Feds silent on killing of Heidi Mariana in Nuevo Laredo

5 septiembre, 2022

The murder of Heidi Mariana, the four year old who was killed in the border city of Nuevo Laredo last week, remains unsolved. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised that he would provide information as to whether soldiers are responsible for the killing, as the victim’s family alleges.

Text by Elefante Blanco, originally published September 5, 2022.

Photos by Luis Valtierra.

During his morning press conference on Monday, September 5th, President López Obrador partially responded to a question regarding the investigation into the case of Heidi Mariana.

It’s still being defined, but the Secretary of Defense himself already gave the orders to investigate immediately, because there is no cover-up, and these cases can occur, but were this the case, it would be an unfortunate exception to the rule.

Of course, this is an unfortunate situation, a painful one for the family, and our adversaries, the vultures, are circling, the chombada (vultures), but that’s another matter, and that doesn’t have anything to do with the responsible response from the Secretary of Defense.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador

The Attorney General of Tamaulipas (FCJ) said the case had been taken up by Mexico’s Attorney General (FGR), because of which the FCJ handed over evidence and documents they had collected in the course of the investigation into the killing of the minor. 

Raymundo Ramos, head of the Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo, said that the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has so far refused to send personnel to investigate the murder of the 4-year-old girl.

“Omar Jair Pasarán Nieto, the director general of the Second General Office of the CNDH refused to send lawyers, investigators, or psychologists to investigate the arbitrary death attributed to members of the Mexican Army,” reads a communiqué from the Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo. 

Ramos said the CNDH official stated that the intent was to investigate the killing remotely via telephone. He said the CNDH has yet to make a public statement about the death of the minor.

According to the narrative that emerged early in the investigation, Griselda, the grandmother of the victim, was taking Heidi Mariana to General Hospital 11 of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) for a stomach ache. The woman, the girl and her brother Kevin, who is eight, were driving in a Chevrolet Cobalt.

When they arrived at the intersection of 20 de Noviembre and Doctor Mier, the driver heard a sound that was like firecrackers. Kevin saw that his sister was wounded and told his grandmother. Griselda felt pain in her right shoulder but continued driving to the IMSS hospital. Once they arrived at the hospital, the girl’s mother Cristina Aracely Pérez, who works as a medical assistant, received her daughter’s body.

Heidi’s funeral

The Pérez Rodríguez family buried their little girl in the Jardín de los Ángeles graveyard on Saturday evening. Her mother, Cristina Aracely Pérez Rodríguez, demanded President López Obrador ensure justice is done. 

Heidi’s mother Cristina Aracely Pérez Rodríguez stands beside human rights defender Raymundo Ramos. Photo by Luis Valtierra.

“I ask (President López Obrador) to please listen, he is a father, a grandfather, and I don’t think he feels the pain that I am feeling but I hope he understands me and can help me. She was my baby, she didn’t do anything wrong in this world, she came here to bring us joy; for her and for her brother who is suffering dearly, I demand and I want justice.”

Cristina Aracely Pérez Rodríguez, Heidi’s mother

Ramos, from the local human rights group, rejected the notion that the Pérez family was caught up in the middle of a shootout.

What has been said, what the Secretary of Defense (Luis Cresencio Sandoval) is alleging in the case of Heidi isn’t true, there was no shootout with members of organized crime, what there was was a chase involving shooting.

Raymundo Ramos, Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo

Kevin, hospitalized for shrapnel wound

Three days after his sister Heidi was killed, Cristina Pérez brought Kevin to a private hospital. He had wounds from bullet shrapnel on his head and face as well and has been experiencing insomnia, according to the Human Rights Committee.

“Kevin has been traumatized, he’s had a very heavy emotional impact, and is experiencing insomnia, he doesn’t want to eat food and when he hears loud noises he becomes very nervous and scared,” said Ramos, who is accompanying the family.

The boy was traveling with his sister in the car his grandmother was driving. The family said that Kevin didn’t complain about the pain until Saturday evening.

This article was written by ELEFANTE BLANCO, a member of the media alliance of the Red de Periodistas de a Pie. You can read the original here.

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