By Mark O’Brien
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Activists and politicians questioned the probe of a local politician’s assassination this week, calling the lead investigator too biased to do the job.
Members of the Citizen Movement for Water and politicians in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) cast doubt on the ability of the top prosecutor in the northern border state of Sonora to be objective.
The prosecutor, Carlos Navarro Sugich, has blamed the killing of Eduardo Castro Luque, a state legislator-elect, entirely on Luque’s designated substitute.
“We don’t trust the investigation is taking in consideration all different motives,” said Alberto Vizcarra, a spokesperson for the water group, which has asked federal prosecutors to take over the case.
The group’s members called Luque a strong opponent of a controversial water project that would move billions of gallons of water from the farming city of Ciudad Obregon to the state capital of Hermosillo. The aqueduct was a focus during Luque’s campaign, and he criticized the state governor for violating judicial orders in building the project.
“You should never rule out motives, especially in the case of a politician,” Vizcarra said.
Luque was shot six times by outside his home by a motorcyclist on Sept. 14, two days before he was expected to take office. He was a PRI member, the same party of President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office in December.
On Monday, state prosecutors announced the killing was staged by Manual Fernandez Felix, who ran with Luque as the person who would fill the legislative seat if Luque could not fulfill his duties. They said Felix wanted to take over the seat. Police had questioned Felix but released him, and he is now considered a fugitive.
But PRI members argued the alleged motive does not make sense. Local PRI Chairman Adrian Manjarrez said Felix had to be persuaded to replace Luque.
“When this all happened, his parents told us they didn’t want him to take office because they were scared something would happen to him, too,” Manjarrez said.
Luque’s death marked the second killing of a PRI legislator in as many weeks. On Sept. 16, Jaime Serrano Cedillo died from stab wounds that prosecutors said were inflicted by his wife.
Cedillo represented the Mexico City suburb of Nezahualcoytl. His killing prompted the Mexican government to send more than 1,000 soldiers and police into Nezahualcoytl for the first time as part of an effort to combat a rise in drug violence.
For further information, please see:
Hispanically Speaking News — Mexican Politician Killed by Fellow PRI Member — 25 September 2012
The Washington Post — Water-rights Activists Question Prosecutor Theory on Slaying of Mexican State Legislator-Elect — 25 September 2012
The Huffington Post — Mexican Legislator Killed by Political Rival — 24 September 2012
Hispanically Speaking News — Mexican PRI Lawmaker Stabbed to Death by Wife — 22 September 2012
Reuters — Mexico Deploys Troops to Outskirts of Mexico City — 20 September 2012