Fri, 22 Jan 2021

Mexican authorities said Tuesday they had arrested three people in connection with the weekend's murder of a French restaurateur and his business partner. Investigators said they believed the murders were connected to the theft of expensive wine.

Investigators confirmed they believed that French restaurateur Baptiste Lormand, who also held Mexican nationality, and his associate Luis Orozco were murdered as part of a plot to steal expensive wine they were delivering.

"A significant number of bottles of high-end alcohol and weapons were seized and three people were arrested," Mexico City attorney general Ernestina Godoy said on Twitter.

"We continue to make progress in the investigation. There will be no impunity in the case of the murdered businessmen."

Lormand, who also held Mexican nationality, operated Surtidora Don Batiz, a restaurant in an upscale neighbourhood of Mexico City.

He and Orozco were found dead with their hands tied behind their backs in the south end of the capital on Saturday.

Lormand was last seen two days prior. Investigators believe he and Orozco had been delivering wine personally, having stopped using couriers to reduce costs due to the Covid pandemic.

A few hundred people joined a march organised by members of the Mexican capital's French expat community on Monday, calling for killers to be brought for justice.

The demonstrators walked through the capital and left flowers in tribute to the slain restaurateur at the French embassy.

End of killings far away

Violent crime has been on the rise in Mexico for many years. Homicides have been increasing since 2006, with 30,000 in 2019.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador acknowledged Tuesday that a promise to bring down the killings had been hard to keep.

"There is still a long way to go to bring peace to the country," he said in a restrained ceremony marking his two years in office.

Mexico registers about 3,000 homicides per month and the trend has not changed with the coronavirus epidemic.

(with newswires)

Orginally published on RFI

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