Although the police arrested the man who shot with the gun in his hand, he was released two days later.
A sex worker in the early hours of September 30, at Av. Puente de Alvarado, place and day where Paola was murdered.
His companions saw everything. Paola was somewhat distant. “This night is very sad, there is nothing,” he said. It was the first hours of a weird night. “Ay, ya, mana! Cámara, let’s have a drink.” Kenya asked her to be encouraged, that she was going to buy her anise. Paola poured a drink on the floor, as always, and took one for her before a gray Nissan stood in front of them.
Arturo Delgadillo wore a jacket and shirt, he was shaved. He is 36 years old. He is a security guard and declared to work for Jaime Aldape: his weapon is registered to use during his working hours and not in the Buenavista neighborhood in the early hours of Friday, September 30. That day he stopped his car in front of the girls and bargained: “I only bring 200 pesos,” he said. Kenya refused. Paola no; she went up
The car doubled over Alvarado. Kenya followed him with his eyes and saw him stop a few meters after having taken that artery, which connects Avenida Insurgentes with the Palacio de Bellas Artes. There’s always a lot of movement, but the noise did not stop him from hearing how the friend called her name, “Kenya!”
Kenya ran and almost arrived to hear two shots. It did not take long to travel almost 30 meters between the corner and the car to see the moment when Delgadillo took off the wounded body of Paola, who was dying. Kenya saw him with the gun in his hand; He also saw her from inside the car. She ran and shouted at the comrades from the corner who had shot Paola, almost at the same moment that a patrol was circulating around Aldama, who was alerted about the guy in the car with the gun in his hand.
Those two policemen who got off are, together with Kenya and two other compañeras, eyewitnesses of the case.
The patrol closed the way to the Nissan and as Delgadillo had not moved, they proceeded to indicate by “verbal commands” that he would descend, leave the weapon in the seat and lie down on the floor face down. They arrested him and put him in the patrol car. He was taken to the offices of the Decentralized Investigative Prosecutor’s Office of the Cuauhtémoc Delegation, where Kenya recognized him and also the gun he wielded that night: a Pietro Beretta pistol, caliber 9 mm.
His jacket is still in the back seat of the car, parked in front of this Delegation. On the roof, it has the marks of two bullet impacts, one of which went through the blade and into a third, which came out the back of the backrest of the passenger seat. Through the window, you can see the marks.
Two days after Paola died almost instantly, from a bullet that pierced his body near the heart, Judge Gilberto Cervantes Hernández left Delgadillo at liberty.
Kenya is exhausted. If she stays quietly in the armchair at the Funeral Home, she will fall asleep. Two or three days ago he does not sleep. He has barely eaten. He has black eyes, a mixture of dark circles and eyeliner. It’s Monday, it’s eight o’clock in the morning and finally, they got them to hand over their friend’s corpse.
A little more than an hour ago, she and another companion, Italy, dressed her up and made her embalmed once. They say that J-Lo looks like with her big false eyelashes and her glossy and wide lips painted in pink. There are also Karla and Lupe, (we change their names to maintain their anonymity) mothers and workers who do not exceed 30 years. None of them has actually slept. During the next 24 hours, -that the events will double and extend until Wednesday at noon-, they will watch the body of Paola and that room will become their space of coexistence. They bring a sound system and the music starts. Soon other women arrive, even some who did not know her but came the same.
A couple of them prepare a cross of lime, which they put on the floor and which will be decorated during the nine days in which the rosary is said. The ninth is the lifting of the cross. Pegadito, under the coffin, there are some purple onions put in vinegar, so that they pick up the bad, the diseases that the body could have. In the opposite corner, there is a statue of Santa Muerte. There are also flowers, incense, bottles of anise and some bills in a glass.
I was 27 years old. He was born in Campeche. “Paola was a bitch,” said the friends. I did it on a fart if you stayed watching. Six years ago they met her in the streets of the turn. Before working at Alvarado’s corner, Paola stopped at Reforma and Allende. He was collecting money to have his body operated, maybe his nose, maybe his buttocks. “It’s an investment for us,” explains one of those in the wake, small and delicate as a pop singer. Many of them have already achieved their implants that look proud of having paid for them with their work.
Remember also the good nights of the friend or those who were drunk, taking a drink to the devil first and then her. Also drugs, parrot, and stone. Problematic like all, says Karla, very happy, good vibes. A woman six feet five. He always wore a wig because he had a few medium-hard entrails on his forehead that were hard to cover without help. The hair curled in a chongo at the end of the head. Not on that day, when his jet-black hair had been ironed and he was wearing it loose. Of its forms, in the judicial file, they affirm that it needed hygiene. They have that information, but they did not make the effort to include their full name, which the girls do not know either. Your death certificate is made with the first name of an NN man. Everything in the file refers to Paola in the masculine.
In the Funeral Home, they are pure women. After midday, there are already about thirty. There are many sex workers and others who are not. They are a community that supports itself for what it occupies: a mark to resolve that the one who answers the phone watches over the children who are at the wake; others share a taco or a drink from the anise flask that the friend liked. Limit the roughness that must have on the street but that does not appear here. There is not a single problem with them in three days, and that there are many.
Rocío is in her chair attentive to everything that happens. He speaks slowly and meditated, he speaks softly, he explains clearly. She is one of those who was present at the hearing in which Delgadillo was released.
She says that she does not organize or direct anything, only helps the compañeras to systematize the information they have. The key point of the judge’s decision, he explains, was that the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not provide him with conclusive information about the time of his death, so as to initiate Delgadillo into criminal proceedings. What about the events before and after the trigger was pulled has no doubt, but that the defendant’s version is that they struggled when he realized that it was not a woman he had climbed into his car and that the trigger was fired in that milestone.
