Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

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Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

Bjeff
Source:
http://www.kens5.com/news/crime/worker-for-los-zetas-drug-cartel-testified-wednesday-about-being-kidnapped/272465701

Alicia Neaves

A father whose son went missing in 2011 took the stand Wednesday in the federal trial of an alleged war commander for Los Zetas drug cartel.

The defendant in this case is Mariano Millan-Vasquez, known to everyone as "Chano."  Multiple witnesses have testified that Millan-Vasquez controlled the region of Piedras Negras for Los Zetas and is responsible for hundreds of killings and disappearances.

Former Zetas members testified Tuesday, claiming the cartel is responsible for a bloody massacre in Piedras Negras in 2011.

On Wednesday morning, prosecutors called Jaime Abascal Reyna to the stand. The last time Reyna saw his son was September 11, 2011. He said that they spoke over the phone every day. When Reyna didn't hear from his son for several days, he started making calls.

Reyna discovered that his son's co-worker and girlfriend were also missing. He was told to contact someone in Los Zetas to see if they had information. The cartel member he spoke with was Jose Luis Rodriguez.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez testified about a bloody massacre involving over 300 people. He said that the Zetas commanders ordered the killings because there was a government informant in the group. They ordered the informant be killed along with anyone and everyone associated with him.

Rodriguez said that when he asked a commander about Reyna's son who disappeared, the commander said for him to stop asking about it, because they just finished "cooking him".

Reyna never heard back from the cartel, so he said that he contacted the Mexican government.

"[The government] told me not to go asking questions about my son. They told me to stop doing that," Reyna said in court.

During a particularly emotional testimony on Wednesday, a former worker for Los Zetas said that he was kidnapped twice by the cartel and was forced to witness several violent acts.

At least two jurors broke down in tears as they listened to Jorge De Leon Navarro describe how Los Zetas killed their prisoners.

De Leon said that he didn't voluntarily start working with the cartel; he was kidnapped and forced to participate.

"The first time [I was kidnapped], they took me with a group of about seven people. They picked us up and told us we had to work for someone, for Los Zetas,” De Leon said in court. “The first one they asked, he didn't want to work, and [cartel members] said, ‘that's fine.’ He turned around, and they shot him in the head. The rest of us agreed."

De Leon said that he helped Los Zetas stash drugs, transport firearms and deliver marijuana to drug mules along the river to be smuggled to the U.S. He claimed that the drugs came from the Zetas "comandantes" or commanders, which included Millan-Vasquez.

When prosecutors asked if De Leon feared police while en route to deliver firearms to "Chano," he said that he wasn't worried because the majority of police were bought out. He said that officers escorted him to remote locations to deliver guns to Millan-Vasquez on more than one occasion.

On July 12, 2012, authorities seized over 50 kilograms of marijuana at the Del Rio port of entry. The load belonged to De Leon.

The witness said that the commanders kidnapped him and his two superiors until they paid what they owed for the seized load of marijuana. De Leon said that his two superiors were let go after they paid, but that he didn't have the $100,000 the cartel needed. He said that cartel members kidnapped him again and held him captive for 13 days until he found the money.

De Leon said that during his captivity, he witnessed Zetas commanders dismember people while they were still alive and throw the body parts into a flaming barrel. He claimed that he was blindfolded, handcuffed, driven to random locations around Piedras Negras, stripped of the blindfold, and forced to kneel and watch these brutal murders.

"They did this so I would tell my family if they didn't obtain the money, this would happen to them," he said in court.

Jurors broke down in tears when De Leon described a mother and father being pulled by their hair and forced to watch their 6-year-old daughter dismembered alive before they faced the same, brutal death. De Leon said that Millan-Vasquez would smile and laugh as he performed these killings.

De Leon said that his mother sold her house for $20,000 to help him, and that the Zetas let him loose with the stipulation that he must pay $100,000 more in one week.

On March 13, 2013, De Leon and his father were apprehended by Border Patrol agents about three miles from the border near Comstock, TX. The two claimed credible fear, telling agents that they feared for their lives if they were to stay in Mexico.

A red Blackberry phone belonging to De Leon was examined by computer forensics experts with Homeland Security Investigations. They recovered deleted material, which included death threats from the defendant and information regarding Zetas operations. De Leon is now cooperating with authorities.

De Leon will serve time in jail after pleading guilty to a marijuana charge.

When prosecutors asked De Leon if "Chano" was in the courtroom, the witness stood up and scanned the courtroom for close to three minutes, before pointing at Millan-Vasquez.

Prosecutors asked De Leon why it took him so long to point out the defendant.

"I'm afraid for my family," he replied.

Millan-Vasquez faces multiple charges, including conspiracy to distribute narcotics, enticing minors to sell drugs, giving a false identification to authorities, and charges for at least nine murders in South Texas and Northern Mexico.

Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

Source:
http://www.kens5.com/news/crime/worker-for-los-zetas-drug-cartel-testified-wednesday-about-being-kidnapped/272465701
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

canadiana
Administrator
What a horrific story!This guy must have nightmares every night remembering the screams of agony.Sounds worse than any horror movie made.I don't like the way the Mexican gov reacts to people's inquiries of their missing loved ones.They just say don't ask questions.Can't they just appease a little bit [even if they don't intend on investigating]and say we don't know {even though they probably do] or something to that effect.What if the shoe was on the other foot?Have a little empathy for your fellow man.
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

Bjeff
It is amazing what some people are capable of doing to others. Lately I have been digging through a lot of cartel operatives social media profiles, and I am just baffled on how they live a normal life with wife and kids and at the same time are capable of dismembering people alive, kidnapping, shooting others, and that it seems to be the norm.

And adding a little sadness, the Coahuila attorney general admits there were 28 people killed in the Allende massacre, while witnesses in this court case admits to 300 people killed.
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

1966tinman
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Bjeff
Cartel violence perpetrated on innocent victims is very real . But few know about the punishment and violent deaths of members of the drug cartels at the hands of their own members . A few years ago an American relative that was married to an illegal immigrant  living in the U.S. would  visit a small ejido outside Ciudad Acuña , a Zeta stronghold . She would visit her elderly in-laws on a monthly basis since her husband  could not return to Mexico . She befriended a young couple that she found out worked as halcones ( lookouts ) near a small military post . Their jobs were to relay the movements of the troops to  their Zeta commander . They were paid about $100 dollars a week . One day the boyfriend fell asleep at his post and was discovered by some fellow members who took him to Acuña . There he was disciplined with a wooden paddle and had to take three weeks off  to recover from the severe beating . The girlfriend was then disciplined for losing a two way radio . She only had her long  hair cut off in a G.I Jane fashion and was docked two weeks pay .  They confided to my relative that they were terrorized by witnessing some brutal crimes on regular civilians , fellow Zetas , and on rivals . One day my relative  told me  that she had received a phone call that the young couple was living in a small West Texas town near her home . Unfortunately the young couple  decided to return to Mexico and felt that living in  Monterrey , would be safe . According to my relative , the couple were found tortured to death ,  stuffed into the trunk of a small sedan .    
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

Bjeff
Thanks for telling, Tinman. That wood paddle sure seems to be standard equipment among los Zetas. I wonder where it originates from. Is it a military thing?

It seems like management training isn't a prioritized field in this crime corp.
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

jlopez
In reply to this post by canadiana
Canadiana: Your questions contain an inherent implication or assumption, and that is, like most of us who live in a society that generally benefits from strong institutions, you assume that the government and the narcos are adversaries in some form. There is now a mountain of evidence that shows that organized crime has infiltrated the Mexican government and its economy. The process has been ongoing for several generations now, and, in my opinion, at least, is simply a logical consequence of the oligarchical and authoritarian form of government that has ruled Mexico for centuries. Admittedly, there was a brief break with Lazaro Cardenas (the president, not the port), but the PRI has been chipping away at the reforms that Cardenas placed in the constitution.

Coming back down to earth, the reason the government in Coahuila discouraged people from investigating the disappearances or murders of their family members is simply that the government knew very well that government officials were deeply involved. This has been conclusively established in U.S. courts, although neither the Coahuila nor the Tamaulipas government has raised a finger against the honest and government criminals who committed the Allende massacre. Just for your information, honest criminals are those who do not pretend to be anything else, whereas government criminals pretend to be  public servants.
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

1966tinman
@jlopez
I have relatives on my maternal side who live in Coahuila around Nava, Allende , Nueva Rosita and Sabinas so I know that part of Coahuila very well and visit there often . One of my current neighbors has about a dozen family members that disappeared in northern Coahuila in that area . But to characterize them as innocent would be a fabrication . I use to see them on their frequent visits to my neighbor's home here in Texas and my neighbor was very proud of the fact that they were "con los Viejos "or "with the Old School " aka the Zetas . These dirty bastards got caught up in the world of drug smuggling and money laundering and are some of the victims of the so called "Allende   massacre ".  Of course , now , my neighbor wants to cry about how the whole family was victimized when these same relatives were victimizing many of their innocent neighbors . He once asked me to use my contacts with Mexican  government officials and my relatives in the PRI to help him find them but I could care less and refused .  If you want to live by the sword , then you must be ready to die by the sword .  
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

Siskiyou_Kid
In reply to this post by 1966tinman
Tinman, at times I have been dismissive of your support of extrajudicial punishment and totalitarian government, but your unique insight explains a lot.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

