Barrio Azecta Leader Arrested in Mexico in Connection With U.S. Consulate Murders
March 30, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — The Mexican military arrested a leader of the border gang Barrio Azteca in connection with the death of three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez.
A Mexican federal police spokesman declined to release the name of the gang leader, but local media reports suggest that the leader is Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, who was arrested in a car Friday and held on a weapons possession charge.
On March 13, Lesley A. Enriquez, a consulate employee, Arthur H. Redelfs, her husband and Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a Mexican employee at the consulate, were killed after leaving a party. The 7-month old daughter of Enriquez and Redelfs was in the back seat of the car when her parents were killed.
Following the killings, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) and other U.S. agencies rounded up suspected members of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso, Texas for questioning.
“We think there may be some connection with the Aztecas, and we did an operation in El Paso to generate leads,” said Andrea Simmons, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I., according to the New York Times.
Barrio Azteca is rooted in the Texas prison system and operates on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, where members allegedly hire themselves out to the Juárez drug cartel. The alleged leader of the gang’s Juárez operation, Eduardo Ravelo, was on the F.B.I.’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives last year and is currently being sought by U.S. investigators.
Valles de la Rosa is also wanted in Mexico for the 2009 murder of rival Los Mexicles gang member, Marco Zapata Reyes.
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Image: scazon @ Flickr.