Felix Verdejo 27 has been formally charged on May 2nd of killing and kidnapping Keishla Rodriguez Ortiz, who was also 27 years of age. Her body was discovered on May 1st in a lagoon outside of San Juan, secured to concrete blocks, and in a state of decomposition.
Ortiz’s identity was confirmed by family members who recognized a distinctive tatoo on her back. A diamond on the nape of her neck, in tribute to Verdejo, who is otherwise known as “El Diamante”. A brazen proclamation, considering Verdejo remains married to another woman.
Image: Keishla Rodriguez Ortiz
Many women came to grieve her death at the bridge Ortiz’s body was found. Ortiz’s sister, Berniece wore cloths once belonging to her sister, surrounded by the women as she wept.
Verdejo was considered a rising star in the boxing world. Emerging as one of Puerto Rico’s most promising boxers, with 27 wins and 2 losses. He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges this past May 11th. If convicted he is potentially facing the death penalty.
In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, it is estimate that 60 women have since been murdered. This year alone, 11 women have been killed, which is an average of one woman every week. Puerto Rico has double the rate of female murders than the United states.
In 2012, then Governor of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuna made a statement saying, “Boxing nights are domestic violence nights in Puerto Rico. In response to data which showed a disturbing trend in domestic violence during high-profile matches. Prompting critics to question the correlation between domestic violence and the act of boxing itself.