Cartel Hitman Talks About His Life of ‘Dope and Murder’

Martin Corona, former Tijuana cartel assassin, has his own memoir.

June 15, 2017 4:25 pm
Confessions of a Mexican Drug Cartel Assassin
Rifle ammunition sized by Mexican marines soldiers to alleged drug traffickers of the Zetas drug cartel are presented together with hand grenades, firearms, cocaine and military uniforms on June 9, 2011 at the Navy Secretaryship in Mexico City. Five men were arrested and more than two hundred rifles, eleven pistols, military uniforms, different caliber ammunitions and more than 200 kg of cocaine were seized in the Coahuila and Nuevo Leon States by the Navy. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images)

“Our business was dope and murder, and our enemies were people whose business was dope and murder.”

Those are the striking words of Martin Corona, an American citizen and former Southern California gang member, who gained prominence as a hitman in Mexico’s Tijuana cartel.

Now, Corona will be publishing a tell-all memoir, Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man, this July 25—which tells of his ascendency, and the cartel’s ultimate demise, in which he had a major part after double-crossing his compadres.

Men’s Journal is running an excerpt from Corona’s upcoming book on its website. We’ve distilled it down to the five most shocking takeaways:

-Corona recounts that the cartel’s main assassin, who taught him the ropes, had killed nearly 100 people, using “pistols, shotguns, rifles, machetes, knives, sledgehammers, chainsaws, and plain old meat cleavers.”

-“El Chapo” Guzmán makes a cameo in his story.

-Corona says, “Every ounce of pot or eight ball of cocaine or bindle of heroin that changes hands on the streets or in an executive suite or at an Oscar afterparty has blood on it.” In short, just say no.

-Some sage advice—if you’re Darth Vader (or the real thing): “When you’re working for the dark side, you’ve got nobody to rely on except the guys standing next to you,” says Corona.

-Interested in becoming an assassin? (Hopefully not.) Corona says, “An assassin who’s worthy of the title knows that pulling the trigger is only about 10 percent of the job. The real work is the setup, planning[.]”

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