Sunday, March 9, 2014

At one year, assassination of Jalisco tourism minister remains an open file

Guadalajara -
On a sunny Saturday afternoon one year ago today, José de Jesús Gallegos Álvarez, the Jalisco Secretary of Tourism, was returning to his suburban home after an appointment at the statehouse downtown. An organized crime execution squad intercepted him in route and gave chase, causing Gallegos to lose control of his vehicle. As he staggered out of the car, sicarios pumped multiple .9mm slugs into his body. Gallegos died at the scene, in a neighborhood not accustomed to drug war violence on full display. MGR's original story: Jalisco Secretary of Tourism assassinated in Guadalajara.

On May 13 the Jalisco state prosecutor announced the arrest of four men in the case, all alleged to be members of the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), commonly known as the Matazetas (the "Zeta killers"). Drug cartels behind three recent Guadalajara attacks.

Since that date a fifth man has been taken into custody. Authorities here say they are still looking for three others, including the CJNG operative who ordered the hit. In preliminary statements to police, the men have said that the motive for Gallegos's execution was his alleged financial backing of a competing criminal organization. Although it has not been identified by authorities, there are at least three possibilities: two smaller groups which were born in Jalisco early last year, one known as La Corona and the other as Los Aliados, and the yet powerful Los Caballeros Templarios, who have dominated the drug trade and organized crime in neighboring Michoacán state in recent years. All three are bitter enemies of the Matazetas.

Mar. 23 - A sixth suspect, a 21 year old woman, has been taken into custody in this case. Police say she monitored the movements of Gallegos Álvarez in the days leading up to his murder.

June 2, 2014 - Jalisco tourism boss was Templarios money launderer, killed on orders of Matazetas
Jan. 30, 2014 - Federals capture key Matazeta operative in suburban Guadalajara
Jan. 26, 2014 - Twenty Michoacán police officers charged as "Zeta killers"
Apr. 23, 2013 - Guadalajara's mayor: "I'm worried about security"

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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