Things That Matter

A Man Didn’t Like How Slow Mexican Authorities Were Investigating So He Solved His Father’s Murder

The most intense true crime stories seem to follow an unlikely plotline: someone goes missing, the authorities fail to follow up, and a friend or relative of the victim vows to solve the crime—to avenge them with the justice they deserve. Although this type of vigilante justice seems most believable in fictional situations, the truth is that it can absolutely happen IRL. And when Juan Carlos Quiroz’s father went missing in 2017, Quiroz became the protagonist of his own harrowing true-crime tale.

Quiroz’s father disappeared in the spring of 2017. As a retired middle school principal, Albino Quiroz Sandoval spent lots of time at his home in Tepoztlán, Morelos—so it seemed strange when he did not return that afternoon after running an errand at a hardware store nearby. When his family searched through the small mountain town, they eventually found his car abandoned about a mile from the store. They assumed that he had been kidnapped, as more than 40,000 people are currently registered as “missing” in Mexico, and this type of situation is not exactly of as national homicide rates continue to rise.

Quiroz aimed to file a missing person’s report the next day, but bureaucracy held him up, requiring him to visit four separate government offices over the course of 12 hours.

Credit: Unsplash

In spite of the sluggish administrative process, police dispatched a single officer to investigate. But the officer returned to the state capital of Cuernavaca with no information. As hours passed without any leads, it became evident that Sandoval was not the victim of a random kidnapping. And due to Mexico’s notoriously ineffectual justice system (in Mexico, only 5 percent of killings end in a conviction, and just last year, the conviction rate in Morelos was less than 1%), Quiroz realized that he not only had to face the source of his father’s disappearance—he also had to deal with an incredibly difficult legal system.

Understanding the tenuous situation his family was in, Quiroz opted to take matters into his own hands. “I realized that it wasn’t my job to grieve,” he said. “I had to look for answers, or I wasn’t going to get any.” 

So just two days after his father had disappeared, Quiroz paced the streets of Tepoztlán, visiting shop after shop in search of surveillance footage that might lead him in the right direction. He later found out that the police hadn’t even checked for this type of evidence—evidence that would end up being pivotal to solving the mystery of what happened to his father.

One video showed Sandoval leaving the hardware store that he’d originally set out for, driving in the opposite direction of his home. Later that night, the family heard rumors that Sandoval had been lending money to a man named Juan Carlos Reyes Lara—a local attorney who claimed that his daughter was in the hospital—and that Sandoval and Reyes had gotten into an altercation about money on the day of his disappearance.

Witnesses had observed this altercation and reported it to local police, but no action was taken. When Quiroz approached the police for more information, they barely acknowledged the event, though one officer did give Quiroz the name of a witness who had reported the incident.

Eventually, the witness shared his story with The Los Angeles Times, saying, “We all want the system to change. But if you don’t do your part, it will never happen.”

Credit: Unsplash

Two weeks later, police apprehended Reyes in his home on charges of kidnapping. But while this seemed like a small victory, the next steps were incredibly frustrating for Quiroz and his family. In a preliminary court hearing, prosecutors failed to mention that they had an eyewitness account for Sandoval’s beating. Ultimately, one prosecutor told Quiroz’s family that it would be best to avoid a trial and instead try to negotiate a deal with Reyes, which would require him to pay the family restitution without admitting guilt.

Desperate for further assistance, Quiroz sought help from a human rights group, which ended up connecting him with a lawyer named Efraín Márquez Dur’án. Márquez was all too familiar with the corruption of Mexico’s justice system, and he took on Quiroz’s case con gusto, eager to meet to challenge of making the state to do its job—which, let it be known, he did.

After a year of news conferences and meetings with officials, Marquez lobbied for a new prosecutor to be assigned to the case—a prosecutor who believed Reyes should be charged for kidnapping with intent to harm.

Credit: Unsplash

In seven days of hearings, held over a three-week period, 22 witnesses and experts testified, leading to a guilty verdict. Reyes was ultimately sentenced to 50 years in prison—a partial justice for Quiroz and his family, who plan to continue fighting for Mexico’s justice system to overcome its toxic corruption.

“I think it’s our only option to escape the cruelty of the violence that we’re living,” he said. “We have to be able to come together again as members of the same community and make the criminals responsible for their actions.” 

READ: The Police Officer Who Shot Atatiana Jefferson In Her Own Home Will Be Put On Trial For Murder

Camila Cabello’s Performance At The Grammys Made Everyone Cry As They Remembered Kobe Bryant And His Daughter

Entertainment

Camila Cabello’s Performance At The Grammys Made Everyone Cry As They Remembered Kobe Bryant And His Daughter

camila_cabello / Instagram

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards was filled with tributes to Kobe Bryant after his tragic and shocking death in a helicopter crash with his daughter in Calabasas. Artists included tributes to the basketball legend in their performances last night but one performance made everyone think about the father and daughter who died.

Camila Cabello sang her new single “First Man” about the love between and father and daughter and things became very emotional.

Cabello’s song “Frist Man” is a song dedicated to the love between a daughter and father. A special love that cannot be explained to those who have not experienced it. It is a bond filled with trust, safety, protection, and appreciation.

Cabello sang the song to her father, who was sitting in the front row, and he could not contain his emotions.

Latino fathers aren’t known for their public display of emotions. It isn’t because they don’t feel the emotions but it is just a common thing for Latino dads to stay stoic and strong. Seeing Cabello’s father crying while his daughter sings to him is a touching moment.

Her performance was bringing social media users to tears.

Credit: @ashley_dawn31 / Twitter

You can see the emotions in Cabello’s eyes as she sang her sweet song dedicated to the love and sacrifices of her dad. It is a special reminder that our parents have done so much to get us to where we are.

The song had a special meaning since it was the same day that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant died in a helicopter crash.

Credit: @thekatiestevens / Twitter

On the morning of Jan. 26, 2020, before the Grammys, news broke that Kobe Bryant died when a helicopter crashed in Calabasas. The entertainment world was shocked when TMZ reported the crash. Bryant, who was 41, played for the L.A. Lakers for 20 years. His daughter was following in his footsteps and was part of the basketball community. In their rush to report the story, TMZ reported Bryant’s death before the family could be notified.

A mixture of the days’ events and the connection between fathers and daughters led to an emotional reaction from fans.

Credit: @GinnyBbadd / Twitter

There was a lot of build-up to the performance. Many speculated, based on the kind of hype the performance was getting, that Cabello might be singing a special song to Shawn Mendes. Mendes and Cabello fans are not-so-secretly hoping for the pair to become a couple.

Even parents felt the love in the song.

Credit: @DanLeach971 / Twitter

Who couldn’t text their parents or children after seeing this performance? The love between a child and their parent is something special. It is an unconditional love that comes with heartbreak when the child moves away. It is a bittersweet relationship filled with so many ups and downs but it is beautiful in its longevity.

The performance really hit home for some viewers who recently lost their own parents.

Credit: deblturner / Twitter

The loss of a parent is a hard moment in anyone’s life. They are the person who knows you best and has known you your entire life. Losing that kind of connection is tough and painful but a part of life.

So, take some time and call your parents today. They want to hear from you.

*cries in Spanish*

READ: Camila Cabello Has Apologized For Using The N-Word And Fans Are Pretty Messed Up About It

The Steelers Will Have Their International Game This Year, And They Want To Play In Mexico For Their Fans

Entertainment

The Steelers Will Have Their International Game This Year, And They Want To Play In Mexico For Their Fans

steelers / Instagram

It’s official, the Steelers will have their international game this year, but the place is not yet confirmed. Previous exhibition games were held in Montreal, Barcelona, London, and Tokyo. It’s been years since the team competed directly south of the border. And since Mexico is the home to one of largest fan bases of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they want to play their international game against the Jacksonville Jaguars south of the border

This time, the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking forward to playing in Mexico. 

The Steelers are happy to play an international game, but they have a clear preference for where that game would be. The president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney, said, “We continue to raise our hand and say we’re interested in playing a game in Mexico.”  

The Steelers are expected to have an international game this year like they have in previous years.

One of them is their match against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, it has been rumored that the Jaguars will have a game in London sometime this year.

People are already showing their excitement on social media because who doesn’t want to see the Steelers playing in Mexico.

“I need the best seat for the event of the year” tweeted one user. “I’ll sell my soul to be there,” wrote another die-hard fan. 

Mexico is home to a large portion of the Steeler Nation.

Steeler Nation, as their fans call themselves, proudly wear black and gold in Mexico. Fernando Camacho, a Mexican fan shared this saying in Spanish in an interview with ‘Behind the Steel curtain’, “Mi Corazon y mi alma son Amarillo y negro pero mi pasion y mi orgullo son de acero.” (My heart and soul are Black and Gold, but my passion and pride are made of steel.)

So naturally, the team’s first choice for an international game is to play in Mexico.

Rooney added during an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that, “They have to work out the logistics and all the pieces of the puzzle to have a game down there. Our first choice would be to play a game in Mexico if we have an international trip.” 

The Steelers have a history with Mexico that runs deep.

The Steelers played the Vikings in London in 2013, but have a longer history with Mexico. They played an exhibition game there in 2000, and have conducted clinics there in the past to try to drum up interest. They’ve also played in exhibition games in Toronto, Montreal, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Dublin. Rooney said that they prefer to have it in Mexico where they have a large number of fans. Mexico is also a neutral ground for both teams. 

READ: Alejandro Villanueva’s Jersey Is Top Seller After He Was Only Steelers Player To Stand During National Anthem