Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hit man with Mérida connection arrested in Cancún admits to 30 executions

Contract executioner claims that Thursday's double AK-47 murders were a 'mistake'

*Updates below*
Los Pelones is the name of a local organized crime group in Cancún, Quintana Roo. I've reported on them previously, as their actions have become more violent in recent months. It appears Los Pelones has been trying to challenge Los Zetas, who are generally regarded as the bosses of Q.R. state, for control of drug trafficking, extortion and other criminal enterprises in the area. See links below for more stories on Los Pelones.

Yesterday authorities in Cancún arrested Juan Manuel López Gaburel, 23, the leader of Los Pelones and a "bloody hitman," according to police. He has reportedly confessed to 20 executions in the city, including two that occurred Thursday evening (Dec. 29). I posted on that double murder yesterday ( López Gaburel has acknowledged that the two victims were innocent bystanders, claiming that his hit squad was after a third man who managed to escape. López Gaburel was arrested soon afterwards, not far from the scene.

An interesting footnote to the story appears in a local press report concerning the case. López Gaburel first told authorities that he "had arrived (in Cancún) from Mérida the day before Thursday's murders to carry out the job." Later he admitted his identity and status in Los Pelones. Whether his alleged connection with Mérida is real, or was simply a ruse, cannot be determined, but the implication is that the "bloody executioner" of Cancún was based in or operated out of Mérida. If his claim of 20 hits is true, it would make López Gaburel responsible for almost 25% of Cancún's 74 organized crime executions in 2011.

Updates Jan. 1, 2012: Press sources confirm today that López Gaburel is a native of Mérida. He was born here April 18, 1988. Although López Gaburel joined Los Pelones just a year ago, his "career rise" has been described as "meteoric." Authorities say that he has now confessed to the full details of at least 30 murders, not 20 as I originally reported. Police say that López Gaburel was a particularly merciless killer, typically executing his victims with automatic weapons fire at close range, or by decapitation (while they were still alive). Contract killings appear to be the primary business of Los Pelones. They're probably a fair match for Los Zetas any day.

Los Pelones:
In Cancún, Los Pelones happily deliver drugs by taxi and death on demand
Ex-cop with Los Pelones connections executed in Cancún:
Mother of a Los Pelones hit man is decapitated in Cancún:
Extortionists force hundreds of Q.R. businesses to close their doors:

Will Yucatán continue to remain a safe haven from narco terrorism?:


  1. Why isn't this information about the Riviera Maya reported in the U.S? Tourists should be aware of the situation in the State of Q.R.