Sunday, September 6, 2015

New Evidence in murder of Veracruz journalist and 4 others in Mexico City points to professional hit - not drunken party or robbery.

 Borderland Beat posted by DD republishing some material from The New Yorker, Yahoo News, and Finance Yahoo and Animal Politico (see note below for other Animal Politico links).

DD;  Since the previous reporting on Borderland Beat of the stories about the murders of Ruben Espinoza and Nadia Vera and 3 other women in Mexico City in early August, new details about the crime and the investigation have come to light.  There is still no definitive answer as to whether the murders were a professional hit or were personal, a robbery gone bad,  or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This story attempts to put the investigation into the context of environment existing prior to the murders and show new evidence that has come to light and more details on the killings and events leading up to them.


One day after the bodies of a photo journalist and 4 women were found in a Mexico City apartment, the Prosecutor (PGJDF) for the federal capitol issued a statement that robbery was the motive for the murders.  

Neither the police nor PGR said anything about the threats and beatings, and the harrassment Espinoza and Vera had received from government agents in Veracruz that caused them to flee Veracruz and seek safe haven in Mexico City, long thought to be a safe refuge for journalists. 

As reported in The New Yorker;:

"The Distrito Federal’s mayor, Miguel Ángel Mancera, and his justice department, the P.G.J.D.F., are handling the investigation. For the first eight days following the murders, the P.G.J.D.F., under the direction of Prosecutor General Rodolfo Ríos, was single-mindedly treating the multiple homicide as a robbery. 

The same Sunday as the rally at El Ángel, Ríos met with editors and representatives of Proceso, the Cuartoscuro photo agency, Red de Periodistas de a Pie (The Barefoot Journalists Network, founded by Marcela Turati), Artículo 19, and PEN International. According to the account of the meeting published this week in Proceso, and corroborated to me by a journalist associated with Periodistas de Pie, the journalists were stupefied to hear Ríos dismiss the possibility that the murderers could have been related to Espinosa’s work. 

He hadn’t been assassinated “while performing his profession,” (DD; Rios also said it couldn't be a crime against journalist, which would make it a federal crime because Espinosa was now unemployed and the only complaint  he had ever filed was 3 years ago in 2012.   DD Duarte had offered him money to drop the complain but Ruben refused it) said the Prosecutor General. At a press conference following the meeting, Ríos said that Espinosa had moved to the city “in search of new opportunities as a professional photographer.”

"The next day, Monday, stories that likely originated with the city prosecutors’ office began to
appear in the press, most prominently in the right-wing La Razón and other similar tabloids. “They knew their murderers,” screamed the front page of El Grafico. “The murderers spent more than four hours with their four victims in the Narvarte apartment.” Reforma’s story led with the line “It all began with a night of partying.” According to these newspapers, the murderers and victims partied together from Thursday night until the murders were committed sometime Friday.

Prosecutor General Ríos repeated those allegations in radio interviews throughout the day.
These early allegations would all prove false. The key witness was a woman named Esbeidy who had been living for two years in the rented Colonia Narvarte apartment that was the scene of the murder. She had rented rooms to the other women who lived there, first to Nadia Vera and to Yesenia Quiroz, the eighteen-year-old makeup artist, and, only fifteen days before the killings, to a Colombian woman whom the housemates knew as Nicole, though it would turn out that her real name was Mile Virginia Martín. She’d come to Mexico some years before in hopes of a modelling career, and, according to her family in Colombia, was planning soon to move back to her home country. The women shared the ten-thousand-peso monthly rent, the equivalent of about six hundred and twenty dollars.


"Esbeidy had left for her job as a Federal office worker that Friday morning, just as Alejandra
Negrete, the forty-year-old cleaning woman, was arriving. Some of those first Monday news
reports had claimed that Esbeidy had seen several men in the apartment partying with her
roommates that morning; later in the week, however, it would be reported that in fact she’d seen
nothing unusual, certainly no strangers, on either Thursday night or Friday morning. When Esbeidy returned that Friday evening, at P.M., she discovered the bodies scattered throughout the apartment, each with a gunshot to the head, at least some of them bound by the hands. 

Reports gave conflicting information regarding the physical marks of abuse, including of torture and rape,found on the bodies. Newspapers reported that neighbors said there had been a loud party in the apartment, but those reports would also turn out to be false. As was widely reported later, the neighbors told the authorities that they hadn’t heard any noise coming from the apartment at all, no screams or gunshots."

At least nine surveillance cameras, some belonging to the city’s police force and others to private businesses, had views of the apartment building’s entrance, but it turned out that the camera directly over that entrance was broken. On Tuesday, August 4th, the newspaper La Razón was the first to report on and publish images from the city’s police-surveillance cameras, which had been provided to them exclusively. The footage shows three men leaving the apartment building together at 3:02 Friday afternoon. One is wheeling a suitcase. Another man gets into a red Mustang, which reportedly belonged to Mile Virginia Martín (who at this point was still known to her roommates and the press as “Nicole”) and which was recovered later that day, abandoned in the Coyoacán neighborhood. 

Prosecutor Ríos said at a press conference that he had information that “Nicole” had money in her possession, which made it possible that the motive had been robbery.   (DD; more on the investigation shifting more to Nicole below)

Publicly, he didn’t close off the possibility that the murders had something to do with Espinosa and Vera’s past problems in Veracruz; but, as evidenced by his previous private comments to
journalists, he was primarily interested in pursuing a robbery investigation.

August 4th, there was a breakthrough in the case: fingerprints found in the apartment led to the
arrest of Daniel Pacheco Gutiérrez, a forty-one-year old ex-convict, who had been convicted of
rape and assault in 2000 and had served a five-year sentence. According to press accounts, he admitted that he had been in the apartment but said that he hadn’t participated in the murders, and that the motive was robbery. In a photograph taken of Pacheco in custody that was released to the press, the left side of his face is dark and swollen.

