Friday, January 3, 2014

Playa del Carmen police accused of killing U.S. citizen

Victim was an ex-U.S. serviceman

*Updated content*
Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Six municipal police officers of Playa del Carmen are under arrest after a city resident died in a patrol vehicle transporting him to the local precinct house. All have been charged with homicide.

The victim has been identified as 28 year old Yeudi Estrada Carrero, originally from New York but a Playa resident for the past several years. Estrada, a U.S. national, was a mixed martial arts specialist, and had reportedly served in the U.S. military, perhaps as a Marine.

Playa del Carmen is less than a half hour south of Cancún, along Quintana Roo state's lush Riviera Maya coast. It has been the frequent scene of narco violence in Mexico's seven year old drug war, with hundreds of brutal executions carried out by regional and national organized crime groups locked in a bloody turf war for "control of the plaza." Cartels unite to declare war on Los Zetas in Cancún, foreshadowing "bloodbath" in Riviera Maya. Most Q.R. violence is never reported in the mainstream press, especially in English news sources.

In October 2012 the commander of the 34th Military District in Quintana Roo, headquartered in nearby Chetumal, said that municipal police departments in Cancún and Playa del Carmen "are infiltrated by the narcotics trafficking industry; 90% of them are narco agents."

Yeudi Estrada Carrero, 28, dead at the hands of Playa police, local authorities allege

According to one source, Estrada was taken into custody by the accused officers near his residence after a neighbor made a disorderly conduct complaint against him. Police arrived shortly to question him, but Estrada tried to flee. They captured him, but on arrival at the station the handcuffed Estrada was found dead in the rear seat, exhibiting signs of a severe beating. The officers told their superiors they didn't know what had happened to him.

Another source reported that a friend of Estrada was the one who called police, warning that Estrada was "out of control" after a night of holiday imbibing. The incident occurred on New Year's Day.

A peninsular press service reported that forensic examiners found two plastic bags of while powder in Estrada's pants pocket, possibly cocaine. They listed his cause of death as asphyxia attributable to strangulation.

The Quintana Roo Public Ministry is investigating the case.

Estrada was born in Brooklyn. His father, a Colombian national, lives in Playa del Carmen.

Update: A late evening story from Mexico City's El Universal reports that three of the officers have been freed by Q.R. prosecutors, while the other three were bound over for further proceedings. The general account given by the officers is that Estrada was acting erratically, plainly under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and that some of the officers overreacted even after he was in restraints in the back of the police car. One officer is alleged to have compressed Estrada's neck with his boot, while the other two restrained his arms and legs. He apparently suffocated as a result. The officers who remain in custody are facing charges for an unspecified degree of murder, and for abuse of authority.

July 15, 2013 - Cancún and Quintana Roo are not under a U.S. advisory, but maybe they should be

Dec. 30, 2013 - Mexican army captures Cancún hotel zone executioner
July 18, 2013 - Suspect arrested in 2008 case of 12 men decapitated in Mérida, Yucatán
June 19, 2013 - "Dangerous" American pedophile nabbed in Playa del Carmen
Mar. 16, 2013 - Quintana Roo governor admits: many Cancún taxi drivers are on cartel payrolls
Feb. 1, 2013 - Thank God for the Mexican army
Sept. 28, 2012 - Murder in Maxcanú: Yucatán State Police officer kills four
Sept. 21, 2012 - Traffic stop in Mérida yields Sinaloa Cartel boss in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen
Aug. 5, 2012 - On Playa del Carmen's Fifth Avenue, drug market flourishes, "anarchy prevails"
Mar. 7, 2012 - Los Pelones executions continue in Q.R., with "corrupt police support" paper alleges
Feb. 7, 2012 - Mexico's Caribbean Riviera Maya in the hands of drug cartels and extortionists

A former Playa del Carmen policeman executed in December 2011. Authorities said he was a double agent, working for a local gang while he was on the municipal payroll. Mar. 16, 2012 - In lush Riviera Maya, Los Zetas tell police: "Join us, or you and your families will die".

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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