Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Closer Look: Who Were The 35 Slaughtered in Veracruz?

By Chivis for Borderland Beat part 1:

Two weeks ago the news broke that Luis Felipe Ferra Gomez aka “ El Ferras” was captured in an impressive military operation in Rio Blanco, Veracruz.  Ferras was one of 19 inmates that escaped from the medium security La Toma prison  in Amatlán, Veracruz. 

Toma was one of the prisons hit by a mass coordinated prison escape that resulted in a total of 32 inmates escaping from 3 prisons on September 19th.   Within two weeks many of the escapees had been captured, including 14 at a camp believed to be operated by the Zeta Cartel. “EL Ferras” was not among the inmates captured.

In the day following the escape, a grisly, and seemingly related, event occurred in Boca Del Rio, Veracruz.  In the high traffic hour of 5pm, two white, stake body trucks stopped and dumped a cargo of 35 human bodies.   After securing rope ends to the rails of the vehicles, the assassins hung two narco mantas in a top bottom arrangement.  The manta at top brazenly displayed this message: 

The bottom manta was much less visible, apparently dropping and resting on several bodies lying on the pavement below, it read:

The initial “G.N.” refers to Gente Nueva,  AKA Mata Zetas (kill zetas) a paramilitary style enforcer group.  Originating from Jalisco they are believed to work for the Sinaloa Cartel and its leader “El Chapo”.

The news exploded on both sides of the border, incredibly, and based on nothing more than the words of ruthless sicarios, it was reported that the slaughtered 35  were Zetas. Further it was reported that among the dead was “El Ferras”. 

The assassin’s message stated that Ferras was among the dead. Thereby, one of the 35 dead would be the same El Ferras who escaped on September 19th in the mass exodus from La Toma Prison,   and the man captured on Friday December 16th 

While incarcerated, “El Ferras”, was crowned "Rey de Carnaval", (King of Carnival )  at the  2009 Mardi Gras carnival festivities inside the Cereso prison.  The assumption was the manta referred to him. However, it was never clear if the implication was an attempt at black humor by the killers and in reality the reference was to  another person by the same moniker.  In either instance, no person with a moniker of “El Ferras” was identified in the carnage.

Within hours of the shocking act, the attorney general for the State of Veracruz, Reynaldo Escobar Pérez astonished just about everyone by being extremely premature,  in investigative terms,  by announcing that most of the bodies had  been identified and ALL had prior criminal records that included kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking and organized crime. 

Conspicuously, on October 7th he would again surprise those following the Veracruz story when he resigned his position following yet an additional discovery of 32 corpses at a cartel safe house.  Citing “personal reasons”, the untimely departure directly followed his launch of the “Safe Veracruz” campaign.

The media for their part intractably held onto the “fact” that the dead were of the Zetas Cartel. At that time, STRATFOR predicted that the Zetas would carry out reprisals in Veracruz, declaring that their “sources” indicated “The dumping of bodies is a clear sign that whoever carried out the attacks does not believe the Zetas can retaliate in force, and the next few weeks will show whether this is true. If the Zetas are unable to strike back hard to prove they can protect their territory and personnel, the competing cartels will perceive weakness and move in to crush them”, reported Stratfor. 
To this day media sources continue to refer to the dead victims as “Zetas”.  A few in the media use the term  “alleged Zetas”, but remain resolute to the fact that the dead were the bad guys, all had criminal records and were connected to organized crime. 

In an interview by Joaquín López Dóriga,  the Deputy Regional of the PGR, José Cuitláhuac Salinas Martínez,   reiterated    twice the fact that the dead were not found to have cartel connections, and that only 6 had any type of criminal record, four of those being minor infractions and two being of a more serious nature.      
López Dóriga pressed further by asking, “Both Governor Duarte and the then Procurator of Justice stated that the deceased 35 had a criminal records, do you corroborate that?”

