The cartel allegedly killed 2 lucha libre wrestlers in Mexico

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MEXICO CITY — Authorities in Mexico confirmed on Monday that a lucha libre wrestler was found dead over the weekend in the north-central state of Guanajuato.

Prosecutors said the body of a wrestler named “Maremoto” or “Tidal Wave” was found behind a National Guard barracks in the city of Irapuato on Saturday.

And local professional wrestling promoters canceled a scheduled match on Sunday, citing the deaths of “Maremoto” and another wrestler known by his ring name “Lepra” or “Lepra.”

“Out of respect for the families of our colleagues Leprosy and Maremoto, and as a sign of sorrow, our event on Sunday 28 August is cancelled,” match promoters Promociones Freseros Brothers said in a statement.

The public prosecutor’s office had previously confirmed the death of “leprosy”. Local media gave his real name as Salvador Garcia and said he may have worked a day job in Irapuato Municipality.

Since the sport is not well paid, at least locally, many wrestlers go into regular employment.

Both men were abducted in Irapuato last week.

Photos of a banner signed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel found near one of the bodies circulated on social media over the weekend.

The banner accused the two men – along with a third wrestler, known by his stage name ‘Juventud Rebelde’ who was gunned down in May – of working for a rival gang. The Jalisco Cartel is known by its initials CJNG.

“To fellow Lucha Libre professionals, the CJNG has nothing against you personally,” the banner read. “The events surrounding ‘Juventud Rebelde ‘Jerry’, Leprosy Salvador and Maremoto were direct attacks.”

The Banner claimed they were involved with the Santa Rosa de Lima gang, which has been fighting turf wars against the Jalisco cartel in Guanajuato for years.

Lucha Libre has suffered in recent years, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, when nearly all matches have been canceled and an unusually high number of wrestlers have died from COVID-19. But unlike norteño musicians, lucha libre wrestlers have so far largely escaped drug cartel violence.

Lucha libre wrestling is a typically Mexican pastime. It is the second most watched sport in the country after football.

The sport features theatrical stunts and a tradition of ‘rudos’ – vicious, rule-breaking bad guys – and ‘tecnicos’ – the handsome good guys.

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