Mexican ex-mayor arrested after drug cartel kills hundreds, 'burns remains in ovens'

FILE PHOTO © STRINGER Mexico
The former mayor of a Mexican town was arrested for his alleged role in one of the worst massacres by the notorious Zetas drug cartel in the border state of Coahuila. Hundreds of victims were reportedly tortured, executed and remains were incinerated.

Sergio Alfonso Lozano Rodriguez, who served as a mayor of Allende, Coahuila, back in 2011, was arrested on Thursday, the state attorney general's office said, as cited by Mexican media.

The state attorney said Rodriguez was arrested on kidnapping charges, but did not specify his alleged role in the massacre.

Reuters cited the government report, saying that the murders were ordered by Los Zetas cartel, a Mexican criminal syndicate. 

Zetas is considered “the most technologically-advanced, sophisticated, and dangerous cartel operating in Mexico” by US authorities.

The cartel’s bosses, Miguel ‘Z-40’ Trevino Morales and his brother, Omar ‘Z-42’ Trevino Morales were arrested by Mexican authorities in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

READ MORE: Mexican drug cartels increasingly hire US military servicemen as assassins

Breitbart news reported that apart from kidnapping charges Rodriguez is connected with the murder and incineration of some 300 victims by Los Zetas through a network of ovens between 2011 and 2013.

Reuters witness and a former member of Los Zetas, Hector Moreno, said that up to 300 people were killed in the gang massacre. According to Moreno, who escaped the cartel in Texas, the cartel moved 5 tons of cocaine a year across the US-Mexican border between 2007 and 2011, and paid Coahuila authorities to protect them.

In February, Breitbart news released an exclusive report, revealing the atrocities of Los Zetas. The paper said that the cartel “had complete control of every aspect of governmental process and of the lives of Mexican citizens–including news media.” 

The cartel’s bosses reportedly launched massacre against their rivals, local ‘kingpins’ Moreno Villanueva and Garza Gaytan, and anyone associated with them. Villanueva and Gaytan escaped the cartel’s ‘wrath’ in the US.

The cartel’s members used a variety of torture methods on their victims, Breitbart reported. Inside the Piedras Negras state prison the members of the cartel “dismembered the bodies of the men, women and children who had been kidnapped.”

The news outlet adds that 150 bodies were taken to the prison where Los Zetas members used 55-gallon drums filled with diesel to incinerate the human remains. The ashes then were reportedly dumped in local creeks that lead to the Rio Grande River.

Mass killings and forced disappearances fueled by continuous gang violence and cartel wars are frequent in Mexico.

In 2011, 193 people were killed and buried in eight graves by Los Zetas at La Joya ranch in the San Fernando municipality. The investigation that followed uncovered appalling details – female victims had been raped and the male victims had been forced to fight with each other to the death in bouts similar to the gladiator fights of ancient Rome.

In October this year, the remains of more than 600 bodies were unearthed from what may become Mexico’s largest mass grave found to date. It was discovered near the city of Torreon, which is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world.