30 October 2012

Víctor Manuel Oropeza


Date of murder: July 3, 1991 Where and how murdered: Oropeza was stabbed in his office at about 7:30 p.m. during a normal day of medical practice in Ciudad Juárez. Two of four men in the waiting room went into his examining room. During a scuffle, in which Oropeza struggled desperately. According to the forensic report, he was stabbed 14 times. Eyewitnesses said they saw four persons walk calmly out of the building afterward. Oropeza’s body was found at mid-night by his wife and a son. Possible motives: Strong criticism and denunciations Oropeza made in his "My Way" column, in which he most recently referred to a " close relationship" between the police and drug traffickers. Repeatedly he named police officers he said were guilty of abuses and human rights violations. Suspects: Two suspects were held but freed in February 1992 immediately after the National Human Rights Commission issued a statement claiming that they had confessed to the crime under duress. So far, no one has been charged in the murder. Violent consequences: Anonymous threats were made to the father of Oropeza’s widow, warning him to have his daughter stop pressing for a full investigation. Irregularities in the legal proceedings: The police officers conducting the initial investigation were linked by Oropeza in his column to drug traffickers. There are strong indications that the authorities ignored evidence, destroyed clues, fabricated information and had innocent people arrested. The commission declared that confessions of those arrested were obtained by torture and coercion.


Place of birth: Ciudad de Puebla de Los Angeles, Puebla, México Age at time of death: 60 Marital status: Widower of Luz María Gutierrez; remarried to Patricia Martínez Téllez Children: (names and ages at time of father’s death) Victor Manuel, 30, and Alejandro, 26 (both from the first marriage) Education: Physician and surgeon, graduated from National Polytechnic Institute, México City. Profession / occupation: Homeopathic doctor. Journalist and columnist of the Diario de Juárez. Journalism background: Contributor to national political magazine Siempre and the daily Diario de Chihuahua. Beginning in 1982, his articles were published in El Universal of Ciudad Juárez. In 1984, he began publishing his widely read column, "A mi manera" (My Way) in the Diario de Juárez, Ciudad Juárez, continuing to do so until his death. Years as a journalist: 28 Awards and distinctions: Posthumous plaque placed in 1994 at the monument to freedom of expression by the Association of Journalists of Ciudad Juárez. Civic activities: Founding president of the National Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association in Ciudad Juárez and founder of the Rio Bravo Ecology Association. Participated in the foundation of the Mexican Workers Party and was a follower of the National Action Party. Hobbies: Skiing and swimming. An avid reader.