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Like all true crime stories, this one is complicated.
Or non-true crime stories, as the case may be.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco was Mexico’s star striker from the mid-’90s to the 2010 World Cup and scored bags of goals for Club America of Liga MX and the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer. The famously portly but skillful Blanco, 44, has become the mayor of Cuernavaca, a city of some 350,000 that is located more than an hour south of Mexico City. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party and won the election in 2015 in a recount vote.
Blanco is being accused of ordering a hit on businessman Juan Manuel Garcia Bejarano, who was shot dead on April 6 while riding a horse in the opening march of the Cuernavaca Fair, which he helped as an organizer.
Bejarano gave this interview moments before he was murdered.
And the immediate aftermath was captured as well. [WARNING: STRONG IMAGES.]
Although an arrest was made on the spot, the finger was soon pointed at Blanco for being the assassination’s “mastermind” for having ordered the hit. It’s unclear why he would.
José Fierro Escobar was charged with the murder, but he apparently told prosecutors that two men had paid him to commit the crime. And that one of them was Blanco.
Blanco immediately denied the accusation.
But at one point, nothing was seen or heard of Blanco for five days when he didn’t show up at his municipal offices. When he finally materialized, he refused to meet with councilors and only stopped by to sign urgent documents.
On Sunday, Blanco posted a video proclaiming his innocence once again on Twitter:
— Cuauhtémoc Blanco (@CuauhtemocBco) April 18, 2017
Blanco claims he’s being framed by the governor of the Morelos state, of which Cuernavaca is the capital. Graco Ramirez is another enemy of his and he has said the fair was being run by organized crime.
Blanco, who has apparently made noises about running for Ramirez’s governorship, has called for the attorney general to investigate, since he doesn’t trust the governor not to interfere in a local case.
Blanco has resisted calls from city councilors and rival parties to step down while an investigation takes place. And he says he fears for his life and his family’s lives.
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.