It is an old video, shot before the July 4th gubernatorial and mayoral elections this year in Chihuahua.
We can date it accurately because the body of the man you are listening to, Miguel Angel Acosta Peralta, was one of four execution victims hung from highway overpasses in the city of Chihuahua, the capitol of the state also named Chihuahua, on the morning of July 4th.
We learn that a cell of Sinaloa cartel gunmen has been captured in the city Chihuahua, which like Ciudad Juarez, is a battleground between Chapo Guzman’s “gente nueva” and the Juarez cartel. They are probably prisoners of “La Linea”, the Juarez cartel’s paramilitary gunmen.
It is the same monologue by a captured gangster, “soltando la sopa” or spilling the beans in narco slang, and the same weary brutality inflicted on the now powerless captive who was surely living the gangster lifestyle hours before his starring role in his own tragedy.
It is likely that he was also delivering the same pain on his own victims. It is a testament to our humanity if we feel sympathy for Miguel, for he probably would not have any for you.
The video begins with the captive introducing himself and naming his cell leader and the hierarchy up to Chapo Guzman. It is hard to tell if he has been coached on his answers, either way his recall seems very clear under duress.
He tells us that his cell is under the command of “el Flaco” Salgueiro, an important trafficker from Durango who allegedly works directly under Chapo Guzman. “El Flaco” and his band are believed to be responsible for the kidnapping and deaths in 2008 of two prominent members of the Mormon community in Chihuahua, Benjamin LeBaron and Luis Widmar.
Thenty eight seconds into the video Miguel Acosta names a General Felipe de Jesus Espitia as being under the control of Chapo Guzman. It is hard to imagine someone at the organizational level of Acosta having this knowledge of corruption at the highest levels. Maybe it was common knowledge or maybe he was coached by his captors to repeat this accusation.
In April of this year La Linea accused General Espitia, who at that time was the commander of the military’s Fifth Military Zone which includes Chihuahua, of reneging on an agreement to co-operate with La Linea and aligning himself with the Sinaloa cartel instead. The accusation was publicized on narco banners in April that stated the General was Chapo’s right hand in Chihuahua.
General Felipe de Jesus Espitia
On July 1st of this year General Espitia was relieved of command of The Fifth Military Zone and the Joint Coordinated Operation Chihuahua, the operation responsible for command of Federal Police and the Army in the fight against drug trafficking. He had been in command for 2 years and 3 months.
General Espitia was given command of a Mexican Air Force base in Santa Gertrudis, Chihuahua. The military high command would only state that the transfer of duties was due to normal rotation of commanders. It is not known if General Espidia was investigated for links to organized crime.
Since 2008, human rights lawyers in Chihuahua have documented 170 cases of soldiers under the command of General Espitia being involved in kidnapping, torturing and extorting civilians.
At 45 seconds into the video Miguel Acosta states that his cell leader, Rolando Valdez Villaseñor, works in collusion with two Federal Police officials, “agente Lemos” and “agente Ricardo”. Acosta accuses the federal policemen of committing extortion, kidnapping, armed robbery, car theft and dealing in drugs and arms, and homicide.
Acosta then names the locations of several safe houses with arms and vehicles used by corrupt Federal Police forces and Sinaloa cartel cells.
These were exactly the same crimes that Federal Police mutineers in Juarez accused their superiors of committing during the one day uprising in Ciudad Juarez last month.
At 2 minutes 30 seconds Acosta begins to describe the operations of the Sinaloa cartel in the CERESO prison located in Aquiles Serdan , a municipality neighboring Chihuahua city.
He states that members of the Mexicles prison gang under the command of the Sinaloa cartel and incarcerated in the Serdan CERESO are sent out from the prison to commit homicides and kidnappings. This video actually predates the video of the policeman captured by Zetas who describes in detail the mass murders perpetrated by inmates of the CERESO prison in Gomez Palacio, Durango.
One of the bodies hung from the highway bridges on the morning of July 4th was that of a prison official, Juan Scott, who worked at the Serdan CERESO.
Acosta then describes where cocaine is sold to local drug consumers . He continues naming other members of the Sinaloa Cartel who traffic drugs and commit kidnappings and contract murders in Chihuahua.
At 4 minutes and 55 seconds the camera pans to Acosta’s right into another room where eight bound and blindfolded men are laying on the floor. Acosta describes them as Sinaloa Cartel sicarios, or contract killers. He also describes how stolen vehicles were used and rotated among the captured sicarios.
On the morning of July 4th, in addition to Acosta and Juan Scott, the bodies of eight other men were found executed in Chihuahua city. Police officials said at that time that all 10 men had been murdered by the same group of gunmen, due to the fact that all 10 men were bound with the same brand of yellow plastic tie handcuffs.
In the video Acosta is seen bound behind his back with steel handcuffs but in the photo where his body is hung from the bridge he is bound with the same yellow handcuffs with his hands in front.
At the end of his monologue Acosta describes how his cell leader, Rolando Villaseñor, betrayed him and sent a group of soldiers to kill him but he managed to buy his life from the soldiers for 120,000 pesos and his vehicles.
At 6 minutes 36 seconds, the inevitable begins horribly for Miguel Acosta.
Miguel Angel Acosta in death
In addition to this video a second video was also released. This video shows gunmen belonging to the Sinaloa cartel in their safehouse and in the streets of Chihuahua in broad daylight displaying their power to the local citizens.
This video was probably captured along with one of the bound sicarios shown in the video and executed soon after.
And so ends the story of 10 more deaths in this conflict. Can we believe the claims of collusion by government officials documented here, were they just propaganda or the truth? And if they are true how can the claims of progress by the government against corruption be believed?