Cartel boss buried under mountain of guns so that he’s armed for afterlife

A drug cartel boss has been laid to rest under a mountain of high-calibre guns as friends and family look to send him to the afterlife armed to the teeth.

Manuel Julián Sevillano Bustamante, 39, was allegedly the leader of Los Fatales drugs gang in Los Ríos, Ecuador. The gang is thought to have links to the larger Los Choneros cartel.

Sevillano was gunned down on Wednesday afternoon (September 13) in broad daylight while at a car wash with his daughter, 20, and a bodyguard. Police have since confirmed that the young woman also died after being rushed to a hospital in Quevedo.

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"It seems that they had followed his movements, Julián always came to wash the car in the morning, his enemies took advantage of that," a local told El Universo.

On Thursday (September 14) videos emerged online showing Sevillano's body in an open casket. Bizarrely, those gathered around the coffin were seen placing weapons inside, ranging from small handguns to large rifles.

Placing items in open caskets is a relatively common practice across the world.

In some cultures, sentimental items such as photographs are left with the body. In others, as is the case in parts of Latin America, people leave items they want the deceased to take with them into the afterlife – meaning Sevillano was sufficiently armed for whatever might come after death.

Sevillano's family reportedly refused to allow police to take his body to the morgue when they arrived at the car wash on Wednesday.

Police subsequently carried out patrols across the Mocache region of Los Ríos, fearing his death would spark further violent reprisals.

According to El Universo, Sevillano was arrested in 2005 for the murders of then-Mocache Vice Mayor Bolívar Cordero Candelario, 57, and his son Yogar Cordero Molina, 35. He was released a few months later.

Borderland Beat reports Los Fatales remain at war with rival criminal organisations such as Los Cornejos over control of drug trafficking routes in Ecuador's Manabí and Los Ríos provinces.

It isn't yet clear who is responsible for Sevillano's death.

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