“MX” for Borderland Beat; TY to “Parro”
On Sunday afternoon, Sinaloa authorities stumbled upon a gruesome discovery: two men were kidnapped and stuffed inside a bag and a suitcase while they were still alive. The victims were not dismembered. They were forced in their bags and left to die. The autopsy confirmed that both of them died of asphyxia inside their bags.
Their bodies were found in a dump yard in northern Mazatlan after several eye-witnesses called the police. One of the victims was placed inside what appears to be a travel bag. His body was wrapped with a rope to prevent him from breaking free. The other victim was placed inside a suitcase. The identities of the victims have not been fully identified, but investigators say they could be foreign nationals.
The victims could be Oscar Fabian (aged 30) from Chile and Cristian Ignacio (age 29) from Argentina. Their surnames were not released to the press. Both men arrived in Mazatlan on June 20 to promote an investment network about cryptocurrencies.
Borderland Beat noticed that a person based in Santiago, Chile, posted a comment using their Facebook account in one of the Sinaloa news outlets. The individual claimed to be Oscar Fabian’s cousin and said that she was looking for more information about the case. We reached out to her for an interview but did not receive a response by press time.
Mexican drug cartels often dispose of their victims in public by putting them inside bags. However, this case is particular because the autopsy confirmed that the victims were actually alive when they were placed inside the bags. In most cases, victims are dismembered and killed before they are disposed. In the Mexican narco lexicon, these victims are referred to as embolsados (English: sacked up).
Mazatlán is a coastal town in Sinaloa and a popular tourist attraction for national and international visitors. The city has a 21 km long beach, an aquarium, amusement parks, and tours around its historic center. In 2019 alone, over 3 million vacationists visited Mazatlan. Nearly 30% of those who visited were internationals.
|Both victims were found in these two bags|
However, Borderland Beat reported last year that Mazatlan was one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. Though most of the homicides occur outside of the popular resort areas, Mazaltan had 102 homicides in 2019. June (13 murders), August (15 murders) and October (10 murders) were the months with the highest homicide rate.
In the first 15 months of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO)’s presidency, 144 tons of narcotics have been seized in 22 Mexican port towns and cities. At least 80% of them were seized in Mazatlán alone, as reported by Borderland Beat. Port cities like Mazatlan are strategic drug corridors for organized crime groups and are major battlegrounds in Mexico’s ongoing drug war.