Mexico City, Mexio – Christian Omar Palma Gutierrez, a.k.a. QBA is a 24-year-old viral Mexican rapper and YouTube star with millions of plays on his channel.
He’s also a confessed accomplice to murder.
The Agence France-Presse reports that QBA confessed to the grisly act of dissolving the bodies of three kidnapped film students in sulfuric acid at the behest of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, a notorious Mexican gang.
“He has participated in three other previous murders,” chief investigator Lizette Torres relayed to AFP.
Following the news, Mexican students organized a massive protest to denounce the disappearance of the filmmakers.
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QBA and another suspect were detained in March 2018 regarding the disappearance of Salomon Aceves Gastelum, 25, Daniel Diaz, 20, and Marco Avalos, 20. The students were said to be hoping to take advantage of the Mexican director boom in Hollywood (the minority group has won Oscars four out of the past five years) but instead, they were mistaken for members of a rival gang, which led to their violent deaths.
After filming near a former hotspot of the rival Nueva Plaza cartel in Guadalajara in the western state of Jalisco, the students were abducted by armed men dressed as police. Their car had reportedly broken down on the highway.
Gastelum is believed to have been beaten to death during the interrogation, prompting the other two to be killed off.
That is where QBA’s duties came into play. He said he was hired muscle for $3,000 pesos a week, which translates to just a measly $159 USD over the span of seven days.
Hip Hop Used As Evidence
Like most up-and-coming rappers, QBA’s song contents detail the products of his environment. His YouTube channel is reported to have amassed more than a half-million views. (Several of his videos on the aztlann12 channel
have racked up millions of plays.) And the Spanish lyrics and visuals all highlight poverty-stricken and violent drug atmospheres — a fact that prosecutors plan on using against him.
Torres told the media that QBA’s videos will be analyzed to assist with the ongoing criminal investigation. Authorities are still looking for five other suspects in connection with the drug cartel activity. One official — speaking on the condition of anonymity — told Reuters that other human remains were found on the body dump site. He, along with the other unnamed suspect, has been charged with aggravated kidnapping. His headlining appearance at a Tijuana rap festival this Sunday (April 29) is obviously no longer going to happen.
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Although the bleak story has come off as a nationwide shock to many, the writing on the wall for Mexicans crime-riddled climate has been quite clear for some time. A record-breaking January 2018 report — mostly attributed to cartel violence — revealed 29,168 people were murdered in Mexico in 2017, with more than 33,000 others reported missing.
When three film students went to tape a college project in the western Mexico city of Guadalajara, they wound up crossing paths with another young man with dreams of celebrity, a 24-year-old rapper who had built a YouTube channel with more than a half-million views based on songs describing an anguished, violent life of drugs and crime.
His professionally-shot videos are littered with images of poor neighborhoods where young gang members take drugs and show off weapons — while others feature the rapper and his friends showing off in luxury vehicles or on motorcycles.
Torres confirmed the videos formed part of the criminal investigation into the murders.
Prosecutors said Gutierrez and the other suspect will be charged with aggravated kidnapping.