“In  regards to the statements by the then Attorney General  and Governor,  I cannot say anything because I don't know about that, but in what it corresponds to the file that I had at my disposal, it  is another perspective for let’s say something in this regard, it’s another version…” answered Salinas Martínez.  (Shortly after the interview, President Calderon appointed Salinas Martinez to the position of chief of SIEDO- Special Investigations of Organized Crime)

“Not of organized crime” a fact confirmed by the PGR, yet commonly in the international press and in the minds of the public, the dead remain Zetas to this day, even when the truth as been revealed.  It appears irrelevant that the PGR concluded its identification and criminal history investigations on the victims and their findings bore no cartel affiliations.  (PGR is Mexico’s Federal Attorney’s General) Few have bothered with the truth, especially the media north of the border.

If not Zetas, nor criminals, just who were the Boca Del Rio dead?

In part two, you will meet the victims, learn about them in life.  Part two will give honor to the dead, and speak the truth of who those 35 humans were, among the dead; housewives, high school students and a highly decorated policeman.  

Used as props by coldblooded killers.  They will be justly referred to, as victims, not zetas, those 35 victims who before their death bore unimaginable torture, branded with paint the words “Por Z” and were subsequently asphyxiated.    Then in a final act of humiliation were thrown nude or seminude onto the pavement, for the world to see and committing unthinkable trauma for their loved ones to endlessly bear.


  1. The death guy on the second picture does resemble el FERRAS from the first picture.

  2. By now it should be clear the Sinaloa Cartels power is over exagerrated,i dont know if I can say the same about their wealth.The Beltran Leyva brothers were the ones that were in charge of opening their plazas most of the plazas they have now is thanks to the Beltran Leyva brothers.

  3. 7:51 Get ready here come the fans to argue and deny and lie and make up stuff!Don't worry you can ever beat them!

  4. So, the assumption or theory is that it was done solely for propaganda purposes, and innocents were rounded up and executed? I don't know if I buy it, 100%.

  5. well if they were innocent people, thats cowardly i would say. why not do there homework and trullt capture real zetas.

  6. Wow, I guess it is a lot easier to kill innocent school teachers than go after an enemy that beats you every time you face them. Chapo's cells have done this for years. I don't recall one conflict that they ever stayed and fought. They run in and pull this shit and then run so the military and feds clean it up for them. This crap happened over and over in Juarez and was always blamed on CDJ. Not to say CDJ didn't do a lot of bad shit too. But truly, if Chapo would have stayed out of other plaza's, most of the deaths would have never happened. The Mexican Government is too week and corrupt to get him but I suspect either an arch enemy or his own will.

  7. @J
    No theory J, it is fact.
    what do you mean don't buy it 100%? what percent? jajaja

    Just like the so called bloggers execution. do you still think other than Nena they were bloggers? even though there was zero connection? Zs even stressed in the manta of Nena that the person was truly a blogger in reference to the first two.

    The 35 dead were not Zs and and no narco connections and no criminal records and were regular folks. I did my research and will let what i write stand on the facts. Paz Chivis

  8. Thank you Buela for this!! Looking forward for part II.

  9. I mean, I am not convinced entirely that EVERY one of those was just a bystander/victim of Mata Zetas, and not working for or with Zeta's in any capacity. Doesn't make sense to me. Why not just abduct and kill the narcomeudistas? Or the taxi drivers dealing on the side? They manage to do it in other cities, why not Veracruz? What is the point? To intimidate the public? Panic and confusion, fear among Zetas, too low down the ladder to know it is all for show? Maybe, I am just not not convinced. That is about as morally bankrupt and repugnant as it gets, if it's true.


  11. Can you do a story on the people they found dead in Guadalajara? Were they innocents as well?

  12. Facts are facts,J, none of them had criminal backgrounds.

    People just prefer to not want to believe Sinaloa Cartels reputation as the" good guys" has never really existed,only,of course in the media,ultimately ran by the Mexican Goverment I hope.(strongly rumored to cooperate with the Sinaloa Cartel) Its pretty easy to connect the puzzle.

  13. The "mata zetas" just killed alot of low level street kids/zetas.

  14. All the cartels are the same shit. Mexico needs auto-defensas- mexicanas. Everyone in them clean their own cities, protect the cities, collaborate with the military. Kinda like the Shiite groups in iraq thanks to them arcaeda was toppled. People are the power of every nation not them thugs.


