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Surfer deaths in Mexico: Man charged, confessed to girlfriend, court told

Surfer deaths in Mexico: Man charged, confessed to girlfriend, court told

A man charged over the disappearance of three tourists during a surfing trip in Mexico has confessed to killing them, a court has heard.

Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad disappeared on April 27 near Ensenada.

Jesús Gerardo was in court on Wednesday for kidnapping crimes, but officials say murder charges will be filed soon.

Also known as “El Kekas,” he has yet to enter a plea.

Baja California state officials have said the three tourists – all in their early 30s – were likely killed while trying to prevent the tires of their pickup truck from being stolen.

According to local authorities, their bodies were found dumped in a pit on a cliff six days after their disappearance, each with a shot to the head. A fourth body was also found in the well, but it had been there longer and was not related to the case, she added.

Jesús has been charged with “enforced disappearance” and his girlfriend Ari Gisel and another man have been arrested for their suspected involvement. Their surnames have been suppressed by the courts.

During Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors named Ari — who has not been charged in their disappearance — as one of their witnesses.

The court heard the 23-year-old told investigators that Jesús had come to her home on April 28 and told her he had done something with “three gringos”.

She asked what he meant and he replied: “I killed them,” the hearing was told.

He then showed her that he had fitted her car with new tires, which were allegedly stolen from the murdered surfers, prosecutors alleged.

They also told the court they believed other people were involved in the murders.

Earlier this week, Jake and Callum Robinson’s parents traveled from Perth to Mexico to identify their bodies.

In an emotional tribute, Debra Robinson said on Tuesday: “Now it’s time to take them home to family and friends and to the waves of the ocean in Australia.”

The killings have sparked fear and anger in Baja California.

It is one of Mexico’s most violent states, where local drug gangs wage wars.

But the Ensenada area, about 75 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border and known for its surfing conditions, is considered safer and has long attracted tourists from California.

Dozens of protesters marched through the city on Sunday, carrying surfboards plastered with slogans demanding safe beaches.

A group of surfers later performed a “paddle-out” ceremony, an ocean wake in honor of the trio.

By BBC News

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