Graphic evidence and testimony from a source who was part of the operation that killed the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Ignacio Nacho Coronel, allows us to reconstruct the last moments of his life.
Coronel was killed in an operation by the Mexican military on July 29 at a safe home in Zapopan, Jalisco. As in other exceptional cases, we respect the anonymity of the source of said information.
When Coronel was finally able to react he smashed a window and tried to escape through the garden of the safe house, where he had been hiding for the last two weeks. He was fearful of being apprehended. He knew that time was not on his side and he did not have a lot of time to react.
He ran toward a staircase that leads to a hallway; to the left is the master bedroom and to the right is the living room. But he did not get far, he was cornered. In his corner he turned and fired five or six shots with an assault M-16 rifle at which point he killed one soldier and wounded another.
After taking few steps forward he met a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun. Just one single shot from a soldier that was carrying the shotgun at no more than four feet away dropped him to the floor. The pellets entered through his left side, almost to his back. The shot at almost point blank did not spread much.
Nacho Coronel was dead.
The picture of the body lying on the stairs shows clearly that this was the only gunshot he received. The blood that seen just under his chin is coming out of his mouth and not from a direct gunshot wound.
The shotgun that killed "Nacho" Coronel is primarily used by the military to breach entry, that is, to blow open the doors through which the military team wants to enter. From a distance, its expansive power opens huge holes on the hinges of doors.
Usually, after a door is breached in this manner, the military makes entry in the so called "chorizo" formation which consists of four or five men, one after the other, the first man clears, ensures no one is present then the rest follow. On this occasion there was no need to breach the doors because the military came in from the air.
The shotgun also called "chaquetera" for its particular way it fires the shells-it can hold up to nine shots. Eight remained in the chamber. The only shot that was made was received in full by colonel.
The difference in the treatment that the body of Arturo Beltran Leyva received when he was executed by Marines on December 16, 2009 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, is that the military was able to protect the crime scene real well and prevented any leaks of images of the body of "Nacho" Coronel.
The remains of "El Rey del Cristal" received respectful treatment. The soldiers who participated in the operation did not take pictures with the body of "Nacho" Coronel and they were not celebrating and bragging when they saw who they had killed. At the scene, there was only silence. (APRO)