The five young men who went missing in Mexico and were later shown on camera being brutally murdered by a Mexican drug cartel were lured to meet the gang with a fake job offer, according to a report.

The young men, all students and friends whose ages ranged between 19 and 22, who were duct-taped, beaten, stabbed and beheaded in a horrifically graphic video that made its rounds online this week, sought employment as private security, met a contact in town and were not seen again until the video surfaced, according to El Universal.

According to El Universal journalist Carlos Arrieta, the men were deceived into a meeting with the Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) cartel. The cartel hoped to recruit the victims into their ranks and killed them after they refused.

The men were later identified by their relatives as Roberto Olmeda, Diego Lara, Uriel Galvan, Jaime Martinez and Dante Cedillo, El Pais reported.


Aerial view of the location where male human remains were found in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco state, Mexico, on Thursday. (ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

El Universal reported the “strongest hypothesis” pointed to the young men contacting a call center to gain employment. Unbeknownst to the friends, the center is often “managed by the CJNG for [the] forced recruitment of people,” the outlet reported.

According to the report, these call centers offer high-paying jobs with attractive job benefits that are actually a hoax to trick young people into the CJNG, which then forcefully recruits applicants.

Jalisco murder victims

Mexican authorities said Thursday that they had discovered human remains during a search for five young men whose disappearance and apparent brutal murder prompted shock and anger. The group of five friends, aged 19 to 22, disappeared last week in the western state of Jalisco, triggering a rare level of outrage in a country where kidnappings and killings are all too common. (ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images/Facebook)

Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco

Investigators examine the area where the gruesome execution video was believed to have taken place. (Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco)

The Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco — the Attorney General’s Office in the Mexican state of Jalisco — has yet to confirm the report and has not yet confirmed which of the two major drug cartels that vie for control over the La Orilla del Agua neighborhood in the town of Lagos de Moreno — the CJNG or the Sinaloa cartel — are responsible for the video and deaths.


El Pais reported the mark “Pure MZ” on the released video is attributed to Mayo Zambada, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

Graffiti on a wall

Detail of the house where allegedly five young men were murdered in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco State, Mexico, on Thursday. (ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Blood stains

Blood stains are seen in the house where allegedly five young men were murdered in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco State, Mexico, on Thursday. (ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday afternoon, Mexican authorities located the property where the photo and video were allegedly filmed and found four burned and decapitated bodies.

The bodies were badly burned and had not yet been identified, according to prosecutors in the western state of Jalisco. However, the bodies were found inside a building near where the young men were kidnapped on Aug. 11 and later photographed in captivity.

A fifth body was found by police inside a burned-out car in a nearby area.

Blue gloves on grass

Gloves are seen in the house where allegedly five young men were murdered in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco State, Mexico, on Thursday. (ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Photos shared by Jalisco prosecutors show brick and concrete buildings on a ranch, isolated by an open field. They also showed bloodstains on the floor, shoes scattered about and investigators examining the area.

“This makes one think the five youths were there at this ranch,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco

Family members of the missing men said they recognized the clothing of the victims seen in the video. (Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco)

Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco

The five young men went missing last week after attending a festival. (Fiscalía del Estado de Jalisco)

During a news briefing Wednesday morning, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador described the killings as “very regrettable,” while saying very little else about them. He mentioned federal prosecutors were taking over the case from Jalisco authorities as drug cartels were involved.


The young men went missing Friday while on a trip to attend a festival in the city of Lagos de Moreno, an area known for cartel violence.

They were next seen bound by tape, kneeling on the ground and surrounded by gang members, with one of them seen bludgeoning and apparently decapitating his friend.

Lopez Obrador

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador speaks at the morning conference in front of reporters at the National Palace. (Carlos Santiago / Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

It revives memories of the most horrifying instances of drug cartel brutality, where kidnapped victims were forced to fight and even kill each other in gruesome ways.


In 2010, the old Zetas cartel abducted men and forced any who refused to work for the cartel to beat each other to death with sledgehammers.

The following year, authorities found 48 clandestine graves containing the bodies of 193 people in the northern border state of Tamaulipas. Most had their skulls crushed with sledgehammers.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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