Chiapas murder victims Faunt and Zárate. Chiapas murder victims Faunt and Zárate.

3 arrested for roadside murder of US couple in Chiapas

Residents of San Cristóbal, the two entomologists had stopped to gather insects

Three men have been arrested in Chiapas for the murder last month of two Americans, a doctor and a biologist.

According to police, 74-year-old Renato José Zárate and 71-year-old Lauren Green Faunt had parked their Toyota Matrix on the Tuxtla Gutiérrez-San Cristobal de las Casas highway on July 27 to get out and collect insects.

When the three suspects came along and saw the parked vehicle they tried to rob the scientists. But when the couple resisted, their attackers beat them with metal pipes and shot and killed them.

The thieves took the vehicle to the village of Mumuntik in the municipality of Chamula, where it was later found by police.

Police also found a flashlight belonging to the victims near where the robbery had taken place, and it bore the fingerprints of one of the suspects.

The couple lived in San Cristóbal de las Casas where they owned a restaurant and a hotel. Zárate was a medical doctor while Faunt was a biologist. Both were specialists in entomology, and they often traveled to collect insects. They were also recognized environmental activists who worked to preserve mountain wetlands around San Cristóbal.

Police identified those arrested as Eduardo “N,” Raúl “N,” and Benito “N.” They were detained in the community of La Traya, in the municipality of Ixtapa, and will be held in the Amate Prison as they await trial.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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