What emphasizes Rocío and the others was that the attitude of the Public Prosecutor, Hilarión Guerrero Sánchez, and of the fiscal team that put together the investigation folder was of apathy towards the case. As if it did not matter how they did it, no one was going to claim anything. And as the new accusatory criminal system indicates that if in the opening hearing, which is the one we are talking about, the judge does not open the criminal process to the inquired, Delgadillo in this case, he is not accused of anything and leaves without charges of no type. That’s what happened, what gives them courage, what makes them angry. “Could they kill any sex server?” Asks Lupe. “Where is justice for those who can not afford it?”
The girls tell that they managed to contact a cousin to tell their family what happened. The response they received was that Paola’s parents are already older, that they are people who live in the countryside and also do not agree with Carlos dressing as a woman. It does not matter, they say, it is ignorance that answer. “We are your family.”
“And now we’re going to hit the party that was left pending,” says Kenya standing next to the open casket. It puts a roll and it sings with the control of the equipment of music like microphone, one of JuanGa to begin. “This is a place where everything is different, Noa, noa, noa, let’s dance!”
Arman and smoke porro. Sometimes they laugh out loud. Others, return to the question that reveals and how to do to stop this because they are already fed up. “Not one more dead,” says Aracely, athletic and güera, says it’s a good idea to use that international slogan that everyone will understand. And armed with posters and huge eggs, these women come out in a pure shout to the street, where the game is played who do not have the money or the influence to do so in the areas of power.
The funeral wagon goes ahead with the box and the truck that transports them follows it. They cross them where Puente de Alvarado crosses with Insurgentes Avenue. Chaos is created in seconds. The Metrobus cannot pass. People crowd the traffic lights. The motorcycles and some cars try to break the human encirclement that imposes a group of women who scream for justice. Then, they do what is logical: they take the box to the street. “Paola manifests in the present body,” they say, “because we’re not going to let them keep killing us.” It does not take five minutes for a Federal Police plane to fly over the point. It is midday on Tuesday, October 4th.
Kenya is a force of nature trapped in a human body. Run and ask her companions not to loosen, covers the gaps everywhere, screams until the veins seem to come out of the neck bright with sweat and effort.
Some people understand. A group of high school youths joins the protest. A passing woman shouts at them that they are killed for doing what they do and the compañeras have to stop Lupita from going to smoke. A guy of about 40 years insults them for cutting off traffic, which is a lack of respect that they come to bother them in their circulation. “The lack of respect was to release the person responsible for the death and that was what forced them to be there,” they reply.
First, the negotiators of the city government appear; Ricardo Flores is one of them. The women demand that the Attorney General of Mexico City appear at the scene to agree on how to reopen the case. “Let us see that we are working hours and the Attorney General’s Office is here, then.” We want him to commit himself before the media to retake the case and publicly explain why Arturo was released.
By 20 minutes they had already brought the grenadiers. Those at the Funeral Home will hold the shot and will not be intimidated. The next day we will know that a traffic inspector threatened to find them, something that finally materialized in six fines: three for the hearse and three for the truck that will take us all. The negotiator insists that they must release the Metrobus lane and Kenya lies in front of the truck to prevent it until they get an answer. The only option that the government presents is a hearing at that time in the Decentralized Prosecutor’s Office, where the investigation of the case was made and the investigation folder was assembled.
Kenya shouts to the journalists to get on, that we all go to the Delegation because the meeting is open and they are going to be present. The thing does not get tense in the offices but it is hostile. One of the officials insults them from his cushioned chair in a glass bowl. “Mugrientas”, calls the mob of enraged women who have achieved an audience with justice cutting a street. But that the journalists enter is too much, they say to him in the Delegation. Kenya is becoming more and more dramatic in pursuit of its goal of journalists passing all. They do not leave it. We entered only one pair.
In the meeting, the lawyer Gabriela Cuenca, from the area of judicialization is the one who carries the voice of the institution. He blames the judge for the defendant’s freedom, saying that he was the one who made the decision. The women retrude mentioning the attitude of the MP and they say it without pruritus: “we believe that there was money in between so that our lawyer did not act accordingly”. Finally, they manage to get the Prosecutor’s Office to promise to appeal the writ of non-involvement in the Delgadillo process, to provide protective measures to the girls who are witnesses of the act and who have protested; and that the file of the case be given to them, which they had not been able to access until that moment.
Then they return to the Funeral Home to watch Paola one more day because the protest ended with the entry to the Pantheon of San Lorenzo Tezonco, in Iztapalapa.
It was Friday night and Paola had been killed less than 24 hours ago. The corner of Alvarado and Aldama looked like an impromptu assembly. Twenty women spoke one on top of the other to make themselves understood. Cases like these never reach the media, there is no record either, they said because they treat us like men. There are no cases of transphobia for the State, they said.
In the fervor and courage emerged testimonies of everyday violence: a girl told of a man who beat and raped her when she refused to have sex without a condom. Another, that two guys with a razor bit his face. In a moment, those stories overlap with those of a few hours before: that they had already seen the guy that, the Nissan that killed Paola. “He was drunk,” they say, and told one of them that he was not looking for who had done it but who paid for it. When all this happened, they had not released Delgadillo yet, but that possibility was in their heads: “We are afraid that they will let him go because of the influences because they have killed a bunch of compañeras and nothing ever happens”.
The day after the action in Insurgentes the atmosphere changed among the girls as if they could have released part of the frustration of living the same thing again. Maybe the change was because this time it was not the same. They did not stay silent.
On Friday night, while everyone raised their voices and put the riot on the corner where the friend died, one of the girls came up and whispered that for her what should be stressed is that they are together and that please issue the statement to the other compañeras that they no longer allow them to mistreat them. Please issue the call to join because that is the only way in which they will be able to defend themselves.