El Diario de Coahuila (5-25-2014) By J. Jesus Esquivel
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
'There was an agreement to pacify the plaza. Last year, there was a meeting held in Culiacan with the people from the Sinaloa Cartel and the ones from here. In that meeting, they agreed to end the confrontations between the groups that were present here in Juarez.'
CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIH. (apro).-- "The clean up is coming." This is the rumor that is going around in the streets of this border town, whose residents have little by little regained some peace as murders related to drug trafficking have decreased during the past months.
"This plaza is controlled. Here in Juarez, there are no longer any confrontations over the drug smuggling routes," a source tells Proceso, a source that asks for anonymity for safety reasons.
For a long time -- especially during Felipe Calderon's administration -- considered the world's most dangerous city, Juarez today wears another face. More people walk its streets peacefully. There are more businesses open, one can see more vehicular traffic, and at night, bars and night clubs have numerous customers, including people who come across from El Paso, Texas, to have fun with more freedom than in their country, like they used to do eight years ago.
"There was an agreement to pacify the plaza. Last year, there was a meeting held in Culiacan with people from the Sinaloa Cartel and the ones from here. In that meeting, they agreed to end the confrontations between the groups that were present here in Juarez," he states.
It's not that the executions related to drug trafficking in Juarez stopped all of a sudden as a result of the supposed agreement negotiated in Culiacan. Today's executions -- which will continue for some time, explains the source-- are carried out differently, "more professionally", and only against those that "need to die".
Since September or October of last year, car to car executions -- so common here that they became the symbol for organized crime -- are less and less frequent.
The source asserts that those types of murders were committed by "the sicarios" (killers) with "Los Aztecas", young men between the ages of 15 and 17 years, recruited as soldiers in the struggle for control of the plaza between the Juarez, Sinaloa, Gulf, "Los Zetas" and the Beltran Leyva cartels.
"Professional killers have returned, tactical groups that wear black; like before, you know, with orders to pick up and eliminate only the necessary people, the kidnappers, extortionists, the retail drug dealers and those who think that they can become bosses", explains the source.
It was thought at one time that the Sinaloa Cartel would take over the plaza, but in this border town, not even the Juarez Cartel controls any more. Much less its leader, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, "El Viceroy".
-- Who controls the plaza? -- the source is asked.
-- "La Linea". They say "El Viceroy" is not even here, that he lives somewhere in Sinaloa, in his home country, that he has retired, that he's sick. The people he leads don't even live here in Juarez any more.
"La Linea", the group of sicarios led by Carrillo Fuentes to control the incursions of groups of drug traffickers that tried to take the plaza from him during the Felipe Calderon years, is today -- according to the source-- almost a powerful cartel.
-- Who is the leader of "la Linea", the one who controls Juarez?
-- "El Chuyin" and his people are in Ciudad Cuauhtemoc. The professional people are coming in from that town and from "Villa Ahumada" to pick up the bad guys who thought they were narcos and who were charging "cuotas" (protection money) to the people of Juarez, who don't have anything to do with the business (of drug trafficking). What you hear, and the truth is that's what you hear everywhere around here, is that pretty soon people of "La Linea" and the "Los Linces" group , who was no longer active, are coming in and they will carry out an "express" job throughout Juarez.
-- How is the "express" job going to work?
-- What we've been told is that "El Chuyin" wants his people to pick up the extortionists from the "Aztecas" and other groups in a few days. For them to do what needs to be done, and that's that. There's going to be a slaughter, then. Juarez will be national news again, but only people who have to die will die. Nobody else. After that, everything will quiet down, and when that happens, "El Chuyin" will move up here from Ciudad Cuauhtemoc.
"La Linea's" objective, according to the source, is "to work like they used to before and bring down the violence in the plaza". In fact, the U.S. anti-drug trafficking administration (DEA) admits that Ciudad Juarez is once again an important point for smuggling drugs into the U.S., but the city is strangely peaceful.
"La Linea" revives
Felipe Calderon's militarized battle against organized crime and drug trafficking exacerbated the war between criminals for control of plazas and drug trafficking routes. This created an environment of insecurity in which many small criminals adopted bloody patterns of conduct, like drug traffickers, to intimidate and extort society. And somehow, they did it.
The source analyzes it like this: "'Los Aztecas', 'Los Mazatlecos' and kids who felt like narcos and "Zetas" got their hands on weapons, and fear spread everywhere. They killed people just to kill somebody, they would demand protection money from everybody, and whoever did not pay, they killed. This is coming to an end, and they say it will end with the 'express' clean up".
-- Has Juarez changed that much these past few months?
-- If you don't believe me, ask the people. Even the Municipal Police is changing. The people of "La Linea" respects them more than they respect the Ministerial Police, not to mention the Federal police. They say that "El Chuyin" wants Juarez to be for the the people of Juarez again, including the Municipal Police.
The tactic used by "La Linea" is to cross drugs to the United States in cargo trucks when large loads are involved; for retail (drug sales), it takes them across the border using privately-owned vehicles or pedestrians ("ants"), according to the source's explanation, who insists on making it clear that people are "working like they did before the (Calderon) war against drugs started".
Consulted by Proceso, DEA sources in the area admit they don't know who controls the Ciudad Juarez plaza . They admit that, thanks to their Chihuahua informants, they know that "La Linea" is reviving and is becoming a power within the Juarez Cartel:
"No specific name has come up for the new chief; that's why we keep using the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes name, although we know that he's been delegating authority to his nephews and other relatives. It's true, Juarez is more peaceful with respect to violence, but there's a lot of drugs going through and that's a powder keg that could trigger another war at any time between organized crime groups", the DEA source declares.
The incursion and seizure of power by La Linea, the rudder for control of the Juarez plaza, and its alleged leader, "El Chuyin" -- according to the source who was consulted -- does not represent the end of border crime.