A 17-year-old Mexican YouTube star was publicly shot and killed in a bar after insulting a powerful drug lord in one of his videos, The Washington Post reported.
Juan Luis Lagunas Rosales — known to his fans as “El Pirata de Culiacán,” or “The Pirate of Culiacán” — was a YouTube star who had more than a million followers on Facebook and more than 300,000 on Instagram for his videos, in which he would chug beer and whiskey to the point of intoxication despite being under Mexico’s legal drinking age of 18.
He became so famous that he began garnering cameos in music videos and at promotional events, The Washington Post reported.
In one recent boozy video, Lagunas insulted Nemesio Ocegera Cervantes, known as “El Mencho,” one of Mexico’s more notorious drug lords.
“El Mencho a mí me pela la verga” said Lagunas in the video, which loosely means “suck my c*ck.”
On Monday, Lagunas and some friends were drinking at a bar in the state of Jalisco when a group of armed people came in the bar and began firing at Lagunas.
The teenager fatally received between 15 and 18 bullet wounds, the Post said.
Authorities are still determining who might be responsible for the YouTube star’s death, but they have confirmed that they are investigating a link between Lagunas’s insult and the assault that killed him.
El Mencho, who is reportedly a former police officer, is the head of the New Generation, reportedly one of the fastest growing drug cartels in Mexico.
Lagunas may have been only the latest murder among the thousands of people who have deaths linked to the group.
“He opted to make a career as a broken toy of cyberspace, a path he carved out drink by drink and that left him with enemies of flesh and blood,” wrote Univision reporter Fernando Mexía. And now, his death “gave him the popularity he never imagined,” Mexía wrote.
Earlier this year, a radio host asked him if he planned to cut back on his drinking.
“People ask me, ‘How do you do it? How do you handle drinking so much?” Lagunas said. “I just laugh, I say ‘I don’t know how I do it.’”
He added, however, “they’re right. . . . Sometimes I go too far.”