Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Jalisco prosecutor: Matazetas are responsible for murder of Guadalajara area mayor
*Updated Aug. 8*
Jalisco attorney general Luis Carlos Nájera told a Mexican national news service earlier today that one of the nation's most violent drug cartels, Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), commonly known as Los Matazetas (the "Zeta Killers"), was responsible for Sunday's execution of the mayor of Ayutla County, Jalisco, a rural community located in rugged country west of metro Guadalajara.
The Matazetas are based in and around Guadalajara and suburban Zapopan, and dominate the state.
Mayor Manuel Gómez Torres and an escort were ambushed Sunday evening by unidentified gunmen who fired at them multiple times. Gómez Torres was a member of Mexico's center right National Action Party (PAN). He was the first Jalisco mayor killed by organized crime since the state's current Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) administration took office in early 2013.
Nájera offered no motive for the crime, but did not discount the possibility that Gómez had links to organized crime. The state's chief prosecutor did not say why he had concluded that CJNG was behind the attack. Nájera belongs to PRI, and some PAN officials have called for his resignation.
Matazeta killings, including mass executions, have been common in the metro exurbia since 2013, as evidenced by the discovery of many local narco fosas (burial sites). Jalisco prosecutor reports narco grave near Guadalajara-Chapala highway.
On May 13 a heavily armed Matazeta squad attacked a convoy of Mexican soldiers in broad daylight not far from Ayutla. Matazetas ambush, kill four Mexican soldiers in Jalisco.
Authorities claim CJNG trafficks heavily not only in drugs, but in stolen fuel supplies which it resells at enormous profit.
Aug. 8 - A political aid to murdered mayor Manuel Gómez Torres and a deputy police chief of Ayutla were formally charged with the homicides today by the Jalisco state prosecutor. The former has told investigators that Gómez Torres "had an arrangement" with CJNG. The police official did not deny participation in the two victim ambush, but said that he did so only because he had been threatened by the local Matazeta boss and feared that his family would be murdered if he did not comply. The motive for the executions remains unclear.
Jan. 30 - Federals capture key Matazeta operative in suburban Guadalajara
Apr. 27 - "Zeta killer" boss arrested in Puerto Vallarta
July 26 - Regional violence remains unabated in Michoacán, and spares no political party
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at 8:15 PM