Story By: Ana Lacasa, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
Four people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been arrested after a man was found dead, half buried in lime and with his hands amputated.
Cops believe Hector Lopez, 25, whose body was found on the outskirts of the city of Puerto Madryn in the south-eastern Argentina province of Chubut, was executed by a drugs cartel.
Picture Credits: CEN
He had been missing for a week when his body was finally found about 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) from where his vehicle had been abandoned, near El Doradillo beach.
Silvana Salazar, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, said the incident bore all the hallmarks of a drugs-related killing.
Mr Salazar, who requested help from federal justice officers in investigating the killing, said the already badly decomposed body was found after a tip off.
The death is being linked with those of two associates of Lopez who also died suspiciously in recent weeks.
Nicolas Cerrudo, 21, was found hanged just 24 hours before Lopez was reported missing. A note was found with the body asking for his family to be protected. It read: “This is happening for playing with fire.”
However, investigators are not convinced he took his own life as it appeared he had been tortured in his genital region.
The body of the second associate, Federico Lomena, 25, was found buried on a beach at Playa Parana, near Puerto Madryn. He had been missing since 21st November.
Police say Lopez, Cerrudo and Lomenia use to travel to Buenos Aires together to buy clothes to sell for a profit back in Chubut.
All three victims are also believed to have links with drug trafficking. A fourth man, Gaston Leon, 30, has been missing since May. It is believed he knew Lopez.
Police say the four suspects, including the 16-year-old boy, will be charged with murder.