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

Friday, March 20, 2020

Gangsters Targeting Cops in Ciudad Juárez in Apparent Revenge-Driven Attacks

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

Police officers from Ciudad Juárez investigating a crime scene after an attack
Mexican authorities are under high alert after gangsters attacked policemen in several parts of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, this entire week. Close to a dozen attacks were reported by security forces in multiple locations, including near their local headquarters, at a gas station, and outside a school and hospital. Two policemen and two gangsters were killed. These attacks are part of a violent saga dating back to late 2019.

Investigators stated that the attacks showed that criminal cells operating in Ciudad Juárez were weakened and trying to intimidate them. However, others suggested a crude reality: the spike in violence is driven by vengeance. In recent months, authorities have arrested multiple cartel leaders and seized their drugs and weapons, but these measures have angered gang members and driven them to attack police officers indiscriminately. 

In late February, gangsters began targeting police officers in Ciudad Juárez after several government-led crackdowns. Chihuahua authorities confirmed that the attacks that month were derived from the 17 February arrest of Sinaloa Cartel regional boss Jorge Luis "El Lobo" Arvizu Marquez. The arrest of El Lobo dealt a large blow to the Sinaloa Cartel in the region and angered many in his gang, including his brother Francisco "El Jaguar" Arvizu Marquez. On 21 February, six gang members were killed by police officers near Casas Grandes, Chihuahua. Authorities confirmed that the gangsters were killed after they had surrendered

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in El Paso, Texas, grew worried about the direct attacks against police officers. They claimed that these incidents had not been seen in Ciudad Juárez at this rate since the start of Mexico's drug war. "The recent violence on police is certainly concerning. They are going after the authorities, the people in charge of enforcing the laws", said Kyle W. Williamson, who heads the DEA force in El Paso. 

El Lalo with his 7-month-old son during a family visit in prison
In addition, Jesús Eduardo "El Lalo" Soto Rodríguez was a major driver of the violence in Ciudad Juárez. He was behind bars at the Center of Social Reintegration No. 3 in the city but reportedly continued to be involved with Los Mexicles. In November 2019, when authorities tried to carry an investigation inside the prision, El Lalo's henchmen responded by carrying out homicides and burning 25 vehicles in Ciudad Juárez to distract them.

In February 2020, authorities decided to transfer him to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 14, a maximum-security facility in Villa Comaltitlán, Chiapas. Both prisons are on opposite sides of the country; Chiapas is approximately 2,900 km (1,801 mi) south from Ciudad Juárez. The move was done to stop El Lalo's gang activities and help reduce crime in Ciudad Juárez. But the transfer had many unintended consequences because violence spiked shortly thereafter when his faction increased their attacks against police officers.

Chronology of this week
Ciudad Juárez lived several violent episodes this week. Starting on Tuesday afternoon, gangsters attacked a police car in Batopilas street. One officer was wounded. Later in the evening, the house of a police officer who lived in Finca Bonita neighborhood was sprayed by bullets. No one involved in the attacks was arrested.

On Wednesday, four attacks against police officers were registered in Ciudad Juárez's southeastern region. They occurred in Fray García de San Francia neighborhood and outside a factory in Santiago Troncoso y Libramiento. Later that afternoon, authorities confirmed that a state police officer was killed in one of the shootouts.

Police officers take wounded to hospital after attacks
More attacks continued that day. While policemen were in Bolivia and 16 de Septiembre streets, they were attacked by more gangsters. Another attack broke out minutes later against other police officers who were outside a hospital. They were transporting one of their officers who was to be treated from his wounds he suffered in an earlier shootout.

In the hospital shootout, another police officer and at least one suspected gangster were killed. Five more people were wounded, including a law enforcement officer and a doctor and paramedic. It was later confirmed that a National Guard (GN) member and another police officer were also wounded. As the chaos ensued, Chihuahua authorities quickly issued a red alert and ordered all law enforcement officers in the city to be exercise extreme caution. 

Later that afternoon, another attack against police officers was reported in La Chaveña neighborhood. The police confirmed that gunmen attacked a patrol unit and injured one officer. When more police officers arrived at the scene, the assailants were no longer there. That evening, the GN erected several checkpoints across Ciudad Juárez to carry out vehicle inspections. This had a huge impact on traffic since many lanes were closed in major intersections. 
The two police officers killed in the attacks
On Thursday, Chihuahua authorities confirmed that 17 people reportedly involved in the attacks had been arrested. They also seized 21 firearms and 11 vehicles. In a press conference that day, Ciudad Juárez mayor Héctor Armando Cabada Alvídrez confirmed that the attacks were driven by revenge. He stated that gang members from Los Mexicles and La Empresa carried out the attacks after authorities seized their firearms and narcotics in previous operations. 

