“El Pizzero” from Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel is found guilty of the murder of journalist Israel Vázquez

Journalist Israel Vázquez's assassination linked to CSRL; trial reveals motive, culprits, including El Pizzero, face justice in Guanajuato.

In an appalling instance of retribution against the press, journalist Israel Vázquez from the digital media outlet “El Salmantino” found himself ensnared in a deadly trap on November 9, 2020. Drawn to the Villa Salamanca 400 neighborhood in Guanajuato to report on an alleged discovery of human remains, he was met with unexpected violence.

At the reported scene, Vázquez faced an ambush. Two assailants, including the notorious Jose Luis Martinez Aguilera, commonly known as “El Pizzero” and identified as a member of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL), targeted him.

Upon reviewing the details of the incident, the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) built a solid case. Through the presentation of compelling evidence, the Federal Criminal Justice Center in Guanajuato adjudicated “El Pizzero” responsible for the act. The FGR stated, “The crime was committed as a means to punish the free exercise of the right to freedom of expression.”

Israel Vázquez trabajaba en el medio digital "El Salmantino". (Facebook/Israel Vázquez)
Israel Vázquez worked in the digital media “El Salmantino.” (Facebook/Israel Vázquez)

Evidence and Testimonies Unravel the Motive

A comprehensive oral trial began on August 14, in which the FGR showcased evidence and brought forward 25 individuals who testified. Their statements demonstrated “El Pizzero’s” direct involvement in Vázquez’s assassination.

According to investigative reports, the underlying cause for this aggression stemmed from Vázquez’s work. He had published an image showcasing the face of a prominent criminal figure in the region.

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Though having secured a guilty verdict for “El Pizzero,” the Attorney General’s Office awaits the final sentencing. An announcement from the FGR indicates their intention to lobby for the maximum possible punishment, potentially between 25 to 35 years of incarceration.

In a related development, the second assailant, Martin Eduardo Lopez Orozco, or “El Tacones,” faced the consequences of his actions when he received a 20-year prison sentence in December 2021.

Vázquez fue asesinado mientras cubría una nota periodística. (Imagen ilustrativa Infobae)
Vázquez was killed while covering a news story (Illustrative image by Infobae).

A Plea from “El Salmantino”

The murder of Vázquez, who was merely covering a news story, resonated deeply within his professional community. His employer, El Salmantino, made a poignant appeal following the tragic event, emphasizing the perils journalists face daily in their pursuit of truth.

Their statement passionately read, “We demand all local, state, and national authorities to clarify this fact to give certainty and security to each and every one of the citizens of Salamanca and, in our special case, to all journalists who every day put their lives at risk in the performance of this noble work.”