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Another nota roja

5 July 2007

Daniel Estrada Ortiz wrote this for the El Siglo de Durango . It’s a horrifying story (and maybe an object lesson in the dangers of alcohol), but it’d make a darn good country-western song, or something the late Beto Quintanilla might have turned into a corrida with upbeat music and tragic lyrics.

And, as always, I admit I enjoy the baroque majesty of death that Nota Roja writers wrap around even the stupidest crime.


NUEVO IDEAL, DGO.- In an act of excessive violence, Raúl Soto García killed his friend Fortunato Ávila López, whom he first hit with a hammer, and then drove over several times with a pickup truck.

Excessive consumption of intoxicating beverages had a negative effect on Raúl, who moments before the brutal homicide had shared drinks to manifest his friendship, according to a report by the Procuraduría General de Justicia (PGJ).

Without any other obvious reason beyond the disorienting effects of alchohol, Raúl y Fortunato, 42 y 44 respectively, were converted into enemies to such a degree that after a brief exchange of blows, the first took a hammer into his hands to attack his companion.

The hammer blows were directed at the head of Fortunato, who fell badly injured, but not safisfied with this, his agressor drove his truck over him on several times to make certain that he had died.

The cause of death of Ávila López was a combination of traumatic injuries, which affected the thorax, craneum and abdomon according to the results of the legally-required autopsy.

The violent doings accured Tuesday night in the village of Doctor Castillo del Valle, municipio de Nuevo Ideal, the place of origina of today’s murder victim and his supposed killer.

The presumed homicidist fled after leaving the battered body of his friend, but not without stopping at his house to see his wife, and take some things to his mother’s house, where he stayed outside for a time.

Meanwhile, asked by his woman the reason why he was leaving in such a hurry, he limited himself to responding “Ah, tomorrow you’ll hear the story of why I’m going,” and left without saying where he was headed.

 I’ve translated “los efectos desquiciantes del alcohol” as “the disorienting effects of alcohol” but my handy-dandy Diccionario de la Lengua Española gives the meaning as something more like “disequaliberating” or “disordering” — something a little more along the lines of screwing up the order of the universe than just “disorienting”.

A grand word — and perhaps the correct word — to capture the pathos of everyday existence.

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