Servano Gómez Martínez, aka, La Tuta; Elisello Caballero Ramírez and José Luís Díaz Pérez
By H. Nelson Goodson
September 22, 2014
Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico - On Tuesday, Noticias MVS with radio host Carmen Aristegui/Noticias Aristegui released several video recordings in which Servano Gómez Martínez, aka, "La Tuta" the drug cartel leader of the Caballeros Templarios and one of the most wanted man in Michoacán talking and paying off two news collaborators. The two news collaborators with La Tuta were identified as Elisello Caballero Ramírez, a news correspondent for Televisa (Digital Diprosa, SA de CV) in Michoacán and José Luís Díaz Pérez, owner and director for Esquema News Agency.
La Tuta wanted them to help him portray a better image and ways to convey Los Caballeros Templarios messages to overcome the negative news reporting by other news agencies and groups from self-defense community militias. Ramírez recommended for La Tuta to continue to use banners with messages at different locations in Michoacán and the use of social media to counter attack news against Los Caballeros Templarios posted by self-defense militia groups.
La Tuta in the videos is seen taking out stacks of money from his pockets and paying off both Ramírez and Pérez. Before leaving, Pérez asked for a pick-up truck from La Tuta and Ramírez asked the drug lord for support to buy several $6,000 digital cameras.
La Tuta send two UBS's with several videos showing Ramírez and Pérez taking bribes for control of news reports aimed at Los Caballeros Templarios, including notes addressed to Carmen Aristegui on September 16 giving her the exclusive to report and release the corrupted news collaborators.
Since the MVS report, Ramírez who was dropped by Televisa and Pérez have confirm their identities in the videos to MVS. Noticiero Televisa in a press release stated on Monday, that Ramírez had called the central office and notified them that MVS had called him about the La Tuta video, in which he confirmed his identity on the video. Televisa fired Ramírez for not letting them know ahead of time that he was going to meet with La Tuta and Televisa notified authorities about Ramírez meeting with La Tuta. Ramírez apparently violated a Televisa policy prohibiting news staff, reporters and correspondents meeting with drug cartel leaders and criminal organizations without permission to avoid bribes and propaganda for such entities.
Pérez in a video release about him meeting with La Tuta stated, that many reporters have accepted bribes during the drug cartel takeover in Michoacán for fear of their lives. Pérez did admit of accepting the bribe when he met with La Tuta for fear that if he wouldn't, he might not have been allowed to leave the meeting with his life. "If I wouldn't have attended the meeting with La Tuta, they would have kidnapped me and force me to meet with him anyway," Pérez said. He also says, that he feared for his life and the lives of his family and employees, if he didn't accept the bribe. But in the video, Pérez asked for a pickup from La Tuta contradicting his statement about being forced to take the bribe.
Ramírez is now saying that he was forced to meet with La Tuta and made to take a bribe along with Pérez. Ramírez is seen asking for La Tuta to help fund several $6K digital cameras in the video indicating otherwise.
La Tuta video showing both Elisello Caballero Ramírez, a news correspondent for Televisa in Michoacán and José Luís Díaz Pérez, owner and director for Esquema News Agency getting bribes.
MVS video part one: http://youtu.be/HfmaGzWzSwU
MVS video part two:http://youtu.be/51yEvT5mMU0
Video statement from José Luís Díaz Pérez:http://youtu.be/3LJ8BLCF7xI