  15. Outstanding post, Reporter Chivis.

    I look forward to the second installment.

    Many here mention the cartels but seem naive of the gigantic corporations and governmental entities who ship more drug contraband and garner the lion's share of profits. PR firms have long been paid big money to create smoke screens for base corruption that harms regular, hard working people.

  16. It is very difficult to believe mantas as credible pieces of a puzzle as to victims or authors. It is just as difficult to place full faith and confidence in the words of government spokespersons. Each organization seems to have a command and control problem with some of their elements. That can be expected when your employees have drug problems. Rounding up innocents to take the place of the enemy does not have much chance of being of benefit in a public relations campaign.

  17. It makes sense for the various cartels to be Robin Hood in their own territory and Attila the Hun in their adversaries territory.

  18. @J-I understand it is difficlut to believe especially one that lives in a law & order society. but let me repeat what the investigation of the PGR revealed and what the new chief of SIEDO verified NO NARCO CONNECTION COULD BE FOUND OF ANY OF THE 35.

    J, if you refuse to believe that then you are believing the Mantas and the corrupt former atty genl. You should know the VC is extremely corrupt at every level inculding the municipal police, remember ALL the police force was canned a couple wks ago? wait till part 2.

    ppl in Mex know innocents are used as props. BTW did you see how Zs retaliated? Not! ask yourself why. what i noticed right off the bat was pictures of the dead..they looked very young then Tex posted a story about 2 girls not being narcos and that got me going. I verified everything-over& over, even having my staff help me. that is how important this story is to me.

    @ajulio-U know me, not shy but I do have some fear. my frustration is in Mex people don't stand up for what is right, fear holds them back. even my staff my sec wanted to quit rather than help. thats how big the fear is.

    @1:48 I am not saying all killings are with innocents. I am speaking of these 35, but how can you be sure they are Zs? thats the point. see if they want to be in international news for a long period for a message it has to be huge. but no doubt most killings are narco/narco. however the narco/innocents happens everywhere and the corrupt police help. in this case witnesses saw the city police (the ones fired) grabbing a 15 yr old kid and taking him in the police car, he was one of the 35. He was a HS student his mom says on his way to buy feed for the chickens he raised. the police were involved.

    as for why not getting the "real" Zs, I would think that would be obvious. there is zero danger and zero retaliation quite simply it is easy, and the police can do it for you.

    @1:04 AM can you post a link to the Guadalajara story? I will see what I can find

    I will leave you with another post from BCC i posted on BB FORUM, another case of 11 killed and this brave daughter came forwrd to speak of her father never being a narco, I can't say I have the PGR print out on him but her story rings true, also in veracruz. if it were not valid who in their right mind would come forth as she? notice the gov (also hugely corrupt) immediately came out and declared the dead were narcos...same MO

  19. I beleive they were zetas. the whole point the gn did this was to put fear in ZETAS eyes not the ineccent community. So if they kill ineccent n ramdom ppl tht the zetas dnt even no y would they care. Plus come on man everyone works for the cartels!
    *El Motero

  20. I do not have a horse in this race. I just want to encourage some critical thinking. You can't prove a negative. You can say no record was found in a database. That could mean no record exist or it could mean records are managed poorly. It could mean the person has not been handled by the officials previously.

    Imagine you are a fairly new group and you are sent to an area under the control of a contra group. Your mission is to identify the enemy and eliminate same. Now the enemy is not in a uniform so how do you identify him. You buy info from a source. Your source sells bad info and you end up looking like the drug police that went to the wrong house.

  21. I dont buy 100% this nether It could be new zeta recruits who hasnt crime records at all. No crime records doesnt mean shit..... Bad article...

  22. Most criminals are identified by their tats.
    I saw lots of tats on those corpses. Probably low level zetas but bad guys just the same.

