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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Mayor Candidate in Ciudad Juárez Was Imprisoned for Drug Trafficking in Texas 20 Years Ago

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

About 20 years ago, Rodolfo "Rudy" Alberto Benavides Cruz was arrested in El Paso, Texas, on marijuana trafficking charges. In the June 6 elections, he will run for mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua as a candidate for the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM).

Years after his arrest, Benavides became an evangelical pastor and was involved in the religious community in Ciudad Juarez. When he launched his campaign in April 30, several Christian pastors called him a "man of God". At the event, he confirmed his criminal record, but declined to give details, saying that "at some point" he will provide more information on the story. 

El Paso County jail records show that Benavides was arrested on March 11, 1998 on federal charges for transit, possession and importation of marijuana. He was placed at the disposal of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). About ten days later, he was released. However, the records do not show if he was deported and prohibited from future re-entries to the US, common procedures against Mexican nationals captured for drug trafficking.

Without confirming the amount of marijuana he was transporting and the criminal process he faced, Benavides claimed that he was deceived by cartel members. He also said that while he was arrested, the cartel was able to smuggle a larger load into the US since his arrest served as a distraction.

He said he does not remember the amount of drug he was transporting and that he was only behind bars for a short while.  "Only 10 days", he said.

"I was very, very young. It was more than 23 years ago. Today I am here, grateful to God mainly for this great opportunity to be able to serve society and to be able to participate in these 2021 elections towards the municipal presidency of Ciudad Juárez," he added.

He assured that the PVEM nominated him knowing he had a criminal record in the United States.

The Political Constitution of the State of Chihuahua establishes that to be elected as a member of a city council it is required, among other things, to be a Mexican citizen, a resident of Chihuahua, to be from the secular state, and not have been convicted in the last 10 years of any crime other than political ones.

A local newspaper newspaper documented that Benavides was also arrested in Ciudad Juárez in December 2017. He was charged with fraud in a scheme that involved up to MXN$40 million pesos and 80 people.

Benavides said that he was a victim of deception and betrayal by the accountant Mario Alberto Vázquez, as well as abuse of authority and intimidation by the former local National Action Party (PAN) deputy, Gustavo Alfaro. Benavides explained that for these events he was imprisoned one day. During the trial, it was found that the only person responsible was Mario Alberto Vázquez Zapata.

Benavides is well-known in the Christian community of Ciudad Juarez. He served as an evangelical pastor at the Linaje Real Family Center, but had to leave his religious position to run for office.

Sources: Noroeste; La Silla Rota; La Verdad de Juarez; El Heraldo de Chihuahua


  1. these pastors are almost as corrupt as the dealers. LOL

    1. They’re worst because they use the name of lord to justify their actions.

    2. @2:31 Amen brotha! Or sista...

    3. The perfect criminal enterprise to wash & enrich oneself (organized religion).

  2. Don't think he will win but he will probably get enough votes to keep his party afloat in Ciudad juarez and then pay everyone there who lives off the party's payroll.

  3. He got IN good with GOVERNMENT so now he's UNTOUCHABLE.. All the SICARIOS and capos will get killed or CAPTURED but he will be GOOD and if caught he will ONLY get a slap on THE BUTT for his good job (sarcasm)

  4. Where there is smoke there is usually fire....

  5. Mayor will be working together with the criminals.

  6. Lol. IT could have been an ounce and they wouldve tried to make him look like Escobar. They do that all the time.

    1. well from what it seems like he was caught at a border crossing... so it wasn't an ounce.

  7. Nunca es la culpa de este vato, si llega a ganar los achichincles van a deber todo lo robado por este buey

  8. Need more criminals in politics, look Hunter Biden,

  9. He was released in 10 days (bail bond) and fled to Juarez. He's an active fugitive in El Paso, Tx


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