El Paso Times
Mexican authorities arrested two alleged Azteca gang members in Juárez, one described as the second in command of the violent street gang, The Associated Press reported Saturday.
The men have been linked to 10 slayings, including the killing last month of a federal police officer.
They were identified as Gonzalo Dominguez Sanchez, known as "El Chore," and Eduardo Rocha, alias "El Dienton," both 29.
Federal police said Dominguez was the successor to alleged Azteca leader Jesus Ernesto Chávez Castillo, "El Camello," who was arrested July 2 and is believed to be the mastermind in the slayings of U.S. Consulate employee Lesley Enriquez Redelfs and her husband,
Rocha was described as the gang's second in command.
Federal police said the men were caught with an AR-15 rifle, two loaded pistols and more than 1.6 kilograms of cocaine.
Officials with the Mexican Attorney General's Office said Chávez, 41, was extradited to the U.S. on drug-dealing and unlawful possession of weapons charges earlier this month.
Chávez had been detained in Mexico City for two months on suspicion of carrying out the killings of Enriquez Redelfs and her husband in March.
Mexican officials handed Chávez over to the U.S. government in San Antonio. Several U.S. agencies have refused to discuss the case even though photographs of Chávez were taken at the federal courthouse in San Antonio.
The Redelfs were gunned down March 13 after leaving a children's party in Juárez. Another man, Jorge Salcido Ceni ceros, also was killed that day after leaving the same children's party. Salcido Ceniceros was married to another employee at the U.S. Consulate.
Chávez told Mexican police that Enriquez Redelfs was targeted because she provided visas to a rival gang. Chávez also told police the order to attack Enriquez Redelfs was made by gang members in the U.S.
The FBI, which joined the investigation in March, denied Chávez's allegation that Enriquez Redelfs was slain because of her job.
Who are the Aztecas?
Los Aztecas mainly operate out of Cuidad Juarez. They are the street level enforcers for La Linea and the Juarez Cartel. Unlike most gangs operating on the Mexican side of the border they originated from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
In El Paso they are commonly referred to as 'Barrio Azteca' but there is little to no difference between the two. Many of the members consider themselves genuine Aztec warriors decorating themselves with tattoos of original Aztec symbols such as plumed serpents or the Aztec calendar.
They have also been known to use Nauhuatl, the ancient language of the Aztecs as a means of encrypted communication.
Los Aztecas now reportedly control 80% of the prisons in Ciudad Juarez. However once in prison they gain another use, they become enforcers of the internal drugs trade and are used to assassinate people affiliated with other cartels.
Some of the worst outbreaks of prison violence last year in Mexico have been attributed to the three major street gangs. In one incident in Juarez prison, members of Los Aztecas overpowered guards and got access to the sector of the prison that housed rival gangs Los Mexicles and Los Artistas Asesinos who are linked to the Sinaloa cartel.
They opened the cells one by one beating and stabbing the inmates inside. When they had finished 20 prisoners lay dead some of whom had been stabbed at least 50 times, others had been thrown from the second floor balconies.
A similar incident happened
Also among their enemies is La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). It has been rumored that members of MS-13 have been contracted to fight the bitter turf war against the Juarez cartel on behalf of “El Chapo” and the Sinaloa cartel
Sources: El Paso Times, Blog del Terror, History Channel, Talkingdrugs.org