Sentences have at last been handed out in the case of deadly Mexican casino arson that made headlines last year for its shocking brutality, an act of violence lead by a cartel who were looking to make money by following up on their own threats. Gunmen entered the Casino Royale in the city of Monterrey on the 25th of August 2011, spread gasoline around the building, and set the whole place on fire. Tragically, fifty two people were killed in a blaze that was likely just a show of power.
The victims were mostly women, who had come to the casino to play bingo with their friends, try their luck on some slot machine games, or just sit down to have lunch. Two of them were even pregnant. Officials have reported that the owner of the casino had received extortion threats from the Zetas cartel, and when he did not pay up the blaze was started. Even the official who reported on the case wanted to remain anonymous for his own personal safety, as it is understood that the cartel are still very dangerous despite the loss of the seven men involved in the crime, who will likely stay in prison for a very long time.
The sentences were handed out in Nuevo Leon state, and six of the men were given seventy five years in prison, while a seventh was given one hundred. Unfortunately, Mexican law means that none of them will serve more than sixty years, but here’s hoping that their ages (as yet unknown) mean that at the end of their sentence they will already have died of old age, so that they are not able to threaten innocent lives again. Seven more men from the cartel are still awaiting trial, and of course hopes are high that they will see similar examples of strict sentencing. The known suspects in the case ranged from the tender age of fifteen right the way up to thirty seven, and it is also known that one of the leaders of the Zetas cartel was shot dead by police as a result of the investigation.