The deaths of three film students has rocked Mexico. Javier Salomón Aceves Gastélum, Jesús Daniel Díaz García, and Marco Francisco Díaz Ávalos were last seen on March 19. Last week, authorities reported that Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) killed the three students and dissolved their bodies in acid. Shortly after, Christian Omar Palma Gutiérrez – aka QBA – confessed to getting rid of every trace of the three young men. Since this revelation, people have reacted in many ways. While some have expressed their outrage at what has supposedly transpired, others do not believe the government’s account. This mistrust of the government is a result of the way it has handled other missing persons cases. It’s even led people to believe that QBA was coerced into confessing. Before a judge, QBA broke down his role in CJNG and the case of the students.
He explained that a man nicknamed El Cochi contracted him at a rate of roughly $80 to $100 for a job at a mechanical workshop and “on top of that, 3,000 pesos [roughly $159] for another job.” He received a call on March 20 that they were going to dissolve the bodies, something they call “pozolear.” He told his wife that he’d be painting a car at Cochi’s workshop and boarded an Uber. What follows is graphic testimony, with Christian going into detail about how they disposed of the bodies with acid and a water tank. After cleaning the floor with bleach to hide their tracks, El Cochi told him to stay away from Tonala.
“I started watching the news to see what happened and I saw that three students had disappeared, that they had kidnapped them, and the moment that they showed the photos of the missing, I realized that it dealt with the three cadavers that I helped pozolear,” he said.