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Sentences of 31 and 24 years for the Mérida shooting deaths of August 2011

These are the largest sentences imposed yet by the Provincial Court of Mérida to members of the Montoya family for the deaths of Isabel Vargas and her son, Joaquín, during a confrontation in August 2011, as well as another 22 years of prison for the only defendant from the Vargas family, who was found responsible for six counts of attempted homicide.


The Provincial Court sentences Félix Montoya to 31 years of prison for the death of Isabel Vargas resulting from the shooting in August 2011 in Mérida, one count of attempted murder, two counts of attempted manslaughter and illegal weapons possession. The court also sentences José María Montoya to 23 and half years of prison for the death of Joaquín Vargas and three counts of attempted manslaughter, as well as illegal weapons possession.

The only member of the rival family charged with a crime, Manuel Vargas, has been sentenced to 22 years of prison for six counts of attempted manslaughter and one count of possession of weapons without a licence. The sentence is not final as their may still be an appeal in cassation before the Supreme Court.

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