Chavez calls for better policing in Mexico


CULIACAN, Mexico — Visibly upset over the killing of his brother Rafael, boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez on Monday night called on authorities in western Mexico to take action to stop the violence in the area.

“The investigation has moved along a lot, thank God, and this is not going to end without some type of action, I swear to you, because the government unfortunately has brought an uncertainty to Culiacan, and not only Culiacan, but this is happening in the entire country of Mexico,” Chavez said. “I think that all Mexicans must come together to speak out against it and to support each other because it seems to me that there is no law enforcement. The increasing number of murders, kidnappings, they are only growing.

“Today it was my brother. Tomorrow it might be me. I am very outraged.”

Rafael Chavez Gonzalez was killed Sunday night when he was shot three times in the head with a .22-caliber pistol, Sinaloa state prosecutor Juan Jose Rios said in a news conference Monday.

Rios said two men entered the back of Gonzalez’s house in Culiacan on Sunday night. One was armed and demanded money. Some amount of money was handed over, but they demanded more, Rios said. When Gonzalez resisted, he was shot in front of his family.

“The only information we have is that they were three guys. One remained outside; the other two entered the house,” Chavez said. “They asked for money, and I don’t know how much my brother gave them at that moment, but they wanted him to give them more, and because he didn’t have any more with him, they shot him.”

Chavez said he last spoke with his brother Sunday before he was killed. He said the authorities had not identified the men involved in the shooting but added that he had information that he was not revealing at this time.

The former boxer, who now works as an analyst for ESPN and TV Azteca, said his brother ran a clinic for addicts that served about 250 people.

“It seems a little bizarre to me,” Chavez said. “Everyone knew what my brother did for a living. He dedicated his entire life to helping people who had drug and alcohol problems or any type of addiction.”

Chavez also spoke out about the lack of law enforcement.

“The government has done nothing. I have not received a call from the governor,” he said. “The report is already in. It was made yesterday, and they have been a–h—s about it and ignored it. I will have to take matters into my own hands.”

Chavez, 54, said he has been warned by the FBI that his life could be in danger.

“I am very angry, very very angry because I have received threats that I would be kidnapped and I had already asked the authorities in Tijuana to help me, and they have ignored me,” he said. “I don’t know what they are waiting for, to be honest.”

Chavez said he has received threats that both he and his daughter would be kidnapped. He said he had reached out to the governor of the federal territory of Baja California, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid.

“I think they are waiting for something to happen to me to take action, but I have no idea why,” Chavez said. “This happened in Tijuana, it was a threat that I would be kidnapped. They have already identified the person who made the threat, and I am not going to name names so as not to alert them. But it was someone who was in prison, and the authorities let that person go, and now he is out kidnapping, killing and stealing from people.”

Murders are up significantly in Mexico this year, according to crime statistics from the interior secretary. During the first five months of 2017, there were 9,916 killings nationwide — an increase of about 30 percent over the 7,638 slain during the same period last year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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