Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Zeta camp slayings described in Laredo trial

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 |

By Jason Buch/San Antonio Express-News
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Zeta-camp-slayings-described-in-Laredo-trial-2612618.php

This undated photo provided by the Laredo Police Department shows Gerardo Castillo Chavez "el Cachetes" in Laredo, Texas. Castillo is a Zeta hit man and drug trafficker on trial in Laredo, Texas on drug conspiracy charges.


LAREDO — A Zeta hit man on Wednesday offered a peek into the slaughter that took place in the small Mexican town of San Fernando, where the remains of 200 bodies were unearthed last year, testifying how new cartel recruits were trained to kill there.

“They would show new recruits how to kill,” testified Wenceslao Tovar, 26, an admitted Zeta sicario, or hit man. “They would give them a machete. If not, they'd give them a sledge hammer and they'd tell them to kill the people they had tied up.”

Those who successfully completed the training were treated to a party that included a raffle with winners getting watches, vehicles and cash, Tovar said. Those who couldn't kill were made halcones, the Spanish word for “hawks,” used to describe cartel lookouts, he said.

Tovar's testimony came in the trial of Gerardo Castillo Chavez, a 25-year-old from Mexico, on charges that he took part in killings and assaults in 2006 as part of a drug conspiracy. But testimony in the first day of trail went far beyond Castillo Chavez's alleged involvement with the Zetas.

Mexican authorities deport and hand over Wenceslao Tovar Jr., a 26-year-old U.S. citizen, to U.S. Marshals at the International Bridge I in Laredo, Texas on July 21, 2011.

Tovar said he met Castillo Chavez, who he knew only as “Cachetes", or “cheeks” in Spanish, as they went through training in Mexico.

Tovar said he was with about 300 Zeta recruits, members and leaders who trained in late 2005 near San Fernando. It was the second time he'd been sent to such a camp, where Zetas learned military tactics and recruits were forced to prove their mettle by slaughtering bound men, Tovar said.

Defense attorneys challenged his testimony, pointing out that he's trying to get a reduced sentence and that Tovar, when initially shown a picture of Castillo Chavez by police, said he didn't recognize the defendant.

Tovar testified Wednesday that he didn't have his glasses on and couldn't see the picture well. Later, he backtracked and said he was trying to protect the man he'd met only briefly at the training camp. Defense attorneys also pointed out that Tovar, as well as admitting to killing in the U.S, took part in kidnappings that resulted in dozens of slayings in Mexico.

“You participated in all those murders, and they were still willing to come to an agreement with you?” defense attorney Oscar Vela asked.

In testimony that began midmorning and lasted well into the afternoon, Tovar, a U.S. citizen who was recently deported from Mexico, described how he smuggled drugs for the Zetas in Nuevo Laredo and was recruited as a hit man for the cartel.

Among his revelations were that he and another admitted Zeta sicario committed an until-recently unsolved homicide in 2005 in Laredo.

The two were tasked with killing someone named “Pompoño” who lived in the South Laredo subdivision of Los Presidentes, he said on the witness stand.

Tovar testified that he drove Gabriel Cardona, 25, a co-defendant in the drug conspiracy case who's serving 80 years in state prison for five killings here and a life sentence in federal prison for killing two U.S. citizens in Mexico, to Pompoño's house.

Cardona “knocked on the door and he shot the person who came out,” Tovar said. “He killed him. We changed cars and we left to go to Mexico.”

But police said the person killed on May 11, 2005, wasn't the Zetas' target but his son, 13-year-old Rogelio Rodriguez III. The case had remained unsolved until Laredo police interviewed Tovar after he was brought to the U.S. in July.

Tovar went on to describe how he and two crews of Zeta sicarios, including a former U.S. Marine pretending to be a police officer, killed a former Nuevo Laredo police officer who was living in the U.S. after joining with a local drug trafficker's fight against the Zetas.

