Trial of Mexican drug gang opens in San Diego

SAN DIEGO

Mark Amador told jurors in his opening statement Wednesday that the defendants belonged to Mexican gang that broke away from a Tijuana cartel and brought its brutal methods of murder and kidnapping to the San Diego area around 2002.

Jose Olivera Beritan and David Valencia are charged with murder in the deaths of two men whose corpses were dissolved in 55-gallon barrels of propane-heated liquid inside a San Diego home. Beritan is also charged with another killing.

Dissolving bodies in vats of liquid is a common method for Mexican cartels to dispose of bodies but is rare in the United States.

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