Things That Matter

Terrifying Video Shows A Mexican Teenager Killing Two People In A Pickup Truck

Footage of a teenage assassin asking his driver to film a cold-blooded double homicide has gone viral, putting pressure on local officials in Mexico to make an arrest. Just days before Christmas, at an otherwise normal traffic light in the border city Ciudad Juárez, a teenager turned to his driver and simply said, “Record, Cruz,” before he hopped out the car, approached the driver’s side of a red pickup truck and firing off nearly 20 gunshots. He walked back to the car, hopped in, and the footage ends as we see the driver making a u-turn as they drive away from the scene of the crime. 

Local media in Mexico had widely reported both the identity and news of the arrest of the suspect, but, unfortunately, only one of those pieces of information is true. Officials have redacted the name of the perpetrator believing he might be underage.

The footage of a teen believed to be underage shooting in the pickup truck is shocking.

CREDIT: @LPUEBLO2 / TWITTER

Without hesitation, the teen is seen walking in front of his getaway car toward the driver’s side of the red pickup truck target. Officials suspect that he asked the driver to film him as proof that he got the ‘job’ done for whoever ordered the hit. At around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2019, the teen sicario followed through on the hit job and killed two men in just under 30 seconds. 

He is seen mercilessly firing over a dozen rounds into the driver’s side as the driver unsuccessfully tries to drive away.

CREDIT: @LPUEBLO2 / TWITTER

The pickup truck begins to creep forward as the driver likely understands to flee from danger, but was immobilized by the onslaught of bullets. The two victims were confirmed dead, but their identities have yet to be revealed. The shooter is seen briskly walking back to his getaway car when the traffic lights change. Traffic begins to move again but the shooter and his accomplice quickly merge into opposing traffic and escape seamlessly.

The teen has since been confirmed by local media reports as drug cartel hitman, with an already horrific rap sheet. According to La Opinion, the sicario likely belongs to one of the five cartel groups that operate in Chihuahua, Mexico: Neuva Gente, of the Sinaloa cartel (CDS), Los Mexicles, La Línea, of the Tijuana cartel (CAF), Los Aztecas or Los Cristaleros.

The teenager has targeted and killed other people in Ciudad Juárez, which lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

CREDIT: @LPUEBLO2 / TWITTER

According to the perpetrator’s existing criminal record, he lives in Colonia Bellavista, and heavily operates in Ciudad Juárez. The teen had already been arrested for assassinating a couple in Ciudad Juárez. Police arrested him, captured the above mug shot, but he wasn’t stopped from killing others. His mugshot began circulating social media and local outlets began to report that he had been arrested for his most recent crime.

As shocking as the crime is to many Americans, Mexicans are quick to comment “Every day in #Mexico.”

CREDIT: @LPUEBLO2 / TWITTER

Murder rates are on the rise in Mexico, with 2019 becoming the third deadliest year for Ciudad Juárez of the 2010s. On average, 4.1 people were murdered every single day in Ciudad Juárez last year, with a total of 1,498 homicides total last year. Still, compared to 2010, the number of homicides in the city are less than half of what they were at the beginning of the decade. “The sad daily reality of Mexico…” one Twitter user comments, adding in Spanish that, “For 1,000 pesos, less than 50 euros, a hitman can eliminate a person with total impunity.”

Still, others are wondering aloud what the victims did to provoke the target of the cartel. “I do not like to criminalize, and even less criminalize the dead, but it is very rare that they arrive and kill you anymore,” commented Indio Rey (@IndioRey30). Others are lamenting that “the laws do not help since he is a minor,” though it’s hard to contest what the video shows so clearly. Somebody opened fire and killed those two men and requested that the murder be recorded.

READ: A Local Police Chief Has Been Arrested In An Alleged Connection To The Murders Of The LeBaron Family In Mexico

Diego Luna Talks The Importance Of The Storytelling In ‘Narcos: Mexico’ And Why Mexico City Will Always Be His Home

Entertainment

Diego Luna Talks The Importance Of The Storytelling In ‘Narcos: Mexico’ And Why Mexico City Will Always Be His Home

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico” Season 2 comes back to continue the story of enigmatic drug lord Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and the subsequent rise and fall of the Guadalajara cartel he founded in the 1970s, with Diego Luna reprising his role as the mysterious Félix Gallardo.

The show depicts how Félix Gallardo’s eloquence and strategic thinking helped him attain a swift rise to the apex of the Mexican drug cartels. 

For a man of which not much is widely known about, Luna reveals in this exclusive interview with mitú how he was able to dive into his character.

When preparing for this role, Luna said there wasn’t as much research material about El Padrino (Félix Gallardo’s alias) compared to the personal stories of other real-life personalities, such as El Chapo. 

“The good thing for me in playing this role is this man was a very discreet person, he understood the power of discretion,” Luna says.

It was important to see what people said about him—what people say or feel when they were around this character, this perception of him helps a lot. I had to do research and see what was a common answer—people talk about how intelligent and precise and strategic he was, and that’s how I wanted to portray and build this character,” Luna told mitú over the phone. 

Season 2 picks up after the murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena, with Félix Gallardo enjoying political protection at his palatial home in Mexico.