  23. A lot of idiots on here think they are so clever.When a government uses the media to disseminate news,these same people say"i don't believe it,its the government lying again"?Now they believe the media,saying they were all Zs?Where is the proof that all these innocent victims were Zs?There is proof that they did not have criminal records.So who are you going to believe,make your own mind up,you don't need other people thinking for you"WOW, I love it when someone goes against the biased media and the dirty politics of this drug war. Very brave article Buela."Clown,take a look at some of the victims,its obvious they weren't Zs.They may have knew someone,may have been dating someone,hung out with the wrong crowd,but is that enough for them to be killed horribly?Yes people,as brutal as it appears,they do pick innocent people up.Pick easy targets up,girls,women,drug addict,petty robber,or,pick target that has AK47/AR15,who is going to shoot my ass,hmmmm,let me think about that one.They wouldn't do that would they?Hell yes.

  24. It seems to me a person could be a Zeta collaborator without having a criminal record. That's the problem in laces like Nuevo Laredo, half the frigging population are collaborators and to me the collaborators are just as bad as the Zetas themselves. The message needs to be - you collaborate with the Zetas - you die. You talk to a Zeta - you die.

  25. 1:04
    you are speaking of the November dump of 26?

  26. @9:01 that would be too many cases of wrong identity if there was method involved here. Clearly nobody cared about mistaken identity anyway. I like this story Reportero Chivis when is part 2?

  27. Aka en Mexico pa,los q disen q no eran ztas los muertitos muchos morris son de escuelas y no tienen antesedentes penales por Eso los narco los reclutan Como alcones o tienderos q son los q venden droga para Cuando los militares los paren y sometan Su infirmacion en la pgr salgan linpios y queden libres pongase listos y muchos de estos travajan para,los mierderos zetas estos chavos ven a las escuelas y venden droga hayi mismo adentro asta se a savido de maestros q estan enbolucrados con el narco asi q no digan q son inocentes los narcos tienen alcones y esos alcones investigan a los otros contras por mucho tienpo y ellos Dan la informaccion a los sicarios y asen los levantones y ya saven q sigue despues del levanton!!!piso!!! Asi es q Como dise el dicho"EL QUE EN MALOS PASOS ANDA EN MALOS PASOS QUEDA "se los dejo a Su criterion....

  28. @10:20
    Exactly. It was low level thugs and female thugs that were rounded up. Just look at the tats. Having the wrong tat in the wrong place will get you killed.
    Hecho en Mexico, Santa Muerte, MS13 etc....

  29. ....It's kinda interesting that 32 people escaped from prison and here after 35 people dumped and executed and then another 32 found executed....
    ....It's embrassing for the GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO to be on headline news about the CRAZYNESS ON THE WAR ON DRUGS, and for them not to do something about it and to show the world that somethings been done, especially now that THE POLITICAL SEASON IS UPON US...
    ...Sometimes you have to look at the character of people who died, and being people of GOOD CHARACTER, you would question, why were they killed??, maybe , them refusing to cooperate with some rival cartel, maybe a jealous, and gilted cartel member, who knows!!!
    ....I would THINK that MEXICO'S PEOPLE ARE well aware of THE CONSEQUENCES and what's comes when you interact with these DOGS in the DRUG TRADE, AND not want anything with these EVIL WORLD and the possible pennies thrown at them...
    ....the people in the POLITICL ARENA NEED TO "save face" and SHOW THEIR SUPPORTERS (the ones with money and prestiage) that's somethings being "DONE" away "WITH" the rampant disorder that's happening in MEXICO..

  30. Chivis, looking forwar to the follow article.

  31. Interesting articule, thanks. Still unclear on the whole 'El Ferras' thing. Who were the narco banners refering to & why. Was the guy pictured above a Zeta? Is he dead?

  32. Both sides bring up some good points. True, none of them have criminal records. But they do have questionable tattoos. And in some sense, just by showing up dead, they appear somehow guilty. We will never know the full truth, but I think that its safe to say that since both sides are dealing in absolutes, you're probably both wrong. More than likely the 35 are not all guilty and are not all innocent. The most realistic assumption is that some were low level thugs loosely tied to zeta activity, and some were purely innocents caught up in the sweep, wrong place wrong time. But their criminal record or lack there of is no indication of cartel activity. Every halcon starts somewhere.

  33. Confirmed by the PGR? That should make folks feel better. Tune in next week when Eric Holder reveals all.

    The PGR has a delegation in every state. If DF wants a report about an event in Vera Cruz. The Vera Cruz delegation prepares it.