Animal Politico reported that the Federal District Human Rights Commission examined Pacheco for evidence of torture on August 8, then again on August 14, and because of contradictions in the first 2 examinations, again on August 29.  They reported no evidence of torture.  

On Tuesday, August 11th, the newspaper Reforma reported that Daniel Pacheco, the man
imprisoned for the crime, has identified his two accomplices only as Abraham and Omar. The
former is supposedly a former Mexico City policeman, about twenty-five years old, who now works as a “viene-viene,” someone who guards parked cars in the streets in exchange for small tips; the latter, Pancheco said, is a juggler who performs, also for tips, at traffic intersections. It seems that Pacheco had not known the two men very well, or hardly at all, or for very long.

According to reporter Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, who has had access to the statement Pacheco gave to prosecutors, Abraham phoned Pacheco on Friday to invite him to visit a Colombian woman by the name of Nicole he knew in Colonia Narvarte who Pacheco had seen a few months before.  Abraham said she ran a group of girls who provided sexual services out of their apartment.    

Nicole and her now famous car

At the General Anaya metro station, he met up with a man he knew only by the name of Omar at 1:30 PM, and together they travelled by metro to the San Antonio Abad stop, thirty long blocks from the apartment in Colonia Narvarte.  There they waited for Abraham, who came to the site in his car, a Renault Megane. and then took a taxi.

Pacheco said that once inside the apartment they all talked for about thirty minutes.  He then negotiated a deal for 800 pesos with one of the girls (who he did not name for “sexual relations” and that Abraham did the same with “Nicole” (Mile Virginia Martín), until two-thirty P.M.  He said that before that transpired, Nicole and 2 others used cocaine.    
Pacheco didn’t mention Espinosa and Vera in his account other than to mention having seen a man with a beard and the woman he was with.

Pacheco’s story is baffling in various respects, and may either be a lie or simply a partial and
confused account. Pacheco said that he left the apartment with Abraham, who was carrying a
suitcase. He told investigators that he didn’t hear any gunshots and had known nothing about a
robbery. Pacheco said in his statement that the suitcase held some of Abraham’s belongings,
and that Abraham explained he’d been carrying on a relationship with the woman known as
“Nicole.” Abraham briefly went upstairs to get the keys to let them out of the building, and Omar
came down fifteen minutes later. The three men left the building through the front door. Omar and Pacheco then departed in the automobile in which Abraham had supposedly arrived, with Omar driving, and Abraham left in Mile Virginia Martín’s Mustang, which he said was not unusual because Abraham and Nicole had been having an affair for several months and she often lent him her car.


DD; On August 30, authorities arrested "Abraham", Abraham Torres Tranquilino, 24, a former police officer, who had been convicted of torture in 2011 and sentenced to 5 years in prison.  He only served one year before being released.  Lopez Doriga said on his TV show that the former policeman arrested for his alleged involvement in the multihomicidio in Narvarte, said in his initial statement that the crime was planned by the cartel Los Zetas.  

Universal reported that Torres admitted to the judge that he was an addict though he had not used drugs before when was a cop but when he he went to prison he got addicted to marijuana.  

The report also said that Torres said he and his accomplices went to "Nicole's" apartment the evening  of the murders purportedly to work on her computer (DD; it is a pretty established fact that the crimes were committed before 3 in the afternoon).  He didn't know anyone else would be there.  Their real reason for going there was to steal drugs.under pressure from the Zeta cartel.

He explained that Pacheco had told him that Omar was a member of the Zetas and that "Nicole" had picked up a shipment of cocaine at the Mexico City International Airport.
'He said it was parakeet brick,' said Torres Tranquilino before the judge 25, without specifying whether the cargo collected by the Colombian were to be delivered to the Zetas or another group.  Torres full statement (in Spanish) can be read here

 Universal reported that the autopsy revealed that Nicole had her underwear stuffed in her mouth, was strangled, and had cigarette burns all over her body.  She was finished off by a shot in the back of the head.  

Another lesser known fact is that Pacheco mentioned the presence of a fifth man in the apartment.  (DD; who the hell is that?) 

To muddy the waters a little more, it is now known one of other  deceaseds, Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, was a neice  of the exgovernor of Michoacán Jesús Reyna,  now a prisoner for his supposed ties with the Knights  Templarios.  Her mother is the sister of the wife of Reyna.  But the family says they moved from Michoacan many years ago and had not maintained contact with Jesus Reyna.

Regarding his participation in the events, the former policeman said he stood on the stairs and identified Daniel Pacheco Gutierrez and the other involved, identified as Omar.

DD. Quite a difference between Pacheco's account and Torres account.  Can't wait for them to catch Omar and hear his story.

Pacheco claims he didn’t learn about the murders until two days later, on Sunday, and that, when he phoned Omar and Abraham, they told him they didn’t know what he was talking about and warned him not to get them mixed up in any problems. 

The Tuesday after the crime, Pacheco recognized himself in the surveillance-camera images published alongside the first news accounts; he was arrested in his domicile that night. Omar is still a fugitive. The city justice department, the P.G.J.D.F., is far from concluding its investigation into the multiple homicide, or from formally declaring what it believes the murderers’ motive to have been. But, if it turns out in the end that the P.G.J.D.F. seriously intends to pursue a case of a multiple homicide motivated by robbery, the authorities are going to need a much stronger story than the ones so far supplied by Pacheco Torres.

