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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Three Surfers Camping in Baja California Were Executed, Mexico Claims Case is Atypical, Denies Cartels Were Involved

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

Three surfers - two from Australia and one from the US - went on a road trip from San Diego into Mexico, planning to hit up all the prime surf beaches in Baja California. 

A few days into their trip, the surfers went missing after a night of camping on the beach. Authorities found their camp abandoned, with blood stains and a tooth showing a struggle had occurred. 

Three Mexican citizens have been arrested in connection with the case and three dead bodies which are likely the surfers have been found. 

This week Mexican authorities have been insisting the murder of the surfers is unrelated to the cartel groups which rule over the state, downplaying the fourth dead body that was found with the victims but the circumstances surrounding this fourth victim may be key to unraveling the larger criminal ties of the perpetrators.

Background Information on The Victims

Two brothers, Jake (born 1994) and Callum (born 1991) Robinson, grew up in Australia, raised by their parents, Martin and Debra Robinson. 

The brothers were both known to be highly athletic and Callum, in particular, excelled at lacrosse, which he played in high school.

When Callum reached college age, he attended the US college of Stevenson University, located in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Callum quickly made friends in America. Sam Furnish, who was one of these friends, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Callum “has the best heart of anyone I know. He makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the room regardless of who you are.”

Callum ended up playing on Stevenson University’s lacrosse team and he led the team to win the Division III National Championship in 2013 when he was a sophomore. 

Callum became a member of Australia's National Lacrosse Team in 2014. Callum later said in a social media post that he was “beyond grateful and proud to be an Aussie”, writing that “as I continue to build my life abroad I become more and more appreciative for all the opportunities and resources that Australians are afforded. Privileged as always to don the green and gold, fly the flag and represent Australia on the international stage [by playing in the National Lacrosse Team].”

When he was a senior, Callum was named a 2015 USILA Academic All-American and the MAC Men's Lacrosse Scholar Athlete of the Year. He graduated from Stevenson with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. 

In 2016, Callum was drafted into the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) to play for the Chesapeake Bayhawks. 

Then, in 2019, the first premier league for lacrosse (PLL) in the US was established and Callum was recruited by the New York team Atlas LC, where he played as a starting player.  His team eventually played in the Championship Series in Utah where Callum played all five games and he picked up three ground balls. 

In March 2021, Callum posted that he was moving to southern California and rooming there with his former college roommate. He showed photos of himself working out, snowboarding in the mountains, surfing, and motorcycling in Malibu. 

Meanwhile, Callum's brother Jake Robinson, who is younger by three years, graduated college and then went on to earn his doctoral degree. Jake began working as doctor in the city of Perth, in Australia. 

Callum’s Instagram account shows that he still regularly visited Australia - taking trips back in at least 2019, 2020 and 2023. On these trips, he’d spend time with his parents and Jake, with the brothers sometimes surfing together. 

In 2023, Callum began working as a Regional Development Manager at Snap! Mobile, a mobile fundraising platform.

That same year, Callum’s parents visited him in California. Callum took them out on a boat trip, to the beach, and to a San Diego Padres baseball game. Callum and his father even went surf skiing together.

Now, in April 2024, it was Jake’s turn to visit Callum, so Jake flew out to the US and he went to the music festival Coahcella with Callum, according to the San Diego Tribune. After the festival, the brothers met up with their mutual friend Carter Rhoad.

Carter Rhoad is a US citizen who originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Carter founded Loma Apparel, a clothing company that is "committed to making fresh gear while giving back to the community” which is based out of San Diego, where Carter currently lives. Carter also worked as a Director at a cloud computing company called ITCO Solutions. Carter, much like the brothers, was athletic and he was known to love surfing.

Reconstructing Their Trip Through Their Social Media Posts

Jake, Callum and Carter met up together in San Diego and they drove down to the US-Mexico border, likely crossing at the San Ysidro border crossing, embarking on a surfing road trip they had planned together.

Images Posted April 26, 2024

Callum posted a collection of images taken at various locations to his Instagram story on April 26. These photos had presumably been taken over the course of the last few days, due in part, to the patchy cell phone reception in Baja California.

The first photo shows two vehicles, which have their license plates visible. After a quick license plate look up online, the exact make and year of each vehicle can be found. The vehicle on the left is a 2005 Lexus GX SUV, dark silver in color and the second vehicle is a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, white in color. 

Both vehicles have California license plates. These vehicles are presumably what the three men were using on their surfing road trip. Callum captioned the post “so it begins” with the surfing and Mexican flag emojis.

Later, he posted a photo from Rosarito Beach, in the Mexican state of Baja California, which shows a man crouched down to pet a stray dog outside of a blue house with a palm tree. This blue house appears to match with Google Review images of Robert’s K38 Surf Motel. Please see the image comparison below.

Callum captioned this photo with the location: “Kilometer 38 Surf Point, Rosarito Beach”.

Kilometer 38, or “K-38” as it is often called by surfers, is a very popular surfing location. There are a number of businesses nearby which specifically cater to the surfers who flock to the spot. These businesses include K-38 Surf Shop, K-38 Club Marina, K-38 Surf House, and the aforementioned Robert’s K-38 Surf Motel.

The website MexaAdventure writes that “anyone who has surfed northern Baja knows K-38. It is famous because it is almost always surfable, and when it gets big, it is really good.”

The brothers reportedly stopped in a local surf shop at this location and Rodrigo Leal Bravo, a worker at the shop, told Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) that he remembers the brothers coming in to buy surf board wax. 

"They were excited about their surf trip and they were on their way south.” Rodigo said he noticed the strong bond between the brothers. "Their fraternity was so admirable," he said.

ABC writes that

“Callum told Rodrigo they were heading to Punta San Jose, a remote spot which was about three hours drive from the surf shop. It's only accessible by unsealed roads and the mobile tower coverage is patchy at best, but Rodrigo says he wasn't concerned for their safety ‘I did not think anything should happen to those big strong guys, right?’ he said.” 

