Thursday, July 19, 2012

TV reporter, not "Zeta killers," behind prominent Cancún businessman's murder

Ex-girlfriend lured victim to bedroom so killers could enter the house

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Cancún, Quintana Roo --
The body of Raúl Enrique de Jesús Encalada Burgos, 52, originally of Mérida, was discovered by his housekeeper when she arrived for work on the morning of May 21. He was bound hand and food and his head had been tightly wrapped in industrial tape. Police say Burgos died from asphyxia. A narcomensaje, or executioner's warning, was left at the scene, purportedly signed by the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). That group is commonly known as Los Matazetas, or the Zeta killers. Mexican authorities say it's a drug cartel and execution gang currently working in Quintana Roo to exterminate its chief rivals, Los Zetas, who control narcotics, extortion and other criminal activity in much of Q.R. (use the search engine for previous stories).

The execution scared a lot of local businessmen, because of ever increasing drug cartel violence in Quintana Roo. But the evidence at the scene and the facts and circumstances of the brutal crime didn't add up, and investigators were suspicious. Cancún business leader with Mérida ties executed at home - but by Los Matazetas?

Cancún police yesterday arrested four persons, including Burgos' girlfriend, her brother and two other men. The three males are former police officers, according to Mexico City's El Universal. Karina Ruiz González, 25, a social affairs reporter who hosted a cable TV show, was quietly dating Burgos, whom family members said was separated from his wife. She had also dabbled in Q.R. politics as a candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). Manuel López Obrador probably won't be accepting her calls anymore.

The motive was money. Burgos had just sold a business, and the deal was about to close with a large cash payment (still very common in Mexico). Ruiz González told the men when the pesos would be on the premises, and they went to Burgos' home that same evening and murdered him.

Authorities didn't say whether Ruiz González was present during the vicious crime, but in the end she followed the money, not the romance.

July 20 - Late yesterday Mexico City's El Universal, a prestigious newspaper not given to reporting the sordid nitty-gritty of ordinary criminal cases, added some spicy details.

According to the paper, shortly before the murder Burgos had told Ruiz González that he was terminating their relationship and was moving back to Mérida. In addition to robbing him, she wanted to recover photos and videos of the two during sexual encounters and in other "compromising" situations.

On the evening of May 18 Ruiz González and her brother showed up at Burgos' home. He admitted them without the slightest suspicion of their plans. The two lovers ascended to an upstairs bedroom while her brother remained below, taking advantage of their absence to admit the other conspirators to the house. When the couple came down a short time later, the men attacked and killed Burgos.

Prosecutors said that the next day Ruiz González want on a clothes and shoes shopping spree, spending about 15,000 pesos ($1,200 USD). She used Burgos' credit cards for the purchases, and also withdrew cash from his bank account at ATMs. The robbery itself netted 60,000 pesos ($4,600 USD), which the four divided the same day. They also helped themselves to a computer, cell phone, digital camera, electronics equipment and credit cards they found in Burgos' home.

July 27 - Finding sufficient evidence, a judge ordered all of the suspects to stand trial for robbery and homicide.

Other stories
July 30 - Gruesome details of Burgos' murder by two others who claim to have firsthand information (although they deny participating).
July 27 - Detienen a ex candidata por secuestro y homicidio.
July 24 - Karina Ruiz González refused to answer questions in court yesterday, saying that she has been physically abused by police since her arrest, and was threatened with rape if she didn't confess. A local paper describes her performance as a "reality show."
July 23 - Authorities are searching for two other suspects allegedly involved in the conspiracy, who are believed to have fled to other states in the country.
July 21 - All the defendants remain in custody. The three males have admitted their participation in the robbery and murder, but Ruiz González has denied involvement. The men told police they left a note "signed" by Los Matazetas to mislead investigators. News sources report that although Ruiz González is facing up to 50 years in prison, she was more concerned about how she looked when she was brought before the press for the customary "perp walk," asking for a little makeup and time to "freshen up."
July 20 - PRD today sought to distance itself from Karina Ruiz González. A party official denied that she was a registered member. He confirmed that González had expressed interest in running as a senatorial candidate, but the party's central committee did not approve her application.

Colleagues of Burgos were shocked that one of Cancún's most respected businessmen was cruelly murdered in his home. The question was, Los Matazetas, or an insider?

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