But Wednesday, August 12,  would provide the so-called Narvarte case with its most revealing moment so far, perhaps its definitive moment. At a press conference that day, Rodolfio Ríos revised what had been his hypothetical time line of the crime. After reviewing the surveillance footage, he and his investigators had surmised that the murders had taken place sometime between nine A.M. and three P.M. on Friday, but now, said Ríos, that window had been reduced to three hours, from noon on. The reporters in the room could hardly believe what they were hearing. On the previous Monday, SinEmbargo had published a story revealing that a Whatsapp conversation between Espinosa and a friend, who had shared his phone records with a journalist from the news site, showed an exchange of texts over forty-five minutes. The conversation ended when Espinosa, at two-thirteen, signed off with the message “I’m headed out to the street.” So Espinosa had definitely been alive less than an hour before the suspects were filmed exiting the building.

After SinEmbargo had broken the news of the communications between Espinosa and his unnamed friend, other press subsequently picked up on it. At the press conference on Wednesday, Sandra Rodriguez Nieto, the reporter who had written about Espinosa’s final text messages in SinEmbargo, went to the microphone and asked the General Prosecutor for a reaction to the story. Ríos responded, “I don’t know where you got that information.” He said that he knew a friend had written to Rubén Espinosa that Friday afternoon, but insisted that Espinosa hadn’t answered. Later that night, one of the General Prosecutor’s homicide investigators phoned Rodriguez asking for more information, and she said she had nothing more to reveal than what she’d published.

How could General Prosecutor Ríos and his investigators not have known yet about Espinosa’s final text messages? It was either a sign of extreme collective incompetence, or perhaps a lack of desire to figure out what had really happened.

Sandra Rodríguez Nieto had been the first reporter to make contact with the friend of Rubén
Espinosa who’d had the Whatsapp conversation with him. On Saturday, August 1st, one day after the murders, she’d learned when Espinosa had sent his final, but she didn’t learn the contents of the rest of the conversation until Thursday, when she met with Espinosa’s friend. During their forty-three-minute exchange, the two friends had bantered in the ubiquitous slang of Mexico City youth. 

“Qué pedo [What’s up], what’d you do yesterday,” the friend asked, at one-forty-five.

“Qué transa, [What’s up with you],” answered Espinosa. “I went out with a compa and an amiga. I stayed at her house, and I’m going home now.” 

“Jajaja, what a drunk,” wrote the friend. 

“Leve [the drinking was light] but we did stay up late,” Espinosa answered. 

He and Nadia Vera and a friend had been drinking in a bar in the city center, and got back to the apartment in Colonia Narvarte at two in the morning. They stayed up talking for several hours more, until that friend left. Espinosa slept over; he said he had to go to work later in the day for AVC, another Veracruz news outlet. 

He texted his friend that on Sunday he was going with his girlfriend to visit her parents in Puebla. 

“Oh good, you’re going with the chava. Chido, cool,” wrote the friend. 

“Símon, it’s going to be chido,” answered Espinosa, 
and then, at two-thirteen, he wrote, “Loco, I’ll write when I get home, I’m headed out to the street.” 

His friend answered, “O.K., be careful.” 

Espinosa’s final text, still time-stamped two-thirteen, was “Don’t drink anymore, jaja.” 

His friend responded, “You too carnal [bro].”

Sandra Rodríguez Nieto is a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard who for several years reported from Ciudad Juárez. Now she lives in Mexico City, where she reports for SinEmbargo. “In any murder case,” she told me, “in Ciudad Juárez or anywhere, the first thing you do is investigate the victim’s circle, his circumstances.” Not only had Prosecutor General Ríos and his prosecutors not done that with Rubén Espinosa, it took them five days, she said, even to admit that Espinosa should be considered a journalist. The context of the crime, she said, should have indicated that the governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, his government, and the police, needed to be investigated immediately. (DD. emphasis added)


DD;  A thorough investigation would have to include the context of the environment that surrounded the tragic deaths. 

The Gulf coast state of Veracruz is known for producing coffee and oil, being a route for migrants heading for the U.S. and having a strong-armed government whose officials have been accused of colluding with the cartels that move drugs and other contraband through the port of Veracruz city.
Since Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte took office in 2010, the state has seen 13 of its journalists
killed, 11 inside the state, and three more are missing, according to the Committee to Protect
Journalists, a U.S.-based advocacy group.

Though no one has ever said the governor was directly involved in that violence, Duarte has been criticized for creating a negative atmosphere for the press. He has accused reporters of being involved in organized crime. His administration jailed two bloggers and threatened to jail a photographer (not Espinosa) for exposing groups of vigilantes in the state.

Duarte's administration also has been quick to blame any killing of a journalist on personal
motives. In three of the most high-profile killings of reporters who wrote about corruption, state
officials said one was killed in a robbery and blamed another on a personal vendetta. In the third case, they disputed the victim was even a journalist, calling him a taxi driver.

Around the time Espinosa fled the state, authorities reported that another dead journalist, Juan
Mendoza Delgado, had been hit by car even though he was missing for several days and his body was found with a bandage on his head.

On June 30th, a month before the Colonia Narvarte murders, Governor Duarte had publically issued a not very veiled threats against journalists in his state, accusing many “media workers” of “having ties” to organized crime. “Behave yourselves,” he warned, “we know which of you are on the wrong path . . . We’re going to shake the tree, and many bad apples are going to fall.”

Espinosa had said in interviews that he was harassed over several years while covering events in Veracruz, including once when in 2012 he had just started to photograph the beatings being meted out by police to student protesters when he was roughly grabbed by the neck and warned, “Bájale de güevos, [“lower your balls”—in other words, stop taking photographs] if you don’t want to end up like Regina.”. 

Regina Martinez was another Veracruz-based journalist for the magazine Proceso, who was murdered in 2012.   Her role reporting on government corruption was never considered as a motive for her killing. Instead, officials in Veracruz said it was robbery.

