Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Beat: 14 yesterday, two burned bodies

The first victim on a homicidal Monday in Juarez was Óscar Ulises Miranda Hernández, 31, a member of a state crime scene unit. He was killed by gunmen at about 7 a.m. as he was taking off the "club" from the steering wheel of his state-owned pickup, preparing to leave his home at the intersection of Montes Urales y Sierra de Samalayuca in Col. La Cuesta. His parents arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and found his body still in the cabin. His father lowered him to the ground, ascertained that he was dead, folded his son's arms, shut his eyelids, and offered him a farewell blessing. (see picture) Kneeling beside his son, the father held him in his arms for a long moment while his wife stood by. Thirty seven spent cartridges, 7.62 x 39 y 9 milímetros, were found nearby. He was the 112th law enforcement agent to die violently this year, and the 16th state police agent to be killed. According to a story in Norte Digital (click here) Mr. Miranda was one of the very few crime scene operators who did not use a face mask while working at crime scenes.

Later in the morning the body of a man scorched by fire was discovered in Col. Granjas de Chapultepec. It is not known whether he was burned alive, as has happened in several other cases in recent months.

At 5:30 p.m. a man was killed outside a sea food restaurant, Los Bichis. He was shot inside a white Nissan Sentra in the parking lot of the restaurant on Ave. de la Raza, a major thoroughfare. Having failed to kill the man, the gunmen returned a few minutes later and finished him off. Passengers in a blue Jeep with New Mexico plates observed the incident, panicked, and were treated later by the Red Cross. Blood stains could be seen on their clothing, suggesting they might have been quite close to the shooting when it happened.

He was waiting for his own death: At about 9:30 p.m. (according to a story in El Mexicano) Ricardo Ribota, 37, was killed inside a residence in Col. Km. 5. His parents asserted that he had expected his own execution, being a member of a gang. Family members told police Ricardo had sent his wife and two children to buy a pizza, and just as they were returning they saw several armed men going into the house, where they shot and killed him in the kitchen. At least seven gunshots were heard.

At about 9 p.m. a man was splashed with gasoline and a match was lit, in Col. Mexico 68. It is believed neighbors tried to put the flames out, but only his tied feet and hands were left un-scorched. It only took a galon of gasoline to kill him, apparently, since a one-gallon tank for gasoline was found at his feet. A note was left nearby saying, "they killed me for being a thief, and others will follow."

From stories in Diario

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