2014年11月8日 星期六

Mexican gang members admit killing students, burning bodies and throwing remains in river

Mexican gang members admit killing students, burning bodies and throwing remains in river

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 November, 2014, 9:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 November, 2014, 9:35am

Confessions by suspected gang members indicate that 43 Mexican students missing for six weeks were killed, burned beyond recognition and tossed in a river in a case that outraged the nation, authorities said on Friday.

Facing angry protests in the biggest crisis of his administration, President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to hunt down all those responsible for the "horrible crime."

Authorities have been searching for the aspiring teachers since gang-linked police attacked their buses in the southern city of Iguala on September 26, allegedly under orders of the mayor and his wife in a night of terror that left six people dead.

"To the parents of the missing young men and society as a whole, I assure you that we won't stop until justice is served," Pena Nieto said.

If the testimonies are proven true, it would be one of the worst massacres in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam warned that it would be difficult to identify the charred remains and that authorities will continue to consider the students as missing until DNA tests confirm the identities.

He added, however, that there was "a lot of evidence ... that could indicate it was them."

Three Guerreros Unidos gang members confessed to killing the students, all men, after police handed them over between Iguala and the neighbouring town of Cocula, Murillo Karam said, showing videos of the taped confessions.

Iguala's ousted mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda were detained in Mexico City district on Tuesday after more than a month on the run. Photo: AP

The bodies were set on fire down a hill from a Cocula garbage dump with petrol, tyres, firewood and plastic, in an inferno that lasted 14 hours, he said.

"The fire lasted from midnight to 2pm the next day. The criminals could not handle the bodies until 5pm due to the heat," he said.

The suspects then crushed the remains, stuffed them in bags and threw some in a river.

Murillo Karam showed videos of investigators combing through small pieces of charcoal-like remains that were found in black plastic bags. Some remains were found near the landfill.

The gang members were not sure how many students they received but one of them said there were more than 40.

Murillo Karam delivered the news to the relatives of the missing in an airport hangar in Chilpancingo, capital of the violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero.

But the parents, who distrust the government, said they would not accept that their children are dead until they get a final ruling from independent Argentinian forensic experts who are taking part in the investigation.

"As long as there is no proof, our sons are alive," Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the families, said at a news conference from the missing young men's teacher-training college near Chilpancingo.

Last month, two hitmen had already confessed to killing 17 of the students and dumping them in a mass grave near Iguala. But authorities said tests showed none of the 28 bodies found in the pit belonged to the students.

Murillo Karam said experts from an Austrian university would help identify the charred remains.

Authorities have now detained 74 people, including several Guerreros Unidos members, 36 Iguala and Cocula police officers and Iguala's ousted mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda.

The mayoral couple were detained in a gritty Mexico City district on Tuesday after more than a month on the run.

Students take part in a protest in support of the 43 missing students outside the Mexican Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Reuters

Authorities say Abarca ordered the officers to confront the students over fears they would derail a speech by his wife, who headed the local child protection agency.

The missing young men said they went to Iguala to raise funds, though they hijacked four buses to move around, a common practice among students from the radical teachers college.

The crisis forced Pena Nieto to shorten a major upcoming trip to China and Australia by four days, which will now run from Sunday to next Saturday.

Human Rights Watch dubbed the mass disappearance "one of the gravest cases recorded in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America."

Fed up with years of relentless violence, tens of thousands of Mexicans held a new protest over the Iguala case on Wednesday.

2014年11月2日 星期日

British banker held over double murder in Wan Chai flat

SUN Nov 2, 2014
Updated: 5:30am

British banker held over double murder in Wan Chai flat
Bodies of two young women, believed to be sex workers, found in Briton's upscale Wan Chai apartment – and they may have died days apart

Police forensic officers search the 29-year-old man's flat at J Residence in Johnston Road, Wan Chai. Photo: Jonathan Wong
A British banker was being questioned by murder squad detectives last night after the naked bodies of two young women were discovered in his 31st-floor Wan Chai apartment.

The 29-year-old - who works for a top-tier global bank - was arrested early yesterday after he called police. Officers arrived at his Johnston Road flat to discover the body of one young woman in the living room. Her throat had been slashed. Hours later the body of the second woman was found stuffed in a suitcase on the apartment's balcony.

It is believed that the women were sex workers of Southeast Asian or Asian ethnicity and that they may have been killed days apart.

A police source said the flat at J Residence, a high-end block at 60 Johnston Road favoured by junior expatriate bankers, was "covered in blood''.

Exterior view of the J Residence Building in Wan Chai. Photo: Jonathan Wong

The first victim, aged between 25 and 30, was found naked in the living room with knife wounds to her neck and buttocks. "Two cut wounds were found in her neck and her throat was slashed," the source said.

CCTV footage showed the woman and the suspect, who has not been charged, had returned to the flat at around midnight.

About eight hours after the first body was found, the naked corpse of the second woman, thought to be Indonesian and aged 25, was discovered wrapped in a carpet inside a black suitcase on the flat's balcony. "She was nearly decapitated and her hands and legs were bound with ropes," the source said. Her passport was found at the scene.

Police investigate the murder scene. Photo: Jonathan Wong

An initial investigation found that the body in the suitcase had been there for three to four days and had started to decompose.

"We believe the woman had been dead for quite some time," said Wan Siu-hung, Wan Chai assistant district commander for crime.

He said the time gap between the discovery of the bodies was because police had to follow strict procedures to collect the evidence in the living room before searching the balcony.

A small quantity of cocaine was found in the living room. "We are investigating whether [the suspect] was under the influence of illegal drugs at the time of the incident," the source said.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London said: "We can confirm that a British national has been arrested in Hong Kong. We are in touch with the local police and stand ready to provide consular assistance."

Security was tight at the 40-storey block last night. One person who has lived at J Residence for about a year said he had noticed an odd smell recently. "There was a stink in the building like a dead animal," he said. "It was a shock because you would never expect something like this to happen in Hong Kong."

He said the building's occupants were mainly expatriates.

The murders are the latest in a series of shocking crimes the city has seen in recent months.

A police source said the scene of the murder in Wan Chai was among the grisliest seen since the so-called "milkshake murder" in 2003, when a high-flying American banker's wife served him a strawberry milkshake full of sedatives before bludgeoning him to death.