Aztecas drug gang unleashes attacks on Juarez police after leader’s capture 'The Iraqi' is blamed for 50 murders, kidnappings and extortions in Juarez
by: Julian Resendiz
Posted: May 21, 2020 / 12:27 PM CDT / Updated: May 21, 2020 / 12:27 PM CDT
JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — Juarez experienced a night of violence following the capture of an alleged mass murderer and leader of the Los Aztecas drug gang.
Authorities reported four separate attacks on police between Wednesday night and Thursday morning that left two officers and one civilian injured, several squad cars shot up and five alleged assailants behind bars. A police official late Thursday morning said four other assailants had been killed.
The gun battles started shortly after authorities announced the capture in neighboring Coahuila state of Jose Dolores Villegas Soto, a.k.a. “El Iraki” or “The Iraqi.”
“This person is part of an organization known as Los Aztecas,” Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral said Thursday morning. “He has been identified as the person responsible for up to 50 murders.”
Villegas fled Juarez in late January after a spree of attacks on drug distribution centers in the city that left 20 people dead, Corral said. One of those attacks involved the shooting of five alleged meth addicts in the patio of a home in a working class neighborhood.
Villegas was in charge of up to 50 street–level drug dealers and assassins and was a leader in the Aztecas gang structure, the governor said. The Aztecas have been often linked to the old Juarez cartel, now known as La Linea.
“In addition to ordering executions, sometimes he participated personally” in the murders, Corral said. “Not only were rival traffickers killed, but sometimes also people who belonged to his own criminal structure.”
In a press call Thursday morning, Chihuahua Attorney General Augusto Peniche said Villegas kept a tight grip on his subordinates, physically assaulting and killing some of them on suspicion of betrayal or “indiscipline.”
He said all police agencies in Juarez and the Mexican National Guard were well-coordinated in their response to the attacks and were patrolling the streets to quell further violence.
“Everything is under control. Yesterday we had a coordinated response to contain this irrational violence,” he said. “(Today), we are working with our intelligence units to identify and prevent further threats.”
The Chihuahua attorney general said Villegas would be prosecuted on 12 criminal counts, beginning with one involving the kidnapping of a man whom he allegedly later murdered.
Villegas had been arrested several years ago on extortion and weapons charges.
One of the targets of the Aztecas gang last night was the State Police Station in Juarez. Local news media report the arrival of up to 100 police officers to the scene, some in shorts and other civilian clothes, to safeguard the station against another attack.
Ricky Churches, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what’s going on in the Juarez area since November. Do you know what groups / factions / cartel leaders are fighting in the plaza?
I wrote this article back in March explaining the turmoil but I have no idea if things have changed since then. I was in El Paso for about a month during quarantine and asked a few natives if they knew anything but seems like the news only cover the surface. Since you’re from the area I figured I could ask.
Any direction on where to read up will be of use too. Thanks!
I'm going to be honest I have no idea as far as names. La Linea has a very strong hold on the city. It's all you hear about "Lineros"... I hear out in the valley, the outskirts of the city, there is Gente Nueva. Los Mexiles are now with La Línea. Those guys are usually the ones causing all the crap out in the streets.
There are no fights for the Plaza as in other places in Mexico as far as finding decapitated sicarios with mantas and threatening each other. I get most of my local news from El Diario and nationwide from BB. I will occasionally get a few links from my girlfriend like the shooting that happened a few nights ago. Was mostly hearing gunshots from a distance.
For instance, I just got this, a shooting against two agents. I also heard they shot up a cops house but no link yet.
Ciudad Juárez— A second attack against agents of the Municipal Public Security Secretary was registered this Saturday around 10:00 at night in the Felipe Ángeles neighborhood, a fact that occurs an hour after another similar one had occurred in the south of the city.
According to the information that was released about the case, an element of the Municipal Police was wounded when they attacked his house, located on Tabasco and Jacintos streets, in the aforementioned neighborhood, in the northwestern area of this border.
Other attacks against police officers were on public roads, but this was registered at his home, as far as armed men who shot him, it was said.
The agent was transferred for his medical attention to the Femap hospital, located near the municipal presidency.
A large number of elements of the Municipal Police and other police corporations came to support the attacked agent, in addition to looking for the aggressors in that sector of the city.
This was the second attack against municipal police this Saturday, around 9:00 p.m. another similar event had been recorded at the height of the roundabout at kilometer 20 of the Pan-American highway, where another agent was injured.
So far, no detainees are reported as responsible for these two attacks against local police officers.