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Daniel Arizmendi López

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Daniel López

Daniel Arizmendi wearing sleeves in a wooden background


1998 Daniel Arizmendi

Daniel Arizmendi López (born 22 July 1958) is a former Mexican kidnapper. In 1998 Susan Ferriss of the Cox News Service wrote that Arizmendi was "Mexico's most notorious suspected criminal".


Daniel Arizmendi in long hair and his beard


  • Born on July 22, 1958, Daniel Arizmendi López is a convicted kidnapper and serial killer from Mexico.
  • He started his career as a police officer in Morelos before turning to crime in the 1980s.
  • Between 1996 and 1998, he was involved in at least 18 kidnappings and multiple murders.
  • Known for cutting off his victims' ears and sending them to their families, earning him the nickname "El Mochaorejas" or "The Ear Chopper".
  • He amassed over $40 million in ransom money from his kidnappings.
  • Mexican authorities captured him on August 19, 1998, in Naucalpan, Mexico State.
  • Upon his arrest, he confessed to four murders and was found to have an altar to Santa Muerte in his house.
  • In 2022, a court invalidated some statements related to his case due to potential illegal torture, leading to a reevaluation of his 40-year prison sentence.
  • The 2004 film Man on Fire features a character, Daniel "La Voz" Sánchez, based on Arizmendi López.
  • In 1998 Susan Ferriss of the Cox News Service wrote that Arizmendi was "Mexico's most notorious suspected criminal".


Daniel Arizmendi López been captured in Naucalpan, Mexico State in Greater Mexico City

He was originally apolice officer in Morelos. He began involvement in crime in the mid-1980s while he was a police officer. From 1996 until 1998 he was responsible for at least 18 kidnappings in Mexico. He often liked to sever the ears of his kidnapping victims. Because of this, he got the nickname "El Mochaorejas" ("The Ear Chopper"). He often sent the severed ears to the families of his victims. Officials from the police assisted him in his kidnappings. Through the ransom of his kidnappings he had collected over $40 million U.S. dollars.

Daniel Arizmendi López has been convicted

On August 19, 1998 Mexican authorities announced his capture. He was captured in Naucalpan, Mexico State in Greater Mexico City. On the day of his arrest, he confessed to murdering four people. Inside Arizmendi's house police found an altar to Santa Muerte. Police authorities allowed Arizmendi to bring a figure of Santa Muerte to prison, resulting in widespread press attention. Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar, the Mexican attorney general, stated that information originating from plea bargains of gang members in prison and legal wiretaps were used in the capture.


The character Daniel "La Voz" Sanchez in the 2004 film Man on Fire is based on Arizmendi López, and the character Aurelio Sanchez is based on Aurelio Arizmendi López, the brother of Daniel Arizmendi López. Just like the real Arizmendi López, "La Voz" believes in Santa Muerte. Kevin Freese of the Foreign Military Studies Office stated that "it appears that the allusion" of the fictional Sánchez brothers with the real Arizmendi brothers "escaped the comprehension of much of the audience."

Daniel Arizmendi López has been convicted while wearing sleeves


Daniel Arizmendi López Wikipedia

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