Two unidentified gunmen executed Mario Escobedo Salazar and his son Edgar Escobedo Anaya, also a lawyer, in their Juarez office on Tuesday, January 6.
The double homicide comes nearly seven years after Chihuahua State Judicial Police killed Escobedo Salazar’s other son, Mario Escobedo Anaya, during a chase. The police originally stated that Mario Escobedo Anaya died when his vehicle crashed during the chase. It was later revealed that he died of a gunshot wound to the head fired by state police.
Prior to Mario Escobedo Anaya’s 2002 execution, he, his father, and a third lawyer, the late Sergio Dante Almaraz Mora, represented the two Juarez public transportation bus drivers accused of murdering eight women whose bodies were found dumped in an area of Juarez known as”the Cotton Field.”Escobedo Salazar’s recent execution means that the entire defense team is now dead; all were executed. One of the bus drivers also died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody. …
… Another Defense Lawyer Executed
In December 2005, Dante Almaraz wrote a letter to the editor of El Norte, accusing former Chihuahua governor Patricio Martinez’s appointments to the state attorney general’s office of trying to destroy his professional reputation, and, more alarmingly, of forming groups “so scary that they even assassinate their own commanders.” Almaraz told El Norte and other local media that he had received threats due to his defense of the two bus drivers.
The threats against Almaraz where so severe and credible that in 2003 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommended that the local government provide him with protection and guards. The government provided the recommended protection, but did not find it necessary to assign bodyguards to Almaraz permanently.
Even though Almaraz’s surviving client was exonerated in July 2005, the lawyer refused to allow the injustice to go quietly into the dark. In October 2005, Almaraz appeared in a French documentary about the Juarez femicides, where he stated: “I am convinced that these young ladies were murdered by people involved in drug trafficking, with connections to the mafias, but tolerated by the state government. I place the terrible responsibility on the shoulders of the President of the Republic [at that time Vicente Fox] and the ex-governor [of Chihuahua] Patricio Martinez. They know perfectly well who the people are who committed the murders.”
On January 25, 2006, multiple unidentified armed gunmen executed Almaraz while he waited in his truck at a traffic light in downtown Juarez.
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