A notorious figure from the Corozal Free Zone was executed in a Chetumal Restaurant this weekend. Ernesto Alonso de Miguel, known as "El Espanol" was gunned down as he ate with his family in a restaurant called "The Emporium" in Chetumal. His family was spared but a policeman he was dining with was also killed. A gunman reportedly entered the restaurant and opened fire on the pair fo them and then escaped.
Mexican media calls him the czar of contraband - and they say Alonso De Miguel is responsible for a large quantity of the contraband cigarettes and other illicit products moving between the Free Zone and Chetumal.
De Alonzo has been targeted by the Zetas before in Chetumal but escaped as he ran over to Belize. He was also involved in a violent shootout with Mexican police in 2011.
According to various Mexican newspapers, Ernesto Alonso de Miguel, alias “El Español”, allegedly known for contrabanding liquor and merchandise from the Corozal Free Zone was executed inside the popular “Emporio” Restaurant near Chetumal’s Bahia Boulevard, along with Agustín Guevara Martínez, a lone commandant police officer from that Ministry.
Witnesses state that a lone gunman jumped out of a small car and opened fire inside the restaurant where “El Espaňol”, his Belizean driver, commandant Martinez, and two women were sitting. Ernesto Alonso de Miguel “El Espaňol” and Commandant AugustÍn Martinez were shot. Both were taken to the General Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.
In 2011 General Carlos Bibiano Villa, secretary of Public Security, stated that a police officer from their “Police Preventative State”, Jorge Amir Flota Matos was fatally shot by friendly fire while in pursuit of “El Espaňol”, considered the zar of contraband liquor and merchandise from the Corozal Free Zone in Belize. It is alleged that “El Espaňol” had established residency in Chetumal since the early ‘90s.
He dedicated himself to illegally transporting and the contraband of liquor and merchandise across the Rio Hondo. In 2003 the infamous drug cartel “Los Zetas” made an attempt to kidnap him and since the attempt failed, he decided to move and live in Belize where he continued his illegal operation of contraband. Corozal Daily's Note: Credible sources have revealed to us that “El Espaňol” or “Spanish” as he was known inside the Free Zone circles, was the only person operating a business inside the Free Zone who had been allowed to live in there and establish physical residency since 2003.
We keep asking at this corner , is this the end of the Corozal Free Zone? Reports both anecdotally and in the Mexican media is that businesses in the Corozal Free Zone are closing down at a rapid pace. Sales have been battered by the devaluation of the Mexican peso. The Mexican economy, like Canada and Venezuela, has been battered by low oil prices, the country’s primary export.
Businesses in the zone had already been largely negatively impacted by the loss of corresponding banking relationships, increased scrutiny due to allegations of money laundering and rampant counterfeiting and decreasing investment.