The Mexican Los Zetas cartel used a network of oven facilities to cover-up the systematic mass extermination of innocent people during the 2011-2013 period when the cartel had complete governmental control over most of the Mexican state of Coahuila. From the then-governor of Coahuila, down to the city jails, Los Zetas had complete control of every aspect of governmental process and of the lives of Mexican citizens–including news media. Their atrocities in Coahuila have remained largely unreported and undocumented by any governmental agencies; local, state, federal, or international.
After Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project launched and began to see success in exposing various factions of the Gulf cartel in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, we grew increasingly aware of the need to help bring a platform to people in Los Zetas territory who had experiences of which we knew they wanted the world to hear. It seemed as if we would never break through the barrier, as we didn’t know and trust any sources in the region whom we could utilize as a starting point to build out from.
Our access to information in the Gulf Cartel territory in most of Tamaulipas grew to an unprecedented level, but Los Zetas controls the western portion of Tamaulipas around Nuevo Laredo and the state of Coahuila and getting our foot in the door seemed impossible. That changed. People from the region began contacting us and we had to take a chance and trust them. We didn’t know at the time if they were corrupted people luring us into Mexico for the cartels to capture us or if they were good people who wanted to risk their lives and help their communities. We had to take the chance. We did it and we lucked out–or we were blessed.
We traveled to the Texas border town of Eagle Pass to meet with our new sources. The Mexican border town of Piedras Negras sits immediately across the Rio Grande. We ended up in the backseat of a car with two strangers from Mexico taking us to “meet some people.” As the car traveled to a remote industrial area, we began to look at each other nervously. We ended up in a dark industrial park and we both thought we had been set up. The driver and his partner pulled us up to a warehouse and asked us to get out. We did so and walked inside, both thinking that we might be in trouble.
Instead of kidnappers, we found a group of Mexican businessmen who were afraid that meeting with us in public would risk their lives or the lives of their families. They grilled meat and warmed up tortillas for us. We smoked cigarettes and enjoyed beers until the men began telling their stories. We heard of good people who simply disappeared. We heard of towns where mass “disappearances” had occurred and no one knew why. We were later able to verify each story and find the answers the men and their communities had sought after for so many years.
Some aspects of the massacre in Coahuila have seen the light of day through some national Mexican news outlets like Proceso, though the case has been largely ignored by Mexican mainstream media as well as mainstream media in the United States and elsewhere. Some outlets like Aljazeera America and San Antonio Express News have reported on the disappearances; however, the link to the Los Zetas having complete control of the Piedras Negras prison and turning the facility into a crematorium had gone largely unreported. Breitbart Texas began to ask questions and received hard answers about the impunity with which Los Zetas operated and the horrors that took place in that prison in late October. In late January, El Diaro de Coahuila also got some answers as to what really happened inside the Piedras Negras prison. According to information provided by Mexican authorities, Los Zetas had full operational control of the prison to the point where they took more than 150 individuals to the prison who were then tortured, murdered and incinerated. Despite the brutality of the case, major U.S. TV and print outlets have largely ignored the kidnapping and murder of hundreds of people from Allende, Coahuila.
During Mexico’s unknown massacre, Los Zetas carried out a systematic extermination by killing and incinerating more than 400 people in Allende and the surrounding towns. While details about what actually happened have barely begun to see the light of day, the massacre traces its roots back to March 2011.
Before that time Los Zetas had managed to use strong arm tactics and bribery to rule with impunity in the state of Coahuila. By March 2011, Los Zetas were moving around 2,000 pounds of cocaine per month through the northern part of Coahuila into Eagle Pass, Texas. After paying for the drugs and covering their trafficking expenses, Los Zetas were making around $6-12 million in monthly profits just in the Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass corridor alone, according to witness testimony in a U.S. trial targeting Los Zetas money laundering (The case referenced later in this article.)
In early 2010, Los Zetas went to war with their former bosses in the Gulf Cartel. The brutal armed conflict skyrocketed the demand for cash by Los Zetas as the criminal organization had to get funds to pay for weapons and gunmen to continue fighting for territories in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas and the Mexican States of Veracruz and Nuevo Leon.
According to the research conducted by Proceso’s Juan Alberto Cedillo, a Mexican journalist who has spent years investigating the massacre, it was in March 2011 that local kingpin Mario Alfonso Cuellar and his associates, Hector “El Negro” Moreno Villanueva and Jose Luis “La Guichina” Garza Gaytan were blamed by the top hierarchy of Los Zetas over missing money from the cocaine trafficking that the drug cartel never received.
At a ranch near the town of Allende, instead of drums Los Zetas would use ovens to incinerate the human remains. The ranch was raided by Coahuila authorities in 2013 when the government began to look into the case. At the ranch, authorities found not only the ovens, but also ashes and bone fragments from the victims. We were able to obtain never-before-seen official photos from the case files of the oven and remains at the ranch near Allende. See below:
Read more: Breitbart