October 11, 2012, her son, Francisco Quiñónez Nava, was taken hostage on the condition that he would be released for the sum of $19,500 ($300,000 pesos). He is still missing to date. Nava González’ husband was then killed 18 months after their son went missing. Quiñónez Ramirez, who at one point was a migrant in the United States, was planning on running in the 2015 elections that his wife, Nava González, had since decided to run in his place. Quiñónez Ramirezwas the first mayor of Ahuacuotzingo to win from the PRD, and also the first mayor to hold office that did not belong to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI). Nava González denounced her son’s abduction and husband’s killing, claiming them as crimes committed by the current PRI mayor, Daniel Hernández.

Family and friends of slain mayoral candidate Aidé Nava González pay their respects at her funeral. Photo: El Universal.

Family and friends of slain mayoral candidate Aidé Nava González pay their respects at her funeral. Photo: El Universal.

Nava González’s daughter made statements to the community in response to the deaths and kidnapping of her family in the last three years. At her mother’s burial in her hometown of Pochutla, Vanessa Quiñónez Ramírez proclaimed, “We will continue forward, we’ll be courageous just as you all have been: We will give you justice! Justice mother!” Meanwhile, a representative of the United Nations (UN) Women in Mexico, Ana Güezmes, condemned the kidnapping and homicide. At an event in honor of International Women’s Day, she stated, “We urge a prompt and thorough investigation of these unfortunate events and call that during the electoral process safety and protection be guaranteed for those who contend for elected office, especially those of women.”

This recent event adds to the ongoing turmoil in Guerrero surrounding political corruption and alleged connections with organized crime. In September 2014, 43 students were kidnapped during a protest after protestors clashed with police. In November, Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, were arrested for ordering the local police force’s involvement in breaking up the protest, police that then turned the students over to criminal organization Guerreros Unidos, which is widely believed to have killed and incinerated the students’ bodies. Only one student’s remains have been found to date.

Sources:

Peralta, Eyder. “Mexico Charges Former Iguala Mayor In Missing Students Case.” NPR. January 14, 2015.

Aguilar, Rolando. “Hallan decapitada a precandidata de PRD.” Excelsior. March 12, 2015.

“Condena ONU asesinato de precandidata del PRD en Guerrero.” Proceso. March 12, 2015.

Flores Contreras, Ezequiel. “Aspirante perredista ‘fue decapitada aún con vida’: Fiscalía de Guerrero.” Proceso. March 12, 2015.

Pigenonutt, Vania. “Una familia política marcada por la tragedia.” El Universal. March 12, 2015.

“Sepultan a precandidata del PRD asesinada en Guerrero.” Pulso SLP. March 12, 2015.

Pigeonutt, Vania. “¿A poco la muerte de mi madre va a quedar así?” El Universal. March 13, 2015.