Spanish police have arrested an alleged member of the so-called ‘Porkys’ gang, four wealthy young Mexican men who are accused of gang-raping an underage girl in a case which sparked outrage about the immunity of the rich.
Diego Cruz was stopped in the company of friends in central Madrid, following an Interpol warrant put out by Mexico, embarrassed that the a 21-year-old had been able to fly out of the country shortly before charges were brought against the four men in April.
Daphne Fernández said she been sexually assaulted and raped in January 2015, when she was 17, after getting into a car with the four young men, all sons of wealthy businessmen from southern Veracruz state.
With little faith that the authorities would take any action, Ms Fernández’s father complained to the families of the men and interviewed three of them himself. This is because in the Mexican port of he port city of Veracruz, located in the Mexican state of the same name is known for corruption and terror, a territory controlled by the Zeta cartel and life could be suffed out for stepping on the wrong toes.
As far as many of the citizens are concerned, there is little difference between the rich and the government, between the government and the criminals.
In a video of the interview, the men can be seen appearing to apologise for the alleged assault. “It was a very bad thing. We are really sorry for what we did,” Mr Cruz can be seen mumbling. The men reportedly later retracted the admission.
In May last year, the victim’s father was finally persuaded to go to the police. However there was no progress in the case, and the men later wrote an open letter denying the allegations.
The case prompted demonstrations on the streets of Veracruz, in support of both Ms Fernandez and the young men, one of whom, Edward Capitaine, is the son of a former local mayor.
Demonstrators in Veracruz, Mexico, on March 28th call for the arrest of four young ‘wealthy’ rapists
Ms Fernández’s initial allegations provoked a storm of abuse on the social networks, including accusations that she had provoked her aggressors.
Ms Fernández this year broke her silence, describing on Facebook “the hell” she was living through. “Yes, I had a drink. Yes, I went out to party. Yes, I was wearing a short skirt, just like the majority or even all girls of my age. Am I to be judged for that? Does that mean I deserved it?”
Charges were brought against three of the men in April. Mr Capitaine was arrested last month while another of the accused remains on the run. Mexico has requested that Mr Cruz be extradited to face charges of group sexual abuse against a minor, which carries a prison sentence of between 12 and 40 years.