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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Federal Judge Attacked by Gunmen

Armed assailants wounded a Mexican federal judge in the western state of Nayarit and killed one of his bodyguards, judiciary officials said on Friday.

Judge Carlos Alberto Elorza Amores “was attacked (Thursday afternoon) by gunmen at a housing estate” in the town of Xalisco, Jose Vilches, spokesman for the Federal Judicial Council, or CJF, said.

Xalisco is located near the Nayarit state capital of Tepic, where Elorza presides over a federal court.

“The bodyguards who were accompanying him repelled the aggression, but one was gunned down,” Vilches said. The other two bodyguards assigned to Elorza were “slightly wounded” in the attack.

The CJF spokesman said the bodyguard protection afforded Elorza was “normal” for a federal judge.

Elorza sparked controversy in June when he ordered the arrest of Gregorio Sanchez, a candidate for governor of the state of Quintana Roo and former mayor of Cancun, a ruling that stymied the political aspirations of that politician with the leftist PRD party.

Sanchez currently is battling charges that include promoting drug trafficking, membership in organized crime (through his alleged links with the Beltran Leyva and Los Zetas drug cartels) and money laundering.

After Sanchez was barred from the race for governor, the national chairman of the PRD, Jesus Ortega, questioned Elorza’s independence and said he had been involved in other cases of PRD politicians and officials indicted and later released due to lack of evidence.

Last year, Elorza jailed roughly 30 mayors and public officials in the western state of Michoacan, most of them PRD members accused of connections with the La Familia Michoacana crime syndicate.

Most of those public officials have gradually been released due to a lack of evidence.

The apparent beneficiary of Sanchez’s legal troubles is the once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which currently holds the governorship of Quintana Roo.

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