It’s worth noting that in addition to being in shape, Callum and his brother were reportedly just one inch shy of 6 feet tall, so many witnesses have distinctive memories of seeing the brothers due to their height. 

Later on in his Instagram story, Callum posted an image of the group driving by a bizarrely decorated building.

A little Googling revealed this building to be Castillo Del Diablo in Rosarito - which is actually a private home that was built by the American real estate developer Tony Wells (who looks exactly like you imagine). 

Tony, who is native to California, had originally intended to build this project in the US but he found the American building code restrictions wouldn’t allow him to carry out his vision for the home, so he built it in Mexico due to its less restrictive building codes. (You can read more about Castillo Del Diablo and see images of the inside here.)

The eccentric location is frequently photographed by tourists driving between Rosarito and Ensenada.

Next, Callum posted a photo from Ensenada, Baja California. The photo shows two men with their legs kicked up on a table, with two Tecate beer cans and a light blue lighter. A man, who may be Jake, can be seen in the background, looking over the small wall of the rooftop. 

Next, Callum posted a photo of Carter smiling and holding a boombox on his shoulders, with an electric cord plugged into an electrical outlet in the wall. He captioned it “Mexican bluetooth”. 

The next image posted was taken at a bar & grill named La Hoguera, which is located in Ensenada.

Images Posted April 27, 2024

Callum posted another collection of photos the next day, on April 27. First he posted a photo of three men in a hot tub on a rooftop, tagging the instagram accounts of Jake Robinson and Carter Rhoad.

He then posted a video (embedded below) showing a chef preparing food near a trompo, which is a vertical rotisserie of meat, at what is clearly a taco shop with both indoor and outdoor covered seating.

Callum pans across plates full of tacos. He pauses to show a sticker for “OB Beans Coffee Roasters”.

Note that OB Beans Coffee Roasters is a micro coffee roaster with three shops located in southern California. It was founded by a surfer named Mark Bell. Carter can be seen wearing a OB Beans Coffee t-shirt in the earlier boombox photo. It seems likely that the group runs in a similar circle to Mark Bell and they simply supported his business.

Callum continues to film and he turns to show his brother Jake smiling and talking with someone (it appears to be Carter). A gray lifted SUV can be seen parked outside the taco stand.

Callum ends the video by showing another man who says something to the camera, but the audio is replaced with a spanish song so it's unclear what the man said. It’s likely this man is another friend of the group who came to join them, or may have even been with the group up until that point.

This same man was tagged in the next photo Callum posted with the handle @jt_fitz. This photo shows Callum and the three friends sitting on a beach, coffee in hand. Callum labeled the photo with the location Playa San Miguel, Ensenada, Baja California. 

JT’s Instagram account is currently set to private but his profile lists out SD, presumably indicating that he lives in San Diego. 

If he is native to San Diego, then it's possible that JT accompanied his three friends for only part of their journey and he drove back to San Diego soon after this photo was taken. As far as we know, JT has never been reported missing, so he may be in contact with US authorities.

And then finally, there is the last photo that Callum ever posted to his Instagram story. This photo is a simple photo of that same beach, showing the waves cresting in frothy white streaks across the shoreline.

Timeline of the Homicides & Investigation

Now let’s switch from social media posts to reviewing information that was reported by either law enforcement authorities or news publications.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Los Angeles Times reports that “according to a social media post made by the Robinsons’ mother, Debra Robinson, the group was supposed to check into an Airbnb in Rosarito Beach last weekend [April 27 & 28] after camping for several days on a remote stretch of beach south of Ensenada.”

They further added that “the last time the mens’ relatives heard from them was on April 27.” Note that Callum’s last post to his Instagram story was made this same day. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Riodoce writes that the men were last spotted [presumably by locals] on April 28, in an area known as La Bocana within the Santo Tomás region. 

ABC interviewed a woman who may be the witness who reported seeing the surfers on the 28th. They write

“Ana Cristina Heym Cárdenas works in a cafe about an hour north of Punta San Jose. She believes one of the men — probably Callum — came in the afternoon of April 28 to ask if she could break a 100-peso note so he could buy a taco from the stand outside. She was shocked to later hear that they disappeared.” 

According to the San Diego Tribune, the men failed to check in to their AirBnB and Callum did not show up to work on the day he was scheduled to return to San Diego (date unspecified). 

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Mexican authorities were notified that the men were missing 48 hours after the disappearance (possibly meaning April 29 or 30) and authorities began searching the region.

Riodoce writes that Mexican law enforcement quickly found an abandoned camp near La Bocana, in Santo Tomas.

The state’s Attorney General, Maria Elena Andrade Ramirez, says they found three tents at the camp. Riodoce adds that authorities also found “blood and dental parts”, which suggests a violent struggle occurred at the camp site. 

The Australian news source 7News later reported that the “dental parts” referred to was a tooth. 

A white pickup truck, which matches the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado the surfers were driving, was found near the camp. The truck had been incinerated, likely burned by the perpetrators in an attempt to destroy evidence. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 

On Wednesday, Callum and Jake’s mother, Debra Robinson, posted a public appeal for help on a Mexican Facebook page for the local area. In her post, Debra said one of her sons, Callum, was diabetic and he needed to have access to insulin to survive, so finding him quickly was very important.

The Sydney Morning Herald writes that they got access to an internal law enforcement briefing which stated that “police on Wednesday spotted the woman carrying a black cloth bag while she was walking in the town of Maneadero.” 

This woman, we now know, is 23 year old Ari Gisel García Cota. 

The Herald writes that “As officers approached the 23-year-old, she allegedly threw the bag to the ground and tried to run. She was arrested by police a few meters down the road.”

“Inside the bag [that she threw], police allegedly found a transparent plastic bag filled with a substance believed to be crystal meth and a grey iPhone with a picture of a man matching the description of one of the missing men.” 

