TIJUANA (Border Report) — Santiago Meza López, who admitted to dissolving at least 300 bodies in acid for a Tijuana drug cartel, will have to remain in prison a while longer.
Meza, 57, known as “El Pozolero,” or someone who makes pozole — a Mexican stew made with hominy, chicken, pork and vegetables — was told he was being denied a shot at freedom because he has yet to be sentenced for additional crimes, according to Fernando Ocegueda, president of the United Missing Persons of Baja California.
Meza was eligible for parole later this year.
“He still has a long wait in jail since he has yet to be sentenced for his clandestine acts against humanity, for his association with organized crime and for crimes against public health,” said Ocegueda. “He also will be sentenced for being in possession of a weapon meant for the army’s use.”
Back in 2009, Meza was arrested by soldiers in the coastal city of Ensenada, located about 70 miles south of the border.
Meza was connected to the Arellano Felix cartel that at one time controlled the flow of narcotics through Tijuana into the United States.
He confessed to earning $600 per week to submerge cadavers in a tub filled with acid and sodium hydroxide while “stirring” the bodies for 8 hours until everything but the teeth, nails and some bone fragments dissolved.
Meza said whatever remained would be burned before being buried in an empty lot on his property.
His family members said Meza told them he would rather do this kind of work than have his children starve to death.
After his arrest, investigators reportedly found anywhere from 14,000 to 15,000 remains buried in Meza’s ranch.