“HEARST” for Borderland Beat 

Three National Guard soldiers were kidnapped by a cartel group in Comonfort, Guanajuato.

One soldier was later found dead in the trunk of a car, tortured to death, and another appeared at a hospital with a fatal gunshot wound.

Warning: Some graphic images below this point.

Three Soldiers Abducted by Cartel Hitmen

At some unknown date, three National Guard soldiers from the 94th Company stationed in Guanajuato were kidnapped by cartel hitmen. The soldiers taken were 20-years old Marcos de Jesús, 23-years old Efrain Zavala, and 24-years old Pablo “N”. 

The abduction occurred during the soldier’s day off, according to Milenio newspaper, but the military has yet to release details about the exact date or location of the kidnapping.

We do know that all three men were stationed at a base in Comonfort municipality, a region which is believed to be controlled by the Cártel de Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRL), in a region hotly contested by the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) who are believed to control the municipality just north of San Miguel Allende. 

Then, on March 6, 2023, Marcos de Jesús, one of the missing soldiers, arrived at a hospital in San Miguel Allende in critical condition. The relative distance between where Marcos de Jesús was stationed, in Comonfort, and the location of the hospital can be seen on the map below.

Marcos de Jesús was severely injured, having suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and by the time he was officially admitted to the hospital, he ceased to have vital signs and was declared dead. 

Hospital administration notified local law enforcement about the incident. The soldier had been driven to the hospital by three civilians, possibly uninvolved bystanders, according to La Silla Rota. The people who drove him there were questioned by police and they described to officers the location where they found him, which was a remote region, near the small town of La Huerta.

The officers arrived at the location, described as a “dirt road” by Vanguardia, and they found an abandoned white Kia Forte with .223 shell casings lying nearby. The officers inspected the vehicle and found that there was a dead body inside the trunk of the vehicle. 

The deceased male wore parts of a National Guard uniform (who fall under the umbrella of SEDENA). 

Tribuna de la Paz says the body displayed “evidence of torture and gunshot wounds”. Milenio writes that it has a gunshot wound to the head. 

The dirt that covered the body and the rope hanging from the vehicle has led some online to speculate that the man was dragged from a vehicle but it’s unclear at this time if he had injuries that are consistent with this. 

It was later confirmed that the deceased male in the trunk was another one of the three missing soldiers, this time it was 23-year old Efraín Zavala. News publications Noroeste and Imagen de Veracruz published his full name and a photo of him in their coverage of this incident. 

Efraín Zavala’s remains will be returned to his hometown of Infonavit Campo Real, in Tuxpan, Veracruz. His family plans to bury him in the local cemetery after a small ceremony. 

Pablo “N”, the third soldier from the 94th company who was abducted alongside Marcos and Efraín, is still missing. 

It’s currently unclear which cartel group, CSRL or CJNG, perpetrated this kidnapping.