“In full light”, the truth about the Narvarte case in Mexico

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By Pedro Pablo Cortes

Mexico City, (EFE).- The documentary “A plena luz”, which premiered this week on Netflix, brings the truth about the Narvarte case, the murder of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa and the femicide of four women in Mexico City who has been going on for more than seven years unpunished with the alleged collusion of the authorities.

The production asked director Alberto Arnaut for four years of investigation, including the examination of more than 20,000 pages of the preliminary investigation, unseen videos and interviews with the five families of the victims which led him to conclude that there was collusion between the authorities and the perpetrators.

“Why am I talking about collusion? Because there is clearly a desire to protect the highest structure within the criminal organization that participated in the operation, we will most likely never be able to find out who ordered the crime.”

Director Alberto Arnaut

“This film is a sample of the functioning of the prosecution offices in the country, the level of incapacity, but also the level of collusion and complicity that the prosecution services have with the criminal groups of the country, not only that of Mexico City”, adds -he. .

An emblematic case

Mexican director Alberto Arnaut speaks during an interview for EFE in Mexico City (Mexico). EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez

The multiple murders rocked Mexico on July 31, 2015, when the bodies of Espinosa, activist Nadia Vera, maid Alejandra Negrete, Colombian model Mile Martín and makeup artist Yesenia Quiroz, appeared in a home in La Narvarte, a district of the capital.

The crime reflects two crises in Mexico: feminicides and the killings of journalists and activists, as Espinosa and Vera fled to the capital after threats received in the state of Veracruz, where Javier Duarte (2010-2016) reigned at the time, charged with the crackdown. .

The particular history of the two had an impact on Arnaut, who had just filmed “Hasta los dientes” (2018), a documentary also available on Netflix about two students of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Jorge and Javier, murdered by the army.

In Narvarte, Espinosa and Vera lived near where the director lived at the time, they dressed alike and shared causes.

“It felt like death was knocking on our door and telling us: we can kill them here too, here we can also kill them as they are killed in the rest of the country, and this city is not the city of refuge that they sold to us”

Director Alberto Arnaut

They found the cover

Mexican director Alberto Arnaut speaks during an interview for EFE in Mexico City (Mexico). EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez

The government of the capital at the time arrested three people two months after the crime, but without clarifying the case, for which the new administration in 2018 promised to solve it completely with the new attorney general of Mexico City (FGJ-CDMX ), who replaced the Attorney General.

But the documentary reveals inconsistencies in the official version, such as the physical participation of five people instead of three, a second vehicle which accompanied the perpetrators, and calls which show that at least 10 were involved in the crime.

“It was a bigger operation than the one the authorities wanted to sell us initially, so I think the main findings point in that direction. I also believe it’s the first time that the five families have been involved in a this guy,” explains Arnaut.

For this reason, the documentalists realized that “the lack of clarity” in the case was not due only to the incapacity of the investigators, “but to a collusion of the people of the prosecution, the authorities, the civil servants, with the criminal group that carried out the operation.

“I think this film can provide a lot of insight into how prosecutors work and why it’s so hard to get to the truth in cases like this,” says the filmmaker.

Platforms focus on documentaries

Mexican director Alberto Arnaut speaks during an interview for EFE in Mexico City (Mexico). EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez

The premiere also reflects Netflix’s commitment to showing documentaries with emblematic cases from Mexico, adding titles such as “Hasta los dientes”, “The three deaths of Marisela Escobedo”, “Reasonable doubt” and “La libertad del devil”.

“It’s very good that Netflix is ​​interested in this type of business, it’s a genre that has been very well received in the United States, in Latin America, but I think that on the filmmakers’ side we have a great responsibility to tell these stories”, concludes Arnaut.

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