Body Of Drug Cartel Figure Killed In Puerto Peñasco Disappears

December 20, 2013
Crime scene photograph taken by Mexican federal police shows a blood-spattered hot tub. At least five people were killed during a police raid in Puerto Peñasco on Dec. 18.

Federal police in Mexico say that a major drug cartel lieutenant was killed during a law enforcement operation in the tourist town of Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point, Wednesday.

But at some point during the shootout, the man’s body was stolen.

Law enforcement sources in the United States say Gonzalo Inzunza, aka "El Macho Prieto" was the target of the attack in the beach resort town that is popular with Americans. But at some point during the shootout, police say survivors took his body away from the crime scene.

Police recovered five other bodies after the attack, which started in the pre-dawn hours in Sandy Beach, amidst hotels and condos. Photos of one of the five victims show a massive gunshot wound in the sternum. Mexican media have reported that Macho Prieto employed bodyguards watching the area, armed with .50-caliber rifles. 

Photos from the crime scene show a blood-spattered villa with a hot tub. Sources in Sonora close to Mexico's federal law enforcement say Macho Prieto's body was taken through a tunnel behind the hot tub. But residents familiar with the area where the gunbattle took place say that's not possible because the sandy terrain wouldn't allow for a tunnel to be built.

It leads to questions about how Macho Prieto's body could have vanished. Police haven't given an official explanation for that.

It’s not the first time a crime figure’s body was stolen in Mexico. Last year, the leader of the Zeta cartel, Heriberto Lazcano, was stolen from a funeral home after he died in a clash with the Mexican Army.