Earlier this week, we reported that the case against the Mexican man charged with killing Royal Caribbean crew member, Monika Markiewicz, was falling apart. A key prosecution witness testified at a hearing that police pressured him into making a false statement implicating Nelson Pérez Torres as the murderer.
In our article Is Alleged Murderer of Royal Caribbean Musician Innocent? we pointed out that the Mexican police have now been accused of strong arm tactics against both the alleged killer and the star prosecution witness.
A newspaper in Mexico is reporting today that after Ms. Markiewicz’s death, an official from Royal Caribbean traveled to Mexico and placed pressure on Mexico officials to quickly solve the crime.
SIPSE.com states that case gained special importance because it involved a crew member from the Allure of the Seas cruise ship, operated by Royal Caribbean. The newspaper reports that Michael Ronan, vice president of Royal Caribbean, traveled to Cozumel and met with tourism authorities and the police to discuss the details of the case.
"The pressure increased when he made statements that cruises to the island could be suspended if the case was not resolved." (translation)
This crime occurred at a time when some cruises lines were suspending cruises to Mexico due to the perception that it is unsafe to disembark in Mexican ports due to violent crime.
Mexican police arrested Mr. Torres within a week of the death of Ms. Markiewicz. Newspapers in Mexico published stories that Mr. Torres was railroaded into a confession. His friends and family members even picketed at the pier with signs saying Mr. Torres is innocent.
On the same day as the arrest, Royal Caribbean issued a press release stating that its "Global Security Department fully supported and assisted Mexican officials in their investigation of this isolated and uncharacteristic crime for Cozumel."
Cruise line President Adam Goldstein was quoted saying:
"We thank the Mexican authorities for their commitment to quickly solving the murder of our crew member . . ."
"Quick" justice is often no justice at all.
It will be unjust to both the Torres and Markiewicz families if the wrong man is convicted.