Things That Matter

A 25-Year-Old Mexican Woman Was Killed By Her Abusive Husband After Seeking Help 16 Times From Authorities

Two of the biggest misconceptions about domestic abuse is that a victim needs to leave their abuser or seek help in order to escape their situation. More often than not, a victim has sought out both routes without success. Leaving a situation where one person is being abused by someone they know could be close to impossible. An abuser, at times, will stop at nothing in order to keep a very tight grip on their victim. What makes this matter even worse is that the agencies that are supposed to help victims, ultimately fail them. 

A 25-year-old Mexican woman was killed by her husband even though she had contacted a women’s justice center for help 16 times prior. 

This horrific crime, which could have been prevented, occurred last year, but new details into what led to her death are only now being revealed. According to several Spanish-language news outlets, Vanesa Gaytán Ochoa reached out to the Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres in Jalisco, Mexico, at least 16 times for help. 

According to El Universal, Gaytán Ochoa reached out to the Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres Jalisco for the last time on April 13 to seek out protection from her husband, Irwin Emmanuel Ramírez Barajas only to end up being killed 12 days later. 

“The efforts to prove the degree of participation of the killer were null and void and [the Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres] didn’t even try to locate or inhibit him from carrying out illegal activities,” the Human Rights Commission said, according to El Universal. 

On the day she was killed, Gaytán Ochoa called her lawyer to tell them that her husband was after her. She was advised to go to the governor’s mansion, where a meeting about security was taking place. Gaytán Ochoa took a cab there and did not realize her husband was following her. 

Credit: Centro Reforma / YouTube

Gaytán Ochoa stood outside the governor’s mansion, and her husband drove up and hit her with his car. He got out and stabbed her to death. The entire crime was caught on a surveillance camera.

Gaytán Ochoa didn’t do a thing wrong. In fact, she took all of the proper steps a domestic abuse victim is supposed to do in order to escape their abuser. She had a restraining order against her husband, and yet he violated it time and time again. 

“When a protection order is issued, the authority undertakes to guarantee the life of the complainant,” amnesty international said in a statement last year. “This must materialize in mechanisms that ensure that state and municipal authorities have the information, resources, and personnel that allow them to fulfill the duty to safeguard the lives of women effectively.”

Gaytán Ochoa’s husband was ultimately shot and killed by a security guard at the governor’s mansion. But the damage was already done. She was dead, and now people are seeking justice in her name. [Warning: video contains graphic images.]

According to news reports, it’s unclear who is to blame whether it is the center for women or state officials, but what is certain is that Gaytán Ochoa’s requests and demands were left unanswered. 

“From the evidence in the case file, it is not observed that the staff of the public prosecutor’s office followed a clear and serious line of investigation aimed at verifying the crime and sanctioning the man responsible,” Centro de Justicia para las Mujeres Jalisco said according to El Universal. 

The sentiment on social media over her death of Gaytán Ochoa is also being placed on Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro. “The murder of Vanesa Gaytán Ochoa outside Casa Jalisco ‘is the sign of a social decomposition that hurts, offends, unworthy, that gives anger’ and we are all to blame for the social decline.”

Statistically speaking, domestic abuse shows staggering numbers. It’s often said that crimes against women are typically committed by someone they know. 

In 2016, Mexico’s female homicide rate reached 4.5 per 100,000, nearly twice that of 2012, a report by the University of San Diego shows. And that number continues to rise. From 2015 to June 2019, at least 3,080 women were murdered in Mexico

READ: Undocumented Immigrants Are Too Afraid To Report Domestic Abuse Out Of Fear Of Being Deported

Indigenous Communities In Guerrero, Mexico Have Been Terrorized For Years—Last Week 10 Men Were Ambushed And Killed By A Drug Cartel

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Indigenous Communities In Guerrero, Mexico Have Been Terrorized For Years—Last Week 10 Men Were Ambushed And Killed By A Drug Cartel

Tony Rivera / Getty

Ten indigenous musicians were shot dead and burned in an ambush in western Mexico.

The horrible crime is believed to have been carried out by a drug cartel, that has been terrorizing indigenous groups in Guerrero Mexico for nearly 20 years.

The members of the Nahua indigenous group were returning from a party when they were attacked in the town of Chilapa in Guerrero state.

The victims, part of the Sensación Musical group, were returning to their Alcozacán community on Friday after playing the day before, said David Sánchez Luna, co-ordinator of the regional indigenous group known as CRAC-PF. Gunmen attacked their vehicle at around 14:00 local time in Mexcalcingo, he said. The victims, all men, were aged between 15 and 42.

The ‘Los Ardillos cartel’, which frequently targets indigenous people in the area, was blamed for the attack.

