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

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Prison Director Threatened By Z40 Is Executed in Mexico City

"HEARST", "Enojon", & "Gary" for Borderland Beat 

A prison director was shot to death on the streets of Mexico City. It turns out that the prison director was threatened by imprisoned Zetas leader "Z40" shortly before he was killed.

Z40 has spent over a decade of his life behind bars, having been arrested back in 2013. He’s been able to navigate the prison system with ease - often manipulating it to his own benefit.

So it's worth considering, was Z40 behind the execution of the prison director? And how could the government prevent this from happening again?

The Execution of the Prison Director

Pablo Eduardo Casañas Calzada, age 51, worked as the Legal Director (sometimes described as the Director of the Federal Criminal Law Office) for a prison located in the state of Guanajuato. 

His family, however, lived in Mexico City so he regularly “traveled to Mexico City to visit his family during his days off.”

After two consecutive weeks of working at the prison, Casañas got a few days off. On the morning of July 29, 2023, Casañas left Guanajuato and he arrived at his home in Mexico City in the late afternoon. 

A few hours after he arrived, Casañas exited his home, intending to go with his wife to meet their children for dinner. Casañas entered his vehicle, a red Chevrolet Tracker SUV, which was parked on Moyahua Street, within the Iztapalapa district.

Shortly after settling into his vehicle, a lone gunman approached Casañas and fired multiple shots at him using a 9mm firearm. Casañas was struck at least four times in the attack, which took place at approximately 7:15 pm. The gunman quickly fled the immediate area. 

Los Angeles Press writes that “visual witnesses” notified the emergency phone line and police officers were quickly dispatched to check on the report. 

When officers arrived, they found Casañas lying dead in the driver’s seat of the SUV. The area was cordoned off by police and evidence was documented. 

MVS Noticias writes that Casañas’s wife told officers details about the gunman and attack. This may imply that his wife was walking to the car when the attack happened and she was one of the aforementioned “visual witnesses” to the murder of her husband.

Mexico City’s Attorney General’s Office is currently leading the investigation in the homicide.

Surveillance Footage Captures the Route of the Hitmen

The journalist Juan Carlos Alarcón, who writes for MVS Noticias, published exclusive information from inside the government investigation. Law enforcement is allegedly reviewing surveillance camera footage which depicts the getaway vehicle that the attacker ran to just minutes after he fired the deadly shots. 

Alarcón writes that an hour before the attack occurred, cameras captured a white Jeep SUV parking on Estrella Street. It parked just around the corner from the homicide location on Moyahua Street, as seen on the map below.  

Investigators currently believe that the attacker was working with an accomplice who stayed inside the white SUV. 

The MVS article featured 4 frames from surveillance camera footage, but the location labels on the footage were vague, if not, downright inaccurate.

Based on a careful comparison of the frames with Google Street View, Borderland Beat was able to pinpoint the exact location for each of the frames. 

The getaway vehicle appears to have headed west of the shooting location, likely taking one of the major highways which intersect the city.  


By 8:23 pm, roughly an hour after the shooting, it was seen driving near #5632 Desierto de los Leones.

At 8:36 pm, the vehicle was spotted to the east, near the intersection of Potrero de Tepito and Viejo a Mixcoac.


Based on the path of travel of the vehicle, it appears that the attacker and accomplice were heading to a location near the University City area.

His Job at the Prison

The federal prison where worked Casañas is known as Federal Prison #12. It is located in Ocampo, Guanajuato. It is considered to be a maximum security prison and it is sometimes called simply “CPS Guanajuato”. 

Casañas’s wife told authorities that her husband received threats from Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, alias “Z40”, the former leader of los Zetas. 

Z40 was arrested in July 2013 and he has been incarcerated in Mexican federal prison for over a decade now. 

He has been transferred between the various federal prisons in Mexico several times, as part of “a precautionary inmate rotation program.” 

The following is a summary of all prisons that Z40 is known to have spent time in: 

July 20, 2013 - December 19, 2013

Federal Prison #01 located in Altiplano, State of Mexico (Arrival -  Source) (Departure - Source

December 19, 2013 - February 10, 2015

Federal Prison #02 located in Puente Grande, Jalisco (Arrival -  Source) (Departure - Source

February 10, 2015 - March 27, 2017

Federal Prison #01 located in Altiplano, State of Mexico (Arrival -  Source) (Departure - Source

March 27, 2017 - July 19, 2018

Federal Prison #09 located in Juárez, Chihuahua (Arrival -  Source) (Departure - Source

July 19, 2018 - Unclear

Federal Prison #02 located in Puente Grande, Jalisco (Arrival -  Source

Unclear -  June 8 2020

Federal Prison #01 located in Altiplano, State of Mexico (Departure - Source

June 8 2020 - Unclear 

Federal Prison #11 located in Hermosillo, Sonora (Arrival -  Source

Unclear - June 30 2020

Federal Prison #02 located in Puente Grande, Jalisco  (Departure - Source

June 30 2020 - July 2021

Federal Prison #17 located in Buenavista Tomatlán, Michoacán  (Arrival - Source)  (Departure - Source

July 2021 - Current

Federal Prison #15 located in Villa Comaltitlán, Chiapas (Arrival - Source

You'll notice one prison that isn't among this list: Federal Prison #12 in Guanajuato - where Casañas worked. 

