Reports indicate that ‘Los Chapitos’ use brick kilns to dispose of bodies and avoid detection by family members or law enforcement.
In Teocaltiche, Jalisco, the use of brick kiln ovens as crematoriums to dispose of people is carried out under the orders of Erick Lara, a plaza boss of the Sinaloa Cartel, according to intelligence reports from the state government accessed by MILENIO.
This information points to the main use of a brick kiln owned by a man identified as Juan Contreras, located at the entrance to the junction of the road leading to this municipality.
Erick Lara is linked to the faction of Los Chapitos, led by the sons of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
State authorities have identified that the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel are fighting for control over the Altos de Jalisco region, turning municipalities like Teocaltiche, Lagos de Moreno, Encarnación de Díaz, and San Juan de Los Lagos into hotspots of disappearances.
MILENIO possesses an audio recording demonstrating that this situation was identified at least three years ago, as it features officials from the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Disappeared Persons in Jalisco explaining to department personnel how brick kiln ovens are used to make people disappear.
A ministerial agent who participated in search operations for the five young people who went missing in Lagos de Moreno confirmed to MILENIO that the skeletal remains recovered in Teocaltiche were inside the oven shown in publicly disseminated photographs.
He added that the bone fragments are heavily calcined, making it very difficult to extract organic material for DNA testing.
The Sinaloa Cartel’s network of informants in Teocaltiche extends to the bus terminal, which is monitored by brothers Israel and Juan José Hernandez, who alert when members of other criminal groups arrive. Miguel, who is identified as a rosary seller, reports any suspicious activity in the town center to his leaders. At least twenty young people fulfilling various roles are part of this network.
For collectives searching for missing persons, it’s unacceptable that authorities have known for years that brick kiln ovens are used for clandestine cremations, and yet have taken no action.
Héctor Flores, a member of the Luz de Esperanza collective, stated that officials from the state of Jalisco informed him of this situation.
When consulted on the matter, the Jalisco Search Commission acknowledged that it cannot accompany collectives in searches in brick kilns due to them being private property. They argued that the law does not empower the organization to do so unless they go in the company of the prosecutor’s office and with a court order.
According to the collectives, searches have not been conducted in brick kilns because they are dangerous areas even for authorities.
To compel authorities to conduct searches in brick kilns, the collectives will request the intervention of the Jalisco Government.