For over 20 years, Los Ardillos have been trafficking drugs in the mountainous region of Guerrero —throughout this time they have infamously extorted and kidnapped locals to consolidate their power and domain.

The rural ex-cop Celso Ortega Rosas, nicknamed ‘La Ardilla’, was involved in the business of poppy crops in the region of Quechultenango Guerrero, and he is the founder of the criminal group.

According to a 2015 article on El Universal, los Ardillos started kidnapping and extorting people. They gave their victims a 24 hour period to vacate their homes before taking possession of the property.  In 2008, Celso Ortega Rosas was detained for the kidnapping of a woman, the homicide of two agents of the former ‘Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SEIDO)’ a body that has since dissolved and was focused on undercover investigations in the center of Guerrero state.

When the bodies of the victims were found, they were beyond recognition.

After authorities refused to release them to the families, hundreds of indigenous people blocked a road on Friday night, according to La Jornada newspaper.

Authorities shared the names of the deceased victims.

The men who lost their lives were: José Julio y Cándido Fiscaleño Hilario; Crescenciano Migueleño Coapango; Israel Tolentino Ahuelican; Israel Mendoza Pasado; Regino Fiscaleño Chautla; Antonio Mendoza Tolentino; Lorenzo Linares Jiménez; Juan Joaquín; y Marcos Fiscaleño Baltazar.

The Guerrero prosecutor’s office said it was investigating the case.

Guerrero is one of Mexico’s most violent states, where drug gangs fight for control of trafficking routes to the Pacific and other parts of the country. Los Ardillos have been linked to dozens of deaths in recent months, including many indigenous people, according to local media.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has opted for a non-confrontational approach to the cartel.

Focusing, instead, on tackling inequality central to his efforts under a policy dubbed “abrazos, no balazos” – hugs not bullets. But this policy has come under fire after a number of high-profile attacks, including an ambush in which nine members of a Mormon community were killed. The president vowed to create a new National Guard to tackle violence, but few have signed up to the force amid fear of being killed on the job.

The Bodies Of A California Couple Were Found On Their Tijuana Property And Now Police Have Uncovered Two More

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The Bodies Of A California Couple Were Found On Their Tijuana Property And Now Police Have Uncovered Two More

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Last week a California couple was reported missing by their family in Garden Grove – a suburb of Los Angeles. The couple had traveled to Tijuana (where they were originally from) to collect the rent from the tenant who was living on their property. Unfortunately, they never returned home.

With the ever increasing violence in Tijuana, their family feared the worse and a few days later was confirmed when police located their bodies. However, the story continues to develop as a total of three more bodies have been found on their property.

Investigators say that two more bodies (for a total of 5) have been discovered on a Tijuana property where a California couple disappeared.

Credit: Fiscalía General / Baja California

Jesus Ruben Lopez Guillen, 70, and his wife Maria Teresa Lopez, 65, of Garden Grove, a couple with dual U.S.-Mexico citizenship, vanished on January 10 after they crossed the border to collect more than $6,700 in rent from tenants of two houses they owned in Tijuana. Their bodies turned up in one of the houses, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, citing Mexican investigators.

The attorney general’s office for the state of Baja California, just south of San Diego, said late Saturday the second set of bodies – one male and the other female – are in a state of advanced decomposition. All four bodies were covered in lime when they were found by investigators.

The story started when the couple traveled to Tijuana to collect rent on properties they owned – and then never returned to California.

Credit: Garden Grove Police Department

When the couple failed to return home the next day, their daughter, Norma Lopez, reported the couple missing.

Garden Grove police opened a missing person case after the Guilléns were reported missing. Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney said their daughter had been tracking her parents though the Find My iPhone app, which last showed the couple at their property in the Colonia Obrero neighborhood south of downtown Tijuana, about four miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Then the phone went dead, and she could not track them anymore, Whitney said.

Police have since arrested their son-in-law in connection with the murders.

The man accused of killing the couple, their son-in-law, was ordered by a judge to remain in police custody while the state’s prosector’s office continues to gather evidence. According to authorities, they likely have enough evidence to charge him the murders of each of the victims found on the two properties.

Authorities suspect the man killed his in-laws in a dispute over money. They say he confessed to burying them on one of their properties, where he lived.

The judge during the hearing Sunday ruled Santiago will remain in jail under “forced disappearance” charges.

A “forced disappearance” charge is not as serious as a homicide charge, but it is still a felony in Mexico. It means the man is accused of trying to make the couple disappear. The charge can be used in cases of living or deceased victims. The man also was accused of something similar to obstruction of justice, for allegedly misleading investigators and refusing to assist in the investigation.

Prosecutors said investigators have obtained cell phone records, text messages and video camera footage of the defendant and of the victims’ truck — evidence prosecutors said contradicted his statements to police.