Security commissioner Jorge Nava López told reporters that the assailants were from the Barrio Azteca gang and that they were inexperienced gunmen. "People between the ages of 17 and 22 are responsible for the attacks against the police", he said. He explained to reporters that these gangsters start as scouts (halcones) or drug dealers and then are promoted to foot soldiers without receiving proper training.

That same day, another attack against police officers was reported near a university. By the end of the day, the total death toll had risen to four: two police officers (Alma González and Victor Valadez Martínez) and two suspected gang members killed. Most of the attacks took place within 24 hours

Sources: Since multiple sources were used for this report, I've added them as links in the body paragraphs for better readability. Most of the sources are from the media outlets Diario de Juárez, El Paso Times and KTSM.


  1. Cops side with a CARTEL and when another cartel wants to take OVER that PLAZA they usually start with the crooked cops
    Just like when cjng started in guanajuato, they KILLED lots of cops until they stopped supporting EL MARRO..

  2. The "untrained minors" Barrio Azteca members are actually facing initiation by shooting at the cops. When caught and arriving in prison they will be given the proper ritual to join the gang there. These kids are replaceable if they happen to die and most don't seem to care either. Gang mentality of the Barrios that has always existed in Juarez but only made more extreme and dangerous by the cartels.
    Sinaloa is on a down slide in the city but Juarez is not yet strong enough to once again complete dominating the city like it once did.

    1. True! These shootings are their entrance exams for school (prison). Never thought of it that way.


    3. Empresa, Linea, NCDJ etc...
      Juan Manuel Norberto Trevino Morales De La Cruz.
      Tipicos nombres y apellidos largos que les gusta ponerse los Mexicanos.

    4. Half Mexicles went with la linea the other half didn't this being done by those still loyal to cds

  3. Terrorists tactic measures are to be expected when sources of income are being tested.

    1. Hi there. What do you think is the end goal of these attacks? If anything they won't cause authorities to backoff, especially after a few of their comrades were killed. I wonder what's the plan.

    2. Yea thinking same
      but maybe they think the Cops will back down THE President did a horriable thing when he let the One big fish go
      So of course they will test the waters hoping for the same
      Never make Deals with Terrorists Ever

      and this is why

      but do ypu think these punk kids really think that far ahead ?

      I hope That The Good cops Dont back down And Mexico pays the Good cops alot more money to be risking their lives

      Money is what changes the Good to bad ?

      RIP To the Good Honest LE that lose their lives protecting

      go to hell to the rest..

  4. El Jaguar must be having a really hard time

  5. What's to be expected; when many cartels display the same outcome when their business investments are being disrupted. These gangs like many globally rely & depend on revenue for their survival.
    Question remains; what happens when all illicit sources of income are disrupted by government. Expect the worst of mankind. Creating violence at an unprecedented level not seen in
    it's history. Added with the destabilizion of its citizens with insecurity.
    Criminal organizations rely & depend on financial means at all costs.
    This drug war is evident enough to see the effects of such.

    Good work MX. Maintaining a neutral and informative reporter for BB. Your in depth articles are well noted & appreciated by those who have a special interest (love for the world).

    Again great job

    1. Great points, E42. When authorities disrupt a certain cartel operation, gangsters quickly adapt and find ways to bring money to the table some other way, oftentimes in crueler ways.

      And thank you for the support. I enjoy reporting and laying the background story for each case that way our readers can understand the bigger picture, too. It takes more time but it's worth it.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. So we are going to overlook the fact that the police murdered 6 kids who had surrendered? Not condoning the gang life or the attacks on cops, but WTF?

    1. Kids that were Drug dealers and thugs Really

      Have you read about the court system in Mexico These ""kids would be back on streets killing more cops before you can say boo
      I dont know much but if its
      them or me Its gonna be them.
      and dont believe everthing you read ITS proven that some storys will twist it to favor someone

      NOT Saying its BB writers or reporters that are twiting it
      they only report whats told to them.

      And in these storys you have to remember . All the familys say their kids are innocent
      didnt do nothing
      Its a different world down there
      The Law Justice in courts side many many times with criminals

      so maybe we should open our minds abit It mind blowing
      ps I was blown away on many stories but until I got a small tiny picture in my head about the huge amount of corrupt Cops and how gangs are just as bad they kill innocents daily woman children etc So hold off ..
      a picture will emerge once you read more, watch videos
      Then you will be really blown away and understand we dont know Crap about these gangs and people Its their world
      And BB brings the best news if not for them We would not know anything
      But take some news with a grain of salt until told otherwise by these here that know more
      the comments section can tell you more about these kids innocence or not

  7. these aint gangsters there thugs


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