Border Crisis

Escaped Cartel Hitman Claims He Was Kidnapped, Forced to Fight

A man who spent two years fighting for the Familia Michoacana Cartel claimed that he was initially kidnapped and forced to fight. He said he would be killed if he left. The claims point once more to the forced recruitment of gunmen by the various drug cartels that operate with impunity in different parts of Mexico.

This week, locals from rural communities in the state of Guerrero held a news conference where they helped 22-year-old Fernando reunite with his family after having been forced to work with a cartel for more than two years. He claimed that after a shootout, he fell back during a retreat. He wandered the forest until locals helped him. The state of Guerrero, home to the popular beach destination of Acapulco, has a long history of cartel violence as various criminal organizations fight for drug trafficking routes into Mexico, as well as control of various drug production areas.

In a video shared by locals on social media, Fernando shared his side of the story and claimed that people who asked for days off or asked to leave were killed on-site by cartel leaders.

The man claimed to have been taken by force, given a rifle, and forced to work for La Familia Michoacana. He claimed he was paid roughly $700 monthly and fed very little. The former cartel foot soldier claimed that the cartel had kidnapped several young teens and children who were in the same situation. Bosses would force them to consume drugs as a way to keep them in line.

During the news conference, Fernando asked to be turned in to federal authorities and not to state police forces, claiming that they work hand in hand with La Familia Cartel and they would turn him in. His former bosses would kill him, he stated.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     



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