Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Death squads; Soldiers with a license to kill

Sunday, January 13, 2013 |

Proceso (1-12-13) JoseCarrasco Araizaga


Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

Since last September, Mexico's National Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the case of the Ojinaga "death squad" should go to a civilian court, but it has not ordered this and the case remains in the hands of the military justice system. It isn't just another case of abuse, but rather the story of systematic murders committed by a group of soldiers and officers who were acting like an organized crime armed group. This is part of that story, reconstructed by Proceso based on court files and the testimony of the participants.

MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso).- The afternoon of June 22, 2008, almost three months after the start of the Chihuahua Joint Operation ordered by Felipe Calderon, a platoon from the Third Non-quartered Infantry Company in Ojinaga (CINE: Tercera Compania de Infanteria No Encuadrada), under the command of Major Alejandro Rodas Cobon, went out to patrol the Mulatos area, a ranch east of that city.

The officer climbed into a Lobo pickup with extended cab that had been seized from drug traffickers and painted over in military green with the number 8013148, as if it were an official vehicle. The driver was Sergeant Second Class auto body repairman Andres Becerra Vargas. Maj. Rodas Cobon carried his duty weapon, a 9mm MP-5 submachine pistol, and another personal pistol, in .40 caliber, with blued finish.

In one of the trails going towards Mulatos, the soldiers saw a civilian in an all-terrain vehicle. He was wearing oversize jeans, white sleeveless T-shirt, and his head was shaved. The major called for the Army's urban patrol for Ojinaga, which was commanded by Infantry Lieutenant Gonzalo Arturo Huesca Isasi, who was in a Hummer at the front of his platoon of riflemen.

On the way back to CINE, on the dirt road between Mulatos and Ojinaga, the military squad again met up with Esau Samaniego Rey, "El Cholo" or "El Azteca." Major Rodas ordered Sgt. Becerra to stop the truck. He ordered him to spotlight the suspect with the pickup's headlights.

"I've got this fool on my list," Rodas Cobon told Becerra, a reference to the database of drug traffickers he maintained as second commander of the Third CINE, for which he was also known as Lince 1 (Lynx 1). The company commander, Jose Julian Juarez Ramirez, Lince, was on vacation.

Rodas Cobon called Verde (codename for Lt. Huesca), and ordered him to lift up the detainee's T-shirt, and turn him around in a circle so that the major could finish identifying him. He identified him as a "fucking azteca", that is, a member of the group Los Aztecas, armed branch of the Juarez cartel.

Rodas Cobon pulled out his cell phone and called Infantry Corporal Guillermo Arce Garcia. "I hope your wife is there with you," he told him, and ordered the driver to take him to that soldier's home. When they got to the house located on 14th Street of Colonia Porfirio Ornelas, they took the detainee, who was already blindfolded, off the truck. The corporal's wife identified him as the person who had attempted to kidnap the couple's son.


The major ordered Lt. Huesca and his men to take the detainee to the CINE base and to "work him over" to make him identify his boss, who ordered him to kidnap the minor, who was with him and how much he was going to get paid. "If possible, kill him," the major told the lieutenant, according to the statement that the driver sergeant made to the military court in Criminal Case No. 1982/2009.

Huesca took the detainee to a hut that was behind the dining hall of the military base. "I kept hearing the civilian's screams from the pickup truck, where I went to sleep," the driver sergeant goes on to say. Around 4:00 in the morning, Sgt. Alberto Alvarado Vazquez woke him up to to give him orders from Major Rodas to fill up the pickup's fuel tank and to fill up two extra 60 liter (about 15 gallons) fuel containers, one with gasoline and the other with diesel.

"I asked what the diesel was for, since the pickup used gasoline. The sergeant told him, 'It's all screwed up. We went too far with the fucking azteca'". Becerra states that Rodas Cobon ordered him to go out with Lt. Huesca to carry out a job.
He parked the pickup beside the hut and they loaded "something wrapped up in a blanket". Lt. Huesca and Sgt. Alvarado got into the cab and, in the rear, Infantry Corporals Carmen Omar Ramirez Jimenez and Rufino Pablo Cruz, as well as soldiers Azael Santiago Luna and one known as El Tacuarin or Pareja.

