“It looked like something out of a movie”: the details of the macabre discovery of those hanged in Zacatecas

REUTERS/Guillermo Moreno (STRINGER/)

On the morning of Thursday, November 18, the workers who had left their homes very early in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc, Zacatecas, stopped to look and take photos of the tragic scene that several of them encountered in the Orito bridge before dawn.

It looked like something out of a movie. It couldn’t possibly be happening in reality”, One of them said.

Nine bodies, some of them half naked, hung from blue and yellow ropes on the bridge of federal highway 45, in the municipality bordering the state of Aguascalientes. Some were tied by the feet. They were all swayed by the wind. A tenth body had given up under its own weight and lay sprawled on the asphalt. All were “Males ranging between 21 and 42 years”According to the police report.

Five were from Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, three from the municipality of Zacatecas, one from Guadalupe and one from Ojocaliente. According to the portal Aristegui News, so far it is unknown if the finding is related to what was reported by the Municipal President of Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Francisco Javier Arcos Cruz, who revealed through his account Facebook on disappearance of several people in past days.

And since November 16, in Cuauhtémoc, a municipality of approximately 13,466 inhabitants, rumors were heard that criminal groups were taking people away. Neighbors spoke of 20 people and there were testimonies that some of them had been taken from their own homes by a command.

“I want to ask the entire population that if you don’t have to go out at night, do not go out, take shelter, be careful, take care of yourself, take care of your families. Do not leave your homes, do not expose yourself if there is no need, go out and do what is necessary: ​​to work, to errand… ”, was the message that Francisco Javier Arcos himself sent to the inhabitants of the municipality.

The same day that the hanging bodies appeared, the security elements of the municipality no longer showed up to work. Nine of the 18 elements that made up the Loreto municipality police force resigned, while the rest are still in operation. However, they asked until the end of the month to decide whether to continue in their positions or to separate. Arcos himself had to go to the scene of the events to find out.

“It is 9:06 am I am together with the State Attorney’s Office, raising complaints from direct relatives, missing persons. Throughout the day I have not stopped working and looking for them to come to attend to those affected, although the responsibility was of the direct family members to go and file a complaint with the MP. I do not have fellow police officers to accompany me, I am alone attending to the problem“, he pointed.

In addition to Monte Escobedo, Tepetongo, Aculco, Cañitas de Felipe Pescador, Villa Hidalgo and El Salvador, the municipality of Loreto was also left without public force as a result of the fact that on Monday, November 15, a video (dated the 10th) uploaded on social networks where they were ‘raised’ three policemen, including the Director of Security, Rafael Hernández, as well as two officers under his command. Their bodies were found on Sunday 14 at the foot of federal highway 25.

REUTERS / Guillermo Moreno
REUTERS/Guillermo Moreno (STRINGER/)

In the recording, several hooded men are observed, carrying long weapons and in front of a dozen trucks, while shouting: “Pure May people!”, “Up with May!”.

On the day of the kidnapping of the Loreto Security Director, three more bodies were found hanging on a pedestrian bridge in Fresnillo, on federal highway 23 (due to the weight, one of them had fallen to the ground). The day before, three people were hung from a tree in the town of San Marcos, in Loreto. Beside him they had left a message signed by him Sinaloa Cartel.

Federal government reports indicate that Hugo Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytan, nicknamed Toad, and second in command of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), sent operational cells in charge of taking over the state since 2019. These cells entered through Nayarit, coming down from the mountainous area. At the same time, operators of El Mayo Zambada they descended from Coahuila and Durango.

Only in the month of July ten more people appeared on bridges and roads in Zacatecas, Fresnillo and Valparaíso. Only between July 12 and 13 were other 21 corpses in these municipalities. Only on September 14 there was 31 executed.

The hanging of Cuauhtémoc caused the fall of the Secretary of Security, Arturo López Bazán -Who had just completed a year in office and came from Conase, one of the few agencies that have yielded results in the midst of the unbridled massacre that prevails in the country, as well as the arrival of one more general at the head of security tasks: Adolfo Marín Marín.


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