Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Cops Arrested for Allowing Theft of TV Personality’s Body

Sunday, March 27, 2011 |




The officers were arrested because they took no action when two criminals snatched the body on Friday of Jose Luis Cerda Melendez.

The officers “did not provide any type of security or protection for the area during the performance of their duties and did not prevent” the criminals from stealing the body, the secretariat said.

The officers were turned over to the State Investigations Agency, or AEI, which will handle the case, the secretariat said.

Cerda, known as “La Gata,” hosted programs produced by the Monterrey division of Televisa, Mexico’s leading network.

His body was discovered Friday morning in the Monterrey suburb of Guadalupe.

Scrawled on a nearby wall was a message from the killers warning other local television personalities against continuing to collaborate with a particular criminal organization, AEI sources said.

Municipal police and a Televisa news team rushed to the scene, but the network’s reporter said during the live broadcast that he and his crew had to leave because the cops were withdrawing.

After the TV cameras were turned off, two men drove up, grabbed Cerda’s body and fled as the police stood by.

Cerda was abducted Thursday night while walking to his car after taping the “El Club” program at the Televisa studios in Monterrey.

Assailants accosted the TV host and two companions, cousin Juan Roberto Gomez and cameraman Luis Ruiz Ruiz, and forced them into an SUV at gunpoint.

The bodies of Gomez and Ruiz were discovered Friday on a main highway outside Monterrey, each killed with a single shot to the back of the head.

Cerda, who acknowledged having overcome problems with substance abuse, was active in charitable and social causes.

Conflict among rival cartels and between criminals and the security forces have claimed some 35,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the drug trade.

Until last year, however, drug-war mayhem was comparatively rare in Greater Monterrey, home to more than 4 million people and the headquarters of many of Mexico’s leading corporations.

The city and the surrounding state of Nuevo Leon are now a main battleground in a vicious turf batter between the Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels.

The cartels often target media outlets and individual journalists, and routinely resort to threats and bribery to influence press coverage of their activities.

Nine reporters were killed last year in Mexico and four went missing, while 64 journalists filed complaints with the National Human Rights Commission, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombudsman’s office, over attacks and aggressions.

The commission says 66 journalists have been slain in Mexico since 2000 and the vast majority of those murders remain unsolved.

Source: EFE

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11 Borderland Beat Comments:

Buela said...

I read this a few hours ago and was happy to see the "suspensions" turned into arrests, and wonder why they were not arrests to begin with..

Anonymous said...

They probably saved their own lives and the lives of the reporters/innocent people on the highway by letting them take the body.

Anonymous said...

I am missing something. Why did they dump the body and then take the body back, and then dump it again?

Anonymous said...

Sencless,Stupid, Insane I guess the poor cameraman was some theat. The alleged thought process of these Mexican gangs is a mystery. Whatever the point was I hope they are satisfied, the insanity continues.

Buela said...

@ 6:59AM

Thats what I always ask. It appears important to cartels to send a message by staging a body. A friend in Mexico pointed out that before the body was taken to the Mercedes, he was wearing shoes, subsequently in the vehicle he was shoeless, oddly with one cowboy boot placed on his back and something protruding oout his back pocket.

Often shoes are removed from victims.

Ardent said...

Interesting. It appears that the law and its hired hands the police and prosecutors work about the same in Mexico as they do in the US... Here is the equivalent sort of police work in evidence at the US Supreme Court level in the US...

WASHINGTON – An ideologically-divided Supreme Court overturned a $14 million judgment given to a former death row inmate who accused New Orleans prosecutors of withholding evidence in order to help convict him of murder.....

Read the entire story and weep at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_supreme_court_exonerated_inmate

Maybe Mexico needs to go into the US and fix its broken lack of justice system?

Anonymous said...

@Ardent,

Instead of bashing the U.S. with your senseless internet research...maybe you should state your opinion, as it pertains to the article your posting on. No one cares about your opinion on the U.S. or your political ideology...

If the United States is such a bad place, why in the world would Mexicans, along with countless other foreign nationals want to come here ?...by any means necessary (legally or illegally).

Anonymous said...

He was killed for supporting los zetas, by los zetals rivals the gulf cartel...
gulf cartel dumped the body, los zetas came and picked it up.
they took the body to his mother/family members.

Ovemex said...

@6:54 pm?

I have heard of the cartels picking up their own and "rescuing the body" after drive by shootings from rival cartels..They need to get make sure there is no info that can be traced back to them left on the body (cellphone, etc)...

Where did you hear La Gata's body was stolen to take back to his family? It was left dumped again downtown inside the same Mercedes used by the gunmen that stole it from the original site..

Did the Zetas take the body to the family and then take it back to dump it again?

There are alot of rumors (I have not seen any confirmation) that the Mercedes used was actually stolen from La Gata's partner, Oscar Burgos.

Ardent said...

The 1:48 pm AnonyMoe didn't like my comparison of policing and the legal system of the US with that in place inside Mexico and calls it US bashing. He's another Right Wing boo-hoo-hoo baby IMO, and probably one of those posting to why the US must go into Mexico and straighten 'them' out because 'animal' Mexico can't go it alone and blah blah blah US typcial dittohead blabber.

AnonyMoe, you criticize me for not responding to the article, but the US police ALSO move bodies around and plant evidence and such, too. That was the point of me comparing the New Orleans police to them in Guadalupe. Get it? And BTW, I have lived in both cities briefly so I think I have some idea of what I am talking about here. Have you lived in either one of the cities?

Anonymous said...

It is all sick sick sick. Until the violence is under control, I will never visit Mexico again. Something about being castrated and chopped into pieces that doesn't set well with me.

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