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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Judge Sentances 3 to 520 Years For Kidnapping & Murder of "Tepito 13"

Posted by DD from material from BBC, inserbia, and Borderland Beat

Three people were given sentences of 520 years in prison each for their roles in the kidnapping and murder of 13 young people in May of 2013 from the Heaven Bar in the Zona Rosa in Mexico City that became known as the Tipito 13.  The sentence was handed down by the 25th Criminal Court in the capitol city.  
 photos of 10 of the victims were published in the newspapersas the person likely responsible for the kidnapping
As reported in Inserbia, Ernesto Espinosa Lobo and José de Jesús Carmona Aiza, both part-owners of Heaven, and a presumed hitman in the case, Victor Manuel Torres García, were charged and convicted for their roles in the illegal deprivation of liberty with the intent of causing damage to the deprived, and the charge was upgraded to “aggrevated” because the crimes were committed against groups of people and with violence, along with minor-related charges as several of the victims were under 18 years of age.
At the time Espinosa Lobo and Carmona Aiza were arrested and charged an "order to locate and appear" was issued  for a third part owner of the Heaven Bar, Dax Rodriguez Ledezma, as a person likely responsible for the kidnapping,  but authorities were unable to find him. 

On June 22, about a month after the kidnappings, the burned bodies of a man and woman were found in a community in Morelos, which is south of Mx. City.  The body of the man was identified as Dax Rodriguez Ledezma and the woman identified as his girlfriend.

Although all 3 were sentenced to 520 years in prison and fined $300,000 Pesos  each, under Mexican Law the maximum that can be served is 50 years.   The fines (if ever paid) will be divided among the victims families.

At least 25 people have been detained in the investigation of the murder and kidnapping, including 4 police officers (2 have since been released).  As reported in inserbia the  Attorney General made it clear in their press release, however, that the criminal case “remains open as there are many others involved in the case at different parts of their judicial processes” and several other suspects are still wanted fugitives.

The families of the victims have not been happy with the government's handling of the case since the kidnapping took place.  For several days after the kidnapping police and the Attorney Generals office did nothing and just classified the victims as "missing".  Only after the parents and families took to the streets demonstrating  and blocking a major street protesting about the lack of justice and lack of investigation did the authorities start an investigation.

The families claimed the governments lack of interest in their cases was because all the victims were from Tepito, an infamous barrio known for its drug corners, bootleg property, and Santa Muerte devotees.  It has one of the largest open air markets in the city and they say you can buy "anything" there. 

 The barrio is one of the oldest in Latin America.  The neighborhood seems to be almost forgotten by the local government.   Tepito consists of 72 blocks, holding an estimated 120,000 people. Many residents live in apartments and makeshifts home for free. Residents often pay no rent to building owners, who gave up on collecting rent decades ago.  A good description of the barrio is contained in the first story that BB published about the kidnapping that was written for Borderland Beat by K Mennem from the blog  Hell on Earth..  

Even though the court handed down the first convictions and 520 year sentences, the families of the victims are still not happy.  They say they have not been given a motive for the crimes and they fear the person responsible for the kidnapping and murders, the person who gave the orders will never be captured and punished.

On the early morning of Sunday, May 26 of 2013, 13 young people were in the Heaven bar, a favorite after-hours gathering place for young people in the Zona Rosa.  A video camera in the area captured images of the 13 young people entering the bar alone or in small groups and from witness accounts they all gathered together to continue their partying.  

 THE MISSING ( from  AP among other sources)
1. Eulogio Fonseca Arreola, 26, a street vendor who sells cell-phone accessories with his sister and family. "They went out to have fun. They are not criminals," sister Isabel Fonseca said.
2. Jennifer Robles Gonzalez, 23, a single mother of a 6-year-old boy. Her family said she posted a message on Facebook after 8:30 a.m. Sunday saying she was dancing at the bar less than two hours before the kidnapping allegedly took place.

3. Josue Piedra Moreno, 29, street food vendor who told his mother, Leticia Moreno, he was going out to a club with his brother, Aaron Piedra Moreno

4. Aaron Piedra Moreno, 20, street food vendor
5. Guadalupe Karen Morales Vargas, 24

6. Alan Omar Athiencia Barranco, 26

7. Said Sanchez Garcia, 19, who helped his mom sell purses and cleaning items in a street market. He was last seen late Saturday when he came home for a sweater before going out to another nightclub and then the bar. The youth's father, Alejandro Sanchez, has been in prison for more than 10 years on drug-related charges.

8. Jerzy Esli Ortiz Ponce, 16, went to the party with his friend, Said Sanchez. Father is convict Jorge Ortiz Reyes, alias ""Tanque", who was a drug boss in Tepito. He is currently serving prison time.

9. Gabriela Tellez Zamudio, 34

10. Rafael Rojas, no age

11. No information
12. The twelfth victim was later confirmed. No information available.

A little while before sunup the surveillance cameras captured a caravan of cars coming down the street in front of the bar.  Then 17 unarmed and unmasked men entered the bar and exited leading the 13 young people and putting them in the cars.  

