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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Suspect in the Jalisco Ex-Governor Murder Probe Is Released From Prison

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

Maria del Rocio (left) was released from prison earlier this week. She says authorities are trying to frame her for the ex-governor's (right) murder. 

Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, the former governor of Jalisco, was murdered on 18 December 2020. He was shot in the back inside a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta in one of the highest-profile political killings in Mexico in recent memory.

The investigation points that the employees of the bar where Sandoval was killed "manipulated" the crime scene by cleaning up the blood and evidence left behind to cover-up the assassins. The public relations manager of the bar, Maria del Rocio "D", was released from prison earlier this week. State authorities believed she was responsible for managing the employees who cleaned up the crime scene, but Maria del Rocio says she is being framed.

Maria del Rocio blamed the bar's manager, Jose Manuel Sanchez Cruz, of reportedly giving her the order to clean the scene. Her family claims that authorities are using her as a "scapegoat" since she was only receiving orders and was not involved in Sandoval's murder.

Although initially denied bond due to her potential flight risk (she gave contradictory statements about her address), Maria del Rocio is now free. At least two bar employees have been released since last December. Close to twelve more remain behind bars for cover-up charges. Some of them have said they fear for their lives and believe they will get murdered in prison.

Murder and background 

Sandoval was having dinner with a few companions at a bar in Puerto Vallarta on the evening of 18 December 2020. When Sandoval got up from a table to head to the restroom, an unidentified killer shot him several times in the back. The shooter then fled the venue.

Sandoval was not killed instantly. When his bodyguards tried to get him out of the restroom and take him to the nearest hospital, gunmen waiting outside opened fire on them. One of the bodyguards was seriously wounded in the attack. His bodyguards were able to take him to the hospital, but Sandoval was announced death shortly upon arrival.

Several of the surveillance cameras from the bar and surrounding establishments were tampered, apart from a few that helped authorities get a visual description of two assassins. Jalisco state authorities are offering up to MXN$1 million (approximately US$50,000) to anyone that provides valuable information that leads to the capture of the couple suspected of killing Sandoval.

These are the two suspects who participated in Sandoval's murder. The woman on the right is the person who investigators say pulled the trigger and killed Sandoval. Both remain at large.

Sandoval made national headlines last October when he announced his resignation from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which governed Mexico for most of the 20th century. 

"I’m going to stay in the P.R.I. but being critical," Sandoval said. "And if they don’t like it, let them kick me out. But I’ll never stop saying what I think."

He was killed two months later.

Security experts suggest that the attack against Sandoval could be the work of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which rose to prominence during Sandoval's term from 2013 to 2018. The CJNG has presence in most of Jalisco and holds dominion in Puerto Vallarta. 

Sources: Milenio; Milenio (2); Animal Politico; El Pais; Vanguardia; Proceso;


  1. Will this crime be solved ? Knowing Mexico probably not

  2. Was the murder of businessman Domé related to this assassination? PV has been a hot zone the last year or so

  3. Well he resigned from one of the main Mafias in 🇲🇽 P.R.I.
    LOOKS like he was talking bad about them too..

  4. I visited the restaurant a few weeks back and the assassination it was very organized considering the restaurant is located between 2 other popular restaurants on the main road approximately 3 miles from the airport. Ironically it is a block away from La Leche (where Chapitos got kidnapped).


    1. You're been to La Lecha too, right?

    2. Yes, I went to both during my recent trip. I am the unofficial expert on all things puerto Vallarta. 😂😂



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