Two arrested in B.C. man's Mexico murder
Saira Peesker, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, January 20, 2012 5:50PM EST
Mexican police have arrested two local teens in the murder of British Columbia resident Robin Wood, shot dead in a friend's home in a sleepy, coastal village.
Wood, 67, was killed after a confrontation with two men who had entered his friend's Melaque-area residence on Jan. 3.
A well-known resident of B.C.'s Salt Spring Island, Wood was an auto mechanic who had travelled to Melaque several times. He was staying at a vacation home owned by Arvid Chalmers, one of several Salt Spring residents who frequently visit the area.
On the evening of the murder, the two friends had just returned from attending a concert with a group of other Canadians. Two men reportedly showed up at Chalmers' house, stole three stereo speakers and a backpack, and shot Wood in the chest.
He died on the way to a hospital.
Shortly after the murder, local police said they had identified a suspect, but he was released just a day after his arrest. At the time, police there said they were devoting a significant number of resources to tracking down both suspects involved in the robbery.
On Friday, an official with the Jalisco state attorney general's office confirmed to CTVNews.ca that Melaque resident Jorge Luis Murillo Torres, and Villa Obregon resident Ernesto Manuel Esparza Leon, were charged with murder and armed robbery. Both are 18 years old. The official, who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak with the media, said the charges related to two incidents: one at Chalmers' house and one at another address.
He said police in the area had recently been investigating a rash of robberies.
Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs says it has been working with local authorities in Jalisco state, a popular tourist destination home to Puerto Vallarta, since Wood's murder.
Spokesperson Ian Trites confirmed to CTVNews.ca on Friday that the government was aware of the reports, but would say little else on the incident.
"I'm afraid I can't be any more specific," he wrote in an email.
Melaque is a quiet town with numerous Canadian residents and visitors. According to local media reports, Woods' death caused significant concern among both foreigners and locals who depend on tourism for their income. A small group marched in protest of such violence on Jan. 9.