Some publications report the Iphone belonged to one of the victims.

NCA Newswire reports that “authorities tracked the woman down after she turned on a mobile phone that belonged to one of the brothers.”

Thursday, May 2, 2024

On Thursday, May 2, Mexican officials told the press that three Mexican citizens had been detained in connection with the homicides. 

In addition to Ari Garcia, they had detained Ari’s boyfriend, a man named Jesús Gerardo Garica Cota, who is known by the alias “El Kekas”. The other person detained was Cristian Alejandro García, Jesús’s brother 

(It is odd that the boyfriend and girlfriend pair of Ari García Cota and Jesús Gerardo Garica Cota share the same last names but there are many explanations as to why that might happen.)

Investigators told the press they were questioning the three about the missing surfers. They did not give details about where the two men had been detained, how they were tracked, or when they were detained. They did say, however, that the three were connected to evidence found at the abandoned campsite. 

Zeta Tijuana reports that El Kekas and Cristian Alejandro García were both found to be in possession of drugs when they were apprehended.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Mexican officials announced on May 3rd that three bodies had been inside a well, near the surfer's abandoned camp. The well was reportedly “atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.”

Mexico said it was performing DNA testing on the remains found in the well in order to determine if they are the three surfers. 

The well was “about 15m [approx 16 yards] deep” and “about 6km [3.1 miles] from the camping site where the foreigners were killed,” according to The Guardian

Saturday, May 4, 2024

The state Attorney General told the press that “there is a high likelihood that the bodies are those of the three tourists.” 

She also added that in the well where the three bodies were found “a fourth body was located. It is not related to the three foreigners. The fourth body had been there for a long time.”

The fourth body was said to be identified as a ranch owner who was reported missing just two weeks earlier.

This fourth person reportedly owned the ranch where the well was located. 

A fourth person, who had also gone missing under mysterious circumstances - who was found in the exact same well as the surfers - does not appear to be definitively unrelated, despite what the Attorney General may claim.

Outsiders might question if the people who killed the surfers had chosen to dispose of their latest murder victims in the same body disposal location they had used just two weeks earlier. 

But maybe acknowledging a pattern or link between the bodies that were found literally on top of each other flies far too close to the implication of organized crime being involved.

That same day, El Kekas was officially arrested and charged with kidnapping. The other two suspects were arrested and charged with drug possession but the Attorney General stated that “they are sure more people [than just Kekas] participated.”

Sunday, May 4, 2024

The bodies have still not officially been confirmed to be the surfers, although the Attorney General continues to say that “the probability that it’s them is very high.”

Authorities have revealed that the surfers died from gunshot wounds to the head, "execution style" .

The Potential Motive Behind The Homicides

The Guardian reports that 

The preliminary hypothesis of the investigation is that the missing men were attacked by people who wanted to steal their car, partly because they wanted the tires.

“The attackers drove by [the surfers’ campsite] in their vehicle,” [Attorney General] Andrade Ramírez said. “They approached, with the intention of stealing their vehicle and taking the tires and other parts to put them on the older-model pickup they were driving.

“Upon approaching and surprising [the missing men], there was surely resistance and these people, the attackers, took out a firearm they had and took their lives.

“When what was meant to be a robbery had got out of control, they tried to dispose of the bodies by throwing them into a well.

“They were not attacked because they were tourists, the intent was to steal their vehicle.”

The attackers had burned the tents and covered the well with boards, she said.

It’s also interesting to note that Mexican authorities seem willing to acknowledge that the surfers were likely targeted for their vehicles, but choose to caveat it with it being that the perpetrators were after parts. 

It's worth noting that cartel territory wars require a constant supply of certain types of vehicles, namely SUVs and pickup trucks - the exact type of vehicles that the surfers. These types of vehicles are used in large-scale vehicle cartel battles (examples here and here) and often customized to resemble more military-like vehicles.

Sometimes people in the US are advised to not drive their SUVs and pick up trucks into Nuevo Laredo, because a particular stretch of highway after the border crossing is patrolled by the cartel group Cartel de Noroeste, who rob foreigners of vehicles which match their needs. 

White pickup trucks, in particular, are the vehicle of choice for cartel groups, most especially because they resemble the vehicles used by Mexican law enforcement. Sometimes cartel groups imitate the insignias and siren lights of law enforcement agencies. 

As an example of this preference, when Chapitos-associated Sinaloa Cartel members rolled into a town to kill a rival cartel figure called El Ruso, they were said to have arrived in a convoy of white pickup trucks (and SUVs). 

Just this year, a group of cartel hitmen drove a convoy of white pickup trucks through Tarecuato, Michoacan, on February 18, 2024, as seen in the video above.

The Context and The Politics

The state Attorney General also stated that the murder of the surfers was "atypical, an exceptional case", saying that Baja California has had “an influx of tourists and a similar case has not occurred.” 

The Attorney General is, of course, trying to prevent Baja California from gaining (or further gaining) a reputation as a place that is unsafe for foreign tourists. The state’s economy is dependent on tourism and Baja California announced that it expected to host 30 million tourists during the course of 2023, with similar numbers expected in 2024. 

It's interesting to note that the Four Seasons officially opened a Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Cabo San Lucas, located in the neighboring state of Baja California Sur, on May 1, 2024 - in the middle of the search for the murdered surfers.

As stated earlier, one of the perpetrators (Ari) was found to be in possession of methamphetamine when she was arrested. 

Cartel groups often fight each other for drug sale territory. This is especially true in Baja California and anywhere that foreign tourists visit. Ari, therefore, had likely bought meth from a cartel-affiliated drug dealer. 

Whether the amount of meth found in her possession is indicative of her, or her boyfriend being a dealer, versus being simply a meth user is open to speculation, but if they were - in fact - dealers, then they would have to be working under some cartel affiliation. 

Despite this, the state Attorney General was insistent on May 4, 2024, that “they did not currently believe” the perpetrators had any link to cartel groups.

