One of the last witnesses at the trial of Joaquin Guzman, aka “El Chapo”, delivered chilling details Thursday on the practices of the Mexican drug dealer, who tortured and executed his rivals in cold blood.
Hired as Joaquin Guzman’s henchman, Isaias Valdez Rios, aka “Memin” or “Memo”, recounted how his boss had, one day, executed a rival cartel member after two interrogation sessions.
Before questioning him one last time, “El Chapo” had left him three days in a henhouse.
The man had been tortured even before being delivered to Joaquin Guzman, burned with an iron and cigarette lighter.
The witness also spoke of another episode involving two members of the rival Los Zetas cartel.
After having them tied up, the Sinaloa cartel leader beat them for several hours with a branch and an assault rifle.
“They were completely dismantled, all their bones were broken, they could not move and Mr. Joaquin continued to hit them” said the one who later became El Chapo’s personal secretary.
“Son of a b****, how can you work with these people and betray us?” He shouted at the two men from the state of Sinaloa.
El Chapo then executed them one after the other at close range, before throwing the bodies into a bonfire. He asked his men to make sure nothing was left.
A third man murdered by Joaquin Guzman was a member of the Arellano Felix cartel.
“He had burns made with an iron on his back, his shirt was stuck to his skin. He had burns made with a car lighter all over his body. His feet were burned,” the witness said.
The man was then locked in a wooden structure for days. It was only then that the man was brought blindfolded with his hands and legs tied to a graveyard.
Joaquin Guzman started to interrogate him, and while he was responding, shot him with his handgun.
The man was still breathing but he was dumped in a hole and buried alive, Mr Valdez Rios added.
As a pilot for the organisation, for whom he was transporting cocaine shipments, Memin was arrested in 2014 and detained in the United States.
He faces life in prison but hopes to obtain clemency from US justice in exchange for his cooperation.
The homicide is not among the charges brought by the Brooklyn federal prosecutor against El Chapo. Who is being prosecuted only for drug trafficking, he nevertheless risks life in prison.
According to the prosecution, Joaquin Guzman allegedly shipped 155 tons of cocaine to the United States between 1989 and 2014.
His trial, which opened November 5th in New York, is scheduled to end in February.