    The guy would not even say the Vera Cruz State report was incorrect. He just said the file he had said something else

  34. Chivis said...."ppl in Mex know innocents are used as props. BTW did you see how Zs retaliated? Not! ask yourself why. what i noticed right off the bat was pictures of the dead..they looked very young then Tex posted a story about 2 girls not being narcos and that got me going. I verified everything-over& over, even having my staff help me. that is how important this story is to me".

    And chivis said "@1:04 AM can you post a link to the Guadalajara story? I will see what I can find"

    Here you go here is the link to both statements: you can start there.

  35. Yes Chivis, the 26 bodies found in November. Thanks.

  36. Bones Innocents are killed all the time like Alexis Marron and his two friends outside Guad. They have found nothing on him

  37. Im wayy off topic on this,and I apologize,but I found it very interesting that the prisoner Juan Antonio Osuna Ceballos,who was locked up for carrying guns and for crimes again peoples health,walked out through the front door,after recieving visitors,this on the 23 of june of 2011 from the prison of Cecjude,Mazatlan,Sinaloa.

    Who was this guy?? Another Chapo or wat??

    Another 4 people escaped from Aguaruto,Culiacan Sinaloa.

  38. Re: Ferras.
    There are TWO ferras. One is the fool in the photo and the one referred to by the manta as being among the dead.

    IMO and I just base this part on hunch, they were joking about it being the Ferras king of Carnval. but in reality it was the other Ferras the narco, but that is just my guess.

    as for PGR. I trust PGR and Siedo more than any other agency in Mexico. I will further add that they would not benefit if the dead were innocents and not narcos as the manta states. in fact for them it would be better to have dead narcos and not dead innocents. Logical.

    same with the bloggers. and that hurt mexico. the fear has blog running towards stories of Jennifer aniston and global warming and the reality is NO BLOG CONNECTION except Nena, may be one other I will have to look it up again. but BS. all the narcos do this.

  39. But the Zetas did retaliate, how about the massacres in Guadalajara and the heart of the Sinaloa Cartel, Culiacan. Buggs and Gerardo did several posts, and in both, it was suggested that the massacres were in rataliation for Boca del Rio.

  40. This whole shitty war has become a war of propaganda. All of these stanky ass cartels are backstabbing hypocrites who have absolutely no compassion for human life. I remember when the juarez cartel confessed to accidentally murdering over 30 students at a party. But I am still counting the days that the dirty rat zetaz are eliminated out of the equation.

    I believe that 2012 will be the beginning of the end of los zetaz.

  41. There are more than a few comments from people who desperately want these victims to be Zetas, despite a total lack of evidence.

    If Gente Nueva really did this, It's probably Veracruz cops who are off the reservation. Either that, or it's some low level idiots who really believed these people were Zetas.

  42. @siskiyou kid
    very true. some people do know understand Mx and certain regions such as Ver. In this case the police were witnessed as being involved.
    remember they were ALL fired later. 100% of the force. they refused polys.

    I expected some negative feedback, but I see most people kept an open mind and get it, I would assume because they have greater knowledge of how things are in Ver perhaps from personal exp or knowledge, such as myself.

    am I to prove a negative? hard to do when a mind is closed. yet there is not one shred of evidence these were narcos or bad people. the only "evidence" is the words of a group of thugs/narcos/killers. so if one wishes to believe them instead of facts so be it, I can do nothing nor want the challenge to convince them other wise...Paz, Chivis

  43. Why is it so hard to believe that these people have ties with the Z's? Its one thing to be in love with a cartel n be in denial but damn... catch a clue. Not many here can collaborate the actual ties these people had with the Z's but I'm sure there was something. If the killers were getting these random people, then there should be kids and babies among the dead.
    Oh, that's right... these guys might be bad but at least they don't kill families, elderly people.

  44. Do any of you clowns know what you are talking about? Besides the OP, she appears to be the only one who has a clue. Quit speculating already as all your "theories" are not fact.

  45. There is plenty of open source material that demonstrates elements of the PGR involved in the very crimes they have a duty to combat. Google is your friend.

