A rising internet comedian was shot down and killed in what many speculate was a gangland hit by order of an infamous Mexican cartel.
On Monday night Mexican social media star Juan Luis Lagunas Rosales – better known by his alias El Pirata de Culiacán (The Pirate of Culiacán) – was gunned down at a bar called Mentados Cantaros in Zapopan, Jalisco.
Rosales was only 17-years-old when he was reportedly attacked by several heavily armed individuals. It is suspected the attack came as retaliation for a video he made several weeks ago insulting known Mexican cartel boss Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, better known in the criminal underworld as El Mencho.
According to Rolling Stone the 51-year-old is head of Mexico’s rapidly expanding and dangerous cartel, known as the Jalisco Nueva Generación (Jalisco New Generation).
Rosales was born in Navolato, Sinaloa, which is a 90-minute drive away from the hometown of Mexico’s most notorious drug baron Joaquin Guzman – aka El Chapo. When he turned 15 Rosales moved to the Sinaloa capital of Culiacán with his grandmother, it was there his presence on social media increased.
His comedic hot takes, as well as his excessive drinking habits, made him a popular figure with the Mexican people – a factor that potentially lead to his fatal shooting.
According to the International Business Times, Rosales’ assailants let off 15 shots in the bar where he’d just a few hours previously invited his 27K Instagram and one million Facebook followers to come and join him for a drink.
During the shooting, the IBT claims the bar’s manager was caught in the crossfire ‘and remains in a serious condition in hospital’.
While Mexican authorities are yet to confirm a motive behind Rosales’ shooting, social media users are linking it to the video insult of El Mencho. In the video he says ‘El Mencho, peel my c*ck’ [Tranlsated from Spanish].
According to an unknown source who spoke to Rolling Stone writer Josh Eells, an expert on El Mencho’s Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel, it was not a clever thing to say towards a man:
… who’ll execute your whole family based on not much more than a rumor.
He just has zero regard for human life.
Eells articles in the past have claimed Cerventes – or El Mencho – was a former state policeman who became the leader of one of Mexico’s most notorious cartels. The Jalisco Nueva Generación has been linked to a series of ‘brutal mass murders, in 2011 the cartel dumped 35 bodies onto the streets of Veracruz, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico.
Two year’s later the cartel were accused of raping and killing a 10-year-old girl who they thought was the daughter of a rival cartel leader – which it turns out it wasn’t.
Scott Stewart a senior cartel analyst at Stratfor, a private intelligence firm told Ells:
We’ve seen it become very bloody, and a lot of people attribute that to El Mencho himself…
Wherever they try to muscle in, it creates bodies.
El Mencho remains a mystery for the authorities as there are very few photos of him, a former DEA agent added:
Over 25 years of working in Mexico, you’d run into guys who had met Chapo, would talk about him…
But with Mencho, you don’t hear that. He’s kind of a ghost.
It seems El Mencho considered the moment Rosales insulted him a signature on the comedian’s death warrant.