Journalist Homicide Suspect Arrested in Mexico City

Ruben Espinoza's Funeral (Photo: AFP)

On Wednesday August 5th, a suspect of the murder of a Mexican journalist and four women in an apartment in Mexico City was arrested.

Rodolfo Rios Garza, Attorney General of the Federal District, told a press conference that the suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, was detained and has already surrendered statement regarding the crime. The man had a previous a criminal record, and his identification was made possible by matching fingerprints found at the scene crime.

On Tuesday August 4th, prosecutors released a surveillance video  showing three suspects calmly leaving the apartment building where five people were found tortured and shot to death, including a photojournalist who had taken refuge in the capital after feeling threatened in Veracruz.

The video, stamped just after 3 p.m. Friday July 31, shows one man with a roller suitcase walking away and another getting into a red Ford Mustang and driving away. A third suspect is seen crossing the street five minutes later. All three walk normally, and the driver of Mustang takes his time pulling out.

Mexico City’s Attorney General Rodolfo Ríos Garza said the three men are the prime suspects in the killing of journalist Rubén Espinosa, cultural promoter Nadia Vera Pérez and three other women, including a domestic employee.

In June, Espinosa had fled Veracruz after he was followed and harassed by strangers waiting outside his house. Once in Mexico City, he still didn’t feel safe, telling friends that strangers approached him on two different occasions asking if he was the photographer who had left Veracruz.

Ruben Espinoza's Funeral (Photo: AFP)
Ruben Espinoza’s Funeral (Photo: AFP)

Espinosa knew Vera Pérez from Veracruz, where she was an activist and organizer critical of the state government of Governor Javier Duarte. In an earlier video interview, Vera Pérez said Duarte and his Cabinet were responsible for “anything that could happen to us, as people involved in and organizers of the protest movement”.

When asked if Duarte would be called to give a deposition, Ríos said Mexico City officials were in contact with him and his attorney general.

But officials appeared to be focusing on robbery and a female victim thought to be Colombian as its target.

Ríos said the crime was committed sometime before 3 p.m. Friday, though he did not say when the suspects arrived at the apartment.

The killers would have had only a half hour to 50 minutes to torture and shoot five people, ransack the apartment and pack a suitcase with stolen goods, according to witnesses.

The prosecutor’s office said it had nothing to add when asked about the tight timeframe.

The Ford Mustang was found abandoned in the southern part of the city on Monday August, 3rd.