Mexico: human "stew-maker" busted, more severed heads appear
A man arrested by Mexican federal police in Tijuana Jan. 22 says he disposed of 300 bodies for a narco gang over the past decade by dissolving them in chemicals. Santiago Meza López said he was paid $600 a week to dissolve victims' bodies in caustic soda. He went by the moniker "El Pozolero del Teo" (Teo's Stew-Maker), an evident reference to Teodoro García Simental, a former kingpin of the Tijuana Cartel who defected last year to the rival Sinaloa Cartel, sparking a bloody turf war. Over 700 were killed in Tijuana in 2008. "They brought me the bodies and I just got rid of them," Meza, named as 20 on the US FBI's "Most Wanted" list, told journalists at a construction site where he disposed of the bodies over a 10-year period. "I didn't feel anything."
On Jan. 23 in Celaya, Guanajuato, two human heads were found in coolers left outside police stations with notes threatening allies of "La Familia" drug cartel, and signed by Los Zetas, paramilitary arm of the Gulf Cartel. (BBC News, El Universal, Jan. 24, El Universal, Jan. 24) Another three heads were found in a cooler in a drainage canal 30 kilometers south of Ciudad Juárez Jan. 20. The local prosecutor's office says the heads have not been identified, but six police officers are missing. That same day, a headless body was found in the outlying district of Ejido Juárez. A severely tortured body with a gunshot blast to the face was found in the city's Rosita district. (El Mexicano, Jan. 23; The Scotsman, Jan. 22; Milenio, Jan. 20)