In a story posted by Chivis for BB, a patron in the bar who hid when he saw what was happening gives a audio recording of the events which Chivis transcribed.  (I am only going to give the gist or excerpts from the stories previously published on BB with a link to the story)

The media initially referred to the case as the Tepito 12 until  the end of August 2013 when 13 bodies found buried together in a mud pit covered by concrete, lime, and asbestos behind a ranch near  Tlalmanalco, a far-flung suburb approximately 55 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Mexico City.  The bodies were located after one of the detainees told investigators where to look.  The 13th body turned out to be another young person who had joined the group in the bar but whose family had not reporting him missing.  After the bodies were found the case was known as the Tepito 13.

All of the bodies had been tortured and decapitated.  In a story posted by Chivis,  one of the kidnappers,  Pedro Francisco Paz Lopez, “El Mariguano” (stoner/pothead), one of the last narcomenudistas from Zona Rosa arrested by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) for his alleged involvement in the death of 13 Tepiteños  has given information to the PGJDF as to how the bodies were disposed of.  

In his ministerial statement, the alleged offender belonging to the criminal organization of La Union, said that the Tepito youth were killed immediately after they were kidnapped  from the Bar Heaven.
According to Stoner and  Pancho Pulgas (Fleas), he was responsible for the beheading with a hacksaw, one of the victims after being ordered  by Joel Rodriguez Javier Fuentes, “El Javi”, his supervisor
"Stoner" is the bottom left photo.
Javi, the plaza chief of La Union Plaza Zona Rosa, and who remains at large, ordered Stoner to stay in the first chained access which is about 500 meters from the main entrance. He was ordered to monitor whether any police arrived.

He stayed there until he received an order over his radio ;
“Stop playing and come help dude."

 When Stoner  entered the ranch, he ran into a row of 12 bodies of young people who he had helped kidnap hours before. Only one was alive, "a chubby one, he was crying" his hands were tied.  He did not know the name of the young man; he just noted he was "chubby."
Stoner says he  then followed, El Javi and another subject who he identifies as Antuán, who ordered his murder. They handed him a hacksaw and asked him to behead the Chubby one who was still alive and crying  and he did, he confessed in his statement.
As I said earlier the families don't buy into any of the several theories that have been offered by the authorities.  
 La Unión y Los Tepis are two gangs that have operated in Tepito for several decades now and occasionally wage street battles against each other, and it was discovered that members of one of the gangs were involved in the kidnapping
 According to inserbia  the judicial authorities say none of the victims were involved in  any gangs or criminal groups themselves but that three of the victims were related to criminal figures who operated in the area and were incarcerated at the time of the killings.  But that statement leads to another theory based on unproven rumor about the youngest of the 13, Jerzy Esli Ortiz Ponce, who at 16 was  the youngest kidnapping victim. Many regarded him as a young street smart criminal, who has attempted to push his way into the narcotic trade of central Mexico City.
Jerzy’s father is Jorge Ortiz Reyes, better known as "Tanque". Tanque is a massive drug dealer who was dominant in Tepito at the time of his arrest in 2004. He is currently serving a 23 year prison sentence for drug and extortion charges, but is believed to continue running La Union from his jail cell.. He is said to have strong ties to La Unión, raising questions as to why La Unión would authorize the kidnapping of a family member.  
Some think that Jerzy may have murdered a drug dealer who was making his rounds servicing his regular customers at a bar, The Black,  just down the street from Heavens Bar 2 days before  the Tepito 13 kidnapping.  The theory postulates that the kidnapping was in retaliation for the drug dealers murder and Jerzy was the target in the kidnapping.  The other 12 victims were just in the wrong place at the wrong time   But the families don't buy into that theory saying "why would a gang kidnap 13 people in a settling of scores with Jerzy.  They would have just killed him.   
 Another theory that has been raised by investigators (and Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera) is that the 13 were kidnapped and killed due to a conflict between rival street-level drug dealers.
 The families reject that theory saying a typical, street-level drug dealer would not have the operational capacity to carry out a multi-vehicle kidnapping in an urban area with a police station and security cameras in the immediate vicinity, nor would that simple drug dealer torture, dismember and bury the victims in a mass grave in a rural area.
 As reported in inserbia, given all these strange circumstances (i.e, the unarmed and unmasked abductors, the young people the young people putting up no resistance as they were led to the waiting cars, the torture and decapitations, and the burial in hidden mass grave 55 kilometers from the city) some of the victims’ family members have even alleged that the government could be complicit in the killings, although no proof of those accusations has surfaced, unlike in the highly publicized Ayotzinapa case where the victims and their teachers’ college were heavily involved in political activism and regularly protested against local (Guerrero State) and national authorities.
Other relatives of the victims, on the other hand, have expressed concern that regardless of who was behind their loved ones’ killings will not be captured. The reason for this, they say, is that security forces in the capital have not put all of their efforts into the case because the victims all came from one of Mexico City’s most impoverished neighborhoods.
 One victim’s mother said that Rodolfo Ríos Garza, the Attorney General of the Federal District, had not met with the families since August of 2013 when the mass grave was discovered.

