A Mexico City judge has been suspended after releasing a man suspected of involvement in the murder of his ex-wife this week.
Judge Federico Mosco ordered the release earlier this month of Juan Carlos García, former CEO of Amazon in Mexico, from preventative custody after downgrading charges against him from attempted murder to domestic violence.
García’s wife, Abril Pérez Sagaón, accused her then husband of attempted murder in January, saying that he attacked her with a baseball bat while she was asleep.
According to media reports, Mosco questioned the intent of the crime allegedly committed by García, saying he could have killed her if he wanted.
Pérez was killed on Monday while in Mexico City to attend a meeting linked to a custody battle with her ex-husband. A motorcyclist ambushed the vehicle in which she was traveling, shooting her dead in front of two of her children.
A relative of the victim told the newspaper El País: “He [García] has enough money to hire a hitman. We have no doubt it was him.”
At his morning press conference on Friday, President López Obrador criticized Mosco for releasing García and said it was unfortunate that the victim hadn’t been afforded protection.
“It’s very regrettable, reprehensible, that these things happen . . .” he said.
López Obrador said he was confident that Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar would take up the matter and sanction the judge, who also released a doctor who is accused of raping a female patient.
Hours later, the president of the Mexico City Superior Court announced that Mosco and another judge who made rulings in the case against García had been suspended. Rafael Guerra Álvarez said the decision was taken so as to not obstruct ongoing investigations into the crimes against Pérez.
Authorities are currently seeking to re-arrest García in connection with the murder of his ex-wife.
The Mexico City government has not yet said whether it will investigate Pérez’s death as a femicide, a crime in which a woman or girl is killed on account of her gender and which often includes sexual violence against the victim.
The murder occurred on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was commemorated in Mexico City with a march by more than 3,000 women.
Ten women are killed on average every day in Mexico, making the country one of the most dangerous for females in the world.