A deputy learned about her daughter’s murder while in session at the Mexican Parliament on Thursday, 8 November (The Telegraph).
MP Carmen Medel’s 22-year-old daughter Valeria, a medical student, was shot nine times while working out at a gym in Ciudad Mendoza, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, presumably by a lone gunman. Another woman was also killed in the incident.
MP Medel was inconsolable after receiving a phone call with the news while other deputies in the Chamber attempted to comfort her (BBC video).
The Budget session in Mexico’s lower Congressional chamber was adjourned soon after MP Medel began crying out, “Not my daughter! Not my daughter! Valeria! Valeria!”
Her natural reaction has gone viral and placed a spotlight on Mexico’s murder spiral, by which 21,283 people have been killed only in 2018.
The governor of Veracruz, Miguel Ángel Yunes, said in a press conference that the ‘lone gunman’ — only named by local authorities as El Richy — was identified on Friday, 9 November at 5:22 pm after ‘an anonymous lead’ described the vehicle with which the assassin escaped the scene.
The police intelligence concluded that Valeria was killed by El Richy after taking her for another woman — presumably a gang member’s girlfriend, with links to organized crime but unidentified ‘to preserve the secrecy of investigations’ — who works out at the same gym.
According to Yunes, El Richy was found dead in a van by the police in the evening of Friday, 9 November. The governor did not give further explanations but praised “the celerity of police investigations and the quick response of the State”.
Pablo Gómez, a Morena party deputy said “we are all subject to this crisis of violence and all of us, together as a legislature, must respond. We must bring peace to Mexico, and eradicate violence and violent crime.”
After some days of media truce over the controversial construction of Mexico City’s new airport, the arrival of the migrant caravan or president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s imminent inauguration, violence broke out again as the biggest issue for Mexicans.
The new government has not yet made public its plans to fight crime but is expected to by mid-week.