Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chapala records 4th murder of foreign resident in 2014

Once again robbery is the motive, with a U.S. national the victim

*Updated June 2 - Chapala in "critical condition," advocacy group claims*
Chapala, Jalisco -
A 90 year old American resident of the Lake Chapala region has died after being severely beaten during an April 22 robbery at his home.

Raymond Margolis Levi succumbed to his injures at an area hospital Friday. Media sources reported that he lived two blocks from Chapala's city hall.

Chapala is 45 minutes southeast of the Guadalajara metro. It has long been home to thousands of Canadian and American expatriates and snow birds. Four of them have been homicide victims since February, an unprecedented record.

Unidentified subjects invaded Levi's residence two weeks ago, attacking him and his wife. She gave the following account:

At about 6:00 p.m. two men knocked on the couple's front door. When they opened it the men forced their way in, repeatedly striking the couple and knocking both unconscious. Levi's wife recovered her senses minutes later, to find her husband gravely injured and the home ransacked. She summoned help from neighbors, who called emergency services.

On Feb. 9 two Canadians were killed in their rented Ajijic residence, when they confronted midnight burglars who decided to break into the home after they noticed a big screen television being delivered days before. Edward Kular, 84, of Scarborough, and Nina Discombe, 72, of Ottawa were bludgeoned and stabbed to death. One of their assailants was captured within 48 hours, and is facing murder and robbery charges.

Later in the month U.S. national John Paul Abeel, 63, was killed in Jocotopec, on the far western shore of Lake Chapala. Abeel's left arm was nearly severed during a savage attack by one or more men. The motive for the assault was an unpaid debt according to the Jalisco state prosecutor, but the facts and circumstances of the unusual case remain unclear.

The events surrounding Raymond Levi's homicide resemble those which took the life of an American resident of Puerto Vallarta last August. U.S. national John Dickmeyer, a California native with real estate holdings in Vallarta, and his housekeeper were viciously attacked after admitting two Mexican men who ostensibly were interested in renting an apartment Dickmeyer had listed. The motive in that case, which remains unsolved, also was robbery. "No clues" a common response with Vallarta P.D.

May 16 - Two area men have been arrested and charged with Margolis' murder by the Jalisco state prosecutor, who says they have fully confessed. The suspects, 26 and 21, admitted they forced their way into Margolis' home because "he kept a lot of money in the house." It is unclear what if any prior relationship they may have had with the victim.

June 2 - A Lake Chapala advocacy group, Proentorno A.C., contends that the community is in "grave condition." Proentorno president Francisco Cuevas Corona told a press conference today that tourist arrivals are off 30-40% this year, that restaurants and lodge owners have seen sales drop by 20-40% and that local real estate values have fallen by as much as 50%. Cuevas did not opine as to whether security issues are responsible.

Lake Chapala violence again foreigners in 2014:
Feb. 10 - Canadian couple murdered at their Lake Chapala home
Feb. 11 - Justice, Jalisco style
Feb. 12 - Canadian press reports arrest in Ajijic murder case
Feb. 20 - U.S. national found murdered in Jocotepec, Jalisco

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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