Behind the massacre against four people, including three indigenous women, which occurred on the night of December 28 in the municipality of Astacinga, there is a history of machismo, sexual violence, and impunity that began seven years ago. Today the violence continues.
Seven years ago, the Montalvo Salas family, natives of the town of Huapango, received terrible news: the girl in the eyes of the patriarch of the house, just 15 years old, was raped by a 35-year-old cousin of his wife. The perpetrator also introduced the minor as his “girlfriend” in town.
The girl’s father was in the United States when there was talk of the affront in his town. The man worked to give his family better opportunities. The Astacinga area is one of the poorest in the state. The National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development policy estimates that 90% of the population lives in poverty.
The family of the girl who was the target of ridicule was supported by a mayor of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who led them to file a complaint against the sexual offender. Soon after, the man was arrested but was released due to the incompetence of the State Attorney General’s Office, which failed to put together a good case before the judge.
According to the Veracruz authorities themselves, it is one of the Mexican states with the most impunity prevailing in the country; the State Anticorruption System estimates that 75% of crimes that occur are not resolved. Non-governmental organizations estimate that the figure is much higher.
The girl’s rapist was released and fled to the United States. Since then he has lived in hiding.
The victim’s father followed the events closely and when he encountered the impunity of the Veracruz government and the incompetence of the Prosecutor’s Office, he swore to take revenge, and for long seven years, he fed his heart with hatred.
When December 2020 arrived, the young woman’s father returned to his village. His return was widely commented on. As in the classic Colombian novel by Gabriel García Marquez, it was a death foretold.
However, in the small town no one imagined that revenge would reach such dimensions.
Around seven o’clock at night, on December 28, with a temperature of around 7 degrees, the children of Guadalupe Tecpile gathered around the stove to shake off the cold and enjoy dinner before going to sleep.
Days before they learned that the father of the raped girl announced that he would go to visit them for revenge, it is unknown if they gave any kind of notice to the authorities or if they simply ignored him.
The barrage of gunshots tore the silence of that frozen night in the high mountains of Veracruz. The attack was complete. The four members of the family, among them Guadalupe, 70; Gloria, 40; a 12-year-old girl, and Florencio, 38, all died after the attack that occurred in the small house. The Ministerial Police initiated the investigations and the bodies were transferred to the Forensic Medical Service (Semefo).
According to the investigations, three armed men arrived at the place, started an argument, and then shot the occupants. Some of the victims had a shot on the skull.
What most impacted the town of Huapango, a town where 100% of the population is indigenous, was the murder of the 12-year-old student. The locals remember her as a good girl.
A witness reported that on the night of the tragedy, she went to Guadalupe Tecpile’s house, after the shots were fired, and saw the attackers’ car. As she approached, she heard the murderer’s voice; he was the father of the girl who was outraged seven years earlier.
The young woman’s father is now wanted by the Veracruz authorities.
On the night of the murder, police took so long to reach the crime scene, that the killers had all the time in the world to flee the site.
Statistics from the federal government indicate that the area where the massacre took place, located about 90 minutes from Orizaba, is a peaceful municipality, where the numbers of kidnappings, extortions, and robberies are far below other cities in the state.
In a message sent to the people of Veracruz, the prosecutor Verónica Hernández Giadans said that they already had information on those responsible, “they are fully identified,” and added that “the most solid line of the investigation point to a family revenge.”
So far, let it be remembered, in the history of violence in Veracruz there is no news or antecedent of any revenge this brutal for a rape not attended to by the authorities, which at that time were led by Javier Duarte de Ochoa and the prosecutor General, Luis Ángel Bravo Contreras, both characters are now in jail for their actions as public servants.