A French restaurant owner and his business partner were killed while delivering high-value bottles of wine to Mexico City.
A Frenchman, whose body was found on Saturday in Mexico City, was killed while delivering bottles of grand cru wine, according to investigative evidence revealed by Mexican authorities on Sunday.
Baptiste Lormand, 45, also holder of Mexican nationality, was the owner of Surtidora Don Batiz, a restaurant in Polanco, an upscale neighborhood near the city center, where many foreign businessmen, diplomats and journalists live.
An altar made up of white flowers and candles was erected in front of the facade of the establishment where on Sunday crowded the curious taking photos and making the sign of the cross.
His body and that of his Mexican partner were found at 2 a.m. local time on Saturday morning in the south of the city, on a dirt road in the municipality of Tlapan, his hands tied behind his back. Traces of blood were visible on the skull as well as multiple bruises all over the body.
“Apparently, the two men were stripped of bottles of wine of great market value,” the city’s security secretary, Omar Garcia Harfuch, told a press conference on Sunday.
A solid fellow
Harfuch stressed that at this stage of the investigation opened on Friday with the publication of a search notice, there is no indication that the two men have been kidnapped or kidnapped. According to this official, Lormand, a strong fellow of 1.92 m and 93 kg, was reported missing on Friday, November 27.
“Thanks to surveillance cameras, we know that he was last seen on November 26 leaving his home in Polanco, alone in his car, a black Mitsubishi, heading for Tlalpan,” Harfuch said. “Once the Mitsubishi reached the area, another vehicle was spotted by surveillance cameras, white in color, driven by its Mexican partner,” he continued. “On Saturday November 29 at two in the morning, the two lifeless bodies were found. One of them has clearly been identified as being that of the Franco-Mexican, ”added Harfush.
The spokesperson for the Attorney General of Mexico City, Ulises Lara Lopez thus argued that they had stopped using the services of couriers “in order to reduce the high costs of transport costs due to the Covid pandemic -19 ”which is raging in Mexico. “Everything suggests that we wanted their merchandise. This is one of the main tracks that investigators follow, ”added the spokesperson during a press briefing.
Authorities were unable to determine the total value of the wine that was stolen. They argued that this is not the first time that this modus operandi has been applied in the context of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Mexico City, at the time of the transaction.
The mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, deplored the killings and said she telephoned the French ambassador to Mexico, Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, who took office in mid-October. “These homicides are of great concern to us. I called the ambassador to express our solidarity to him, to assure him that we are doing everything to bring the investigation to its conclusion and to do justice, ”she said at a press conference. Claudia Sheinbaum made it clear that she wanted to address the media “in order to avoid the spread of false news” around this assassination.
Monday morning, the mayor of Mexico City has planned to go to Polanco to address the traders and restaurateurs of this upscale neighborhood teeming with trendy bars, shops and luxury cars. On social networks, French people living in Mexico were moved by the death of Baptiste Lormand. A march is scheduled for Monday in Polanco to protest against the renewed violence in Mexico City.
The number of homicides has continued to increase in Mexico since 2006. It exceeded 30,000 victims in 2019, according to official figures, for a total of nearly 300,000 deaths in the past 15 years.
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