Tovar pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges related to that killing. He faces up to life in prison.

After the killings in the U.S., Tovar said, he went to work for Miguel “El 40” Treviño Morales and his brother, Omar “El 42” Treviño Morales in Mexico. He attended training camps and worked in the brothers' bodyguard and enforcement details.

From July until November 2005, Tovar said, he and other Zetas kidnapped 10 to 15 people a week in Nuevo Laredo and turned them over to Miguel Treviño Morales for execution. When he first met Treviño Morales, now believed to be the organization's second in command, the Zeta commander was in the process of decapitating three people, Tovar said.

At the end of 2005, those who completed the training camp in San Fernando were treated to a party with Gulf Cartel and Zeta leaders — at the time the two organizations were allied — that included the raffle for watches, vehicles and cash.

Tovar said his career with the cartel ended in April 2006, when he had an auto accident that left him confined to a wheelchair.

Testimony in the trial is expected to continue Thursday morning.

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62 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Z40 is a savage.!!!!Not to mention his brother.

Anonymous said...

Mother fucker, they should killed his ass.

Anonymous said...

I hope the deal this guy got from all this is life instead of death in jail. I would hate to think he would ever get out and move next door to me.

Anonymous said...

Ones they get caught they are a bunch of jotos

Anonymous said...

Why doesnt the USA check there soldiers? This is not the first time i heard this they say the work for the zetas do there job in the mexican side. And after that they just return to there house like nothing happen

Anonymous said...

AS IT IS USUAL AMONG CAPTURED ZETAS, THEY ARE ALREADY PUTTING THE FINGER ON EACH OTHER! AND SNITCHING ON THEIR BOSSES TO GET A PLEA BARGAIN AND GET THE LESS TIME POSSIBLE, THEY DO NOT REALIZE THAT A GOLFO OR SINALOA HAS ALREADY MOVE IN WITH THEIR WIVES.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry he is getting a life sentence. But look at his cachetes (cheeks) once in the state penitentiary he is going to give such amazing blow jobs! Jajajaja!

Anonymous said...

HAHA SNITCHES ARE YOUR GOLFOS AND SINACACA GIVING THE COUNTRY OF MEXICO TO THE GRINGOS OVER SOME DRUG MONEY WITH THE CIA THATS A SNITCH BESIDES WR ALL KNOE MOST WHO GET CAPTURED START SNITCHING ESPECIALLY SINALOKAS N GOLFAS.BOWWWW TRUTH HURTS

Anonymous said...

Raffles are always good way to start in a cartel feel da love

Anonymous said...

the ''zeta sicario'' looks like someone with a down syndrome and a 60 IQ LOl thats why they still cant take CDG plazas jaja

Anonymous said...

I got to go one of those raffles and won a monstro and yep 30 min later it broke down Damm zetas

Anonymous said...

Zetas and Obama are a like they promise lie steal and cheat. blame other people for there stupidity. At da end they try to be da heroes

Anonymous said...

You lil roach snitching like a bitch no que muy gallos pinches culos. Oh and when those two zetaratas get to prison theyl be friendly lil pussies scared. I met plenty of culitos out of tampz that were ex zetaratas in the pen n all are cowards. Its easy to kill men who are tied up n defenseless. Your idol z40 is the biggest coward. Pinches relajes hijos de su puta madre. Arriba michoacan y sinaloa pura raza pesada. Hijos de su puta madre!

Anonymous said...

He's pretty and will make a fine bitch in prison.

Anonymous said...

Just like any narco, snitching after they are captured! Ratzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Wow that dude Castillo-Chavez looks like a bonafide retard! His mug needs to be placed on "ugly people.com!" for the win!

Anonymous said...

What about all the children they killed fucking bastards. They are all going to burn in hell just for a few pesos.

Anonymous said...

Para todos los putos que hablan de putas enprision PREGUNTA ustedes hablan por experiencia han sido putas??????????????????

