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.
Ignacio Coronel Villarreal did not know that they were going after him until the army was on top of him. Literally. The elite military group arrived by air and lined up in the "chorizo" formation, a term referred to a column during military training.
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.
Irán Francisco Quiñones Gastélum, the only man who was by the side of the capo, and a physiotherapist who just minutes before had given him a massage prior to the military operation, came outside from the front among the broken glass, but were immediately apprehended on the porch. Knowing he was surrounded, Nacho Coronel retraced his steps back inside the home.
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.
To the left of the body, next to a plant is the favorite handgun of "Nacho" Coronel, with a diamond-studded grip, his own personal brand, a Colt .45. Nowhere to be seen is the M-16 rifle that Coronel used against the military; the rifle was supposedly picked up immediately by the military.
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)
The images obtained by Proceso from an apparent video confirm the above versions and not that Colonel was shot several times.