The murder of one of El Chapo’s most brutal hitmen last week has served as a stark reminder of Mexico’s never-ending brutal and bloodthirsty drug war.

The corpse of Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, known as Chino Antrax, was discovered in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, last week after he fled probation in the US.

Born in the state’s capital Culiacan in 1980, he became a gangster in his teens and earned a reputation for his viciousness in street fights.

One of the Sinaloa Cartel’s leaders – Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada – recruited him into the organisation, and he later came to lead its armed wing Los Antrax.

El Chino, 39, regularly shared pictures on Instagram of his gun collection and luxury fleet of cars, along with snaps from decadent parties.

El Chino became a gangster in his teens and earned a reputation for his viciousness in street fights

Los Anthax gangsters, led by Chino until his arrest in 2013, wear skull rings decorated with diamonds and have carried out brutal acts of violence to consolidate the gang’s position, answering only to leader El Chapo.

In July 2010, they clashed with the Beltran Leyva cartel in the town of Tubutama, Sonora, in a shootout that left 30 people dead.

The following year, several of its members clashed with Mexican soldiers in southern Culiacan.

Troops found three kidnapping victims in a nearby safe house, one of whom had his toes and ears mutilated.

Following the assassination of Los Antrax’s ex-leader Francisco Arce Rubio in November 2011, 20 murders were carried out across the state of Sinaloa, each of them linked to the group.

Three bodies were found hanging from a bridge in the town of Guamuchil.

One of the victims had been tortured and there was a gaping hole in his abdomen.

The other two casualties were kept in a freezer until they were disposed of.

In 2013, Tijuana Cartel leader Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was killed by a hitman disguised by a clown at his own birthday party.

El Chino was reportedly the killer who infiltrated the event.

The bloodthirsty gangster regularly flaunted his wealth on Instagram

He was eventually arrested at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, at the request of the US in December 2013.

Chino served more than six years behind bars after pleading guilty to importing cocaine and marijuana into the United States from Mexico.

He co-operated with the US government during his time in custody and was released from the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in San Diego on March 3.

Arechiga was then assigned to a house in Southern California under federal probation supervision.

However, there was no sign of the hitman when his probation officer visited last week.

Los Antrax have carried out brutal acts of violence to consolidate the cartel's position

Earlier this week, Chino’s body was discovered in a BMW X5 on a road connecting Culiacan and Ayune in Sinaloa.

A photograph of one of the corpses was leaked on social media and it appeared to resemble Chino, who had previously altered his appearance with plastic surgery.

His family helped with official identification this weekend and forensic experts have since confirmed the findings.

Chino’s sister Ada Jimena Arechiga Gamboa and her husband Juan Garcia have been confirmed as the other two victims.

Foreign media reports that El Chino had planned to move back to Mexico, where his family is based.

They worked to keep El Chapo dominant in the ceaseless drugs war

On Friday, the trio were reportedly kidnapped from a house linked to the sister after a gun battle.

The bodies were discovered in an SUV the next day.

El Chino’s sister pleaded with the judge for leniency before his sentencing.

She wrote: “One of the greatest joys of my life was the birth of my brother Jose Rodrigo with whom I have spent a lot of time.”

Before being jailed, he told the judge: “I’m truly ashamed ... I promise you I will never again go the wrong way. I would like to be able to work honestly.”