1966tinman
This post was updated on .
In 2011  I returned to Texas permanently after having lived and worked  in Ciudad Juarez from 2008 to 2010 .  I decided to start broadcasting a  three hour  twice a week  music show on the local college radio station in my small Texas city .  The station could reach  listeners  worldwide via the internet  and I had listeners from serviceman in Iraq and Afghanistan to people from Europe and Latin America .  One day I received a message via Facebook from a 29 year married girl in Nueva Rosita  , Coahuila who after  searching for her recently missing  father had finally found out about his fate . He had left to the United States when she was around four and over the next twenty five years would   occasionally visit once or twice a year and  always send money to support his family  . She told me the story of how he called one day to tell her that he was coming back home after retiring from  a factory job .  He never made it home .  His remains were found on a ranch near Piedras Negras . She had messaged me to dedicate a song for her father on what would've been his birthday . I still remember the song that she asked me to play , "Y Volvere " by Los Angeles Negroes . It was heartbreaking and I felt her pain and anguish although I had never met her . I think about my neighbor's narco relatives who were killed by their own Zeta cartel and I am glad they ended up where they did . I have no sympathy for violent  criminals and the only  solution is  to exterminate them at whatever cost .  
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

canadiana
Administrator
In reply to this post by Bjeff
I guess the 28 are 'confirmed bodies' found at the scene in town.The others are 'disappeared' with no trace or DNA.Even though there was witnesses in a trial going on in another country which doesn't count as it's out of Mexico's jurisdiction to count.
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

canadiana
Administrator
In reply to this post by jlopez
Thanks for your interesting insights jlopez.I always respect your input on forum.Yes I am a little biased coming from a law enforcement family that had pretty high standards of integrity.Call me naïve but after spending a great deal of time here ]3 hours a night] over the last 2 years I am beginning to read between the lines.I thought Mexico law enforcement might be simply incompetentcy or lack of training but it's much more than that or crime wouldn't be allowed to flourish like it does.Sometimes I'm being sarcastic when I say they don't have money for investigations [because it went in the back pocket].Now wasn't the Allende massacre a Zeta operative that took off with $5 million and it was the Zetas themselves that went into that town?When you say heavy government criminals do you mean the cops operating as sicarios on Zeta'
s orders or the paid off officials that allow them to operate for money or do you mean both?
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

jlopez
Canadiana: In response to your question, it is both of the scenarios that you posited. In addition, there is no single or main form of corruption in Mexico. Humberto Padgett, in his book "Tamaulipas, La Casta de los Narcogobernadores", describes the manner in which organized crime organizations, the precursors of today's cartels, became in effect members of the establishment in Tamaulipas and Coahuila. Padgett details the history of the infiltration that resulted in politicians like Tomas Yarrington, former governor of Tamaulipas, and other highly placed government officials, federal and state police officers, businessmen, military officers -- a huge cast of characters-- becoming partners with or members of organized crime.

Other writers have described much the same process in other states such as Guerrero, Sinaloa, Michoacan, and more recently, in the state of Mexico. But this is just a partial list. I don't know of any Mexican state that has escaped infiltration by organized crime. In all instances, the effect is the same. Government and organized crime leaders become partners and protect each other.

So, in places like Allende, the Zetas were free to carry out their executions because they enjoyed the protection from the area's political and law enforcement establishment. There has been testimony, for example, that municipal cops escorted Zeta sicarios to the victims' homes. While this was probably just  professional courtesy, it would not surprise me in the least to learn that municipal police, or personnel from other law enforcement agencies, carried out some of the executions or performed other services for the more honest criminals. As in other massacres --Iguala/Ayotzinapa, Apatzingan, Tlatlaya, Tlatelolco, to name just a few--, the government and organized crime murderers were not worried about getting caught.

I get somewhat annoyed when I read reports in U.S. media or read articles by U.S. writers that still assume that the government is fighting the "war on drugs", that the government and the narcos are adversaries. I know a lot of Mexican cops are killed each year by members of organized crime organization, but I honestly could not tell what side they were on and why they got killed. It does not help at all that Mexican law enforcement agencies, both civilian and military, routinely use torture to extract confessions and that the system of justice is so corrupt that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people in Mexican prisons. In other words, in Mexico, the fact that a person is convicted of a crime is not a reliable indicator of guilt, a fact that is generally taken for granted in the U.S. and probably in Canada. Judging from the facts, solving crimes is simply not a priority for Mexican cops, prosecutors or judges. Maybe I'm just cynical.

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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

Bajadrone-2
In reply to this post by Bjeff
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

canadiana
Administrator
I think it's a condition of extradition Baja.If they were American yes but Mexican no or Mexico will not extradite them as Mexico has no capital punishment.[only extrajudicial or 'disappeared'].
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Re: Former Los Zetas worker: I was forced to witness brutal killings

Bajadrone-2
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