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they bother putting him in prison. It is just a waste of space and money feeding him. If he can communicate, he's toxic, get rid of him.

Anonymous said...

You guys missed the point here. Who cares about "Butt Cachetes" jail sex? Sure the wimp deserves it, duh? What is up with using kidnapped victims as practice to train Zeta trainees. Ho-hum? What's the matter with you people? Where is the outrage? Unbelievable!

Israel said...

AnOnymous jan.19.12 4:13 am come on we all know who are the biggest Ratas Los zetas have no honor towards each other let alone their bosses at least Sinaloa has morals by that I mean no extortions no killing innocent people Los zetas kill for fun Sinaloa kills if u fuck up big difference and I'm not a chapo fan or nothing like that the facts speak for it self...

Anonymous said...

Haha USTEDES MUY HOMBRES SI TAMBIEN SON HOMBRES PENDEJO.USTRDES SON MAS CULOS PINCHE MICHOACULOS.TU A MI ME LA PELAS Y YA DEJAR TU HISTORIAS DE LA PINTA ONDE TE COJIERON MIL VECES.Y TE LO DIGO CON HUEVOS.SI QUIERES ALGO Y TE LA TIRAS MUY VERGA ATRAS DE TU PC POS HAS ALGO PENDEJON.KEYBOARD WARRIOR HAHA PINCHE CHAPETE...ARRIVA TAMAULIPAS Y A CHINGAR SU MADRE MICHOACAN Y SINALOA....ARRIVA TAMAULIPAS

Anonymous said...

Y si conpa las pinchez mugrozas son las chillonaz y culeras con la raza aver decapitar a JENTE secuestrada nomas para entrenamiento q pendejadas q no ...Como los de los autobuses q Ivan mujeres y ninos inosentes a los vatos los ponia a pelear con machetes y marros pa q se mataran entre ellos nomas pa divertirse pinches mugrientos y a los ninos aventarlos a los tanbos de asido vivos y a las mujeres violarlas y matarlas hijos de su puta madre perroz zetamierdas por Eso DIGO q sigan partiendole la madre el ejersito la marina y todos los q estan encontra de los mugrozoz chinguen a su madre todos los q ladren perrozzz mugrozozzzzz ya DIJE

Anonymous said...

CALLATE HUIZO! PINCHE HUIZOTE!

Anonymous said...

i dint usally comment,the zetas are animals they arnt a drug cartel,kidnapping people just so they can get trainees 2 kill them!arturo beltran leyva once told lfm 'we are drug trafficers stop kiddnapping people behave like a drug trafficer' i do belive if you have 2 have a top cartel sinalo is the best bet,i know chapo kills even he will be sickened by z40

Anonymous said...

Y is it that everyone on here wants 2 point the finger at each other! Ppl need 2 just learn 2 take responsibility 4 what they did! Don't these reporters c that by publishishing about who is snitching on who they r just creating more violence between these guys!

Anonymous said...

Not all of them r bad! Some of them reform while in prison, I know first hand cuz I am married 2 1! And he is not as the media portrayed him 2 b!

Anonymous said...

Killing a 13 old kid? Sounds like a Zeta Operation.

Anonymous said...

They should call this fat piece of trash "El Dumbo" Living with those ears are enough to turn someone into killer!

Anonymous said...

You are so correct

Anonymous said...

10:33am chinga tu madre como a tu gente de los zetas el mentado chabelo que se lo cojieron en la carcel de texas

Anonymous said...

Why do the Zeta apologists and wannabes always type in all caps? Not to mention write terrible Spanish that most gringo high schoolers could correct.

Anonymous said...

... recruits were forced to prove their mettle by slaughtering bound men ...

cowardly dogs

Anonymous said...

Zeta are the rot of the earth. Rattling off prizes for using a sledgehammer on bound humans. I don't even think I've ever heard of something so weak minded.

