Young Guard Found Tortured And Murdered In El Chapo’s Prison

Photo: REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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A young Mexican soldier who had the bad luck of being assigned to guard Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman in prison was tortured and murdered on Friday, according to Mexican authorities on Tuesday.

Jorge Mauricio Meléndez Herrera, 20, was found dead in a ditch off of the side of a road near Ciudad Juarez, close to the Texas border. A body matching Herrera’s description was found on Friday, but authorities only knew it was him when his family reported him missing on Saturday, according to spokesman Arturo Sandoval for the Special Prosecutor for Investigations and Prosecution of Crimes in the Northern Zone.

Herrera’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to his head but he also had multiple stab wounds on his body. The family of the fallen soldier claimed their relative’s body on Monday. Since the soldier was guarding El Chapo, who is imprisoned for federal drug trafficking charges, Herrera’s murder might be investigated by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office.

Three hundred more troops have been sent to guard El Chapo’s prison since Herrera was found dead, according to UPI. Herrera guarded the outer perimeter of the prison’s multi-layered security forces keeping watch on the drug kingpin.

El Chapo was captured by Mexican Marines in January after being on the run since July 2015. The cartel kingpin is currently appealing his extradition to the U.S. to face federal drug trafficking charges. It is likely that El Chapo will be tried in a Brooklyn federal courthouse by the Eastern District of New York.

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