Double infanticide Diego Santoy’s case to be reopened
Diego Santoy is also known as the Cumbres Murderer - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Double infanticide Diego Santoy’s case to be reopened

Mexico City
David Carrizales
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Diego Santoy Riveroll is imprisoned in Cadereyta for the double murder of the Peña Coss children and other crimes related to the event that shocked Mexico in 2006

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Almost 14 years after the murder of the Peña Coss children, Diego Santoy Riveroll, the man who is imprisoned in Cadereyta charged for the double crime and other crimes related to the event that shocked Mexico on March 2, 2006, achieved the re-opening of his case and the dismissal of his 138-years sentence from October 1, 2011.

Sources from the Judicial Power informed that now, a court will reopen the case and will perform the confrontations to pass a new sentence, for it was alleged that there was no evidence that Santoy’s defense was present at the confrontations held before. Hence, Erika Peña Coss, her sister Azura, and her mother Tere Coss, would have to appear in court once again.

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The criminal lawyer Aurelio Galindo Rojas added that the judicial ruling in regards to the appeal proceeds because since Diego Santoy appeared without his lawyer, his right to due process was violated.

Likewise, he explained that although the new adversarial justice system does not contemplate confrontations, they can be held because the procedure would follow the justice system that was valid when the events took place.

The confrontation hearings between Diego Santoy and Erika Peña Coss, Tere Coss, and other witnesses related to the case were scheduled for Friday, February 28.

However, the witnesses did not attend the proceedings requested by the so-called Cumbres Murderer.

Santoy’s lawyers said that the judge in charge of the case could decide for the confrontation to take place virtually, without Santoy leaving of the Cadereyta prison.

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Who is Diego Santoy, the Cumbres Murderer?
In March 2006, Diego Santoy Riveroll was accused of the murder of the siblings Érik Azur and María Fernanda, who were seven and three years old respectively, in addition of harming his ex-girlfriend Érika Peña Coss, sister of the children, and of the illegal deprivation of liberty of the domestic worker Catalina Bautista.

Currently, Santoy is imprisoned in Cadereyta, one of the prisons in Nuevo León that used to be considered one of the calmest in Mexico until last March 27 and 28 when two riots took place and left four people dead and 28 injured.

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The so-called Cumbres Murderer – a nickname granted in relation to the neighborhood where, according to authorities, the double crime was committed – performs penitentiary labor and studies; authorities have also reported that he has not caused problems with other inmates to whom he has even given computer classes.

He is a “neighbor” of the famous inmate Omar “Gato” Ortiz, former goalkeeper of soccer team Rayados, who was arrest in January 2012 for collaborating with an organized crime group.

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On October 11, 2010, Diego was sentenced to 137 years and six months of prison for the homicide of the Peña Coss children, the attempted murder against her ex-girlfriend Érika, and the illegal deprivation of liberty of Catalina Bautista. However, in July 2012, his defense achieved to have his sentence reduced to 71 years, although, according to the current criminal law in the state, he will not spend over 40 years in prison.

The case caused controversy and division in the whole country. While some demanded the maximum punishment for Santoy, others said he had been manipulated by Érika and a group of women even created a fan club to defend his alleged innocence. Currently, Diego is 32 years old and is married to one of the women in his fan club with whom he has a son.

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