A few days before fleeing, he had placed a plaque at a Xalapa plaza renaming it "Regina
Martinez Plaza" as a protest to the government's handling of her case.  Duarte may have considered this a slap in the face.

During his eight years working in Veracruz, Rubén Espinosa, a freelance photojournalist associated with the agency Cuartoscuro, had made a specialty of covering social movements and the acts of violent repression those movements often encountered. He also photographed the repressors, and he took some now iconic, memorably revealing candid portraits of Governor Duarte, who is also a member of the national ruling party, the PRI. One of those photographs, featured on the cover of the influential opposition news magazine Proceso alongside the headline “Veracruz: A Lawless State,” shows Duarte, a Veracruz State Police cap on his head, with his belly hanging over his belt. In an interview in June, Espinosa told SinEmbargo that the photo had especially irritated Duarte, and that, after its publication, the governor had tried to buy out its local print run in bulk, presumably so that people in Veracruz wouldn’t see it.

It was in this environment where Espinosa worked for the investigative magazine Proceso and
photo agencies. He didn't cover drug traffickers or crime, the most dangerous beats for Mexican journalists. His focus was social movements, but he found photographing government crackdowns on protesters proved to be no less dangerous.

It was his coverage of a controversial event that likely led Espinosa to flee. He photographed a
June 5 attack on university students by masked men with machetes and baseball bats. A few days later he noticed strange men in front of his house. They took pictures, and once pushed him aggressively. Close friends urged him to leave.

In the following days, he noticed strangers keeping vigil outside his home, and realized that he was being followed. Convinced that his life was in danger, he decided he’d better flee to Mexico City, where he’d grown up and had family.

Before and after coming to Mexico City, Espinosa gave several interviews recounting what he and other journalists had experienced in Veracruz, providing a long chronicle of acts of abuse and intimidation, which he also publicized over social networks. Artículo 19, a human-rights organization devoted to freedom-of-expression issues, began monitoring his case.  Article 19 issued an "alert" to Mexico City and federal authorities that a threatened journalist  was now residing in Mexico City. 

Finance reported that after fleeing to the capital, Espinosa felt he was still being followed. Once, in a restaurant, a stranger approached to ask if he was the photographer who fled Veracruz. It happened again with another stranger at a party.  (DD. If he was being followed this would explain how professional hit men would have know where to find  him even though the decision to go there had been made at 2AM the night before)

When he arrived in Mexico City.he and a photographer friend created the informal check-in system for his safety. Lacking trust in authorities after his time in Veracruz, he didn't go to a federal agency set up in Mexico City to help journalists under threat.  (DD, but remember Article 19 had notified them in their "alert" (and if any Mexico City or federal officials were involved they could have gotten info on him there )

After only about a week in Mexico City, Espinosa already missed Xalapa and talked of going
back. He loved his life there, the coffee, walking the steep streets with Mexico's highest peak, the Pico de Orizaba, always in view. He missed his cocker spaniel, Cosmos.

But another friend and fellow photographer stopped in Mexico City for a visit and urged Espinosa not to return. He pointed to Mendoza being found dead (the journalist supposedly hit and killed by a car, but when his body was found his head was bandaged) and to a series of homicides that left 11 people dead in just one weekend.

Espinosa mainly stayed with his family, who live on the outskirts of Mexico City. Occasionally, he would stay with friends when he wanted to be closer to the city's center.

One was Nadia Vera, who came to the capital a year earlier from Xalapa to work as a cultural
promoter. She had been an outspoken critic of the Duarte government and was a well-known
organizer of protest marches for various causes. She had worked with Espinosa organizing rallies protesting attacks on journalists.

Vera was originally from Chiapas, and, like her mother, she wrote poetry.Last week, a
heartbreaking and seemingly foreboding poem written by her mother, Mirtha Luz Pérez, appeared in the press; it includes the lines “No te vayas de mí niña de azúcar / A deshacerte entre la piel del llanto / No te vayas de mí pajara libre / Hacia el páramo frío de la ausencia.”—That is, “Don’t leave me sugar girl / to dissolve inside weeping skin / Don’t leave me free bird / for the cold moorlands of absence.” 

As a student in Xalapa, Vera had participated in myriad cultural activities, conferences, and dance workshops. With other members of #YoSoy132, she joined many protests, occupations, and marches, and was particularly involved in, and led, protests against Duarte’s government.

In Xalapa, Vera had lived the full life of a politically active student of a kind found in many parts of Mexico nowadays. But in Duarte’s Veracruz, students and activists, including Vera, were beaten and jailed; in one recent incident, a masked commando group broke into a house where eight University of Veracruz students activists were assembled and attacked them with machetes and bats, leaving some disfigured. The students accused the state government, which denied the charges.

One day, Vera found that her home had been entered and ransacked while she was out.
Frightened, she prepared to move to Mexico City. However, before she did so, she gave an
astonishing interview, in November, 2014, for a documentary titled “Veracruz: la fosa
olvidada,”—“the forgotten mass grave.”

Later, the filmmakers would recount how frightened Vera had seemed, glancing repeatedly at the doors between takes. What the viewer sees in the documentary footage, aired on Rompeviento TV, is her beguiling composure, that mix of sweetness and bravery that many who were close to her have been describing now for the media.

Narrating in the present tense, Vera speaks of the overwhelming number of disappearances in
Veracruz and says, “The number of disappearances begins to rise when Javier Duarte becomes governor.” This, she says, causes young people to realize that they themselves have “become the product that they need. That product—let’s say they grab you as a woman for the sex trade, or they grab you as a student to be a sicario [a cartel assassin] . . . Here the problem is us, we bother the government as much as we do the narcos. So we’re caught between two fronts, or let’s say between legal repression and illegal. Because it’s the narcos who govern this state . . . it’s the Zetas who literally manipulate the state.” Looking directly into the camera, Vera warned that if anything happened to her or her colleagues, then it was Governor Duarte and his state that would be to blame. “We want to make very clear that our security is totally the state’s responsibility, because they are the ones who send people to repress us.”


