With films like Sicario and shows like Narcos, drug cartels are everywhere, and most of the time they’re portrayed as cool and slick.
But Mexican cartel hitman Martin Corona has just released a book detailing his life in the drug underworld, and it definitely is not pretty.
In the book, he reveals his hand in a bunch of murders, including an attempted assassination of El Chapo Guzman, the leader of a rival cartel.
Corona confessed to a total of eight murders as part of the Tijuana Cartel ‘Death Squad’.
But one incident, he says, will ‘haunt’ him forever.
The victims were two women, and he shot them before realising that one of them was pregnant.
One of their children was also watching.
Neither of the women died, but one was so brain damaged that she can’t remember the incident at all.
The Tijuana Cartel was ultra-violent, and the squad would base themselves in an ‘office’ in Mexico before they received their hit orders.
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After receiving the orders, they would choose their weapons and their strategy very carefully before they rolled out.
Another high profile job involved being sent to kill El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, at Guadalajara airport.
Corona missed his target, instead hitting and killing a cardinal, El Chapo narrowly escaping the will of Corona’s bosses.
Corona grew up in the California Youth Authority juvenile detention centre.
This was where the cartel got him, surrounding him with cartel members and affiliates during his time in and out of prison.
Soon, joining the gang became his only choice.
Corona says that at first, he thought he’d be either smuggling or pushing drugs, but it became apparent that the bosses had a different job in mind for him.
He was arrested at the age of 37, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for cocaine distribution.
The authorities gave him a reduced sentence for helping to explain the inner workings of the cartel.
He is now part of a US government run witness protection scheme.
Martin has expressed remorse for his actions, and has written letters of apology to the families of those he killed or harmed.
He has been released from prison and has written a book about his time with the cartel.
Here’s an extract from his book obtained by UNILAD:
She opened the door with the chain still attached to get a look at me. What she saw was a clean‑cut nerdy guy, so she took the chain off.
As soon as she did that, I pulled out my gun and the rest of the crew rushed into the house. By this time the mom was with the daughter by the door and they both tried to take off screaming.
We let the daughter go and three of us sort of tackled the mom. Pato shoots her in the head and Drak and I shoot as well. We were pretty certain she wouldn’t survive the five rounds she’d just taken.
We weren’t all that rattled or anything, but we completely skipped looking for anything else to take in the house. We later found out from the newspaper story that the cops found $500,000 in cash hidden in a closet.
We got in the Cadillac and took off. But as we’re driving, Pato starts yelling that he’s been shot. He looks at me and says, “Dog, you shot me. There’s a fucking hole in my hand.”
I knew there was a cluster when all three of us tackled the woman, but I know for a fact that I didn’t shoot Pato. He was bleeding and started to lose it and I kept telling him to chill and not trip out. It wasn’t going to kill him and it’s the kind of thing you got to expect in this line of work.
I told him, “Even David got a bullet in his leg from a homie. Shit happens. Just chill.”
We decided to skip dropping the guns off at the body shop and shot straight across the border to Tijuana.
I called my wife and told her to meet us in TJ. I was going to hand the guns off to her and she’d give them to me later on. We drove to the condo in Rosarito and told David about the mission and that Pato took a bullet in the hand.
David didn’t seem all that pissed. He was experienced enough to know that stuff like this can happen. He took Pato to the hospital and told us to chill out at the condo until he came back.
After Pato got fixed up, David and I went through the whole scenario move by move, and even David admitted that it looked like Drak had shot Pato in the hand. But convincing Pato that I didn’t shoot him was impossible.
Just to keep things calm, I volunteered to pay $7,000 for the hospital costs, but Pato never got over it. He even wrote Bugsy in prison that I shot him in the hand and that he’d never be able to fully close his hand again.
Not too long after that, David shows up at the Tijuana office one day and tells me and Pato to get ready to roll. The first thing I asked him was how should I dress. Depending on the mission, we could go as uniformed cops, full‑battle tactical, or casual.
David says to just wear casual clothes so I put on jeans, a button‑down shirt, and a cowboy hat. I asked about weapons and David said to just bring a handgun. “We just need to check something out.”
He told us to hang tight and someone would pick us all up. A little while later David’s sister Marta shows up and asks me, “What kind of knives do we have?” We went to the kitchen and picked out a few big chef’s knives that I rolled up in a towel and stuck in my pants.
We get in one of David’s cars and we roll up the Via Rapida to Ensenada. The place David was looking for was a huge walled compound that must have been almost a block long.
Confessions of a Cartel Hitman by Martin Corona is out now.