According to the driver, Huesca ordered him to take the highway to Camargo. After an hour or more on the road, before they got to the La Perla mine, he told him to take a dirt road on the El Trece ranch.
They took the road to Los Berrendos ranch, went past that, and, after driving about half an hour more, they got to some structures made out of wood and sheet metal. Huesca ordered El Tacuarin to climb up on a hill with a radio to tell them if anybody was coming.

The rest of the soldiers in the back of the truck tore down a shed to get firewood. They piled it up about three feet high. Infantry soldier Santiago Luna went to the truck for the diesel, while the two corporals unloaded the body. They poured the fuel over the body and the pile of wood. Corporal Carmen Omar Ramirez went for some dry brush, lit it with a cigarette lighter and threw it on the pile.

It took between five and six hours for the body, including the bones, to burn completely. They loaded the ashes of the campfire on the pickup and they dumped them along the way with shovels. Then, with handfuls of weeds, they cleaned the back of the truck. The group returned to CINE between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.

(Extracted from a report published in Proceso 1889, already in circulation)      

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49 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Now that's what I wanna hear. Great job mx military!

Anonymous said...

I find absolutely nothing worng with this story. Thats how every son of a bitch, involved as a sicario or kidnappings, should die! Even worse if possible! Civilians have no way to protect themselves or their families. The mexican military should have every right of way to kill those bastards any which way they choose. Maybe if the sicarios, kidnappers have someone to fear, they'll think twice before joining a cartel.

Anonymous said...

Well did he say who the Boss was and how much money they wanted..after the tortured..

Anonymous said...

You have to fight fire with fire that's how Pablo Escobar's reign of terror ended. You're "justice" system doesn't work letting off murderers with a couple years or none at all.

Texcoco De Mora said...

What can I say, I don't feel sorry for that azteca piss of shit. I feel sorry that the military didn't kill more of this mother fuckers.

Killers, kidnappers, and extortionist, should get killed on site. Do the same thing Porfirio Diaz did, Matenlos en Caliente, (kill them at will)

Anonymous said...

Pinche chapo necesita ayuda siempre el jotolon

Anonymous said...

The good'ol mexican government cleaning for the piece of shit la chaparra. It's fucked up but thats pretty much how it is now since he started the war against I'm guessing non mexicans. Thats genocide for the fucks who dont know shit. Let me see Hitler, Pinochet, and Pol pot did it all. You pieces of shit that support either why dont you say who you are if you're so proud.

Anonymous said...

Seems like nothing wrong happened here. You play with fire, you end up getting burned. Damn assteca probably should have paid for his sins earlier in life.

Anonymous said...

So the victim was identified as the same guy who had attempted to kidnap the child of a corporal under the captain's command? And he decided to kill the guy? I have a very hard time faulting him for this. This kind of thing should happen more often.

Anonymous said...

Good job,just as long as Corporal Guillermo arce garcia doesn't work for Shorty that is.
How the hell did this story even get out,looks though all evidence was eliminated right?
Someone's spilled there beans and why....i wonder.

Anonymous said...

the azteca's never did shit too innocents untill chaputo invaded and sent them broke ass and there still fighting for there territory blame chapo the greedy murderous scum originalious!!!!

Anonymous said...

These guys should be given a promotion! After all, what did they really do? -flush the Toilet

Anonymous said...

It was later determined the wife seen another person who she was sure actually attempted the kidnapping.but no harm no foul.

Anonymous said...

man our govt in the USA does the same shit we just dont put our guys on blast

Anonymous said...

So they got rid of a POS? Keep up the good work soldiers.

Anonymous said...

what the military did was not right.....theres no justice in murder......thats why this story has come to light,someone involved obviously had a conscience....all you people on here saying its cool to kill the azteca,when its the same military terrorising innocents as well.
How many times have we heard story's of the military abusing innocents?
Not saying the azteca was an angel....jus saying they didnt have to kill him,no one has the right to kill,this story is missing a lot out.its suss.