Israel said...

Este mas pendejo que la chingada puro pinchie Sonora Compa !! Y pa que le quede bien claro Los zetas valen verga!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is so good to see that Demon piece of garbage crippled and in a wheel chair..Hopefully in jail they push him down a long flight of stairs!

Anonymous said...

Viva el cartel del golfo,zetas valen verga matando gente innocente,el cartel del golfo esta aqui para defender a mexico

Anonymous said...

@9:46

have fun in hell loser, your parents too

Anonymous said...

5 million$$ prize 4 dropping a dime on lacanzo or trevino.
They must b very nervous!!! as they know they r on borrowed time!

Anonymous said...

Let the GVT agencies, who make the capture, keep the reward money and down goes the cartel leaders! Basically turn them into bounty hunters!

Anonymous said...

Debemos de todo mexico coperar con mas dinero para que los atrapen. Yo pondria 1000 no es mucho pero si todos donaran algo se juntaria mucho.

Anonymous said...

in mexico there are lots terrorist but people or goberments dont see it that way they call the narco.

Anonymous said...

You are so correct. There giving narcos a bad name jaja joke. And they call the zetas narcos there call ratts. Remember a narco makes his money from his drugs. Like a real narco

Anonymous said...

"Ones they get caught they are a bunch of jotos"
dont look up to the italian mafia either most of them are super rats my friends.

"You lil roach snitching like a bitch no que muy gallos pinches culos. Oh and when those two zetaratas get to prison theyl be friendly lil pussies scared. I met plenty of culitos out of tampz that were ex zetaratas in the pen n all are cowards. Its easy to kill men who are tied up n defenseless." _exactly.

I have seen lots of comments on the net saying that gang members n the usa are punk (alot are but some are the real deal) and what not and that they dont compare to the cartels but all that matters realy is where your heart is, to those who feel that the american gangsters are pussy tell me who runs the jails in the usa where you realy have to prove how tough you are for the most part? can some of these "people" even fight with the hands or shanks? how can you have these complete sellout and cowardly killers as a hero unless your the same type of being is beyond me... money cant buy everything but mindless drones, its just an illusion.

Anonymous said...

Pinche cacheton aca nos vemos en el Beto 1 para que te avientes unas de la arrolladora banda limon en flauta! :-)

Anonymous said...

ayy zetas chinga tu madre te voy ah matad jotos

Israel said...

I mean I agree with u on the zetas but USA prison come three meals a day tv shower basketball court drugs pruno come on is it really that hard that's why so many people just give up and become institutionalized if ur a bum on the streets and ur a good man u can't eat u don't have no toilet paper to wipe ur ass honestly in my opinion being on the outside is worse than beging behind bars... Just an opinion though !!!!

Anonymous said...

@1/19 3:02PM,
How proud you must be..or stupid..to have married a convict! Of course to you he's good but your not with him 24/7 are you! Reformed..huh..time will tell there are not a lot of opportunities for scum like your husband! How, does it feel knowing your husband was raped in prison by multiple males? I hope you took an AIDS test..or at least a STD test!

Anonymous said...

U shouldn't talk about what u don't know about, my husband has never been raped in jail! He has bcome a model prisoner and now teaches other young ppl about the dangers of the cartel! And yes I am proud, so until u get all the facts watch ur fucking mouth! My husband is a good man and never killed anyone so don't run ur mouth, u wanna act like a tough guy/girl show ur face!

Anonymous said...

evil on the rise mexico

Anonymous said...

San Antonio News. Today at federal court house, El Cachetes pointing the finger at former zeta Rosalio Reta who was brought back on bench warrant. Rosalio Reta pointing the finger at former zeta sicario Gabriel Cardona also brought back on bench warrant. Gabriel Cardona said that he did not do anything and snitched on El Cachetes and Reta! Damn it! What a bunch of pussies.

Anonymous said...

