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April 14, 2010
Murder of Enrique Villicaña Palomares in Michoacán
María Idalia Gómez, RRU - Mexico

Enrique Villicaña Palomares
The life of Enrique Villicaña Palomares had many facets – a lawyer by profession, a university lecturer, notary public over at least the last 10 years, public official recognized for the reorganization of the Morelia City Center from which he managed to remove all street vendors and relocate them elsewhere.

He was also a candidate of the PRI party for Morelia City Council Chairman, a post he failed to obtain. Some years ago he was the director of the Michoacán Radio and Television System, a state-owned entity.

One of his facets was to be a radio or television commentator and columnist in a number of newspapers in the state, mainly La Voz de Michoacán, which he stopped being associated with some time ago and in which he had covered university topics and political matters in general.

The disintegration of public security in Michoacán state has widened in the last five years, increasingly showing a harsher face. An example of this have been the extortions carried out by organized groups that say they belong to some drug cartel, who extort sums ranging from 500 to more than 1,000 dollars from businessmen, ranchers, merchants and people with above-average wealth, who if they do not pay up can have their business premises set on fire or be abducted.

In recent months notaries have begun to be one of the targets of extortion and according to information available to date Villicaña Palomares had been kidnapped some days ago and ransom was demanded of his family.

State Public Prosecutor Jesús Montejano Ramírez confirmed today in a radio interview that the family paid a ransom, but Villicaña was killed anyway, probably, he said, because he had recognized one of his abductors.

Montejano added that inquiries had shown that the abduction and later murder were related to his work as a notary public.

He also said that according to the Quadratin agency “there is no clue whatsoever as to the whereabouts of María Esther Aguilar and Ramón Angeles Zalpa.” Regarding Aguilar, a reporter from Zamora, statements are continuing to be taken from family members or people who had seen her for the last time, “but there has been no substantial progress.” And regarding Angeles Zalpa police sorttes were continuing to be made into the Purépecha mountains in a bid to locate him, but no ransom had been demanded in his case.

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