The New Yorker reported that the Vera family lawyers told reporter Sandra Rodríguez Nieto that, in fact, the actual Narvarte case file contains no factual information that points to a robbery: the three intruders didn’t steal personal computers or even phones. The most valuable item taken, the Mustang, was abandoned, and then, rather than  flee, Pacheco, an ex-convict, simply went home to await his capture, four days later. 

The nine-millimetre weapon used in the murders was outfitted with a silencer, but it was “clean,” that is, there is no record of it having been used in any crime before. How, the lawyer asked, did three men who essentially lived off the street—a man who watched parked cars, a juggler, and Pacheco, a car washer—come to be in possession of such a weapon?

Yahoo News also reported on the attorney's statements:  . Karla Micheel, a member of the National Democratic Attorneys Association who represents Vera's family and has seen the investigators files, also told the family that not only were they shot with a silenced weapon, they were all shot in the back of the head - a coup de grace - after being tortured.  The gun was loaded with "untraceable bullets".

Attorney Micheel also said that the fact that investigators found only one fingerprint in one room, but none on the duct tape used to bind the victims or anywhere else in the apartment was significant.  (DD. The absence of that evidence may be evidence that the crime was not committed by street criminals, but was a professional hit.)

She also said that  "Forensic reports show that Vera was strangled and stabbed six times, while Espinosa had 12 stab wounds. They were both found in the same room.

"The cuts were not due to resistance or a struggle. The wounds were literally aimed at causing pain," Micheel said.  (DD. again not typical of street criminals committing a robbery)  .
Mile was sexually assaulted while Quiroz was strangled. They were also shot and found in another room.

Animal Politico reported Regarding the theft motive that the Prosecutor wanted follow, a lawyer for one the victims families said that there was a "piggy bank" in the apartment with 6000 pesos, most of the cell phones, other devices and personal computers were not stolen.  There was no evidence in the apartment that a large amount of drugs had been stored there.

 The declaration of this subject (Torres Tranquilino) should be taken with caution and care, the inconsistencies of the Attorney (capital) remain (...) There are things on the record that really concern us,' said the lawyer.

The head of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF) Perla Gómez Gallardo, called 'very cautious' about the statements of former policeman, and stressed that it must be exhausted all lines of inquiry.

All of this boils down to the conclusion that a professional hit man was involved in the murders.  The facts don't justify  a investigation of a robbery.  That leaves the question of who was the target of the hitman.  

Was Mile Virginia Martin (Nicole) the target?     .If Nicole was a prostitute that is really immaterial.  That would not make her a target.   If she was involved in drug trafficking that is a different matter and would fit with a professional hit man doing the killing.  But remember the only evidence released so far  indicating that is the statements of the 2 suspects detained. .  But keep in mind that both of those are ex-convicts who know how the system works and that it is healthier  to confess to a script that the police and prosecutors want to hear.

Was Ruben Espinoza the target?  The fact that he was stabbed 12 times in a manner to cause the maximum pain (the forensic report said it could have been with a potato peeler) is one clue.  The context of his environment that he had been living with - being threatened, followed (even after he went to Mexico City), roughed up are possibly a clue that he might have been the target.  The fact that the prosecutor dismissed the possibility that it could have been a crime against a journalist when there was no evidence to show that the murders were the result of a botched robbery as the prosecutor was alleging is also interesting. (Neither EPN nor Duarte needed another murdered journalist on their plate).  There have been many leaks to the press by either the police or prosecutors concerning Nicole (not referring to her by name, but only "the Columbian" conjuring up a subliminal message of drugs and prostitutes).  but none or very few about the threats, beatings, and intimidation from government agents  that Ruben and Vera lived through (until their deaths).   It is pretty obvious where the prosecutor wants to take this investigation.

Governor Duarte’s public statement Tuesday, following his brief interrogation by D.F. prosecutors who’d travelled to Veracruz, was defiant. He declared, “This is far from having value, far from the truth and covers up the real culprits.” He disavowed any connections to the case and took the victim’s role for himself, comparing the questioning and the suspicions now focussed on him to “a lynching.”

The last interview Rubén Espinosa gave before he died was to SinEmbargo. There he said, “It’s sad to think about Veracruz, there aren’t words to express how bad things are in that state . .Death chose Veracruz, death decided to go and live there.”

To conclude his public statement, Governor Duarte said, “The truth will set us free.”

 *note; other links to Animal Politico stories used.


  1. DD, great job of research.

    But some big details are left out. Currently D.F. authorities are investigating transit police in D.F. who pulled over Abraham and Omar (the Zeta) in the Mustang, for not wearing their seat belts. This was just a few minutes after they left the murder scene!

    Omar had blood on his shoes and had the murder weapon in the car. Abraham, driving, told the transit cops to talk to "some friends/la gente de Omar" who by then had pulled up in front (in a blue Stratus).

    Abraham had previously said they were followed by some Zetas in a vehicle to the murder scene. The Zetas in the Stratus waited outside the apartment while the murders occurred.

    The transit cops talked with the Zetas in the Stratus .... and let everyone go. Again, not something a few guys working intersections for change could pull off:

    1. Always Watching, great job, dd will not mind you stealing some of the spotlight and a few thunderbolts...
      --no police academy graduate who has proved his worthiness will degrade hisself onto being a car washer or a car watcher vine viene...he will go to a select paramilitary group, call it whaevr, but they all work for the elite zetas of peña nieto and co.

