Alma Espinoza, sister of a victim, with a memorial to the dead. Alma Espinoza, sister of a victim, with a memorial to the dead.

Investigation flawed in Narvarte murders

Rights commission charges deficient probe was poorly managed by an inept system

An independent human rights organization has charged that the investigation into a high-profile 2015 multi-homicide in Mexico City was deficient and poorly managed by an inept and inefficient system.

The Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDH) has lodged recommendations with the city’s Attorney General’s office and the Supreme Court of Justice claiming that their examination of the crime lacked due process and diligence that resulted in a violation of victims’ rights.

Five people were murdered in an apartment in the middle-class neighborhood of Navarte on July 31, 2015, including photojournalist Rubén Espinosa.

The other victims in the unsolved attack were Olivia Negrete, a 40-year-old domestic worker, human rights advocate Nadia Dominique Vera (32), model and Colombian national Mile Virginia Martín (31) and make-up artist Yesenia Quiroz (18).

CDH head Perla Gómez Gallardo said an analysis by the commission found that authorities did not follow established protocols in their investigation of the crime.

“A special line of investigation was not established for the clarification of the facts,” said Gómez, one that would have considered particular characteristics of the victims such as gender, nationality, the practice of journalism or human rights advocacy as being related to motives for the crime.

The ombudsperson also highlighted that victims’ families have been confronted with an inept and inefficient system that has failed to meet its obligations to serve justice and did not act in accordance with human rights standards.

“The poor management of these investigations, the failure to apply protocols, the prolonged delay in the investigation, the negligence and irregularities in the collection and analysis of evidence as well as the failure to exhaust all lines of inquiry violate these rights.”

The organization has recommended that the Attorney General’s office meet with the families of victims, exhaust all lines of investigation into the crime and update their protocols in relation to femicide and crimes against journalists.

It has also petitioned the Supreme Court to begin its investigations into who is responsible for omissions in the performance of autopsies on the victims.

Mexico continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists with six murders already recorded in 2017. It is also common for criminals to go free because few are convicted.

Source: El Universal (sp)

CORRECTION: The paragraph quoting Gómez about a special line of investigation that would have considered characteristics of the victims has been edited. The previous version gave an incorrect interpretation. Mexico News Daily regrets the error.

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