CULIACAN, Mexico – A former army officer reputed to have been head of security for recently captured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was found shot to death in western Mexico, authorities said.
The body of Manuel Alejandro Aponte was found Tuesday in the municipality of La Cruz de Elota along with those of two other people, Sinaloa state Attorney General Marco Antonio Higuera said.
All three victims bore marks of torture.
Authorities initially identified one of the dead as Aponte from his fingerprints and are conducting DNA tests to confirm, Higuera told a press conference.
Aponte, a native of Chilpancingo in the southern state of Guerrero, graduated from Mexico’s military academy in 1996 and was among the more than 100,000 people who deserted the army or air force during the 2000-2006 administration of President Vicente Fox.
He was thought to have been chief of security for Sinaloa cartel boss Chapo Guzman, who was captured in February by marines responding to a tip from a citizen about the presence of a heavily armed man in a residential high-rise in the resort city of Mazatlan.