Entries tagged with “Cristina Siekavizza”.


Suspect Roberto Barreda, who allegedly murdered his wife Cristina Siekavizza in Guatemala in 2011 and then disappeared with their two children, was arrested Friday in Merida, Mexico. Perhaps because he knows some English, Guatemalan news media had originally speculated he might have fled to the US.

As I wrote at the beginning of 2012, I became interested in the case because my former wife in Guatemala (who asked that her name not be used here) is a friend of Cristina’s relatives. My ex and Cristina’s brother Pablo notified me at the time that roughly 25,000 people were currently using social media to track down Barreda.

His arrest followed an anonymous tip to Fundación Sobrevivientes — which has been supporting Cristina’s family — from a man who had just seen a TV special on the case. Barreda was first sent to Mexico City for interrogation before being extradited to Guatemala.

BARRADA’S ARREST in the State of Yucatan was a joint effort by Mexican and Guatemalan law enforcement. Barreda (center) was wanted by Interpol, and the Guatemalan Interior Ministry had offered 50,000 quetzales (approximately $6,360) for information leading to his arrest. Yucatan Times photo

The couple’s children, Roberto José, 9, and María Mercedes, 6, had been with their father.

Cristina with Roberto and María (right).

Guatemalan President Pérez Molina told the press they are in good health.

He also said that Barreda had changed his hair color and hairstyle while on the lam.

In addition, Barreda had changed his name to Carlos Roberto Barreido Villarreal. He led the children to believe they were younger than they are and that their mother had run off with another man.

The murder is believed to have occurred on July 6, 2011, but Cristina Siekavizza’s body has never been found. Right after Cristina’s disappearance, however, Barreda and the children moved to his parents’ house. The family’s house worker said she saw a lot of blood in one room of the Barreda home and was told to clean it and to wash bloodied sheets.

The house worker (above) also told authorities she saw Barreda and his mother washing out his car and that the water was bloody. The mother had threatened the worker to keep silent about what she’d seen. Roberto’s mother, who is a former president of Guatemala’s Supreme Court, was subsequently jailed for 10 months. She has now been released but cannot leave the country. Photo from Fundación Sobrevivientes (Survivors Foundation)

“The house was cleaned with special liquids, but the chemical luminol, [which is used in police investigations], found blood stains,” my former wife writes. Blood was also found on the skylight of a balcony, where Cristina may have gone to call for help from neighbors — “which she did not get.”

For two years, protesters organized by Voces por Cristina have been marching to demand that authorities give serious attention to Cristina’s case.

Roberto Barreda in custody. Prensa Libre photo

My ex, who is a member of Voces por Cristina, writes, “Many women have said that after hearing about Cristina, they have gotten out of bad relationships where they were hurt in different ways.  Some say it has saved their lives and that of their kids.

“We have learned a lot.  A lot of [comments] have been posted on our [Voces por Cristina] web page, and it coincided with the creation of Feminicide and Violence against Women Courts.  So we feel this has raised awareness of a great problem in Guatemala.

Protestors in another Voces por Cristina march demanding that a transparent investigation be carried out and that justice be done.

“Cristina’s mother has said that if Cristina’s passing has saved lives, her death is not in vain,” my ex writes. “I have seen women coming to her, asking for help/guidance in their cases, while we have been out as a group.  She has directed them to Fundación Sobrevivientes. Some have returned to thank her for her help.”

“I saw a lady [who]…was able to get custody of her granddaughter because the foundation helped her,” my ex added. “The father had killed the wife and wanted to keep the little girl.  We need more of awareness and education, and I believe this situation has helped a lot.”

Roberto and María are reunited with their grandparents, Juan Luis Siekavizza and Angelis Molina. Guatemalan Interior Ministry photo

Meanwhile, the social media are still on the story. My former wife writes that people can keep up with the case in Facebook at Voces por Cristina.

Last week I reported that a Guatemalan wife and mother of two, Cristina Siekavizza (at right), disappeared July 7.

Authorities suspect she was murdered by her husband, Roberto Barreda de León, and that he has probably fled to the United States, taking the couple’s two children, Roberto Jose, 7, and María Mercedes, 4, with him.

As I wrote, I became interested in the case because my former wife Ana Carolina Monterroso is a friend of Cristina’s relatives. She and Cristina’s brother Pablo have notified me that roughly 25,000 people are currently using social media to track down Roberto.

I believe it. Last week’s posting drew a record 1,217 visitors in the first three days after it went online. Some 432 of those were in Guatemala. Readers have posted links to this blog on their Facebook pages and on other websites. Truly social media in action.