Her statements are reminiscent of statements made just one week earlier by the President of Mexico, Andres Lopez Obrador, who claimed that under his administration cartel groups are now “respectful” and “respect the citizenry”, going on to claim that “in this country, attacks generally occur between cartel groups [and not uninvolved civilians].”

It’s worth noting that President Lopez Obrador said this just days after an innocent, uninvolved woman was burned to death inside a bus by cartel members in the Mexican state of Tabasco.

Cartel members had chosen to burn random vehicles in order to sow chaos and “protest” that their cartel leader had been killed during a police raid.

The woman managed to fling her son outside of the bus, to safety, before the flames consumed both her and the vehicle. The son survived but the woman died of her injuries. Her story was still very much in the public consciousness when President Obrador made his statements.

It’s important to note how popular the President is within the Mexican population. The president has maintained an approval rating of at least 60% throughout the course of his presidency, making him one of the most popular leaders in the world according to data by AS/COA

His popularity has led some to seek out ways to confirm the President’s assertion that innocent civilians aren’t harmed by cartel and gang violence.

Some online find increasingly implausible ways to blame the victims for the crimes which were perpetrated against them in Mexico. 

For example, some online have tried to claim that the perpetrator’s possession of meth somehow proves that the victims were buying meth from the perpetrators when they were attacked.

There is no evidence to support this claim and the victim profiles don’t line up with what you’d expect to see in a meth addict. Keep in mind that meth is a highly addictive drug. It is not a drug that people manage to use every once in a while, in a recreational manner.

Jake Robinson was a doctor and very much in shape.

His brother Callum was an athlete who spent most of his life being regularly drug tested. Callum had developed a physique that can really only be accomplished through the rigorous consumption of protein and regular weight lifting.

That accumulation of muscle mass is actively undone by drugs like methamphetamine, which lowers appetite and impulse control. Simply put, someone could not maintain the highly disciplined physical routines that Callum and Jake seemed to have while being on meth.

Carter was a director at a cloud computing company and he started a clothing company which was “committed to making fresh gear while giving back to the community.”

None of the victims fit the profile of a meth addict. It is far more likely that the perpetrators themselves were meth addicts and that their dose escalation led them to do increasingly irrational and erratic schemes, like trying to rob the surfers.

Remembering the Human Impact

In stories like this, the humanity and personality of the victims can sometimes get lost. The real, human impact of violent crimes is too often neglected, so let’s take a moment to talk about one of the victims. 

As mentioned earlier in the story, Callum had Type 1 diabetes. 

Callum often went out of his way to reach out to young athletes with diabetes, telling them about his own experiences with managing his insulin while playing lacrosse and encouraging them to keep going.

Callum wrote in a January 2021 post that: 

"Ethan has been a Type 1 Diabetic (T1D) for most of his life, just like me. He uses an insulin pump coupled with a glucose sensor (pictured) to regulate his blood sugar levels, just like me. Ethan is also a lacrosse player, just like me.  [...]

I met Ethan at the Rabil Overnight Camp in November and watched him dominate on and off the lacrosse field that weekend. Ethan managed his diabetes independently and away from his family for the course of the event with no hiccups. [...]

Ethan is not defined by his diabetes nor does he allow it to hold him back. He has learned to 'play the cards he was dealt' and not make excuses for things he can’t control... @ethanlax24 I want to be JUST LIKE YOU!"

A video from May 2021 shows the moment when some of Callum’s friends from the east coast surprised him by secretly flying into California to celebrate his 30th birthday.

The friends rushed Callum as soon as he stepped in.  Callum thanked his friends in a social media post saying

“It was the surprise of a lifetime with an elite group of humans making the trip from the east coast to tear it up and celebrate the milestone with me. You guys know that I love you all unconditionally and that your presence alone was the best gift I could’ve ever imagined.”

“Thank you to everyone who joined the festivities, everyone who sent some bday love and everyone/anyone who helped me make it to 30 years on this beautiful planet. The best years are still yet to come!” 

Just three years later, Callum Robinson would be found dead.

He still had many of his best years ahead of him. 

In Conclusion

The victims were likely killed in a botched robbery - a desperate move made by people who either bought meth from, or - more likely - sold on meth on behalf of, a cartel group. 

Callum, Jake, and Carter may have been targeted for their vehicles, which matched the type of vehicles that cartel groups often steal and use in their turf wars, or they may have been targeted for car parts.

No matter how much Mexican officials claim otherwise, the disease of cartel violence is indiscriminate in its reach. Cartel violence does affect innocent, uninvolved civilians, even the foreign tourists who used to be shielded from it.

Whether this incident is an example of this or not has not yet been determined. 

But US and Australian law enforcement authorities privately pushing back on Mexico’s claims that the fourth dead man is unrelated may be the key to unraveling this case.

Jake Robinson's Instagram

Callum Robinson's Instagram

Carter Rhoad’s Instagram

JT Fitz’s Instagram

Sources:, The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald. CBS News, Riodoce, Times Now News, Premier Lacrosse League, Review Journal, The Nightly, EZ Check In, The Sun, San Diego Tribune, Linked In, MexaAdventure, Vehicle History, Vehicle History, Zeta Tijuana, 7NewsAP, The Guardian

Further Reading

American Grandmother Kidnapped by Masked Men in Mexican State of Colima


  1. Boy oh boy Hearst you really went above with information. Channel 4, had mentioned in some detail, that the 4th person was the land owner that was killed days before the 3 men were killed. Reading your article does not show no cover up from the government, wonder if the president will mention something about it in his daily conferences.

  2. Looks like they were eating at Tacos El Trailero. I take my family to the hotel zone all the time. I've been going for 30 years. We've camped in Alisitos, Punta Cabras and everywhere in between with lifted trucks. You never think it can happen to you. Crazy situation. It makes me nit want to go down anymore. RIP fellas.