  2. DD. So in depth. It's going to take me a while to digest.
    My immediate reacción is to look into the US/Nazi connection.
    Of course after WW2, thousands and thousands of nazi high command, were imported into the usa and latin América.
    They were merged into the government intel units.
    Disappearences, character assasination, are clear and direct links to a fascista state.
    Yeah, I may be a dead man, but i've got a heart.
    Journalists and writers have a duty to report.
    The media will manipulate the facts to "control" the story.
    Check out Stieg Larsson's " The girl with the dragón tattoo" trilogy.
    He's dead. Why?
    Go deep into the story. Uncover even your ancestors.
    " The killa is a koward."

    1. It would be very interesting to read an expose of the formation of The School of The Americas.
      When was it created?
      Who authorized it's creatión?
      What has been hidden in order to protect its true creators?

      I'm tired of seeing a beautiful people forced into prostitution, money laundering, drug dealing, and slave labor.

    2. 9:11 <---€ how opportune...
      Google SOA Watch; Executive Intelligence Review also has many reports on them, and School of the Americas, LatinAmerican Hall of Fame, there are hundreds of books and reports, you will be very busy...

    3. Back in The 60's 70's, guerrilla leaders were usually led to a false sense of security by infiltrated government posers and there they got killed, the DFS and PJF agents were soon free to pursue other more rewarding interests, like getting murdered by the likes of amado carrillo, rafael caro quintero and co. el negro durazo, blo or zetas

  3. Duarte is scum, the devil reincarnated who stops at nothing to silence anybody that dares to publish the truth of just how corrupt he and his administration are. This SOB needs to be held accountable for the crimes he has committed, ordered and for his ties with drug cartels. Another self serving PRI lackey that President Mini Me isn't man enough to stand up to and investigate properly. Pinche bola de lacras.

  4. Another beautiful vibrant intelligent woman murdered for what and by whom? Makes you so fuckin angry,I sometimes wonder if women like this threaten little men who then resort to violence or threats?
    What a fuckin waste.QEPD Nadia Vera

    1. Realidades como esas nesesitan de la atencion de ciertas personas... Para que las cosas cambien. Si no jamas cambiaran siguira igual o peor...

  5. Professional hit LOL a bunch of crack and meth hazed illiterates with machine guns high as hell on glue too. Professional hit LOL. Nothing professional about any cartel scum killer with a machine gun.

    1. 11:26 One gun involved, untraceable bullets...
      11:26 looks like you are a bought and paid for commenter, a total piece of shit...

    2. Dont give Las MierdaZ any credit they are trying to keep up with CJNG and can't.
      They likely used a MK25 with nylon coated bullets a supressor and gloves. Thats not a professional hit. Those guns are likely coming in by Sig Sauer to Veracruz ports.
      That mustang has evidence in it be it a finger print or a piece of hair or a wad of bubble gum. Same as the apartment just cause you can't trace the rifling to other murders doesn't mean all evidence is lost.
      Professional hit ahahaha! It was a hit some ass hat dressed up a police officer knocked on the door forced his way in and put them at gun point tied them up asked questions then shot them.
      You know why he killed every one??? They either knew him or could ID his face. He likely didnt wear a mask so it was either a guy in a police uniform or a person they already knew.
      Professional hit dont over hype it call it what it was. Premeditated murder poorly executed. Like all zetas todos hechos con el culo abierto.

    3. 11:15 jejejeje agree - a professional hit jejejeje you JACKASS. All drug gang members are shit cockroaches. They are neither professional or sane. These are illiterate shitheels with no conscience. Wait until they kill someone you know - a professional hit jejejeje. Quit being a mafia wannabe.

  6. Supposed Z connection interesting. Given that they basically run Veracruz, might make sense that they would send someone to kill Vera and Espinosa on Duarte's behalf.

  7. What do you think about that new story claiming chapo son tweeted a pic with his dad. Apparently it shows there location as Costa Rica. To be honest im not even sure thats his son. At least not one im familiar with, could be some imposter. The story has been published on various news site, it just sounds like a click bait story used by journalist who know nothing about the mexican drug cartels.

  8. What tangled webs we leave, when our plan is to deceive- Shakespeare.

  9. DD

    Bottom line it is KNOWN that the photo journalist was not the target. you should be clear on that. and the bottom two paragraphs are not from politico.

    If we take this information as fact, it is clear within the text of his cell phone text. he says he will call when home, "I am headed out to the street". Mexican media accounts all said in the beginning he went to the apartment in happenstance, never plan, so he was not the target.

    as for the Colombian. Social media has always said as now reported in the press that she was a mule for cocaine. recently the story in the news is that is why it happened. for cocaine. I doubt that. but who knows.

    and the feeble argument of how many stab wounds and why is silly. In mexico often there are many stab wounds when wanting a person dead. it means nothing. not like in the states.

    1. I think they are alluding to torture

    2. that is the point. it does not usually mean that in Mexico based on number of stab wounds. many stabs means I need you dead. my understanding there was only one gun. at least those were the first reports. so resorting to clubbing and stabbing to kill was needed. torture in mexico is live dismemberment, live decapitation, breaking bones and that type of thing. you see this post is mainly information from American press. nuff said

    3. I think you missed the part that said each victim had a gunshot wound to the back of the head. So why the stab wounds before they shoot him? I don't remember if I included it in the story, but the pathologist who did the autopsy said the stab wounds were not inflicted to kill, but to cause a maximum amount of pain. Presumably he meant their location and depth. He also stated that possibly a potato peeler was used to inflict the wounds. Nor exactly the weapon of choice if you "need them dead".

    4. @9:25. It is "KNOWN" by whom that Ruben was not the target. Is that based on statements by Pacheco, the car washer who said he didn't participate in any crime, or Torres, the ex-cop who now watches your car for tips when you park and stood on the stairs while it all happened.

