Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

TV Show Host Kidnapped, Murdered and Dumped, Local Police Investigated

Friday, March 25, 2011 |

By Tomas Bravo

Authorities in northern Mexico are investigating the police after suspected hitmen snatched the body of a murdered Mexican television actor from a crime scene on Friday when officers ordered the area cleared.

The body of Jose Luis Cerda, a comedian on a popular Televisa show, was found dumped by a main highway in Monterrey, Mexico's richest city.

Cerda, known as "La Gata" (The Cat), had been kidnapped by masked men on Thursday night when he left the network's local studios.

As officers guarded the scene and journalists looked on, police ordered reporters to leave because suspected drug gang members with guns were on their way there, according to witnesses speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The bad guys carried him off," said a police officer at the scene who declined to be named.

It was not immediately clear if the police left the scene with the reporters or stayed put.

The body of Cerda, who was shot in the head, blindfolded with his feet and hands bound, was found later on Friday inside an abandoned Mercedes Benz on a highway near the city center, local newspaper El Norte reported. Police declined to comment.

Adrian de la Garza, state prosecutor in Nuevo Leon, where Monterrey is state capital, told a news conference that at least eight police officers at the scene had been suspended and were being interrogated about the corpse's disappearance.

Televisa had been covering live from the scene when the body was still there, but the TV reporter cut short his report, saying the police had asked them to withdraw. After the TV cameras were turned off, two men drove up, grabbed Cerda’s body and fled as the police stood by.


Authorities were at pains to explain the bizarre series of events other than to attribute these kind of killings to rivals between drug gangs.

The incident occurred one day after Televisa and other major news outlets signed an accord in Mexico City to put tighter controls on the publication of gruesome images from the drugs war and to better protect journalists covering it.

Twenty-two journalists have been murdered during Calderon's term, at least eight in direct reprisal attacks for reporting on crime and corruption, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least another seven have gone missing.

Cerda's body was found by a wall with a freshly spray-painted message reading:



The two rival gangs are fighting a brutal war for control of the area, its lucrative local drug market, smuggling routes to the United States and kidnapping and extortion rackets.

The violence in Mexico's business capital, which has close U.S. ties, is arguably the most dramatic deterioration in security in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched his army-led crackdown against drug cartels in late 2006.

More than 36,000 people have since died in the conflict.

Despite army and federal deployments across Monterrey, authorities are struggling to deal with rising grenade attacks, targeted killings of mayors and senior police officials and threats against journalists.

at 1:05 on the video, the reporter announces they have been told to leave the area due to risks of gunmen (comando) returning to the scene.

The two bodies found near Santiago, Nuevo leon were identified as La Gata's cousin, Juan Roberto Gomez, and an independent cameraman from Monclova, Coahuila, Luis Ruiz Ruiz

“La Gata,” who acknowledged having overcome problems with substance abuse, was active in charitable and social causes.

Photos: Grupo Reforma

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11 Borderland Beat Comments:

Buela said...

such a strange, odd story..but those bastard police should be jailed not just suspended.

La Gata's cousin was with him and was taken and found dead and the third person a 20 yr/o freelance cameraman from Coahuila, he was also taken and killed. they are the 2 above

Ovemex..why do they retrieve bodies? I always wonder that, taken to place in a cedes? WTH?

Anonymous said...

So I Take it Retard Narcos don't like comics??

Anonymous said...

Wow the CDG is really showing Nuevo Leon "acts of kindness". You created your monsters now go and get them. Stop leaving your retarded messages that only serve to ignite more hatred. More hatred towards you (CDG) and any other group of drug addicted animals calling themselves a cartel. The people are tired and need a break from all these ANTI-SOCIAL PIGS fighting for territory. Who the fuck died and made you Alexander (CDG, CDS, LFM)? When will these HYPOCRITES admit they created all these problems? You created them now find a REAL solution that doesn't involve TERRORIZING Mexico...


Ovemex said...

@ buela,

Yes, I should have included, the other two were his cousin and a free lance reporter from Monclova. Apparently the reporter asked La Gata about a cheap hotel to stay the night and La Gata offered to take him to one, they had just gotten in the car after La Gata had finished signing autographs for a woman outside the tv station, when apparently masked men in a suburban cut them off and took the three.

There is alot of rumors at this time. One of the biggest is that the whole deal was a warning to Arq. Benavides who does news and politics (among other topics) for Televisa and is a very big figure in the news.

As for dumping the body and the picking it up only to dump it again, of course there are rumors about that too..Many say it was to insure the local media would continue reporting (after their signed pact yesterday) what is happening and to oust Zeta supporters.

(According to comments and Twitter, Local news in Nuevo Leon NEVER reports narco messages from Zetas and very seldom, if at all, give full reports on Zeta actions)

Anonymous said...

Damn so el gato was supporting los zetas...I guess the federation message is coming true...

Buela said...


many thanks! you gve me more info than I had read. Wow, so sad. I had posted about the media pact on BB forum, and I wondered if Televisa was one of the signers, I know universal did not sign.

thanks for another great post...if you get an update I for one sure am interested

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Remember to take the word "supporters" with a grain of salt. Hard telling who truly supports any cartel, who has been coerced and who is simply just a victim of bad intel.

Anonymous said...

I got a suggestion guys that The Architect№ 1 is Comandante R-1! Just saying!

Buela said...

The young man from Monclova Coahuila was only 21. On March 11 family and friends gathered to celebrate his award for journalism;

on March 11, Luis Emmanuel was distinguished by its character focused and committed to his ideals of freedom and artistic expression, same as him win the 2010 State Prize in Journalism Student Photography category.

He was to graduate from Universadad Metropolitana in 2012 with a degree in mass communication. He was preparing a documentary that would serve as his thesis.

Info from Zocalo Monclova and a photo in life of the young talented man.

here is the link I am trying it with the translation tool ..if it gets to the page then click on the story and it will take you to his story and photo

Anonymous said...


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