And u got ur info from where, let's get it straight no 1 snitched on any1 the truth is the truth. So b4 u call some1 a pussy get the facts, if u weren't there then keep ur mouth shut! These guys r real men and took there punishment like men, I am sorry that u have no life and have nothing 2 do but gossip on a website get a job and grow up! Cardona and reta r not snitches, if they were they wouldn't have life in jail! U morone I love u guys and we will have u in our prayers forever!

Anonymous said...

@6:52 AM If you said that you love them is because you are one of them cheap killers. How can you love this kind of low life ratz when they killed innocent people including young boys, girls, women and children just to learn how to kill and they killed them in cold blood? If they wanted to do some killing why did't they went south and engage the sinaloas, chapos, golfos or caballeros templarios, or why didn't they engaged the mexican army and marines? If they wanted to do some killing for fun or training why didn't they join the US Armed Forces get training in some heavy combat mos and went to Iraq or Afghanistan? You can have them in your prayers all you want but they still are punk ass snitches and cheap ass killers and after they do their life sentence they are going to rot in HELL! GOD BLESS AMERICAN JUSTICE!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! They are snitching, otherwise we the kind of crimes they commited they all should get death penalty, and the relatives of the people they killed are also praying that they get the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

El Cachetes was found guilty as charged of all counts. April 30 has been set as the sentencing date. We pray that for the safety and well being of society he gets as death sentence or at least life without parole and he gets out of prision in a cheap wood box. This zeta punk is from Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, so we hope that his zeta boss Jose Reyes Mejia Gonzalez will support him in jail. Good bye cachetona! Enjoy your free ride to hell. You have now a lifetime to think about all the innocent people you and your friends murdered. HASTA NUNCA! GOOD BYE! ADIOS! AUREVOIR! GO TO HELL!

Anonymous said...

@10:19 r u dumb or just blinf my husband has never hurt any1! So yes I can say I love him and trust him I was at all the trials and spoke 2 the da he has drug charges and no I am not 1 of them I am was born and raised in the USA and isn't that what we r all about second chances, its not my problem if u r a racist or only wanna believe what u read! U don't even know who my husband is and I will never tell u but I suggest that u watch ur mouth especially when u have no clue what is going on!

Anonymous said...

So because you claim to be a US citizen you think you know everything? Every swinging dick in Miguel Aleman knows what your sweet baby did! You tell us what he was doing at a zeta training camp killing innocent people including children as part of his training? And if you talked to the DA you think he told you the truth? Knowing the USA justice system you can be sure more charges are coming later, he will never walk a free man again. Fuck that zeta punk, he can rot in hell! IF YOU CAN NOT DO THE TIME, DO NOT DO THE CRIME! Good bye you cheap ass murderer!

Anonymous said...

In the USA murderers don't get a second chance! How can you tell us that your husband is a good man when he attended a zeta sicario training camp, where they killed dozens of innocent people.with machetes and sledge hammers just to learn how to kill? I was born in the USA also and that is the reason I know that murderers do not get second chances. I live in the Texas Valley and have relatives on the other side of the border, and have seen pictures in the Mexican news agencies of what they do.to people. So please do not tell us that he is good guy and a law abiding citizen. I am sorry for you, but he has to pay with many years in jail what he did!

Anonymous said...

He wasn't a zeta so get ur facts straight!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I am not 1 of them and never will be! I would love 2 c how ur kids would turn out if they lived in mexico! Always remember don't judge a book by its cover. These kids r brainwashed and programmed 2 kill! And if u know so much u would know it is a kill or b killed situation! They choose u, u don't choose them!

Anonymous said...

And it wasn't killing fun it was killed or b killed! So b4 u run ur mouth do ur research!

El Coco said...

All yall mutha fuckers need to stop hatin. Its reasons like this that peope catch cases. I bet you if he was in your mutha fucking face you wouldn't say not one mutha fuckin words

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