 Another mother guaranteed to Mexican daily La Jornada that “if these children were the children of the Attorney General, I would be damned if he did not move heaven and earth to find them but since we are from Tepito, they treat us like common criminals and thieves.”


  1. Nobody in this case was innocent or relevant move on to the next story.

    1. 10:35 apparently only one HP showed up to decide the case, you.

  2. Excellent informative article. Thank you BB for the update. The senseless acts of killing innocents deserves severe justice. Viva Mexico. Now get the rest of the evil bastards. God bless all innocents.

    1. @11;31. Thanks for the kind words.

    2. Thank you DD and the rest of the staff at Borderland Beat. You guys rule.

  3. Wonder who are the enemies of el tanque Ortiz Reyes, killing his son is to cut him down a little bit more, while keeping him safe in prison because the tepiteños have been fighting to keep their neighborhood theirs...
    --"somebody" wants the land El Barrio de Tepito occupies, for himself and for rich people only...
    --matter of fact, it happened before with La Candelaria de los Patos, all the people and tianguis were kicked out by DF authority, uruchurtu and their homes were demolished...

  4. Is it me or does "Javi" look like Sergio Peña (Z)?

  5. So a judge can sentence you to 520 years in prison but under Mexican law you can only serve 50 years??? Okay Either I am really stupid or the Mexican justice system needs some adjustments.

    1. Ever heard of the affluenza kid from Texas? U. S. justice system is just as ridiculous

    2. No your not stupid, but 9:48 there isn't even a law to support that "Affluenza" defense. Basically what that kids lawyer did was use that lame excuse to try for a mental instability plea. Yet he is now on the run and I am more than certain there will be a change in that ruling by a higher court. Since he fled the state, it is now a federal situation. No Federal judge will overlook the facts of 4 dead innocent folks. He is fried now. His 10 year probation may be overturned and a harsher sentence applied. He would be stupid to appeal if that happens. It will only make things harder for him.

    3. What age can you start drinking or going into a bar in Mexioc? Not that that simple law would be followed with all the other ones that aren't. 16? When the heck does one graduate from school there?

    4. @12:40. If you are young enough to be asking about the drinking age, my best advice is just stay out of the bars.

    5. 12 years olds that can pay, can order drinks in mexico, and hire a hos, or be hired as one, the cops and the government look the other way, it takes a jealous wife or family member to rise hell about it...
      --former governor of Puebla state, was got made famous because his wife recorded him "illegally" talking about those precious bottles of brandy he promised to "chingarse", his name:
      MARIO MARIN "el gober precioso", PRI, on excellent terms with his presidente, wife killer enrique peña nieto...

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Thank you 4:23 pm for the mature response. It is a simple question. What is Mexico's legal drinking age? In the US it is 21. Not hard at all to answer if you know, but easy to be rude when you don't. Thanks again.

    8. There may not be a legal drinking age in Mexico, there didn't used to be one. There are still several countries, where public intoxication is breaking laws, but serving alcohol has no age restrictions from a legal basis.

    9. Legal, what is legal, you can't handle legal, it is all legal as long as they don't catch you, I was smoking and drinking way before 12, on the US it is all legal or gets secured and protected as state secret for your choice of years, 30, 50, whatever, that is in mexico, on the US it is the same thing, only now the youngsters use a lot more mariguana or other drugs.

  6. It needs some adjustments, either way they will problably die in prison if they are really in there for 50 years.

  7. 3:53 PM, No, you are not stupid, by any means :-) U.S.A. has been known to lay down more than one concurrent life sentence at a time in some kidnapping cases, so it's basically the same shtick, emphasis on society's condemnation, no possibility of parole. The survival rate for 50 years in a MX prison is probably zero.

  8. Just out of curiosity, has/have any judges been killed for handing down these sentences to any Capos, Hitmen, or Kidnappers? N by Capos I mean like Chapo Arellano Felixs Beltran Leyvas etc..

  9. It makes no sense. Except it is pure evil. What the fuck happened to Mexico?

  10. I looked at pictures of the bar and it had the name "Bicentenario Bar and Restaurant", which means "Bicentennial." Was that the name before "Bar Heaven and just never taken off the building?"

    1. @12:27. I don't know when the name change occurred, but it is common when a bar or the owners of a bar have a problem with the authorities they just change the name.

    2. Larry hernandez restaurant el culito my bad el culichi just opened in mcallen texas

  11. I am so happy they finally got to the bottom of this. Also thank you for posting is. I am well aware of how hard it is to follow-up on a story when so many new incidents occur. Yet this positive news that someone has paid for a bad act gives hope that all thee bad stories end this way. Thanks again for this update DD. Please know it is truly appreciated.


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