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Case against suspect in 2001 cotton field case proceeds
Diana Washington Valdez wrote a feature story about Los Tigres in today's Tiempo Magazine of the El Paso Times at www.elpasotimes.com/tiempo/ci_8130977 (in Spanish http://www.elpasotimes.com/spanish/ci_8141867 )
A new scapegoat?
Suspect in 2001 femicide faces sentencing
By Kelly McKenzie
JUAREZ, MEXICO -- Edgar Alvarez Cruz could be sentenced next week for his alleged role in the 2001 death of Mayra Reyes Solis, authorities said.
He is one of three suspects in the murders of eight women whose bodies were found in November 2001 in a parcel across from the Association of Maquiladoras (AMAC). He denied the allegations against him, which are based on statements of a mentally unstable man, Francisco Granados De la Paz.
Granados was in U.S. custody for another matter when he told U.S. authorities that he, Alvarez and a third man, Alejandro Delgado Valles, had killed several women in Juarez over the years.
U.S. Ambasssador to Mexico Tony Garza rushed to issue a statement to the press that a significant breakthrough had been reached in the string of femicides.
Mexican authorities, already under pressure to deliver results, took Garza's gesture as a green light to proceed against the three men.
Alvarez is charged with the death of only one of the eight victims, Reyes Solis, whose body has not been positively identified.
In 2001, during the administration of state Attorney General Jesus "Chito" Solis, the Mexican authorities charged two bus drivers with the eight murders. They denied the allegations. One of them died in prison, and a judge set free the second bus driver due to lack of evidence.
Previously, the Mexican authorities also misidentified several of the eight bodies from the 2001 cotton field case, but that didn't stop them from moving forward on another another shaky case to appease the clamor from human rights groups, families of victims and others.
The current Chihuahua state Attorney General is Patricia Gonzalez.
Criminologist Oscar Maynez said he fears the three latest suspects represent another set of scapegoats, while the real killers continue to go free.
[Kelly McKenzie is a correspondent on exclusive loan to this blog.]
See also a review of the Jennifer Lopez movie, "Bordertown," by Felipa Solis in the El Paso Times at http://elpasotimes.typepad.com/flicks/2008/01/bordertown.html The movie on DVD was released this week.
For more on the topic read The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women; the Spanish version is Cosecha de Mujeres: Safari en el desierto Mexicano. Both versions are available at Barnes and Noble stores in El Paso and Las Cruces and online.
Diana Washington Valdez will be the featured guest of the El Paso Women's Bar Association Feb. 7 in El Paso, Texas.
Coming soon to a venue near you: "The Border Echoes" documentary by Lorena Mendez-Quiroga (http://www.borderechoes.com/)
Order the book(s) from any of the following: