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Cartel Boss Behind Mexican Prison Massacre Linked to American’s Death

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A fight between Zeta cartel bosses led to a prison riot that left around 50 people dead and a dozen injured. One of those Zeta bosses has been linked to the 2010 death of an American who had been jet-skiing with his wife in a border lake.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, on Thursday early morning, the Topo Chico prison in Monterrey Nuevo Leon was the scene of a prison riot and fire that left a trail of bodies. Initially, Nuevo Leon’s Governor Jaime Rodriguez had stated that the riot resulted in 52 deaths and 12 persons injured, that figure has since been updated to 49 deaths with 40 of them having been already identified.

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Mexico’s Proceso Magazine obtained a video form the riot that provides a glimpse of one of the murders that took place in the Zeta controlled facility.

Preliminary information provided by Mexican officials as to what led to the riot pointed to an attempted breakout. However, Nuevo Leon authorities have now confirmed that the riot dealt with a conflict between two factions. One faction led by Juan Pedro “Z-27” Saldivar Farias and the other by Jesus Ivan “El Credo” Hernandez Cantu.

According to Mexico’s La Jornada, Hernadez Cantu had led a kidnapping group for Los Zetas and had been responsible for 48 murders and two kidnappings.

Saldivar Farias has been identified by Mexican authorities as having been a regional leader with Los Zetas who operated in the northern part of Tamaulipas around the Falcon Lake area. He has been linked to the murder David Hartley, an American who was murdered while riding on a jetski on Falcon Lake on the Texas/Mexico border. 

Falcon Lake is split between the U.S. and Mexico. It had been a popular fishing hotspot for American anglers. However, the region had also become one of the main trafficking routes used by Los Zetas drug cartel to bring ton quantities of drugs into Texas by using watercraft.

Americans David Hartley and his wife Tiffany had been jet-skiing in Falcon Lake in October 2010, when they were attacked by Los Zetas, The Monitor from McAllen reported at the time.

The Hartley’s had crossed onto the Mexican side of the lake when Los Zetas attacked them. The gunmen chased them on boats and fired at them, David Hartley’s body was never found while Tiffany was able to make her way back to the United States.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.


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