      If it is KNOWN that he couldn't have been a target because a hit man couldn't have known he was in the apartment because it was a last minute decision to go there, if he was being followed, as he believed he was, a phone call from the tail to the hit man would be all that it took to know where he was.
      I don't know what happened or who was the target. My whole point in this and the other stories I wrote is that there are certainly enough questions that the investigation should not be limited to the pre-conceived or desired theory of the government. (they don't want another international furor over another murdered journalist).

      Nicole may well have been the target. I am collecting info about her and maybe that will be a story.

    5. dd your answers are as long as your articles posted. Chilango portadas and social media, chats have been saying from the beginning that people are so gulliable to think the photographer has the hit. how can you executed someone that had no plans to go where he ended up being killed? Use logic dd. and who takes one gun and no get away car to a 'professional hit'? logic dd.

      you need to read the Spanish websites. do not use big press and not norte. don't put 2+2 and get 3. ruben was not the target and for me you shit on killed journalists when you fabricate something that was not. at least you got regina right. see proceso informes mentiras, especially when it was any reporter or person working for them.

      smoke and mirrors.

    6. and Nicole was always the story. if you would have listened to regional reports and chilangos they said this all along. they also insinuated she owed drug money. she is the key. but where are you "collecting info? chilangos within one day was reporting her name and that she had only been in df for a short period and worked as a prostitute, and had drug issues. the government and press did not write anything about that for many days/weeks.

    7. @11:08 & @11:14 you are too busy pushing for a murder by narcos as reported by corrupt mexican reporters from corrupt mexican papers and corrupt mexican investigators...
      --You do not know how good the government agents are at tracking enemies of the regime, also you appear to discount that the 5 tortured and killed persons were shot on the head with the same weapon, that nobody heard, because of a silencer, I guess, sooo:
      --are you on the a paid on the pad chayotero?, I am only asking because it looks like you are one very dedicated bought and paid commenter...

    8. Dude,there just opinions,I don't understand why people get combative with contributors ? I tend to agree about this story but as yet we just don't know.
      The contributors post and are entitled to their opinion just like everyone else..
      If they get fed up there won't be any BB

  10. DD your links to animal politico are not working

    1. @9:34AM. Thanks for the heads up. I think I fixed the hyper-links and I added a note at the end of the story giving the links to all the Animal Politico stories I used.

  11. Interesting that they are publishing an account of what was told had transpired by the one that was captured. With one man not being arrested he can read the response of the arrested one and build his confession around that.

  12. interesting story

  13. wake up this is Mexico no freedom

  14. DD you didn't get me the right coffee,and I wanted 2 sugars in it...You didn't solve the debt crisis in Greece neither,you also left a comma out somewhere,I'm still looking for it.
    Could you clarify what time we should all go to bed tonight ?

    1. Sorry about the coffee. Here in Mx. everybody drinks Nescafe instant (it proves we are a developed country and have the same modern things the big guys do).
      Hope it doesn't take you as long to read it as it did for me to put together all the notes I had taken over the last month, research for new developments, write a draft, edit it, add the photos and print it (it took a couple of 12 to 15 hour days.
      ps if you find the missing coma location, let me know and I will fix it.

    2. I found the missing comma. It is at the end of this sentence,

    3. Great ass busting DD, I know how much work and thought you placed in this post!

      But I disagree with the coffee choice, no one I know drinks Nescafe or instant or kcups of anything, sacrilegious, when Mex has the very best coffee in the world COMBATE. I have been travelling with it. Although my assistant drinks nothing but folgers.

    4. Hi Chivis te mando Un beso y Un hug ;)
      From Chiraq.

    5. Hola Ciraq!

      Muah, muah!


    6. Folgers=swill
      swill = caca
      ibis coffee from northern Utah= best coffee
      try the organic double dark french they ship.the coffee one day anywhere

  15. The narco gvt are sure worried about a student led revolution!
    School of the Americas teaches the oppressive latin countries how to eliminate those threats!
    Death Squads!

  16. It's a good article

  17. DD...Good read! I agree, the added torture to the victims usually does imply, a message of some sort, but that's not always the case, especially with a sadist.The motive in this case, we may never know. This story has more twist and turns, than the roller coaster ride at Carrawinds. I can see some real crime story novalist..all over this story.DD...that might be something you could do. You do seem to be talented with a pen.

    1. ..."DD" you got me slipping in the popó, let's make light of it, and kiss and make out, after all I have spilled my poison and am ready to die, you black widow you!!!
      ...@6:51 I hope you spill your boiling cofee and burn your ass...that would be a "novel"

  18. How come my comment - last night posted around 12:30 a.m., about the D.F. cops pulling over the murder suspects blocks from the crime scene and then letting them go after the cops talked the Z's in the other car - was not posted?

    1. Funny shit,grown ass men?

    2. 8:02 post again, and again and again, but don't complain...
      --Its gets funny to 'greengrown' green grass on the ass gringo at 2:34
      #ya se...

  19. Pena Nieto and El Chinto are doing a better job. Hard to believe all this Newspaper reporters

    1. "El Chinito" es el jefe de las escuadras de la Muerte en mexico, entrenado por el general Oscar Naranjas de colombia, Escuadrones de la Muerte siempre ha sido su pasion, y su oferta con los gobiernos que ha servido, ser jefe de los peores lo llevo a la gobernatura del estado de hidalgo...
      --entre sus peores socios, el lazca, los zetas aliados a la familia michoacana, los zetas de coahuila y de durango, tamaulipas, veracruz, el df, guerrero, chihuahua...y seguro, peña nieto...
      --la position de Secretario de Gobernacion siempre ha servido para brincar a la presidencia, manteniendo la apariencia de "orden" a Punta de muertos y balazos, mediate un selecto equipo de asesinos y matones a sueldo, seleccionados de entre los peores militaries, policias y agentes libres, todo secreto...despise agaran trabajo de sicarios o narcos o politicos...

