Authorities Accused Of Covering Up A Murder With Fake Autopsy

Femicide Murder

Mexican authorities have been accused of deliberately botching an autopsy to cover up the murder of a young woman in Mexico City.

In the death of Ariadna López, 27, all the issues that have enraged women in Mexico have surfaced: officials blaming the victim, poor police investigation, and misconduct that has led to a growing number of unsolved murders of women.

Although she refused to describe their relationship, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum claimed that Morelos state’s prosecutor had ties to the woman’s alleged killer.

After the body of the woman was found in Morelos last week, officials there first investigated the case.

As a result of her intoxication, López choked on her own vomit, state prosecutor Uriel Carmona said on Sunday, but Mexico City officials said they had evidence she was killed there.

In a statement, Carmona was quoted as saying that the accusations were “categorically false,” and that they “lack any basis.”

In a statement released later Monday, the Morelos state anti-corruption office announced that it has opened an investigation into “possible crimes” and “alleged acts of corruption committed by Morelos state prosecutors’ office.”

Mexico City prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said Sunday that a new autopsy found “several blow injuries” on Lopez’s body and listed the cause of death as “multiple traumas.”

Located in Morelos state, where Cuernavaca is a frequent weekend getaway for Mexico City residents, Lopez was found dead on a roadside last week. Mexico City authorities reported that she disappeared after visiting the suspect’s apartment and a restaurant with his girlfriend.

As Sheinbaum revealed on Monday, the inert body of a woman was seen over the shoulder of the suspect as he walked through a basement garage in the apartment building.

Apparently a friend of the victim, the suspect turned himself in to prosecutors in Monterrey on Monday, saying he was innocent. In Mexico City, another woman, described as the suspect’s girlfriend, was arrested.

Her body wasn’t discovered until days later by cyclists on a path that leads from Mexico City to Morelos. Police incompetence was suspected from the start. López disappeared from a trendy central Mexico City neighborhood on Oct. 30.

It was only after the cyclists posted photos of the victim’s tattoos online, in an attempte that her relatives were able to identify her body.

To demand justice in López’s case, dozens of women and their supporters marched in downtown Mexico City on Monday.

“They treat us like garbage, and that’s sad,” said Omar Rodriguez Daz, the victim’s brother. “We feel enraged, powerless, and above all, mad.”

“Our goal is justice and we want Uriel Carmona to pay for his words. He mocked Mexico and all women,” Rodriguez Díaz said.

Sheinbaum is considered one of the leading candidates to replace Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2024. Monday’s dispute sets up a confrontation with Morelos state’s governor, who is an ally of López Obrador but not a member.

Women are also being killed in Mexico City. Lidia Gabriela, a young woman, jumped from a taxi and died on a street Wednesday. Witnesses said Gabriela thought the driver would kidnap her and so jumped from the car.

A particularly bad stretch of killings of women has also been reported in Morelos state.

There were five women found dead in the Morelos city of Cuautla on Friday. The bodies were found at two different locations in the city, which residents of Mexico City often use as a weekend getaway.

A prosecutor in Morelos state said the killings appeared to have been carried out by a drug gang. She said the bodies were found near a hand-lettered sign that drug gangs often use.

Mexican officials report 695 women were killed between January and September, compared with 978 throughout 2021.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.