On October 8, the Chihuahua government announced that it had captured the assassin of Marisela, who confessed to authorities. José Enrique Jiménez, ("El Wicked") told the press that he shot Escobedo on orders from the Zetas. He said Sergio Barraza, who murdered Rubí, was a member of the Zetas and Escobedo's very public mission to bring him to justice upset the nation's most ruthless organized crime group.
But human rights organizations have their doubts regarding the resolution of the crime. Luz Esthela Castro, Escobedo's attorney noted in Reforma (Oct. 9, 2012) that the government already "solved" the case, announcing in December 2011 it stated that investigations had established the guilt of Hector Flores, a decesased crime figure. But videos of the crime show only one shooter.
Castro also noted that the latest alleged assassin used unusual legal terms in his confession, implying he had been coached. The governor of Chihuahua, Cesar Duarte, reacted angrily to the doubts raised by human rights organizations.
"Whoever doubts, is simply adding elements to try to make sure that things are not resolved," he told Reforma.
The murders of Marisela Escobedo and her daughter Rubí are on a short list of crimes against women presented to the Federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) by an international delegation of women human rights defenders and journalists led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams. These crimes were identified as priorities for the gravity of the crimes and as a signal that the Mexican government was serious about investigating and prosecuting crimes of violence against women.
Everyone wants to see this brutal assassin behind bars--that's why as the Mexico host committee and the delegation we included the case on the list of priorities. But there has been a recent spate of captures and cases being closed in the final days of the Calderón government that are surrounded
For more information on Marisela Escobedo's case and the demand to the PGR, see the report from the delegation organized by Just Associates and the Nobel Women's Initiative that I had the privilege of being part of here.
After talking with colleagues in JASS and others about the recent developments in this important case, the concern is, first, that we could be seeing another case of scapegoats presented to deflect public pressure and criticism.
Second, if this is the assassin, the problem remains that the men who hired him and Sergio Barraza who killed Rubí are still at large. The justice system that repeatedly failed to prosecute and then imprison the guilty is still deeply flawed. And the public safety system that stood by as a woman human rights defender was shot practically on the steps of the state building still cannot guarantee women's safety.