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'An earthquake in the Israeli criminal world'

Security footage shows female assassin killing Israeli crime bosses in Mexico

Main suspect in the murders of Ben Suthi and Alon Azoulay can be seen in the video dining with accomplice before gunning down two Israelis at close range

Security camera footage shows a woman who appears to be Esperanza Gutierrez Rojano holding a pistol before shooting Israelis Ben Suthi and Alon Azoulay in Mexico City on July 24, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Security camera footage shows a woman who appears to be Esperanza Gutierrez Rojano holding a pistol before shooting Israelis Ben Suthi and Alon Azoulay in Mexico City on July 24, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Security camera footage published Friday by Mexican media showed the murder of an Israeli crime boss and his associate earlier this week in Mexico City, with the two being shot at close range.

In the video, a woman — apparently Esperanza Gutierrez Rojano — can be seen dining with a second unidentified suspect at a restaurant in the Mexican capital on Wednesday. She then gets up from the table and strolls over to an outside seating area with the other suspect in tow before they pull out their pistols.

The two can then be seen firing their guns before running back into the restaurant to flee from another entrance. Footage taken from a different angle shows what is reported to be the Israeli men at their table sitting with another woman the moment they are shot at close range.

The Israelis were identified Thursday as Ben Suthi, a Tel Aviv native and well-known crime boss, and Alon Azoulay of Bat Yam.

Rojano, 33, has confessed to the shooting and initially claimed during police questioning that it was a crime of passion, saying Suthi cheated on her.

According to reports Friday, however, Rojano admitted that she was hired to carry out the shooting.

Also Friday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico is working with Israeli authorities to investigate the shooting, Noticieros Televisa reported.

A spokesman for the Mexico City prosecutor’s office said Thursday investigators were treating the killings as a “settling of scores among criminal groups and/or organized crime.”

“It could be a settling of scores in the Israeli mafia, which is why a complete identification [of the victims] was possible, along with their criminal records,” the spokesman was quoted saying by the Guardian.

Separate security camera footage shows two alleged accomplices of Rojano opening fire as they exit a car near the mall where the restaurant is located around the time of the shooting. One of the men then forces a police officer at gun point to lay down on the ground, before taking his weapon.

Rojano was arrested shortly after the murders. She had been reportedly wearing a blonde wig during the shooting.

Israeli police sources told the Ynet news site on Thursday that there was “no doubt” the murder was “commissioned by those with interests in Israel.” The Israel Police reportedly suspect that an Israeli criminal organization paid a local group in Mexico City to carry out the hit.

Rojano’s confession, in which she reportedly said she had acted out of “betrayal and passion,” may have been code for a retribution attack by a Mexican or Israeli criminal organization for some perceived treachery on Suthi’s part, the source said.

The same news site also quoted what it called “underworld sources” as saying that the assassination constituted “an earthquake in the Israeli criminal world… This wasn’t someone marginal, but a very dominant figure who was very careful and very suspicious.”

Suthi relocated to Mexico a few weeks ago, according to media reports. He is believed to have a daughter in the country, conceived during his last stint there after he fled Israel in 2001, escaping a prison term for murder during a furlough from prison.

The shooting came a day after another Israeli underworld figure, Erez Akrishevsky, was extradited from Mexico to Israel. Akrishevsky was close to Suthi, and had fled Israel with him in 2001, living for the past 18 years in Mexico under the assumed name Ricardo Lopez before he was caught by Mexican police this month and returned to Israel.

The fatal shooting also came less than a month after an Israeli DJ was shot dead during a rave in central Mexico. Forty-five-year-old Ronen Dahan, known as DJ Perplex, was one of two people gunned down in a shooting in San Luis Potosí, which Mexican media linked to the ongoing drug cartel violence in the country.

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