MEXICO CITY — Two young Mexicans suspected of raping a 17-year-old girl have reportedly fled the country after the father of the alleged victim leaked videos that apparently shows them apologizing and asking for forgiveness for an unspecified incident that many believe was the 2015 crime.
The young men, identified as Diego Cruz Alonzo and Enrique Capitaine Mari, have reportedly fled to Spain and the United States, according to Mexican media.
The recent high school grads belong to a notorious rich-kid clique that the media dubbed Los Porkys, after the 1980s cult classic film franchise. The parents of the accused have been blamed by the girl's family of using their wealth and political connections to shield their sons from facing justice in Veracruz, a state haunted by journalist killings, rising femicides and rampant impunity.
The alleged rape and video apology have sparked street protests and nationwide news coverage in Mexico, pressuring embattled Governor Javier Duarte to meet recently with the girl's grandmother to promise more oversight of the judicial process.
The alleged crime took place on Jan. 3, 2015, when Cruz, Capitaine and two other classmates left a dance club in their hometown of Boca del Río and bumped into the 17-year-old girl, whom they knew from their private school social circles. The young men, according to the girl's family, allegedly forced her into their Mercedes Benz and drove off to a house.
At the time of the alleged incident only the girl was a minor.
According to the alleged victim's father, Javier Fernandez, his daughter was sexually assaulted in the car and later raped at the house of one of the young men.
Edgar Cinta, the lawyer for the young men, who are in their early 20s, denies that version of events. He has repeatedly told the media that the girl went willingly into the car. He says the alleged video apology that her father recorded has been taken out of context.
“From the bottom of my heart I want to apologize to you. I know we can’t take it back, but we are very very regretful and we know you will get over it and everything will be solved,” says one of the men in the video recorded by the victim’s father, who confronted the four of them at an undisclosed location. The video shows Fernandez asking, “Why did you do it, fucker?”
The second young man who appears in the video addresses Fernandez’ daughter by name.
“I’m very regretful because of what happened,” he says. “I want to apologize to you and your family.”
The circumstances around the tape are unclear. The father of the alleged victim would not discuss the details of how he shot the video.
The video ends abruptly, when another man heard off camera, suddenly cuts off Fernandez.
None of the young men were formally accused of a crime, prompting the girl's father to eventually accuse them publicly in newspapers and on social media. Fernandez says it was an act of last resort after failing to find justice in the courts.
“I talked to the police and Mexican authorities at the very beginning,” Fernandez told Fusion. He says he initially honored his daughter's request to not make public statements about the alleged rape, because she was in a very emotionally fragile state.
But Fernandez says the family decided to break its silence after 15 months of authorities doing “nothing” to solve the case. He took to newspapers and social media to demand justice for his daughter.
The families of the accused men have tried to discredit Fernandez's claims in the local media. They say Fernandez first approached them asking for hush money and threatening to go public if they refused to pay. Fernandez was further accused by their lawyer for his “indiscriminate use of media and social networks to steamroll” the young men.
Fernandez, however, insists he was just seeking a public admission of guilt.
“All I asked was very simple,” he said. “I asked for their public apologies to my daughter, I demanded that they get professional treatment and asked them to never come near my daughter again.”
Fernandez also published an audio recording of the four families of the young men allegedly admitting guilt and promising to punish their sons privately.
“I’m gonna show my son a severe punishment,” one of the alleged parents is heard saying on the recording. “I’m going to take away his cellphone.”
Fernandez said he secretly recorded the parents with his cellphone when meeting with them.
He also posted a letter to social media in which he accuses the families of being “accomplices” to the crime.
Fusion tried to obtain contact information for the families but wasn’t successful. Fernandez wouldn’t share their phone numbers or addresses in Veracruz. Fusion sent emails to some of their work places but did not receive a response.
The Veracruz prosecutor declined requests to comment on whether the two suspects had fled Mexico. Last week, his office told Fusion that all four men were in Veracruz and had testified before authorities on March 26 as part of an ongoing investigation.
Last week the prosecutor confirmed to Mexican media outlet Radio Formula two of the young men did leave the country. He said no arrest warrants have been issued.
The "Los Porkys" scandal has reignited a public debate in Mexico on wealth, power, impunity and the so-called “juniors” and “mirreyes” of the country’s elite.
As people protest on the streets and on social media, a YouTube video attributed to Anonymous claims the hacker collective will target the young men and their families.
The case is also raising concerns about Mexico being unable to come to terms with its own brand of rape culture.
“Yes I’ve drank, I’ve gone out and partied, I’ve used short skirts like the majority of, as to not say all, girls my age, that's why you’re going to judge me? That’s why I deserved it? That’s why this happened to me?” The alleged victim wrote on her Facebook.
Another recent video has surfaced on social media that shows a college student from the same town of Boca del Rio allegedly abusing an intoxicated female classmate. The case has already been dubbed Porkys II.
Luis Chaparro, 28, is a Mexican freelance journalist born in Ciudad Juarez and based in Mexico City. His articles have appeared in Proceso, EFE, VICE News, El Diario, El Daily Post, and others. Chaparro specializes in reports on drug trafficking organizations, immigration and US-Mexico issues.
Rafa Fernandez De Castro is a Fusion consultant for Mexico and Latin America. He covers Mexican youth, politics, culture, narcos and funny stuff once in a while.