Saturday, January 24, 2009
A man arrested by Mexican police says he disposed of 300 bodies for a drugs gang over the past decade by dissolving them in chemicals
Santiago Meza, called the stew maker, said he was paid $600 (£440) a week to dissolve the bodies of murdered rival gang members in caustic soda. He was presented to the media by the Mexican army after being arrested near the city of Tijuana. Over 700 people died in the US border city in 2008 in an ongoing drugs war. The Mexican army says it believes Mr Meza's claims are true. "They brought me the bodies and I just got rid of them," Mr Meza told journalists at a construction site where he disposed of the bodies over a 10-year period. "I didn't feel anything." The 300 corpses were said to belong to murdered rivals of Mexican drug kingpin Teodoro Garcia Simental, who is battling for control over drug trafficking routes through Tijuana, after defecting from the powerful Arellano Felix cartel. Mexico's drug violence has surged and grown more gruesome in recent years, particularly in the northern border cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Recently, two human heads were found inside coolers near police stations in the central Guanajuato state, officials said. The heads were accompanied by a note threatening allies of the "La Familia" drug cartel. Drug-related violence claimed 5,700 lives across Mexico in 2008, more than double the number of victims in 2007.