So how did Casañas end up angering Z40? There are two main possibilities: 

  1. Casañas worked at a different federal prison before Federal Prison #12 and he drew the ire of Z40 through his work at the previous location. 

  2. Casañas has a job which impacts prisons outside of the one he directly works at.

Regardless of how he got on Z40’s bad side, it's worth noting that Z40’s threats were the only “line of investigation” authorities mentioned as part of their investigation into the murder of Casañas.

Z40's Decade in Federal Prison

Let’s take a closer look at Z40’s history in prison to get a better idea of what kind of “cooperation” he may expect out of prison directors. 

In July 2015, Chapo escaped Altiplano through a tunnel constructed based on information in the prison’s architectural plans. This infamous prison break led to a crack down on other incarcerated inmates who were negotiating to buy the architectural plans of their respective prisons. 

According to De Primera Noticias, Z40 was one of these narcos. His lawyers were allegedly in the process of negotiating with officials on a price for the plans. Chapo’s escape, however, quickly ended any hope of future negotiations.

In October 2016, prison officials got word that Z40 and his brother Omar Trevino, alias "Z42", were planning to escape from Altiplano, the prison they were currently held in. According to De Primera Noticias, their plan involved creating an “artificial operation” (likely a prison riot) that distracted some of the guards while other corrupted guards opened the main door of the prison so the brothers could simply walk out. 

Later in 2016, in Altiplano prison, Z40 allegedly encountered CJNG figure José Bernabé Brizuela Meraz, alias "La Vaca" - another inmate in the facility. 

Z40 and La Vaca, evidently, did not get along and their friction led to Z40 threatening to kill Vaca. 

Vaca took this threat seriously, informing his relatives and subordinates about Z40's words. 

Luckily for La Vaca though, Z40 was transferred out of Altiplano in May 2017 - before he got a chance to kill La Vaca. But the threat still hung heavy over La Vaca - he knew that inmates loyal to Z40 would still have it out for him. 

When La Vaca heard that he was scheduled to be transferred to a prison in Tamaulipas, which was filled with Z40 loyalists, he believed it was a death sentence. 

La Vaca's followers attacked the vehicle transferring him to Tamaulipas in a failed attempt to free him. The deadly incident killed one police officer and injured four others. Although Vaca was not freed, his transfer to Tamaulipas was canceled and he remained safely at Altiplano. 

In December 2019, hitmen loyal to Z40 attempted to stop his prison transfer convoy as it traveled on highway 175 through Oaxaca. Their attack left a State Investigation Agency (AEI) captain dead but failed to free Z40. 

In May 2020, there was an outbreak of 90 cases of COVID19 in Puente Grande prison, where Z40 was being held. 

Z40 allegedly requested that he be tested for COVID but a shortage of tests led to his request being denied. 

His lawyers used this denial to allege that prison officials were "intending to let him [Z40] die" of COVID19, which spurred a judge to order that the test be administered to Z40. 

At the beginning of June 2020, an anonymous masked man created a video in which he warned President Lopez Obrador that Z40 and his lawyers had been planning an escape attempt from Puente Grande prison. 

The man claimed that the prison director had met with Z40's lawyers at a home in Guadalajara on three different occasions. He claimed that Z40 had prepared and was offering up $3 million dollars in exchange for the cooperation of the prison director in his upcoming escape attempt. 

Due to concern over this alleged escape plan, Z40 was transferred to Federal Prison #17 in Michoacan.

In June 2020, shortly after Z40 was transferred to Federal Prison #17 in Michoacan, Z40 made donations to the director of the facility: Julio César Pérez Ramírez.

These donations granted Z40 access to “special privileges” that were not given to other prisoners such as “access to (hand delivered) daily newspapers, as well as fresh fruit which had to be peeled and chopped in his presence because of his fear of being poisoned.”

Z40 also reportedly got to live in the "ECO" dormitory with four other people while most inmates in the facility were living in cells that were filled with 15 prisoners - over their expected capacity.

When Jorge Isaac Neri García took over the position of prison director in 2021, he too was treated to personal donations made by Z40.

In July 2021, Milenio newspaper released an expose on all the privileges that Z40 was receiving. The article led to Z40 being transferred to Federal Prison #15 located in Villa Comaltitlán, Chiapas, where he remains to this day.  


