“Char” for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from RIODOCE 


MAY 14, 2024. 

The intellectual authorship of Dámaso López Serrano in the murder of journalist and founder of Ríodoce, Javier Valdez Cárdenas, is documented, confirms the head of Feadle.

For the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression, Dámaso López Serrano, el Minilic, is the mastermind of the murder of journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas and will insist with the US government that he be extradited and tried in Mexico.

Heriberto “P”, a.k.a. El Koala, was sentenced to 14 years and eight months as the mastermind, and Juan Francisco “P”, El Quillo, was sentenced to 32 years in prison in an abbreviated proceeding.

In October 2023, the Minilic gave an interview to Proceso magazine in which he disassociated himself from the crime and blamed Los Chapitos.

“The United States has proof that I didn’t do it and Ovidio is going to tell it like it is. When he begins to cooperate, he is going to say that they were the ones who murdered Javier Valdez and I hope that all of that will be known and come to light. We just have to give time to time. I have no doubt about that. Ovidio is going to tell the story and tell it like it was,” he said.

Regarding Minilic’s statements, the head of the Feadle, Ricardo Sánchez Pérez del Pozo, said that it is only an attempt to distance himself.

The evidence is very clear in the case against him and well here he has an arrest warrant granted by a federal judge who evaluated a series of evidence, it is not an affirmation just for the sake of it, there is a series of evidence that supports the affirmation that he is involved; besides the fact that the people who are deprived of their freedom and whose material participation has already been demonstrated, were part of the group that was with him”, he said.

The official mentioned that several factors determine his responsibility, among them testimonies that point directly to him and that the material authors already sentenced were part of his group.

“There are several testimonies that determine it that way, another factor is that the material authors belong to the direct and immediate group, there are proofs and evidences that support it, their geolocations of being in Eldorado constantly, even the testimonies of the people close to them and there is also an analysis that was already presented in trial about Javier’s journalistic work, where there is a cause-effect relationship that establishes the clear motivation of the facts”, he said.

Among the evidence that the Feadle has to accuse Minilic as the intellectual author, there are testimonies of members of his group.

Two of those witnesses testified that before Quillo, Minilic offered them to kill Javier in exchange for money, weapons and a promotion.
One of those witnesses, who already testified in the Quillo trial, stated that the first days of May 2017 he was outside his house along with another person, when Minilic arrived and told them that if they wanted to move up in rank with him and be trusted by him to kill journalist Javier Valdez and they answered that they did not dare, so Minilic got upset.
After the refusal, the Minilic said to a person who was with him, “you see, he is a pussy, a good for nothing, he is good for nothing”, “let’s go tell Quillo and Koala, they are going to pull the trigger, they are going to pull the trigger, not like this asshole”.
The other person who was in the place also declared that Minilic offered him the “job” of killing Javier, but he answered him no because he didn’t want any trouble and Minilic told him that he was a “pussy” who wasn’t good enough to be his people and that he was going to call Quillo and Koala so that they would do the job.
Minilic, he said, made a phone call and about 10 or 15 minutes later, Quillo and Koala arrived, and Minilic offered them the same “job” and they said yes, there was no problem.
The witness stated that days later he saw Quillo saying that he had already made an appointment and that everything had gone very well and that they had won the job.
Another witness testified that Quillo confessed that he and Koala had killed the journalist because he bothered the people of Eldorado and showed him a gun that he received as payment.
The pistol had photographs of Minilic and Dámaso López Núñez, the Licenciado, on the holster.
The Feadle also has as evidence a context analysis that was carried out with the notes published by Javier Valdez in Ríodoce in February 2017, when Los Dámaso and Los Chapitos were at loggerheads.
In the analysis they conclude that the motive for the homicide was a note in which Javier describes the Minilic as a prop gunman with no leadership capacity.
Sanchez Perez del Pozo mentioned that the Feadle carried out investigations in which they established that all the witnesses that point to Minilic did belong to his group.
He pointed out that the testimonies were already presented in the trial against El Quillo and the judge gave them credibility and El Quillo was sentenced as the material author.
He stated that El Quillo filed an appeal, but the sentence was confirmed and up to this moment it is firm, since he has not filed any amparo.
Since January 2020, a federal judge issued an arrest warrant for Minilic, who is accused of being the mastermind of the murder committed on May 15, 2017.
For four years they have been requesting extradition, but the U.S. government has not processed it.
The prosecutor commented that they have already requested the extradition of Minilic on several occasions.
“We have requested this several times, the last response we have from the United States is that for the moment they cannot process our request since he is subject to processes there in the United States, understanding that he is being a collaborating witness”, he indicated.
He stated that granting the extradition is a sovereign decision of the United States and as long as they do not proceed, the Mexican authorities can only continue to insist and wait.
“We are going to continue insisting every time it is possible and every time we see them we repeat it, and every time I have a meeting with the U.S. government I make them aware of the importance of this matter, for any issue we meet or for any reason we meet I make this situation clear,” he said.
The prosecutor said he is confident that there will come a time when the U.S. government will process the extradition request.sooner or later this process should be processed, once the pending issues with the U.S. are concluded, he mentioned.
Article published on May 12, 2024 in the 1111 edition of the weekly magazine