  20. LOL @ addicted to Marijuana. That is the stigma in Mexico that they actually believe that there is an addiction to Marijuana. They believe that Marijuana users are the same as heroin / cocaine users. It's ok to be a borracho and beat up on your wife but not ok to smoke a fat one and relax while releasing some stress.

    1. I know white gringo mariguanos that will give roofing and siding jobs away for a few latas of mariguana and the material...
      --your saying mariguana is not addictive is at least misleading and in my book criminal

    2. You have never know gringos mills,don't lie

    3. One thousand Chilangass do not a green grass...gringo make...

  21. to the chih coffee drinker....combate is of course from chih.
    if you drink a cup of coffee at any oxxo it is combate.

    un vato got me on combate, I literally do not leave home without it. there is another brand from the combate sister company out of hermosillo, it is el vaquero but most of their beans are sweetened and combate is superior.

    I do know some Mexicans reach for the instant, but brewed is cheaper and so much better.

    1. I was in Mty last week and I needed my coffee fix. I don't do instant coffee. That oxxo coffee was fantastic!!! Great taste. P.S. To all Americans that think it's unsafe to travel to Mexico( of course some places are forbidden and dangerous) don't listen to the media hype. I felt very safe and will travel again. body of Christ TX

    2. I buy from Oxxo quite often. I sometimes add a little natural cinnamon in the coffee I brew. Not all the time. I think they reach for the instant because it is easier and quicker. Especially when company drops in.

      Nice change of pace exchange among friends.

      Que tenga buen dia.

      Chih coffee drinker.

    3. Yes Chivis an avowed coffee drinker alright.You can even use scales to measure your optimum coffee taste,weight is the best way to measure,but,lets just drink it ?
      Who feels like a coffee now?

    4. Thank god for The chain convienence stores, Oxxos y otras. It used to be like DD says, nescafe and lukewarm water. Now, brewed coffee, pastries, gatorade, snickers, cubed ice. Bring it on.

    5. ok only 1 cup a day (I cheat it is 12 oz)
      whole beans in the burr grinder each AM. or grind a half pound for travel.
      no scales, but since you have placed the thought in my head.... :)!productos/cyyx

    6. Those that never knew café MOKA never knew CAFE.
      --NESCAFE now is the best, I don't know about OXXO, I guess I would have to go to mexico to try it, no way jose, i will send for a bag, bur "starbucks" tasted like it was made from cigarette stubs...
      --Cofee lovers about to be orphaned thanks to "Cofee Rust" virus...

    7. Naw, best to eyeball it, living life on the edge, BB style.

    8. Sorry DD , good trsnslation , like it should be. It kinda turned into a coffee forum.

    9. That's what you do for travel?I was wondering,and you have a nice sealed container to keep the grounds in so wherever you go you have your own coffee,clever girl but coffee IS important,google an image search for coffee scales to give you an idea..
      Coger una brisa fresca

    10. sorry? for being rude? dd began with the coffee comment asshole.
      and you must not speak Spanish either because there was very little translation. it was mostly English. dd has said he is not a Spanish speaker. not taking away from the work when I say it should have been shorter, I could not get though it and have time for a couple other posts.

      chivis, ignore this willie, you work hard for us if you want to take a coffee break, then I encourage you take one.

  22. Thanks for posting my Z/D.F. Transito cops post.

    Chivis is right about OXOO coffee being damn good. Also their cappuccino and their KFreeze are awesome. The KFreeze is so good it's dangerous.

  23. Thanks dd. Good stuff!

  24. Saw a guy on a death row inmate cable show once years ago. one of his last food request, before he was "needled" was,freshly roasted, freshly ground, and freshly brewed coffee. You gotta hope, if it's your last,your very last... that it's not instant! I think instant was all he had while there? However, the guy got his request. the warden actually made 'final coffee plans" for the D R inmate. true story. Let's hope it was good to the last...and final drop!

  25. This is like for a fucking movie,real talk,it's sad and beyond sad,this happened in my fucking city,El DF,so the streets are talking,but it doesn't take to be real smart to figure out what happened here,the victims knew some or all of the perpetrators,it's like they killed 3 birds in one shot,the reporter,they took whatever stash LA colombiana had and they also murdered that other activist,the devil's work at its finest,at the end of the day like I said you need to be a street goon and live overthere,the streets know what happened,as for LA Marrana DE Veracruz,He will have his day one day,that,believe that.

    1. Yeah dude,its so fuckin sad,these are the kind of people who never hurt anyone,Nadia Vera,Espinoza,cleaning woman,Nicole?
      The poem Vera's mother wrote about her is fuckin heartbreaking..

    2. 8:15 I lived in your fucking city El DF, many years ago, there were "job" openings, even then , tlalnepantla, pachuca hidalgo, too, but I am curious, does anybody on el DF know who the boss? Like, you know, do you know who really carlos slim helu IS?
      --I know the harbano did not get rich selling bundles of cloth, and he did not make billions of dollars from telmex before he owned it, any info?

    3. 7.30
      Do you have to attack everyone in almost every post?

    4. Where is the attack, soft marshmallow, he called his city names, I agree with it, and Narvarte was my Colonia for a while, oh I see, wondering about the chamuco mayor gets you all frenzied up, too bad, I agree, send him my apologies...

  26. The whore and the attention she brought to herself did them all in.

    1. What a nice guy

    2. 10:13 The real whore here would be javier duarte de ochoa, if it were not for 10:13.


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