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Monday, November 23, 2009

Taco Tote Owners' Kin Slain in Juárez

The violence in Juárez claimed the life of a member of a prominent El Paso business family.

Rocío Casandra Heras Caballero, 27, related to owners of El Taco Tote, and her cousin, Humberto Caballero Moreno, 25, were killed earlier this month at La Cantera entertainment district, which used to be known as the safest place to have fun in Juárez.

Just two months ago, club managers and locals described La Cantera, on Tomas Fernandez Boulevard, as the place to spend the nights on weekends because of its enclosed design and high security.

But all that changed on Oct. 8 when a group of gunmen entered the Ghost bar at about 2 a.m. and opened fire at the table where Heras and Caballero were sitting with a group of friends. Heras and Caballero were slain, while an unidentified woman in her 20s was wounded.

When police arrived, Heras was found dead with gunshot wounds to the left side of her chest, while Caballero's body was found with several gunshot wounds to his legs, chest and face, Chihuahua state police said.

At least seven shell casings were found at the scene, according to police.

Heras and Caballero become the first victims to be killed in the popular entertainment district, which hosts 12 bars and restaurants, including Maria Chuchena.

Heras was the daughter of the owner of Juárez restaurant Mariscos Mazatlan and related to Pacifico Heras, founder and president of El Taco Tote.

Caballero was the son of the owner of La Capilla restaurant in Juárez.

El Taco Tote has five restaurants in El Paso, five in Juárez and and an additional 13 family-owned or franchise locations throughout the Southwest and Mexico.

El Taco Tote started in Juárez in 1988 and started franchising in 2003. Its corporate headquarters are now in El Paso.

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