An international warrant for the English-speaking husband’s arrest has been issued. If people spot him, they should notify local law enforcement or the FBI. Please note that the email address in Guatemala for reporting his whereabouts is incorrect on the wanted poster. It should be busquedacristina@gmail.com.

Point Reyes Station — Mitchell cabin with its red roof is near the center of the photo.

Around Mitchell cabin two foxes are making themselves more and more at home with every passing week. Lynn and I can hand feed them slices of bread although one is more skittish than the other. The first sits around the kitchen door waiting for me to hand it dinner. Usually we have to throw the slices to its partner.

For a year or more we had been feeding our foxes and raccoons honey-roasted peanuts along with bread, but that became fairly expensive.

Our problem was solved by Gayanne Enquist of Inverness.

She recommended we forget about peanuts and feed our critters dog kibble. It was a brilliant idea.

Once we determined through experimentation which brand they prefer — Kibble and Bits — we could eliminate peanuts and most bread from their dinners.

However, the kibble is so popular that we might as well be feeding two large dogs.

Along with the foxes, we get five or six raccoons every night.

One raccoon is a solitary male. The others belong to two families that don’t like each other, so we have to put out two trays of kibble on the deck and keep refilling them.

That adds up to about 40 pounds of kibble per week.

The foxes wait their turn for the kibble until the raccoons leave although the raccoons are also a bit wary of the foxes.

Of course, we’re not always Johnny on the spot in setting out their dinners, and here a fox waits patiently while a raccoon approaches cautiously.

We also feed a variety of birds, including towhees, sparrows, doves, and scores of redwing blackbirds. They have a set feeding time, somewhere between 4:30 and 5 p.m. However, the birds aren’t the only beneficiaries of the birdseed. Roof rats, those cute little rodents, show up almost as soon as the blackbirds leave.

Blacktail deer are ubiquitous around Mitchell cabin. This year I’ve seen as many as 14 at one time. Here a fawn sleeps right outside our kitchen window while two does graze nearby.

The deer are so comfortable around us that I can often approach them within a few feet.

Although we’re in the middle of winter, these are great days to relax. Just keep your eyes out for a murder suspect fleeing Guatemala.

A Guatemalan wife and mother of two, Cristina Siekavizza, went missing July 7. Authorities believe her husband murdered her, and Guatemalan news media have reported the English-speaking husband, Roberto Barreda de León, has probably fled to the United States.

The husband, is believed to have taken the couple’s two children, Roberto Jose, 7, and Maria Mercedes, 4, with him. An international warrant for his arrest has been issued.

I’ve been following the case because my former wife Ana Carolina Monterroso is a friend of Cristina’s relatives. Social media are trying to spread the word internationally about the case. A YouTube site called Voces por Cristina, to which Ana Carolina belongs, now has more than 4,000 followers. A Facebook site called VocesXCristina has 20,000 followers. Here’s Cristina’s uncle Carlos Siekavizza making a plea in Spanish on the YouTube site.

The case was first thought to be a kidnapping, and private investigators were hired by the Barreda de León family, but they may have mainly hidden evidence. After weeks passed without a call from any kidnappers, the Attorney General’s Office took over the investigation.

Police found incriminating evidence against Cristina’s husband, and on Aug. 3, he disappeared, along with the children.

Prosecutor Rony López tells journalists that police have found evidence that an attack occurred in the family’s home. Blood has been found while items one would have expected to find are missing, he said.

Authorities have also reported that after Siekavizza disappeared, Barreda threatened the house helper (above) not to talk to police.

The case took a bizarre turn when police jailed Barreda’s mother, Beatriz Ofelia de León, a former president of the Guatemalan Supreme Court, for corruption of justice by also threatening the house worker and obstructing justice.

Because Cristina’s case has come to epitomize violence against women in Guatemala, it has received heavy coverage for months in the Guatemalan press and has sparked protests, such as this march.

Before the disappearances, the family had appeared to be happy.

Cristina’s sister, however, has told the press that Barreda was domineering. Cristina had remained close to her relatives and liked to visit them, the sister said, but Roberto objected that it was a waste of gasoline.

Guatemala is a long way from Point Reyes Station, but this blog has readers around the world. And because the murder suspect and his children may well be in the US by now, this posting is a shot in the dark aimed at catching him.

If you do spot him, please report the sighting to local law enforcement or the FBI office in your area. There is also an email address in Guatemala for reporting Barreda’s whereabouts: busquedacristina@gmail.com.