Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, October 16, 2009

Los Linces

Los Linces (The Bobcats) are former soldiers of the Army's special forces and are now the main group of assassins (sicarios) of the Juarez cartel or the branch cell known as La Línea which are headed by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes. Just like Los Zetas of the Gulf Cartel, Los Linces operate with military tactics, they move in cells of no more than five to avoid being detected and are usually armed with sophisticated first class combat weaponry and equipment.

Highly trained by the Mexican Armed Forces, Los Linces sole role is to execute targeted victims. They speak with no one within the criminal organization except for the kingpins of the Juarez cartel. Very few people within the Juarez Cartel know of their whereabouts or know anything about their identity, but inside La Línea they are feared.

This group of assassins consists of up to 80 active members. They are recruited from different parts of the country such as Sinaloa, Veracruz and other parts south. The federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) has not officially confirmed their existence but testimony from suspects that have been arrested and witnesses under the protection of the government have provided information of their presence.

With the protection and complicity of federal, state and municipal police officers, Los Linces have managed to clean up their tracks by setting up untraceable barriers at sites where they operate, mainly in cities like Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez. The logistical criminal network of accomplices within the Juarez cartel has allowed Los Linces to avoid arrest in the midst of the war for control of the lucrative drug trade that is being fought with the Sinaloa cartel branch cell Gente Nueva.

The first known group of ex-soldiers who had ties to the drug cartelz were known as Los Zetas, who in 2000 broke out from the state of Tamaulipas in to the public arena and since then have been considered a very dangerous group.

Testimonials About "Los Linces"

Martin Hugo Valenzuela Rivera, who was arrested on December 26, 2008 by the Army in Chihuahua, gave his version of Los Linces as follows:  "Many times I was the chauffeur for Los Linces who I drove around. I only knew them by sight and knew them to be members of military groups such as the GAFE (Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales) or (Special Forces Airmobile Group) which is a very powerful special forces unit of the Mexican Army trained by the world’s special forces, but now work for La Línea. "

"Their sole function is to execute people they have been ordered to kill. They move around in different types of vehicles and are always driven by someone else. We always met them in homes inside gated communities and saw them with a vast number of equipment such as ballistic vests, helmets, long rifles, assault weapons and even grenades," said Rivera.

Los Linces are said to be not larger than 80 strong in total strength and are broken down in groups of four or five. Another of the detainees of that cartel, a former police officer by the name of Pizarro Gustavo Salcido explained that when Los Linces operate, "We only protect the area where they are going to operate. We circled the block to see if there is any law enforcement activity. We only communicate with them by radio."

Yes I am aware of Los Linces, confessed Jesus Jose Aragon Lopez, "El Jesu", a former pizza delivery driver who was tasked to monitor the streets for La Linea. "They are handled different from us, I've always heard them on the two way radio after someone informed us that they were coming in our area, but they never give us more information than that.

Sometimes Los Linces complete their assignments by murdering victims from moving cars. Other times they kidnap their victims to question them before they execute them. Sometimes they are ordered to enter homes, offices or shopping malls to commit their mayhem which are ordered form the very top level of the Juarez cartel.

The Executions

The number of murders in which Los Linces have participated are endless. The victims have been state officials, mayors and former mayors, ministerial or municipal police, or even enemies with debts to pay. Sometimes they just kill the competition which includes members of the Sinaloa cartel branch "Gente Nueva."

Among the victims of Los Linces is the director of Expert Services, Pedro Aragonez, former mayor of Aquiles Serdán Leonel Carrillo Roberto Marquez, who was known as "El Bachichas," the commander and Ministerial Police Director Jose Torres Duran, a manager within Wal-Mart, a narc detective executed in a police station, and the beheading of four men.

The Mexican authorities maintain that Los Linces are behind to the attack against Chihuahua Governor José Reyes Baeza when an armed commando attacked his convoy of vehicles. The proof of this was when authorities captured one of the suspected assailants and was identified to be an ex-military man identified as Eduardo Hernandez Valdez, who served in the Army between 2001 and 2003.

1 comment:

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