  3. Personally, I don’t think this was cartel related. Let’s assume that this was cartel related for a second, I would understand why the Attorney General for Baja California would want to lie and say that it wasn’t, but why would the FBI go along with it ? From what I’ve read about this case the FBI had gotten involved in this case due to the missing American and worked alongside their Mexican counterparts in order to find the culprits and the victims. So why would the FBI go along with the Attorney General’s lie ? I doubt they care more about Baja California’s reputation than the safety of American tourists abroad.

    1. The quantity of drugs in the picture is a dealer quantity. A user is not able to carry around a months worth of meth and parce out dosage for one hit at a time. A user will purchase and use what they purchase and then go back and purchase more.

      None of the victims fit a user profile, except maybe the deceased ranch owner. He’s pissed.

      Dealer gets the drugs from whoever owns the plaza. Unless the meth came south from the US, then it would have to be cartel related. Whoever runs the plaza runs the drug distribution.

    2. "None of the victims fit a user profile" LMFAO Being American and Surfer, what else do you want? These crackheads were probably buying from a not affiliated dealer and got caught by the Plaza owners.

    3. Professional lacrosse player DNE meth addict. Professional doctor DNE meth addict. Professional software engineer company owner DNE meth addict. I only do meth on Saturday nights after surfing.

      Your comment makes zero sense- a cartel “affiliated” dealer would go after the surfers but not your “non-cartel affiliated” dealer? The cartel would kill the competition.

    4. 839am, put the bong down bro, you high AF

    5. 907 they were independent low level lacras that did this! They were either tweakers themselves or they were low level independent retail grameros that got high on their own supply! If they were in the cartel they were at the very bottom of the food chain and this would obviously be non sanctioned cartel murder! It’s obvious that they did this nasty cruel jale on the side behind the cartels back! TJ Ensenada Rosarito is filled with a bunch of lowlife tweaker ratas with no cartel affiliation! Look at the losers that killed that one singer Chuy montaña! So those killers very likely that they weren’t cartel affiliated!

    6. @245 I went to the World Cup in 2018 in Russia and I chatted with a few Aussie fans! They were party animals! They would just talk about cocaine and hookers! They were trying to score cocaine in Russia but that didn’t happen! At first I assumed that the victims here scored meth from the wrong place, wrong time but the article here says they didn’t seem like users! Maybe just recreational? Who knows! They were also in the middle of nowhere camping! Rip to the 3 surfers!

    7. Those people didn't camp in that spot to party. Nothing interesting there but ocean.

  4. According to Australian news, law enforcement located the woman after she had activated one of the men’s phone. Australian authorities alerted Mexican authorities about this and the Mexican authorities proceeded to capture her.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. I'm going to look for the publication which published that and cite them in the story. Thank you.

  5. wow great article, a lot of details.

    1. I swear, mainstream news outlets can learn a thing or two from Team BB… Just look at this article, this team goes above and BEYOND!

    2. 10:20:
      You won't find better coverage of news in Mexico in English than here.

    3. Whenever a Mexican gets killed they have little chance that their murder gets solved. Whenever a gabacho gets killed the murder is solved in hours. This isn't a local problem.
      This is a problem throughout the whole Republic. What more evidence do you need that ELMO doesn't care about the people of Mexico.

    4. Yeah except when they publish details about witnesses who are desperately trying to stay anonymous. It's reckless and puts lives in danger.

    5. Remember the one in Rosarito last year. A couple from Orange County went to celebrate at a hotel wedding anniversary. They were driving back from the store municipal Rosarito police stopped them, they gave them money, that night the male is dropped from 4 floor, a police and city cover up.

    6. @11:43 Are you referring to a witness in my story? Or talking about something else?

    7. 10:20

      A lot of HEARTS' sources are mainstream. They usually don't go this in depth because they're not a "drug war only" news source.

    8. @645 — I’m referring to the major network news outlets…

    9. 7:00

      Some of her sources are major. For years the LA Times ran a series "Mexico Under Seige" which did deep reporting, I think they ended it though; but, again, this is a specialty site and you can't expect major news sources to write up extensive accounts which each occurrence of mayhem.

      HEARTS, I like your prose writing, nice and clear.

  6. Will never visit Mexico, Pinche narco pais

    1. Ok, captain.

    2. Me looking to see who asked and cares 🔎

    3. The State Department lists large parts of Mexico as just as dangerous as Syria and Yemen. If anyone believes that Mexico is a country at peace they need to remind the State Department so they can update their travel alerts.

    4. Certainly Tamaulipas y Michoacán some parts of Jalisco deveras pensaba que estaba en irak

  7. Want me to cry outrage at this slaughter?! No I won’t! If people want to go running around Mexico or any other dangerous country thinking that they aren’t messing with anybody so nobody will mess with me…well sorry but too fucking bad! As far as if cartels were involved or not… it’s like a scary punchline nowadays isn’t it?? Either cartels, organized criminals, or average street criminals who gives a shit. They knew or should’ve known Mexico’s crime rate is off the fucking charts, and the impunity rate is even more off the charts. Trap let’s hear you fucks who say USA is dangerous too and could’ve happened there! Cmon you clowns?! You want to compare crime rate, you want to compare crime rate to population, you want to compare solve rate, fuck I’m even giving you a lower USA crime rate due to the corrupt swamp cooking the books on crime stats to lie, fuck I’m even giving you all the extremely low crime rates of the country and small town areas in USA but when averaged with the toilet sewers of Chicago Detroit Baltimore St. Louis New Orleans etc… the USA rate then goes up. So fuck you fuck the cartel boogeyman that is real fuck the off the charts Mexico crime rate fuck the impunity in Mexico and most of all fuck the off the charts car jackings mass shootings attempted murders illegal gun possession drug dealing rapes and murders that are the staple of certain areas of USA to their own fucking fault and you know what else… fuck the rich college goin white pieces of shit who cheer on and protest for mass raping mass kidnapping human shield using and the real oppressors of their own people the CRIMINAL gang Hamas who loves to rape. Carpet bomb the whole place the “innocent “ people overwhelmingly voted for them supported them and starved under them so they can build tunnels and live large in Qatar.

