A Mexican rapper and YouTube star confessed this week to dissolving the bodies of three missing film students in acid — at the behest of a drug cartel, according to new reports.
Christian Omar Palma Gutierrez, better known as “QBA,” has been detained over the deaths of Salomon Aceves Gastelum, 25, Daniel Diaz, 20, and Marco Avalos, 20, in western Jalisco state last month, Agence France-Presse reported.
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He confessed to state prosecutors that he disposed of the bodies after the three victims were kidnapped, tortured and murdered, the outlet reported.
Gutierrez admitted that a friend recruited him three months ago to work for the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, and that he had received 3,000 pesos — nearly $159 — a week.
“He has participated in three other previous murders,” chief investigator Lizette Torres told the outlet.
Gutierrez’s YouTube channel boasts more than 125,000 subscribers — and many of his videos include images of poor neighborhoods, drugs and weapons. Others feature the rapper and his friends showing off luxury vehicles and motorcycles.
Torres said officials are investigating the videos for further clues into the murders, AFP reported.
The three victims had unwittingly been filming a school project at a former hangout for members of the Nueva Plaza gang in Jalisco when they were abducted in March, according to Mexican prosecutors.
Although the home belonged to one of the students’ aunts, hit men from the Jalisco New Generation cartel were watching the house after a Nueva Plaza honcho’s release from prison, investigators told the Times of London earlier this week.
But they mistook the students for members of the rival gang — with whom they had been battling over drug turf — and abducted them on a road near the house while dressed as police officers, prosecutors said.
The cartel members interrogated the students at a safe house and beat one of them so badly, he died — prompting them to kill the other two, Torres told the paper.
They then took them to another home and dumped their bodies in sulfuric acid to hide evidence, she said.
Gutierrez, along with a second suspect who has also been detained, will be charged with aggravated kidnapping, AFP reported. Five more suspects remain at large.
Last year, Mexico experienced its highest annual murder numbers since modern records began — with 25,000 killings reported, according to the BBC.
Organized crime was to blame for nearly three-quarters of those crimes, according to the report.
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