It’s evident in the beginning scenes of this second season that his rags-to-riches story is starting to unravel and a bit of paranoia is starting to set in that he may have a knife (or gun) at his back at any moment. 

A running allegory used by the characters’ dialogues of the Roman Empire’s eventual collapse and Julius Caesar’s ultimate end foreshadows what we all know will happen to Félix Gallardo—his drug empire will eventually collapse in a smoke of cocaine dust. 

From crooked Mexican politicians and cops to ranch hands trying to make extra money delivering cocaine across the border, the show demonstrates the complicity among the cartels and how far the cartels’ reach.

“Narcos: Mexico” attempts to show that good and evil isn’t always black and white. The story highlights the gray area where even those committing corrupt acts are victims, Luna explained. 

“Some of the characters that take action are victims of the whole system,” Luna said in Spanish. 

The side of Mexico shown in “Narcos: Mexico” has been criticized by some as a side of Mexico stereotypically seen in the media.

However, Luna sees it as a side of the country that is real and must be discussed in order to move forward.

“When this season ends, I was 10 to 11 years old [at the time.] That decade was actually ending. It’s interesting to revisit that decade as an adult and research that Mexico my father was trying to hide from me [as a child],” Luna explained.

Luna says that this type of storytelling is important to understanding the fuller picture of Mexico.

The need for this type of storytelling—the stories that put a mirror up to a country to see the darkest side of itself—is vital, regardless of how complex it is to write scripts about all the facets of a country marred by political and judicial corruption. 

“In this case the story is very complex, it’s talking about a corrupt system that allows these stories to happen. We don’t tell stories like that—we simply everything. With this, I had a chance to understand that complexity. The journey of this character is a presentable journey. Power has a downside, and he gets there and he thinks he’s indispensable and clearly he is not,” Luna said. 

Outside of his role on “Narcos,” Luna is a vocal activist and is constantly working to put Mexico’s art and talent on an international stage through his work, vigilantly reminding his audience that Mexico has culture waiting to be explored past the resort walls of Cancún and Cabo. 

“The beauty of Mexico is that there are many Mexicos—it’s a very diverse country. You have the Pacific Coast that is beautiful and vibrant and really cool. By far my favorite beach spots in Mexico are in Oaxaca, and all the region of Baja California. You also have the desert and jungle and Veracruz and you have all the Caribbean coast and the city is to me a place I can’t really escape. Home is Mexico City, and it will always be where most of my love stories are and where I belong,” Luna said in a sort of love note aside to his home country. 

As much as Luna can talk endlessly about his favorite tacos in Mexico City (Tacos El Güero for any inquiring minds) and the gastronomic wonders of its pocket neighborhoods such as la Condesa, he also wants the dialogue around Mexico’s violence to be shown under a spotlight, as searing as it may be. 

“We can’t avoid talking about violence because if we stop, we normalize something that has to change,” Luna said. 

Perhaps “Narcos: Mexico” can bring some introspection and change after all. Let’s hope the politicians are watching.

READ: ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Season 2 Picks Up Where We Left Off With Félix Gallardo And The Guadalajara Cartel

Mexican Newspaper Slammed After Publishing Graphic Photos Of Woman’s Tragic Death

Things That Matter

Mexican Newspaper Slammed After Publishing Graphic Photos Of Woman’s Tragic Death

SkyNews/ Twitter

In Mexico, the recent brutal mutilation and slaying of a 25-year-old woman are spurning conversations about the country’s efforts to prevent femicide and laws that protect victims from the media.

On Sunday, Mexican authorities revealed that they had discovered the body of Ingrid Escamilla.

According to reports, Escamilla was found lifeless with her body skinned and many of her organs missing. At the scene, a 46-year-old man was also discovered alive. His body was covered in bloodstains and he was arrested.

As of this story wasn’t troubling enough, local tabloids and websites managed to bring more tragedy to the victim and her family by splashing leaked graphic photos and videos of the victim’s body. In a terribly crafted headline, one paper by the name of Pasala printed the photos on its front page with the headline “It was Cupid’s fault.” The headline is a reference to the fact that the man found at the scene was Escamilla’s husband.

According to leaked video footage from the arrest scene, Escamilla’s husband admitted to stabbing his wife after a heated argument in which she threatened to kill him. He then claimed to have skinned her body to eliminate evidence.

Mexic City’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, revealed that prosecutors will demand the maximum sentence against the alleged perpetrator.

“Femicide is an absolutely condemnable crime. It is appalling when hatred reaches extremes like in the case of Ingrid Escamilla,” Sheinbaum wrote in a tweet according to CNN. According to reports, Mexico broke records in 2018 when its homicide record reached over 33,000 people that year.

The publication of Escamilla’s mutilated body has sparked discussions regarding the way in which reports about violence against women are handled.

Women’s rights organizations have lambasted the papers that originally published photos of Escamilla’s body and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also expressed criticism of the media’s response to the brutal slaying.

In a press conference on Thursday, President López Obrador expressed his determination to find and punish anyone responsible for the image leaks. “This is a crime, that needs to be punished, whoever it is,” he stated.