    1. 9:43 Ensenada and parts closeby are safer than other cartel criminal infested areas of Mexico. That's why more tourists go there, but after this happened less will come.

    2. If you hate Mexico so much then just don't come. Trust me, you won't be missed pinche llorona.

    3. 9:43 Dude, you gotta chill. Take a damn pill and calm down.

    4. The last thing we need here is a paranoid junkie.

    5. Unfortunately now u have to go past Ensenada in search of clean water to surf!!on a side note many Mexicans are pointing out how quickly suspects were rounded up!! Compared to when one of there’s goes missing!!🇲🇽🇺🇸💩🇲🇽

    6. Go back to bed internet warrior

  8. Thanks Gueys at BB..! Sounds like a Horror Movie, "Let's go to Ensenada, Baja California, surf a few waves, smoke some weed, what could go wrong".
    A LOT, you can bump into most unsavory characters there, who rob you and Execute you for your phone, laptop, and cash money.. Goddamn Cristalero Cut-Throats, those we have here in Europe too.. So it might not be a cartel crime for once, just Meth-Head Savages.. Sad case, Healthy looking kids in the wrongest of places at wrongest time possible.

    1. This was robbery, they wanted the 4 tires as Hearst said it, to put on their vehicle, a fight ensued they got killed.

    2. No me digas. "Comma kid" you're on a roll!

  9. Which cartel operates in that area? How come these cartel clowns haven't learned not to kill tourists. There is going to be a lot of heat now. I don't believe that they wanted to steal the vehicle. The reason is that they burned it. Why burn it? The tires where also on the truck. I don't buy this theory. There also wasn't much resistance if they were killed execution style with shot in the head. The tooth found indicates that the bullet went to the head and hit his teeth. Maybe they weren't trying to buy meth but instead buy weed. That one dude with boom box looks like a hippie type. Who knows. No matter the reason they did not deserve to die. Nuff Said!!!

  10. “ a bizarre “devil’s castle”, which is actually a private home that was built by the American real estate developer Tony Wells (who looks exactly like you imagine).”

    LOL yes he looks exactly like I imagined.. what a freak man… these times are really something

    1. tony wells is bulletproof.

    2. He’s the devil himself

    3. nobody can touch tony wells,he's got the scary house,the scary look,he is to be feared,look out.

    4. @207 — ok bud… soon enough he’ll end up missing too for likely buying dope from the wrong guys..

  11. How much more evidence do you need in order to prove that ELMO is absolutely delusional.

    1. Isolated incident. Happens all the time.

    2. 12:30
      Your comment doesn't make sense. "Isolated incident" directly contradicts "Happens all the time". Tell the families of the 36,000 people murdered and thousands disappeared per year under ELMO that their loved ones murder or disappearance was only an "isolated incident".

    3. I forget Mexico was a paradise under Peña neito, Calderon and fox. Just stfu this has nothing to do with left wing or right wing this is about systemic corruption in Mexico as a whole

    4. Detroit is right… both homicides and kidnappings have been at all time high throughout his administration… oh and all the police killed? Journalists too?

  12. Hearst, I think you outdid yourself. Well done!! 👏👏👏 The only new thing I read today was about many locals there protesting at a news conference....

    >>> ""As if to underscore that point, dozens of mourners, surfers and demonstrators gathered in a main plaza in Ensenada, the nearest city, to voice their anger and sadness at the deaths.

    “Ensenada is a mass grave,” read one placard carried by protesters. “Australia, we are with you,” one man scrawled on one of the half-dozen surf boards at the demonstration.

    A woman held up a sign that read “They only wanted to surf — we demand safe beaches.”" <<<

    The only other thing I wanted to mention was Damn, that chick had a lot of meth on her!!! I think that quantity goes way beyond "recreational use". JS. Thanks again Hearst!

  13. Who are the ones that have a blood bath in TJ right now??????

    1. This article is about 3 that were killed in Ensenada.

  14. Excellent article Ms HEARST. Newspaper worthy for reals. Excuse my ignorance but what happened to J.T. Fitz?
    Isn't it crazy how some commentators on here will defend the disaster of AMLO "Abrazos, no Balazos" security policy. Absolute Lunacy from those chairos.

    1. I should have clarified this more, but it was my impression that JT drove down from San Diego (where he lives) and visited the surfers for a day or two. I presume he left the group and returned to San Diego before they began camping at San Tomas.

      I'm assuming that JT has been in contact with US authorities and that's why he wasn't considered missing. But that is purely my own speculation. I'll update the story to make this more clear.

    2. Thank you Hearst for another factual, well articulated article. It was worth the wait. When you update, could you also add the cartel(s) affiliated with this area?

    3. Yes, I will, but that might take me a bit more time. It gets tricky because we know that to some degree CDS, CAF and CJNG all operate at the port of Ensenada but they are focused on mass exporting drugs to Asian Pacific countries on huge container ships. Street-level drug dealing is very different from that.

      I'll try to find information on the the cartels involved in the drug dealing in Ensenada and in places like Maneadero

    4. Maneadero is the shady, "other side of the tracks" part of Ensenada.

  15. hearst.congratulations very good art,y yo sigo manteniendo mi opinion estan matando ,a la gallina de los huevos de oro,nuestra raza en mexico es la que paga las consecuencias,de aqui de montreal ,canada por 800 dolares canacos,puedes ir una semana a cuba tocho morocho avion,chupe hasta morir,comida.hotel etc.pero ir a baja california es carisimo de aca,y estos gueyes destruyendo todo el atractivo turistico.....aqui solo se habla de eso......mala onda...^por nuestros comerciantes................................