Anonymous said...

hey chivis.i think "reynosa" was referring too the last los Zetas video when they use cardboard, looking like pizza boxes to write on,something bout"them today,maybe you tomorrow"meaning to intimidate CDG cell's in Reynosa,showing two young youths already been butchered by Zeta Sicario's.
You had stated in forum you couldnt remember which one,i think it was that one...just before christmas i thinks. keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I have seen these Aztecas work first hand. This is truley what is best for not just Mexico but for the world. Evil people like the Aztecas should not be allowed to run around victimizing innocent people the way they do.

It is just to bad that this hit the news. Now the Azteca's will step up their violece to respond to the militaries tactics. The government should keep this kind of info classified to keep the gangs from retaliating.

For those who are sympathictic to the cartels and gangs. If you are not from northern Mexico mind your own buisness. They rape torture and kill. It is a war. And the money they throw around is to attractive so they have a seemingly endless supply of new recruits.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who is talking about genocide. Your message was confusing. It didn't translate well. Are you saying that killing Aztecas is genocide? If so, please relize that the Aztecas are a criminal gang, no to be confused with the Azteca's that built the great pre-columbian civilization.
Funny thing is they will kill their own mothers if they were ordered to do it. Greed and power is all that is important to them.

Anonymous said...

Are we supposed to be upset about this? Yeah, I'm upset, upset that more of these fuckers don't get the same treatment!

Anonymous said...

Punk ass Chapo paid these army flunkies...why do think the cartels operate with impunity.Corruption !!!! Mexico wants to get bettter....Kill the corrupt politicians first than the Narco Trafickers..

Anonymous said...

And for all these IDIOTS yeah that's right You IDIOTS who comment on the bloodlust & body count. Read between the lines..if the military does un authorized hits than they are no different than the cartels !!!!!

Anonymous said...

The officer earned a promotion.

Anonymous said...

What if they had the wrong guy.line ups aren't perfect.if not its cool with me.

Anonymous said...

When the drug dealers say who they are so will I.it is pitiful that where happy when they die but I'm glad when them zetas get killed.and if I find out where they live I'll call the soldiers.

Anonymous said...

"You have to fight fire with fire that's how Pablo Escobar's reign of terror ended. You're "justice" system doesn't work letting off murderers with a couple years or none at all."

I'm so sick of people saying that Pablo Escobar was the end of the drug cartel problems in colombia......by killing pablo nothing was ever accomplished.....things are worse today and that is the truth....

Chivis said...

@1:54AM

Thank you! The thing is I still don't know his beef. This is a narco blog, graphic depictions will be here. It is out of touch to think otherwise. We have gone this road of discussion gazillion times.

We cannot bury our heads in the sand and not showing what exists is no better than not publishing the truth.

Anonymous said...

Seriously STFU u lame ass!!! Cholos or gangsters ALWAYS fuck with innocents, they ALWAYS do! I hate them all! I live in LA and had my car stolen by cholos and once had a gun on my head for 20 freaking dollars!!! And guess what? I've never done shit to anyone!!! Gangsters are usless pieces of shit and if you think the Aztecas were cool and never messed w innocents then you're the stupidest blogger ever!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm very pleased the mx military is taking matters into their own hands..and next time I see them "dinners on me" and I'll hit them off with some money for gas (preferably diesel)

Anonymous said...

That was probably that kid that is still missing out of odessa. Alot of us have tatoos and go to ojinaga from midland odessa. Our tatoos don't mean shit here but in mexico. If you are tatted up they think you're charles Manson. The dudes wife did recant the story. Let's not be quick to judge. NEXT TIME YOU GO TO MEXICO YOU MIGHT END UP LIKE THIS..
ZAPATISTAS STAND UP.

Anonymous said...

"The thing is I still don't know his beef"
He likes mutton,with mint sauce, , , ,

Chivis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So this is what pancho Villa and Zapata worked so hard for Mexican killing Mexican
for the whites and blacks. Wow chapo and 40
You should be ashamed at your selfs.

-Reno Nevada

Anonymous said...

The only way to stop these carteles de basura
Is to make a new law in Mexico is to
Inforce a death penalty for any one who is
Involved in organized crime. From halcones
To capos. From any cartel snitchaloa to
Los MugroZoz. And yes I know some people
Are forced to join the basura/carteles
But Mexico needs to do something
because I'm sick of hearing about Mexico this way. I'm also sick of drugattics robing and mugging hardworking people in the USA
Just to get a fix.these drug carteles
Are destroying Mexicos society and Americas.

