Los une el amor al arte. Javier Salomón, Marco Francisco y Jesús Daniel coincidenensu gusto por las artes, la pasión y la alegría con las que persiguensussueños. #NoMasImpunidadpic.twitter.com/wZarAGKfPN— Marcos Arana (@AranaCervantes) March 23, 2018
Three Mexican film students who disappeared earlier this year in March in Guadalajara, Jalisco, were killed after being caught unaware in the midst of drug gang turf war, said authorities.
The excruciating details that have emerged revealed the students were abducted by a Mexican criminal group, Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which not only tortured and killed the young men but also dissolved their bodies in acid.
“Subsequently their bodies were dissolved in acid so that no trace of them remained,” the state prosecutor's office said.
The group of students, whose senseless murder is being mourned by many, happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The aspiring filmmakers from the Universidad de Medios Audiovisuales were filming a school project at a house that belonged to one of their aunts. Unfortunately, it was also used by the rival Nueva Plaza gang.
“Without knowing it, the students were in a very dangerous place which was being watched by hit men from the New Generation cartel,” the prosecutor’s office revealed.
Apparently, the suspected killers confused the youths with members of a rival gang — and that became students’ undoing.
According to the Jalisco state prosecutors, the three film students — Javier Salomón Aceves Gastélum, Daniel Díaz and Marco Ávalo— were last seen in the municipality of Tonala after their car broke down. They were later kidnapped by six people.
The tragic death of the group rocked not only the locals but also Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro, a native of Guadalajara.
“Words can’t explain the dimension of this madness. 3 students are killed and dissolved in acid. The 'why' is unthinkable, the 'how' is terrifying,” he tweeted.
The disappearance of the three students last month sparked protests as thousands of Mexicans called for help via Twitter hashtags #NoSonTresSomosTodxs ("It's not three, it's all of us") and #LosTresEstudiantesDeCine ("the three film students").
“Los queremos de vuelta…”: clamor porlosestudiantesdesaparecidos. Enunlapso de tresdíasen Jalisco se denunció la desaparición de seisestudiantes. Texto de @darwinfrancohttps://t.co/1ftv0EqFuppic.twitter.com/uwrwcezhyP#NoSonTresSomosTodxs... https://t.co/1ftv0EqFup— #LosTresEstudiantesDeCine (@19mEstudiantes) March 25, 2018
Las desaparicionesestáncobrandovisibilidadporqueafectó a la comunidaduniversitaria y artística, necesitamos que la FGE investiguelosdesaparecidos: @michuymedinapresenteen la concentración#NoSon4SomosTodxs. Vista desdeRectoría de @udg_oficial. pic.twitter.com/MlLUZFVGZn— Canal 44 (@CANAL44TV) March 23, 2018
State prosecutor Raul Sanchez said the authorities had arrested two people so far in the investigation. Another anonymous official revealed the investigators were analyzing more human remains found on the site where the young men were dissolved in an acidic substance.
The vile practices of criminal groups in Mexico are pretty well known. They often kidnap, torture, dismember and even dissolve their victims in acid. In addition, many of the remains are ditched in clandestine graves.
The latest case of the three unfortunate students had taken the toll of missing people in Mexico to 30,000.
In 2014, the disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero — also known as the Iguala mass kidnapping — drew international attention. The details of what exactly happened remain unclear but the government said the students were kidnapped by the police who handed them over to criminal groups that presumably killed them.
As of Feb. 28, over 5,000 people have gone missing in the state of Jalisco. According to a local publication, 36 percent of all people missing are 16 to 28 years old — which clearly indicates the prime targets are the young people.
More than 25,000 people were murdered last year in Mexico. In fact, this year, the country registered its highest murder total since modern records began.
Banner Image Credits: Reuters, Ginnette Riquelme