By Jason McGahan / The Daily Beast
La Narvarte, a leafy neighborhood in Mexico City’s fashionable south end, is an unlikely place for a multiple homicide. And so, late Friday night, a neighbor out for a walk who saw the police cordon on the corner of Luz Saviñón and Zempoala assumed the blockage was for a film crew shooting a Mexican telenovela.
The police presence was concentrated in front of the tall yellow apartment building at No. 1909 Luz Saviñón. Crime-scene inspectors scoured the fourth-floor apartment whose balcony, dense with potted flowers, overlooks the street.
Three females who lived in apartment No. 401, a male visitor, and a female domestic employee had been bound, beaten, and each shot once in the head with a coup de grâce. A fourth roommate, a 24 year-old female named Esbeidy, whose last name the police are withholding, was the first to find the bodies.
The male visitor to the apartment was identified as Rubén Espinosa Becerril, 31, a news photographer for the national magazine Proceso.
Espinosa, as many in the Mexico City press corps knew, had fled the eastern state of Veracruz eight weeks prior. He had been living in self-imposed exile in the capital, after having received death threats that he said came from the state government in Veracruz.
Initially, Espinosa’s higher profile dwarfed the news coverage of the four female victims, whose identities the prosecutor withheld, citing a federal protocol for femicides—or murders targeting women. Gradually, however, the names of the women began circulating on social media.