  16. Mexico safe, trump smart, amlo honest.

    1. And hitler is saint, trump is loyal to his wife,

    2. amlo is the biggest Pinocchio I have ever seen, lies also come out through his ears and nose

  17. Excellent article! I have family in Culiacán. I tell them about all of the shit happening there. They don’t know and they don’t want to know! They always just say, “they must have been involved.” That’s the brainwashing of Mexico. “Innocent people never have bad things happen to them and the cartels respect working citizens.” One of them actually said that recently, and I couldn’t believe it. What a joke!

    1. They are brainwashed by Obradors silly comments.

    2. @605 I heard in Culiacan the cartel don’t fuk with civilian unlike border towns! The safest tourist spot in México in my opinon is the Vallarta Nayarit coastal region! CJNG rules with an iron fist there, nobody is fighting for that plaza! CJNG forbids anybody to fuk with tourists! Other cartels from other parts of México are allowed to vacation their as long as they don’t try to do business there!

  18. Yeah, right, the cartel wasn't involved! They may not put out the hit. But, i would bet the three Mexicans were drug dealers who got that amount of drugs from a Sinaloa affiliate. I dont beleive for one second those fools wanted tires, they wanted money! sad and senseless murders!! RIP to those tourists.

    1. The lady caught with the drugs and iPhone is singing like a canary.
      They were in the process of stealing the truck for its tires and parts.
      One of the victims came out of the tent was shot in the head. The other 2 came to help they got shot on the head.
      Also some guy that does blogs in Ensenada said they solved this crime faster because they were foreigners, but when nationals of Mexico are killed, not solved.

  19. Fuck around and find out

  20. Everything in mex is run by cartels. Who ever controls the turf they got killed in is the cartel responsible for it.

    1. If these three individuals aren't protected while in custody they're going to be killed by their boss or whoever supplied them with the drug. Can't be exposed and get wrapped up by these fuck ups. Nah it's México, no follow up is happening.
      How spun out on meth were they that they couldn't imagine that killing these victims, they're Caucasian and obviously citizens of an English speaking country unlike a Spanish speaking person who may be a national or USA citizen, was 100% going to be investigated. Crazy in the F head.
      I write this as a person born in México, soy paisa and 👎 the T, so don't get butthurt AMLOVERS, México and its flag don't belong only to you güeyes, to me the victims and their killers seem to be of the same age/generation but have become opposites of each other in their lives/life's journey and accomplishments. Products of their environment I would say. On any day your life could be worth some wheels or vehicle by some drugged up and armed imbeciles in México, even in "tourist areas".

    2. 1036am you comments hit hard, but ring true. Sad days for us millenials

  21. Wishing that tourists would discover other places besides Mexico for their recreational/vacation happenings. It won't happen to you? Until it does.
    Thank you Hearst. You put together a great article!

    1. I used to go to Tijuana that was a while back. Now crime is so rampant that everything goes on killings torture kidnapping.

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Amlo is in cahoots with the organized crime

  24. Excellent article Hearst!!!! Worth reading!!!

  25. The authorities probably reached out to the local cell leaders and got info about where the bodies could be.

    No one just discovered them in some remote well.

  26. Has AMLO made his speech today wondering if he will mentioned the 4 people killed?
    It's becoming International news.
    If he does it better be a good comment not outlandish remarks.
    Mexico is getting a bad reputation.

    1. The man is an effing coward.

    2. "Thy shall rattle the cage of the Yankees, even if it makes me look like a fool".


    3. 6:08 he does seem to do that alot.

  27. and if there was another body, unreleated, it means that well was a site for local guys to get rid of bodies from time to time.

    which means that the guys who did this were probably just local retailers/grameros/tweaked out

    but they knew how and where to hide the bodies or who to call.

  28. Go for the surfing stay for the murder

  29. Calm down Rambo.

  30. They gave up the killers and the bodies, but what they get in exchange is the state prosecutors denial of organized crime involvement.

    that's the thing to watch is how Andrade talks about the incident. Not just to push back about Ensenada being unsafe, but to protect the relationships down there.

    1. J, do you believe that there will be blowback from this regardless of coverup? If they follow the bag of meth, I would be willing to lay a small wager that the leader of this area would be given up like Nini, no?

      These guys weren't down there looking for trouble. It found them.

    2. Maybe down the line. For now, it's clear they are not talking about Sinaloa and CJNG local leaders/plaza reps

      and the guys that did this, probably weren't acting on orders or anything but they had multiple weapons, and the ability, means, and skills to burn the bodies and place them in a drop site.

      which means this probably wasn't their first time. The guys who run that plaza/area probably handled this with their contacts already.

    3. That’s all Renacuajos trash right there.

  31. Poor fuckin guys

  32. All the dumbass snowbirds defending Mexico telling people making plans that cartels don't affect tourists unless they're up to no good and how nothing has ever happened to them during their travels ALL over Mexico. Ironically if you follow these people for a few years making this claim that Mexico is safe and so great to live, you usually see them change their mind because shit did happen and it pulled their heads out of their asses to see what was going on around them.

    1. Just because you haven’t been bitten by a rattlesnake it doesn’t mean they don’t exist and won’t bite you

  33. Criminals are afilliated with a Cartel because nobody robs and kills without some aproval from their bosses. But, their meth addiction made them make a mistake. Cartel knows it's Bad business to attack foreign tourists because it brings too much heat to the región.

  34. "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning, in the darkest of mere being".

    Carl Jung

    1. That's it I m not going to Mexico for vacation to dangerous. I don't want my car burnted or thrown into a well. By the way who supplied the winch to recover the bodies from the well.
      Mexico don't have rescue equipment.

    2. Carl Jung has nothin to do with this kid.
      This is fucking war
      not your liberal college psychology lecture.

    3. 1:33 it's a poem Mijo 😁

    4. Carl Jung snitched?

  35. Does anyone know if the president showed some type of gradditutde to the families that lost 3 foreigners to violence?