-Reno Nevada.

Anonymous said...

None of you posting know shit . Esau had just recently been deported back to Mexico and was adjusting to life. He was working and trying to get his life straight. He had only been back a couple of months. case of mistaken identity or just the military trying to cover up several murders ordered by a ruthless general. Funny how no actual drug lords were killed.

Anonymous said...

I would hit the "like" button for this comment.

Anonymous said...

Army want a war they will get one,Azteca's will do what barron did and walk into a restaurant while generals wife having lunch wit her lover and spray her brains allover him......this story shouldnt of got out....now its paybacky not tobacky.

Anonymous said...

kiss keep it super simple.
any cartel members captured on Friday dead by Monday. they have no "redeamability" left in them.

Anonymous said...

With villagers lynching suspected gang members and the army death squads executing the same, Mexico slides towards anarchy and mob rule. The mere accusation of being in the narco trade becomes all the evidence needed to be eliminated. Revolution looms on the horizon. Due Process shrinks into the shadows. Much respect for Mexican people; may they possession the vision to cull out the bad from the good.

Anonymous said...

Mexican Army Death Squads = Heroes

Anonymous said...

"So this is what pancho Villa and Zapata worked so hard for Mexican killing Mexican
for the whites and blacks. Wow chapo and 40
You should be ashamed at your selfs.

-Reno Nevada"

Incredibly stupid comment. Both Zapata and Villa were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexicans.

Anonymous said...

you fkn anons on here dont know shit,he was clean at the time,dirty military needed an escape goat.
oops im a anon too.

Anonymous said...

Dude my point is Mexicans are murdering eachother for Americans
Drugs!!!.
yes I know Villa and Zapata led a lot
Of Mexicans to there deaths but in those days they died for there freedom and fighting curruption
Now a days in Mexico is still currupt
Mexicans are still killing them selfs
I never heard of Zapata trying to
Smuggle cocaine to gringo land
I never heard Villa cuting the head
Of a fellow revolutionary just cuse
He fucked up the shipments
all I'm saying is Villa and Zapata
would be very disappointed at
Modern Mexico.

Reno Nevada

Anonymous said...

@ January 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM
"None of you posting know shit . Esau had just recently been deported back to Mexico and was adjusting to life"
Dude,you right we don't,just what"they"saying about him.If you knew him,all you can do is tell people how it was for real.You know the score man,this is what they do all the fuckin time.What else can you do?
Saludos

Anonymous said...

@11:04pm yeah until they raid the wrong house, your house, then have to dispose of your body cause they went too far....

Anonymous said...

@ Reno Nevada
Your ass in the USA,thats all we need to know what kind of man you are"gringo land"Bitter and hateful shit.

Anonymous said...

@9:48
Yeah I'm in the USA
Born and raised in washoe county. Nevada.my are parents from guanajuato Mexico
I didn't mean to offend any one
don't get upset about gringo.
gringo just means white person
It don't mean I'm a bigot.
-Reno Nevada

Anonymous said...

Reno Nevada
Its easy saying that bro,how do you feel when you get called racial names?It seems as if its ok to rip white-people just cause of the color of their skin,imagine the other way round?
Anyway no problem bro,don't mean to cause grief with you.Saludos and cuidate.

Anonymous said...

Just want yall 2 know first of all death is never wished upon anyoneand he was an Azteca in am american prison he had very few family in oj and he worked on a ranch slash water park the vechile which they kept was the owner of the water park he was a good man and was killed even though he was innocent he spent a about adecade in jail becaue he was illegal in the us and tried to avoid deportation and flees when they tried 2 pull him over 10 years really for pushing down a cop who tried tackle him he wasn't a kidnapper I'm from ojinaga that doesn't go on there never has they onlypick up occasional people with drug debtsthe period he was killed in was full of corruption mass killings where going on and everybody blamed the narco ....later it came out that soldiers were responsible for this. and most of the people killed were targted for something real strange 9 out of 13 of them Had been deported from the u.s nd I think he was the only Aztecs bit like I said he was in prison but when he was out he forgot that lift

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