Abril Pérez was murdered while Mexicans complained about feminist protests
Abril Cecilia Pérez was murdered in Mexico City on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - Photo: Carlos Jasso/EL UNIVERSAL

Abril Pérez was murdered while Mexicans complained about feminist protests

02/12/2019
15:24
Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Mexico City
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The main suspect behind her death is her ex-husband, Juan Carlos García, a former Amazon México CEO

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Abril Cecilia Pérez Sagaón was murdered in Mexico City on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The main suspect behind her death is her ex-husband, Juan Carlos García, the former CEO at Amazon México, co-founder of DeCompras.com.mx, an executive at Elektra.

Abril, two of her children, and her lawyer were on their way to the airport to board a flight to Monterrey when two bikers shot her dead. She and her three children moved from Mexico City to Monterrey after the couple divorced and after Juan Carlos García brutally attacked Abril with a baseball bat. They were in Mexico City because the children had to go through a psychological test, as part of Juan Carlos García's efforts to gain custody of the two minors.

On December 2, Abril's daughter shared a series of pictures that show Abril bathed in blood after Juan Carlos García attacked her. According to Abril's daughter, her father was released from jail because he has money to bribe authorities.

The attack was not an attempted robbery as the killers only had one purpose: to murder Abril.

Did you know 10 women are murdered in Mexico every day?

11 months earlier, Juan Carlos García fractured Abril's skull using a baseball bat and tried to cut her throat open during an argument. One of their children stopped the brutal attack and Abril was in the hospital for a week.

Abril had told one of her close friends that she had been attacked by Juan Carlos García on several occasions and told another friend that Juan Carlos García had hired a private detective to follow her.

Abril was hoping to create an NGO to help other women who were victims of domestic violence.

In September 2019, Juan Carlos García was jailed but judge Federico Mosco González released him on November 3. The judge argued that since the attack took place while she was sleeping, it wasn't attempted murder but domestic violence and that the baseball bat was not a weapon. Juan Carlos García was jailed for two months and then released.

The Attorney General's Office is now investigating the judges and magistrates who handled the case.

On November 29, the president of Mexico City's Supreme Court, Rafael Guerra Álvarez, decided to suspend two judges involved in the case, who released Juan Carlos García from prison.

Mexico City's Attorney General filed a complaint before the Judiciary Council against the judge who handled Abril Pérez's case and who released García from jail despite his brutal attack against Abril.

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Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said authorities will investigate the murder as femicide and added that the two judges involved in the case should be charged for Abril's femicide if it is proven that her ex-husband is behind the crime.

President López Obrador said Abril Pérez should have been protected by authorities, after her former husband attacked her with a baseball bat in January 2019. The President also criticized judge Federico Mosco, who released Juan Carlos García from jail, after he reclassified the crime as domestic violence, which does not require preventive detention.

Judge Federico Mosco has a controversial story. Recently, he freed a doctor accused of sexually abusing a terminally ill patient.

On November 29, Abril's friends and family protested to demand justice for Abril. On November 30, the women took the streets once again.

Abril's family has announced it will create an NGO called “Abril's Voice” (La voz de Abril) to provide psychological and legal support to victims of domestic violence.

On November 30, it was announced that Mexico City authorities requested the local Judiciary Council to reclassify the attack Juan Carlos García perpetrated against Abril Pérez as femicide, which means he would go back to prison.

On December 2, Juan Carlos García issued a statement and said that the crime should be solved and those responsible for the femicide punished. He added that he is willing to cooperate with the authorities and that despite the conflicts in his marriage to Abril Pérez, he “would have never wished for such a tragic end.”

On Twitter, Abril's daughter accused her father, Juan Carlos García, of physically abusing her mother, her brothers, and her for years and said he was a “narcissist sociopath.”

Feminists protest against gender violence in Mexico City

UPDATE

Mexico City authorities revealed that Juan Carlos García has an arrest warrant against him, after failing to appear before a judge every week. As a result, Mexican authorities have requested the Interpol to issue a red notice against him, to prevent him from fleeing Mexico. 

Moreover, Mexico City's Attorney Ernestina Godoy said the motorcycles used by the gunmen have been identified. 

UPDATE 

Juan Carlos García, who is wanted by Mexican authorities and Interpol, has been located in San Diego, California.

On December 12, it was revealed that the former Amazon Mexico CEO fled to the U.S. on November 30. He crossed from Tijuana to the U.S. on foot.

Mexican authorities hope he will be arrested in the following days.

UPDATE

On December 17, Mexico City authorities announced they are investigating the participation of at least five people in the murder of Abril Cecilia Pérez Sagaón. After authorities reviewed security videos, they found that not only two men participated in the murder as it is apparent that two drivers collaborated in the homicide.

Images reveal that two cars followed Abril Pérez after she left a government building, where she held a hearing with Juan Carlos García, the man who had previously attacked her with a baseball bat and fractured her skull. Moreover, the two drivers were in communication with the gunman who killed Abril.

After the femicide, the gunmen and the two vehicles fled and hid in the Doctores neighborhood in Mexico City. It was also announced that the vehicles and motorcycle have been identified.

Although the criminals haven’t been identified yet, investigations suggest that Juan Carlos García might have gotten in contact with them while he was in prison for brutally attacking Abril with a baseball bat.

While in jail, García allegedly paid for protection and once he was free, he might have paid former inmates to kill Abril.

The investigation shows that Juan Carlos García knew Abril Pérez’s schedule in Mexico City since he was the one who requested a hearing by arguing that they had to solve an issue. Hours later, Abril was shot dead.

Local authorities have issued an arrest warrant against the former Amazon México CEO and the Interpol is looking for him. He is said to have fled to San Diego, California.

After changing his lawyer 8 times, no law firm wants to work on his defense.

Nevertheless, his family, friends, and work colleagues have been cooperating with authorities and he might be arrested soon, even as soon as this week.

UPDATE

On December 18th, it emerged that Juan Carlos García sent a letter to Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, where he claims he is the victim and that he had nothing to do with the femicide of his ex-wife, Abril Pérez.

The former Amazon Mexico CEO sent a copy of the letter to journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva, who shared it online.

In the letter, the man claims that on January 4, he and Abril engaged in a discussion and that she went to the kitchen, where she allegedly took a knife and attacked him, stabbing him on the left arm and told him she was wanted to kill him.

In January 2019, Abril Peréz filed a lawsuit against Juan Carlos García for brutally attacking her with a baseball bat and fracturing her skull. A Mexico City judge found him guilty and García spent a few months in jail. He was freed after the judge and a magistrate argued the attack was not attempted murder, but rather a domestic violence incident.

He also sent a photograph as evidence, where a wound can be seen.

Juan Carlos García admits that he “defended” himself against the attack. He also alleges that Abril wasn’t attacked with a baseball bat, in contrast with what an expert stated and that she didn’t mention the baseball bat when she was admitted to hospital.

He also claims that the crime scene was modified to include certain evidence. As evidence, the man also submitted a copy of an expert opinion, issued by Mexico City’s Prosecutor on January 7th. García also claims that no bat or weapon was found in the home.

Despite all these claims, on December 2, Abril’s daughter posted a series of tweets and photographs to her Twitter account. The picture shows Abril covered in blood. The victim’s daughter commented, “Imagine waking up to see your beautiful mother’s face covered in blood thanks to the criminal you once called father.”

Juan Carlos García is wanted by Mexican authorities and the Interpol, in connection with the murder of his ex-wife, Abril Pérez Sagaón.

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