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Chief Suspect Confesses to Hand in Murder of Mexican Journalist

By: Franco Bastida - @iamtheFES - Aug 6, 2015, 1:49 pm
As citizens and journalists demand justice for photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, the main suspect in the killing of the five victims claims he did not shoot the gun. (<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marcha_por_Rub%C3%A9n_Espinosa,_periodista_asesinado_%282%29.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia</a>)
As citizens and journalists demand justice for photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, the main suspect in the killing of the five victims claims he did not shoot the gun. (Wikimedia)

EspañolThe main suspect in the murder of Mexican photojournalist Rubén Espinosa and four women on July 31 has accepted his involvement in the multiple homicide, according a statement submitted to Mexico City Attorney General Rodolfo Ríos Garza.

In an interview with Primero Noticias on August 6, Ríos Garza said that the 42-year-old detainee — a former convict who has served nine years and six months in prison for crimes that include rape and robbery — also acknowledged the collaboration of two other people in the murder.

Fingerprints at the crime scene allowed the prosecutor’s office to match existing criminal records to the ex-convict, whose name has not been released.

However, the detainee denies that he ever shot the victims with a 9 mm gun; rather, he asserts that he accompanied the others and took several belongings from the Mexico City apartment.

A surveillance video released by the prosecutor’s office on Tuesday, August 4, shows three suspects leaving the apartment building where the five victims suffered torture and were shot to the head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxzSctRmV-w

Taken a short time after 3 p.m. CDT, the video shows a man with a roller suitcase walking away, and another suspect getting into a red Ford Mustang, which belonged to one of the victims.

The driver takes ample time to drive away, while the last suspect runs across the street five minutes after his accomplices leave.

Espinosa had fled the state of Veracruz in June to seek refuge in Mexico City, after suffering different episodes of harassment and intimidation as a reporter. There he freelanced as a contributor to Proceso magazine, Cuartoscuro, and the AVC news agency.

He is remembered for his photograph of Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

In the photo, Duarte appears wearing a police cap and with a defiant look in his eyes, his belly hanging over of the top of his trousers.


“Rubén Espinosa, another journalist (Proceso) murdered under the @Javier_Duarte regime. How many more? @jenarovillamil

Proceso magazine used the image for its cover of an edition that contained reports on the murders of journalists and the impunity that reigns in Veracruz, including the third anniversary of the murder of Proceso journalist Regina Martínez.

According to data from the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), from 2000 up to this date, 16 out of 103 Mexican journalists killed and four out of 25 who have disappeared have been from Veracruz state — with convictions almost nonexistent.

While the Prosecutor’s Office has yet to name the other four victims, local media outlets have reported them as activist Nadia Vera Pérez of #YoSoy132 in Xalapa, Veracruz, a domestic employee, and Vera’s two roommates, one of whom was a Colombian citizen.

Franco Bastida Franco Bastida

Franco Bastida is a Mexican journalist and musician based in Washington, DC, and a former PanAm Post intern. He is the Center for International Policy's Latin America Rights and Security Fellow. Follow him @iamtheFES.