5 students beaten, murdered by Mexican cartel in horrifically graphic video were lured by job offer: report
The five Mexican men who went missing and were forced to kill one another on camera were lured into the cartel's captivity through a fake job offer, according to a report.
The five young men who went missing in Mexico and were later shown on camera being brutally murdered by a Mexican drug cartel were lured to meet the gang with a fake job offer, according to a report.
The young men, all students and friends whose ages ranged between 19 and 22, who were duct-taped, beaten, stabbed and beheaded in a horrifically graphic video that made its rounds online this week, sought employment as private security, met a contact in town and were not seen again until the video surfaced, according to El Universal.
According to El Universal journalist Carlos Arrieta, the men were deceived into a meeting with the Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) cartel. The cartel hoped to recruit the victims into their ranks and killed them after they refused.
The men were later identified by their relatives as Roberto Olmeda, Diego Lara, Uriel Galvan, Jaime Martinez and Dante Cedillo, El Pais reported.
El Universal reported the "strongest hypothesis" pointed to the young men contacting a call center to gain employment. Unbeknownst to the friends, the center is often "managed by the CJNG for [the] forced recruitment of people," the outlet reported.
According to the report, these call centers offer high-paying jobs with attractive job benefits that are actually a hoax to trick young people into the CJNG, which then forcefully recruits applicants.
The Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco — the Attorney General's Office in the Mexican state of Jalisco — has yet to confirm the report and has not yet confirmed which of the two major drug cartels that vie for control over the La Orilla del Agua neighborhood in the town of Lagos de Moreno — the CJNG or the Sinaloa cartel — are responsible for the video and deaths.
El Pais reported the mark "Pure MZ" on the released video is attributed to Mayo Zambada, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mexican authorities located the property where the photo and video were allegedly filmed and found four burned and decapitated bodies.
The bodies were badly burned and had not yet been identified, according to prosecutors in the western state of Jalisco. However, the bodies were found inside a building near where the young men were kidnapped on Aug. 11 and later photographed in captivity.
A fifth body was found by police inside a burned-out car in a nearby area.
Photos shared by Jalisco prosecutors show brick and concrete buildings on a ranch, isolated by an open field. They also showed bloodstains on the floor, shoes scattered about and investigators examining the area.
"This makes one think the five youths were there at this ranch," the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
During a news briefing Wednesday morning, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador described the killings as "very regrettable," while saying very little else about them. He mentioned federal prosecutors were taking over the case from Jalisco authorities as drug cartels were involved.
The young men went missing Friday while on a trip to attend a festival in the city of Lagos de Moreno, an area known for cartel violence.
They were next seen bound by tape, kneeling on the ground and surrounded by gang members, with one of them seen bludgeoning and apparently decapitating his friend.
It revives memories of the most horrifying instances of drug cartel brutality, where kidnapped victims were forced to fight and even kill each other in gruesome ways.
In 2010, the old Zetas cartel abducted men and forced any who refused to work for the cartel to beat each other to death with sledgehammers.
The following year, authorities found 48 clandestine graves containing the bodies of 193 people in the northern border state of Tamaulipas. Most had their skulls crushed with sledgehammers.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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