JammedUp News


Former cartel hitman Martin Corona gives rare televison interview

January 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Former cartel hitman Martin Corona gives rare televison interview

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

A rare television interview offers chilling insight into the life of Martin Corona, who has witnessed and committed unspeakable acts of violence during his life as a former Mexican cartel hitman.

Speaking under the assumed name Martin Corona, the Southern California native described to ABC News what it was like to murder for a living.

As a former assassin for the Arrellano-Felix Organization, Martin Corona has confessed to eight murders. However, law enforcement officials believe the number may be higher.

“Living the life I lived, there is nothing I can sit back and say I’m proud of, there are mornings I’ll wake up, and I’ll wash my face and look up in the mirror, and I can see the monster I once was,” Corona said. “I just try to push it back down. You can never make amends for taking a life. You can never pay that back.”

Former Cartel hitman Martin Corona gave rare interview with ABC Nightline

Corona completed the interview in shadow.

Born and raised just outside of San Diego, he described his relationship with his stepfather as “troubled.”

At the age of 13, Corona said he left home and later took a notoriously violent street gang, “The Logan Heights Gang” as his new family.

Corona’s life became entangled with violence, having spent regular stints in Jail. He eventually became associated with the Mexican Mafia which led to his involvement with the drug cartels in Mexico.

“They [cartel members] came and picked me up from the prison gate,” he said. “You either accept that life or you end up on the side of a curb somewhere.”

In the 1990’s, the Arellano-Felix Organization controlled the Tijuana drug plaza, one of the most lucrative trafficking corridors into the United States.

However, the group became locked in a deadly struggle for control of the territory with the Sinaloa Cartel, led by infamous drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

He and other gang members were recruited as muscle by his friend and mentor David Barron-Corona, a top hitman, and bodyguard for the Arellano-Felix brothers.

In 1997, Corona came to lead a crew of assassins who were commanded to kill under the direct orders of Ramon Arrellano-Felix, a bloodthirsty kingpin who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List of Fugitives.

Corona’s crew committed hits with impunity on both sides of the border, even shooting a pregnant woman in San Diego, who was suspected of cooperating with police, along with her fashion model sister who just returned from Paris.

“When I shot the two people, I heard a scream in the back [of the car], and I looked back there, and I saw a little girl back there in the backseat,” Corona said.

Corona was a hitman for the Arrelano-Felix Brothers

A month later the death squad led by Corona crossed the border into Mexico and executed the women’s father in Tijuana.

“He’s an assassin. He’s a multiple killer,” says Steve Duncan, a former special agent with California Department of Justice.

After Barron-Corona was killed by friendly fire during a shootout with rival cartel members, Corona started to get tired of the violence, but felt trapped and was scared.

His life turned around with the birth of his daughter.

“I held her in my arms and I told my wife right then and there: ‘We’re done,'” he said.

With his wife and child, Corona returned to California but was picked up on a gun charge.

He was convicted and sentenced on the charge. That’s when he met Duncan.

Facing possible murder charges and life in prison, Martin Corona decided to turn on his cartel brethren and cooperate with authorities.

The Arrellano-Felix brothers were locked in a bloody turf war with Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman during the 1990’s

Corona helped federal prosecutors indict the top leadership of the Arrellano-Felix Organization.

After serving 13 years in prison, Martin Corona was released from prison but refused witness protection. He now lives in a secret location with his family.

The former assassin says he worries less about himself, but more about his family.

“When my time comes, my time’s going to come, you know?” he said. “I know how to defend myself.”

He has since written a book titled “Confessions of a Cartel Hitman.”

Corona says he is remorseful for the lives he has snuffed out and for all the hurt inflicted by his actions, even writing a letter to the model he shot asking her for forgiveness.

“I can never find the words to apologize for my actions. Nor, can I ever expect any emotion other than hate from you. … But, I truly am sorry. I’ve wanted so many times to write this letter and leave it pinned to my hanging body. … My only wish is to do all that I can so that no one else has to suffer the same atrocities which you and your family have endured,” Corona said.

Corona now deals with the nightmares of his past; his most significant battle continues to be sobriety.

Following the interview with ABC News, Martin Corona violated probation after testing positive for cocaine and methamphetamine.

He didn’t dispute the violation and maintained the judge was fair.

“My problem is with sobriety; I’ve always lived the fast life. Now I’m living the normal life and trying my hardest to make amends,” Martin Corona said.

Get the latest news from the world of crime