Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Suspects held in Poveda murder

Police in El Salvador have arrested suspects in the murder of documentary filmmaker Christian Poveda, including one who is a member of the National Police. AFP carried today's report of the arrests:

SAN SALVADOR — Four suspects, including a policeman, have been arrested over Franco-Spanish journalist Christian Poveda's murder in El Salvador, police said, indicating the killing was ordered by a jailed gang member.

"After an investigation, four people have been detained for involvement in the murder of Mr Poveda," assistant police director Mauricio Ramirez said.

Police described the four as a policeman and three members of Mara 18, the violent gang which Poveda meticulously chronicled for his 2008 film "La Vida Loca," about the heavily-tattooed gangsters who engaged in drug trafficking and extortion.

The film had already been released but was set for a wider European distribution on September 30.

Police and the prosecutor's office said Poveda's murder last week has been ordered by Nelson Lazo Rivera, an imprisoned member of the same Mara 18 gang who ordered the hit because he believed Poveda was a police informant.

Poveda, 54, was found dead near his vehicle on a road north of the capital San Salvador on September 2. He had been shot in the face four times.

Ramirez identified those arrested as policeman Juan Napoleon Espinoza, and Mara 18 gang members Calixto Rigoberto Escobar, Jose Alejandro Melara and Roberto Luis Romero.

Authorities were quick to reject claims that Poveda was providing information to police.

Deputy director of police investigations Howard Cotto said arrested police officer Espinoza had "ties" with Mara 18 and had communicated "falsely and erroneously" to gang members that Poveda was a police informant.

"This agent (Espinoza) told the gang members that Mr Poveda submitted information to the police, because he had seen what they did, that they had weapons, and where they got them. But we must sharply reject the version because Mr Poveda never gave information to the police," Cotto told reporters.

Lazo Rivera had ordered his fellow gang members to investigate the filmmaker and gave the green light to kill him if they confirmed he was an informant, authorities said.


El-Visitador said...

«Poveda's murder last week has been ordered by Nelson Lazo Rivera, an imprisoned member of the same Mara 18 gang»

See there.

That's why I wrote last week that if this were a sane country, we would hang these criminals.

Instead of feeding and housing them so they can carry on their murderous rampages from inside our jails.

Griselda said...

Asilo politico para Roberto Silva en Estados unidos???? THis is odd enough. I wonder what is behind of this political asylum, Why is he given out such asylum?

Back to the Poveda murder, I am glad to see some results and I wish this kind of justice reaction were applied for every murder in El salvador.... I know,.. I asked to much...

Mike said...

I realize that this is a little late, but the October-Novemkber 2009 issue of La Orbe magazine includes an interview conducted with Poveda in which he details the process of developing his contacts with 18, choosing the bakery to anchor his film, and his "frank relationship" with the gang members. The article makes no mention of his assasination, which makes his comments in the interview all the more unsettling, but it's interesting (if poorly edited) for anyone who's seen La Vida Loca: