Guadalajara is home to about 1.5 million residents and is nestled away in the centermost portion of Mexico’s Free and Sovereign State of Jalisco – often just shortened to Jalisco – which is roughly in the middle of Mexico, latitude-wise, and borders the Pacific Ocean.
Coming in tenth place on the list of Latin America’s most populated cities, The Pearl of the West is the birthplace of world-famous mariachi music, and also takes host to C.D. Guadalajara, unarguably one of the most popular soccer teams in the entirety of Mexico.
The area is also home to a classic Roman Catholic monument, the Guadalajara Cathedral, one of Mexico’s best zoos, the Guadalajara Zoo, and a large amusement park, Selva Mágica.
With so many things to do, any reasonable person would think that everyone in the Pearl of the West would have something better to do than for drug cartel members to torture three local film students by dissolving their bodies in acid.
Three 20-somethings – 25-year-old Aceves Gastelum, 20-year-old Marco Avalos, and 20-year-old Daniel Diaz – had disappeared slightly more than a month ago, on March 19, 2018, in Tonalá, just a few miles from Jalisco.
The three film students were in an open field in a rural area working on a project. Little to their knowledge, a cartel was watching the field and was actually expecting a leader of a rival gang to meet the first cartel there. The three left following the end of their production, but that’s when the trouble kicked off.
After the trio’s vehicle unexpectedly broke down, a group dressed as police seemed to go help the group, though they were actually cartel members. Prosecutors think that those cartel members thought that the innocent film students were actually in a rival gang.
The older film student, Aceves Gastelum – full name Javier Salomon Aceves Gastelum – was first tortured and questioned simultaneously. Gastelum soon after passed away.
Cartel members thought that because the first one passed away despite their not trying to kill him, they should take the lives of the other two in an attempt to save themselves from being told on.
A local rapper with a regional level of fame, having some 125,000 subscribers on YouTube, was asked by the cartel to dispose of their bodies. QBA, legal name Christian Palma Gutierrez, was allegedly paid roughly 3,000 pesos by the Jalisco New Generation cartel for various crimes. He disposed of the bodies in acid to make them unidentifiable.