The massacre of 14 people at a bar in Minatitlán, Veracruz, on Friday night could have been a revenge attack or the result of the failure to make an extortion payment, the state attorney general said yesterday.
“We have two lines of investigation,” Jorge Winckler Ortiz told the television program La Nota Dura.
“One of them is revenge due to the possibility of conflict over the sale of drugs. One person who was killed . . . had two businesses where she sold one criminal group’s illegal products and shortly after she sold the competition’s products,” he said.
“The other line of investigation we have is that the cobro de piso [extortion payment] wasn’t made.”
The attorney general explained that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and Los Zetas are involved in a turf war in Veracruz, which has contributed to the current insecurity in the state.
The deceased person to whom Winckler was referring was a trans woman known as “La Becky” who owned two bars in Minatitlán, including La Potra, where Friday’s attack occurred.
The attorney general told a press conference earlier yesterday that authorities had received statements indicating that “La Becky,” whose real name was Julio César González Reyna, was the target of the attack.
As he leads the investigation into the case, Winckler is under pressure to resign as a result of accusations of corruption and collusion with former state governor Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares.
President López Obrador said yesterday that “relevant authorities will investigate the attorney general’s conduct,” charging that “the fact that the previous governor [Yunes] left him there, and that he’s acting to protect the old regime, really stands out.”
He added: “What must be made very clear is that we won’t act as cover, if there’s a [criminal] complaint against anyone, it will run its course because we’re not going to be protecting anybody. Corruption is going to end, we have to clean up the corruption in Veracruz.”
The president admitted that he doesn’t know Winckler personally before adding: “but I do know he who was governor and if he’s linked to the past governor, we have to look at things carefully because Veracruz had a problem with crime being supported by the government.”
He also said Winckler “is not highly recommended.”
Cuitláhuac García, who was sworn in as governor for López Obrador’s Morena party on December 1, announced last week that Winckler would not attend yesterday’s security meeting with federal authorities due to the corruption allegations he faces, which include protecting corrupt regional prosecutors and manipulating statistics for crimes including kidnappings and femicides.
Despite the possibility that he will be investigated, Winckler said he hadn’t considered quitting.
“Resigning hasn’t been on my mind. I was democratically elected by five different parties, by the state Congress, and I believe that the results of my work are there for everybody to see,” he said.
However, there has been an increase in violent crime in Veracruz since the new government took office, including a CJNG offensive that has claimed the lives of four police officers.
López Obrador nevertheless defended García, claiming that the current insecurity is the result of lingering corruption in state authorities despite the change of government.
However, he asserted that with “the support of the people of Veracruz” and “the support of the federal government,” things will change in the state.
“. . . Don’t forget we’re very perseverant, we’re very stubborn, so corruption is going to end in Veracruz . . .”