  1. Interesting that he’s been able to avoid extradition

    1. I don't think they've asked for his extradition yet.

    2. According to El Pais, they have:

    3. I didn't know that. Thank you Hearts.

    4. This guy should be a priority target for the US as well but i dont have that impression.

    5. @10.36. I think people would be surprised by how little Los Zetas actually smuggled into the US compared to their rivals. Their power in Mexico depended on other things, and a different strategy. The US focusing so hard on the amounts of drugs smuggled sometimes tied their hands when it came to punishing men like 40.

  2. Can’t imagine the adrenaline when he’s got when his guys were trying to break him out he musta been sweating so hard

  3. At this point they're pulling out their guajolotes to see whose is bigger.

    1. guajolotes is a turkey, is that supposed to be some male organ ? like tanatas ur funny

  4. Some real life need for speed breakout Brian o Connor type toretto type shit

  5. The fact chapo couldn’t fight off extradition and this fat fuck has been in there longer

    1. Chapo escaped prison twice whereas z40 couldn't do it not even once. Thats the big difference

    2. 5:56 chapó was a trophy this guy is not

    3. Obviously chapo was a trophy but there’s been guys that didn’t do 1/10 the damage or amount of contraband smuggled compared to z40 that were extradited

    4. Chapo has a life sentence in ADX 40 has a 18 yrs sentence in Mexico lol. 40 won 😂😂😂

    5. El chapo era la moneda de cambio para liberar a rey zambada y vicentillo zambada. No tenía opción de librarla!

  6. Behind bars and still working hard.

  7. Why is this POS still breathing?

  8. So he has been trying to breakout sooner or later he's going to succeed with CDN increasing in power that day grows closer.

  9. Fellow looks roughed up if you ask me...seems he said something smart and the copper bashed him for it!

    Reminds me of an old summer...

    Oh, lemme tell ya 'bout young Randy back in them 1960s, y'see. Willowbrook, hills, trees, real simple-like. Randy, he got this itch, y'know? Soda pop, cold bottles, shinin' like stars. One hot day, bam! Snagged a bottle, felt like runnin' wild. Outta nowhere, whoop, there's ol' Officer Ramirez. Gosh darn it, heart poundin', fizzy drink slippin', eyes lockin'. "Son, that's a no-no," he says. Inside, storekeeper, nod, like they know. Wise words, lessons, choices, young Randy listenin'. No smackin', but lesson learned. Stolen soda, real teachin' moment. Life moves, Randy grows, shares tales 'bout Officer Ramirez, like a beacon, guidin' wayward souls. Lessons, kindness, life's turns, shape young Randy, changin' paths.

    Thanks fer listening to an old man.

    1. @ Randy Carlson. Ha ha! I'm right now reading an old George Pelecanos novel where a scene similar to that teaches a young lad that he has to stop fukn around. The old storekeeper catches him stealing but lets him go, and he gets a second chance. I doubt it will end well, but still. Cheers dude.

  10. So when someone asks who is the cdn boss. He still is.

  11. Does Mexico have any form of Colorado Supermax? At this point it seems like prison is a joke over there with all of z40s special privileges.

    1. Antiplano is the supermax supposedly

  12. Mexican law enforcement is a complete joke. It's just entrepreneurial activity down there, nothing more or less.

  13. I dread to think of the violence that could follow if this guy escapes.

    1. Maybe they should let him escape and shoot him when running.

  14. This guy has the prisons he goes to scared shitless, even in michoacan were mist would presume he would not have much pull, he did.

  15. El Señor de señores z40

  16. I've been seeing CDN pop up in news stories a lot lately. Are they getting a lot more powerful and/or making big pushes to expand? With all the recent CDN news, is it possible that Z40 is about to get sprung from prison?

    1. Keep an eye on L42
      Maybe this ones doing all the work
      Wonder what the other one is doing
      These 2 are like the saying
      the right hand doesnt know what the left hand is doing
      This ones smarter thanthe other one obviously

      Can anyone guess why neither 40/42 have been extradited?
      Lets see if we have a winner

    2. They pay the right people. I also feel it's only a matter of time until 40 is free.

    3. Wayyy bigger than $

      To name a few theyve extradited hummer/mamito/ocg/mcg/coss/x20 from Zs/gulf
      Baby mencho cjng
      Damaso/zambadas from cds
      some of these paid more than this guy
      $$$ is not all, not with this guy
      He rolld wit Lazca lets not forget
      There different

    4. They killed enough people

  17. Good, prison administration is the worst. Glad to see a pig cousin get what they deserve.

  18. Chuck his ass in ADX he be talking to himself after a year

  19. You should get the same for saying that.

  20. This barbarian should be sent to supermax with Cardenas for the massacred he ordered in couhiila.

  21. If z40 keeps it up they will extradict him and he will wind up next to el chapo. 40 would never escape if he was in American hands.


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;