PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Coahuila — A team of cartel gunmen belonging to one faction of Los Zetas were released after a state judge dismissed their cases. At least four of those gunmen are now linked to a double execution.
Breitbart Texas learned through court filings that Coahuila State Judge Maritza Gonzalez Flores ordered the release of 10 gunmen allegedly part of a Zetas faction that entered Coahuila to carry out attacks on rivals. The judge released one of the gunmen after he was arrested in connection with a murder and blocked investigative efforts to capture others.
As Breitbart Texas originally reported in early October, Piedras Negras and Coahuila State Police Officers arrested 10 members of the Vieja Escuela Zeta after a shootout. During questioning, the gunmen claimed they slipped into Piedras Negras intending to destabilize the area and fight their rivals, the Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas. The CDN continues to control drug and human trafficking in the area.
Soon after their arrest on weapons charges, Judge Gonzalez Flores ordered that the men released citing a lack of evidence and some bureaucratic irregularities. Coahuila’s Secretary of State Victor Zamora blamed the gunmen for the recent spike in violence in the state’s northern area. In local news outlets, Zamora referred to the released gunmen as directly responsible.
Days after their release, four gunmen were believed to have carried out a double execution in this border city. Days later, a team of at least four cartel shooters barged into a house and murdered local drug dealers identified as 38-year-old Jose “La Gallina” Contreras and 41-year-old Ramon “El Chanio” Gutierrez Santillan.
Court documents provided to Breitbart Texas revealed that in the days following the murder, Judge Gonzalez turned back various motions filed by investigators seeking to gather evidence or to grant access to potential witnesses. In every one of the documents, Judge Gonzalez responded that not enough standards were met to grant the motions or requests.
About 10 days after the murder, authorities arrested two of the gunmen identified as Arturo “El Flaco” Bautista Martinez, 34, and Salvador Oviedo Gomez on murder charges. The case took a dramatic turn days after when citing a “lack of evidence” once again, the Coahuila court system released Bautista Martinez. Two other gunmen remain at large. Intelligence information obtained by Breitbart Texas reveals that one of the gunmen goes by the name “El Scarface” and at one time, worked as an enforcer and executioner for Los Zetas inside the Piedras Negras state prison.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “J.M. Martinez” from Coahuila.