Three arrested for the alleged planned murder of Italian expat Ornella Saiu in Playa del Carmen

Determined pursuit in Veracruz leads to a breakthrough in expat's shocking crime case, shedding light on the tragedy in Playa del Carmen.

One week after the murder of Ornella Saiu, an Italian woman who had been living in Mexico for a decade, three individuals were arrested in the state of Veracruz for their alleged involvement in the events that took place on May 30 in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.

The accused were identified as Martín “P” José “R” and Pedro “H.” Although they were initially arrested for other crimes (it was not mentioned which ones), they were later linked to the armed aggression against Ornella. As a result, they were arrested for their probable participation in aggravated homicide, which means that the case will not be investigated as femicide.

The Attorney General of Quintana Roo, Óscar Montes de Oca, indicated this was a direct attack against the foreign woman. That is to say, it was a planned act. The three subjects were suggested as the material authors of the murder, who fled to Veracruz after committing the crime.

During the day, they are expected to be transferred to the municipality of Solidaridad to be presented before the corresponding authorities to determine their legal status. Elements of the Secretariat of Public Security of Veracruz also participated in these actions.

La víctima al parecer trabajaba en la cafetería donde fue asesinada
(Foto: Twitter/@davosv2004)
The victim worked at the cafeteria where she was murdered (Photo: Twitter/@davosv2004).

So far, the intellectual authors of this homicide have not been identified. It will be as the investigations progress in clarifying the facts.

The murder of Ornella Saiu

On the morning of May 30, gunshots were reported inside an establishment on 48th Street, between 5th and 10th Avenues, in Playa del Carmen. According to reports from the Solidaridad Public Safety Secretariat, witnesses indicated that a subject on a motorcycle opened fire on a woman.

It was later reported that the victim responded to the name of Ornella Saiu, a 40-year-old Italian woman who used to work at the coffee shop “Café Sabrina 48″, where her murder was perpetrated. The foreigner was shot in the head.


Immediately an operation was deployed in the area to find the whereabouts of the person responsible. At the same time, elements of the National Guard secured the perimeter to carry out the corresponding diligences.

In this regard, the vice president of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, Andrea Lotito, made available a chat about the case while regretting what happened in Playa del Carmen. “A sorrowful day, without explanations or justifications,” she expressed in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, the honorary consul of Italy in Playa del Carmen, Italo Sampablo, condemned the murder of Saiu and demanded the authorities clarify what happened. Through him, it was learned that Ornella was the mother of an 18-year-old boy whose father had already passed away.

“I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family of Ornella, the woman tragically murdered in Playa del Carmen. My heart aches for her family, especially for her 18-year-old son, who already dealt with the loss of his father several years ago,” the consul commented.

This case reached Italy, where local media such as Il Giornale D’Italia indicated that Ornella used to work with her alleged assailant in the cafeteria where the crime occurred. Therefore, it was presumed that it could have been a “crime of passion”, although the Mexican authorities have not confirmed this.

In the first four months of this year, 532 homicides were registered in Quintana Roo (206 intentional and 326 culpable homicides). During this period, six victims of femicide were also reported, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).