    The Vera Cruz police were not fired. The organization was disbanded for failure to meet federal mandates in the area of pruebas de confianza. They are eligible to reapply for their positions.

    Since the Feds have exclusive jurisdiction in both drug and organized crime in Mexico, it is difficult to accept the responsibility lies at the feet of any state or local police anywhere in Mexico. The President did not bring the Sedena and Semar into this because the PGR had things under control.

  46. @January 2, 2012 9:45 PM

    Stupid or what? You think they kill some babies along others? "Look, we got one fresh recruit here!"

    Come on. It wouldn't fit in their agenda.

  47. just cause they had no criminal records dat dont mean they where innocent people.

  48. Oh but if the zetas kill ppl with no criminal record y'all claim right away"well the z jst kills innocent ppl"haha u guys are a joke especially u CDs nuthuggers cheerleaders from sinaloa n Durango always thinking CDs don't kill innocent many testimonys n sum videos proving they do and YA can't still accept the facts.wait I bet sum dumbass is going to go off on me claiming I'm a zeta cheerleader haha they always do it to someone who states the facts to u whimps

  49. 5:01 pendejo ATTENTION:CDS

  50. 5.01 , hablas con mucho amor a los zetas , como que te cojieron y te encanto no pocho jotito , tu ke vas a saber wey!??? what the zetas has put my country threw ,thank god for cds, go on and put another tatoo , che cholo vale verga

  51. 5.01 es una ratita azteca ,largate de mi pais malandrin de 4ta, puro sinaloa

  52. Puro sinaloa arrival DE Mi verga,y cual largarte SI yo soy mas mexicano QUE tu puto.les cala la verdad pinche sinaloense ojete,POR Eso su propia gente DE sinaloa se les voltea culeros!USTEDES nunca an sido DE palabra,siempre tratando DE entra a plazas ajenas y siempre les dan EN la madre! X una rason mayoria DE los fronterizos como yo no les creemos a los pinches CDs y sus corridos. Jaja q panochones ahora QUE les traen la guerra a sus pinche pueblo bicicletero Fandango llorando.ontan sus antraxx su MP chino antraxx.Jaja bien me dijo Mi tio QUE los sinaloenses son puro corridos Nomas asi se sienten hombres, POR q EN culiacan DE SEGURO asta Fandango escondidos.salgan a pelear culeros como los DE tamaulipas y Juarez pelearon y defendieron y ganaron su terreno les
    dieron EN la madre a LOS chinolas.aguanten culeros que apenas estate empesando el desmadre!!!


  53. so that's why there was never any retalliation??'cause the Z's weren't missing any soldiers.well that's pathetic and i tought they were scared by that massive force nd cheered the killers,that's dissapointing

  54. Very good work Chiv. Really well done.

    However, the comments inspired by your report are the reason I will never get involved and, after reading good work like yours I think seriously about getting involved.

    Oh there's a nugget of logic or truth here and there in the comments but the fact is that most are just stupid, uneducated people who can't put two logical thoughts back-to-back much less express themselves coherently.

    The fact is that you can dump 35 dead bodies in the middle of a major Mexican city in broad daylight and nothing will happen to you. And Mexicans complain that they can't get any respect from the world.

  55. Sorry folks there was a delay in part 2 but should be ready this week. My computer crashed and burned the hardrive and I lost everything. the external HD was inadequate and so I only recaptured 2/3 of my files and photos. I had to reconstruct part two from GO. actually i found additional info and data in the process so there was a benefit.

    as to Jan 6 6:06PM
    I just saw your comment. I want to
    Encourage you to contribute and not be concerned about what folks say. As long as you know you have done your best and believe in what you write, you should not care.

    People will reject antithetical views, that which is contrary to what they think they know. No matter what you put up as evidence they will slam. Example the person who thinks PGR is corrupt, completely oblivious to the fact then the alternative is that they reject the PGR and the federal atty genl and the head of siedo, so that means they embrace what is declared by a group of thugs who call themselves matazetas. For it is They who declared the dead as being Zetas. So some believe them and reject all other Mexican agencies. To me that is insane.

    I expected controversy

  56. Where's part 2? I'm dying to read it...did I miss it?


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