    1. Nah he can care a rats ass.

  36. These dudes fucked up.
    Thought they would be able to handle themselves if shit went south.
    They knew the danger.
    They were aware of the risk.
    And they took it.
    Buy the ticket , take ride.

    1. They were minding there own fukn
      business until criminals came to add 4 dead to the daily growing homicides in Mexico, they did not deserve to be killed.

    2. 100 % on point

  37. I've been camping and fishing down there since the early 90s. Although 99% of locals are friendly, it's always been a lil sketchy down there.

  38. El Donaldo Naranjo is going to bring the heat to all the plazas in Mexico so look out pinches cabrones!

  39. I wonder if they’re gonna issue a apology letter like when the gulf cartel fuked up in tamualipas and killed those negritos, I doubt it, the government is gonna handle all the PR

  40. Just dont go to baja.

  41. No ransome demand.No cartel involvement.Plus we all know how they make people disappear without ever being found again.Drop them in a bucket of acid.Not down some well close by to be found.

    1. El pozolero was the expert in the acid technique

  42. Two male Australian surfers were murdered while traveling, driving a SUV, in Sinaloa in 2015; these recent murders have a similar vibe. The “official” story of what happened here feels off; could be point blank robbery gone bad, botched kidnapping attempt, or mistake as to their purpose for being where they were. Travelled in that area decades ago - it is remote, desolate.

    1. Those Aussie surfrats killed in 2015 were driving late at night, a big mistake 🥺

  43. I cannot speak to travel in Mexico in the 21st century but I can in the 20th century. I was raised in Maracaibo Venezuela so unlike most US and Aussie tourists I fit into the Spanish culture better than most. I learned from an early age the junta in Venezuela ran things. You have no "rights". Most Americans thought wrong. They still do. Even now in America "rights" are debatable in America! The US government now looks more corrupt than ever. More like the CCP of which Caracas and Mexico City and DC are all on that payroll anyway!

    I surfed in Mexico quite a bit and because it was so easy driving to San Quentin and Guaymas. I recall a place SalSePuede and K38 and 48 52. In those days we drove past the empty Mexican border booths going 35 mph waived at one guard and took off! Aduana? Whats that? The lines coming back into the USA were the opposite, bumpers and long long lines and lots of waiting! In the days of Hussongs Cantina not micro brews. Americano gringos were arrested at Hussongs every hour! A group of 7 or 8 Policia stormed in and grabbed rowdy drunks.

    I never went to Mexico alone and always with one or two others as we would camp in our cars. In those days cars were RVs like a Monte Carlo could sleep two comfortably with room to spare! lol!

    What we feared most then were the local Policia or the Federales not the cartels because as far as I could see there were no cartels. All our cars had Cal plates. It was an invitation for $40 bribes then. Policia could pull you over for a fake traffic violation I'd pay $40 and go on with my day.

    The Federales were way more organized then. If you camped on the beach like we did at Playa Norte in Mazatlan they would raid the entire beach and bring drugs and throw them on the ground and claim they were yours. They even drove in with a truck with Arizona plates fairly new with a camper on the back. About six Feds would come out with AKs and ARs roust the campers who were usually Americans and mostly from California and Texas. Most of the time surfers.

    What I am saying is Mexico no matter where you went was always hostile to tourists but it was mostly the government workers who were the criminals. The police and feds. Tourists especially surfers then were fair game and we were regularly extorted and even jailed. The one thing I could always rely on was the fact they did not want to kill you they just wanted money. Corrupt as hell but not genocidal murderers like the cartels are now. The cartels learned from Policia and Federales and I do not doubt they probably in the beginning had police backgrounds. The juntas in Venezuela. Its all the same.

    There is no way in hell I would ever go drive in Mexico now. I could never do the trips I did in the 1970s now and that to me is very sad. More than that I feel especially sad for the Mexican people who do not deserve the government they have now and the cartel violence every day. I also want to say the same about Venezuela. I would love to return to Maracaibo, but fear I would be kidnapped or killed or extorted. Nowadays I have no real desire for any of that. In my twenties I could deal with it more.

    As reference I went to university in Australia in Perth, Western Australia. I surfed all over Australia then and drove as far north as Shark Bay and as far south as Esperance. I also took my boards on the train to go surfing instead of driving. Something I never did in Mexico because there are no trains just the TNT altobus! That was a "gracias pero no" for me!


    Que lastima para los tres hombres y el otro! Sal se puede si, pero no pueden. Aye Dios mio!

    For the sake of the Mexican people there needs to be a total clean out of all the cartels like in El Salvador. Nothing short of sidewinder missiles for cartel haciendas will do! AMLO is not the guy for the job! I laughed when I heard "hugs"! Meanwhile the cartels shoot you in the head then hang your dead body. Hugs? Really? 60%? Sal se puede!

    1. I really enjoyed reading about your experience surfing in Mexico in the 1970s. All your insight into how tourist surfers were treated back then, who was extorting you guys and how you believe that's shifted. Thank you so much for commenting and I hope you keep commenting on future stories.

  44. Great article.

    They should have given up the truck. RIP.

    Any update on the 2023 missing grandma?


  45. So the psychotic mexican methheads roll up with their bald tires and say, hey lets trade wheels. Probably couldn't handle not finding the proper lug tool, so they decided to shoot the tourists, drag the bodies to a well, and burn the vehicles. They probably kicked one of them in the teeth after he was dead to look tough.

    1. There was at least one tooth found in a tent

    2. Perhaps from a shot to the face or from the top of the head pointing down if they were kneeling, or face down before being executed.


  46. A story came out yesterday that a cartel in the area (didn't name which one) is who turned the 2 guys and girl over to authorities, or at least told them where they could be found, in efforts to clear their name. They specifically said they didn't want the heat. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. It’s been stated and reported that the Sinaloa cartel controls the area around Ensenada and it was their move to turn over El Kekas, as the previous commenter stated, to avoid the heat


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