Two judges suspended for freeing man suspected of killing ex-wife
Mexico suspended two judges Friday after a man they freed — a former chief executive of Amazon’s Mexican unit accused of attacking his wife with a baseball bat — emerged as the chief suspect in her subsequent murder.
Outrage has erupted in Mexico over the killing of Abril Perez, who was shot dead by two gunmen Monday in Mexico City, the same day activists took to the streets of the capital for a massive protest over rampant violence against women.
Perez was walking down a busy avenue with her two children when the gunmen drove up on a motorcycle and killed her in broad daylight.
According to her family, her estranged husband, the former head of Amazon Mexico, is suspected of hiring hitmen to carry out the killing.
The authorities have not named him, in accord with Mexican law.
The man had been jailed pending trial after Perez accused him in January of hitting her in the head with a baseball bat as she slept.
She said she managed to escape when one of her children came in the room.
The authorities labeled the case attempted femicide, under which suspects are not eligible for bail.
But the two suspended judges then downgraded the charges to assault and domestic violence, clearing the way for his release on November 8 pending trial.
“The Mexico City court authority joins in the widespread outrage over this case and reiterates its committment to act against gender inequality and all violence against women,” the capital’s judicial oversight body said in a statement announcing the judges’ suspension.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also condemned the crime.
“It is deplorable and reprehensible that these things happen — even more so after the judiciary intervenes,” he said at his daily news conference.
“The victim did not receive protection. On the contrary, her attacker was set free.”
He said the chief justice of the Supreme Court would personally review the case.
Mexico has the most femicides of any country in Latin America, according to Amnesty International.
Nearly 10 women per day are murdered in Mexico, according to the United Nations.
The spiral of gender violence has triggered mounting protests, including Monday’s, when thousands of women took to the streets for a march that ended in clashes with riot police.
The movement has been dubbed the “Glitter Revolution,” after protesters doused the Mexico City security minister in pink glitter at one demonstration.