Does a Decapitated, Burning Body Point to Cartel Violence Reaching Central Texas?


Authorities in San Antonio found a headless body burning inside of a trash dumpster near an apartment complex on the city’s east side. The gory discovery raises serious questions as to the murder having been yet another cartel decapitation in Texas.

The body was discovered on Sunday shortly after midnight when local residents put out a trash fire in a dumpster 2300 block of Goliad Street, KENS5 reported.  Once the fire was put out, the neighbors found a body inside. While San Antonio Police has not released information on the identity of the victim, the San Antonio Express News has reported that the body was decapitated and the hands had been severed.

While the information is still developing, Breitbart Texas has consulted with law enforcement officials at the federal and local level who are not part of the investigation but track organized crime activity. The officials claimed that decapitations are usually a cartel-ordered crime even if they are subcontracted and carried out by local gangs. The method of executions is done in an effort to instill fear.

According to a map released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the city of San Antonio is one of the main areas of influence for the Los Zetas Cartel. The geographic location of San Antonio places the large Texas city a little more than two hour drive from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, the crown jewel of the Los Zetas empire.

Areas of Cartel Influence in the U.S

Areas of Cartel Influence in the U.S

While not common in the U.S., decapitations have become a common crime in Northern Mexico where rival cartel fight for control of lucrative drug trafficking routes and drug trafficking territories. As Breitbart Texas has been reporting, in recent weeks the border city of Nuevo Laredo has seen an uptick in violence as two rival factions of the Los Zetas cartel have been openly fighting for control of the city. That escalating violence has resulted in almost daily decapitations, dismemberments and other methods of gory executions taking place in Nuevo Laredo and the state capital of Ciudad Victoria.

In recent years, Texas has begun to see its share of cartel ordered decapitations, while in other cases, authorities have been reluctant to release motives for the murder.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, during Spring Break 2014, a group of fishermen found the decapitated body of an illegal immigrant who had crossed Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. The gruesome murder was not carried out in Mexico, it was allegedly carried out in Texas. According to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas, the murder was tied to Joel Luna, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent who has also been accused of using his position to help the criminal organization move large quantities of drugs north from the border.

In May, Breitbart Texas reported on another beheading in Texas however authorities have remained tight-lipped about the motives of the case.  In a similar fashion, authorities have remained silent on the motive for the recent decapitation of a Houston auto parts store, Breitbart Texas previously reported.

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