Mexico City police are under investigation for their allegedly slow response to a kidnapping case in which the victim was killed, and for possible collusion with the perpetrators of the crimes.
Norberto Ronquillo, a 22-year-old student originally from Chihuahua, was kidnapped on June 4 after leaving the Pedregal University in southern Mexico City. His body was found in forested land in the borough of Xochimilco on Sunday.
The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office (PGJ) has ordered an immediate and exhaustive investigation into the conduct of officers from the police’s anti-kidnapping unit who were assigned to the case.
Ronquillo’s family claim that in the 72 hours after he was kidnapped police failed to properly investigate the case. Officers also allegedly failed to correctly secure the crime scene.
Ronquillo was intercepted by another vehicle after leaving the university in his car last Tuesday night, security camera footage shows. He was then abducted and placed in a second vehicle used by the kidnappers.
Shortly after, Ronquillo’s family received a telephone call demanding the payment of a 5-million-peso (US $261,500) ransom.
On Wednesday, the family transferred 500,000 pesos to the kidnappers but didn’t receive any response.
According to Attorney General Ernestina Godoy, Ronquillo was killed just hours after he was kidnapped.
However, the Institute of Forensic Sciences said an autopsy showed that he wasn’t killed until the day before his body was discovered, meaning that he was held captive for four days.
The cause of death was suffocation.
Godoy said “we have some very solid lines of investigation and as part of the inquiry there will be [a review] of the conduct of all the officers” involved in the case.
“Everyone involved is subject to investigation, we’ll do everything in our hands [to ensure that] that this act doesn’t go unpunished . . .”
One officer has already been interviewed by the PJG for allegedly failing to correctly secure the car in which Ronquillo was traveling before he was kidnapped.
One line of investigation is based on a theory that the kidnappers were friends or acquaintances of Ronquillo and knew that he came from a wealthy family.
Security camera footage revealed that the kidnappers appeared to know the route he would take after leaving his university. Security footage also allowed authorities to map the route they took after the kidnapping occurred.
Two properties that were possibly used as safe houses have been identified and are under investigation.
Ronquillo’s family has called for the federal Attorney General’s Office to assume responsibility for the case due to the slow, and perhaps criminally complicit, response of Mexico City authorities, while the rector of the Pedregal University said the incident must serve as a wake-up call for authorities.
“What we’re asking of the authorities is to act correctly, in this case we believe that vital time was lost. We want Norberto’s case to . . . serve as an example so that [the authorities] do what is necessary to save someone’s life. We don’t want more cases [like this] in the city,” Armando Martínez said.
Source: El Universal (sp)