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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, August 29, 2022

In Juarez "The Violence Has Not Gone Away"

 "Ivan" for Borderland Beat 

Hundreds of municipal, state, federal and joint operations have not ended the violence in Ciudad Juarez. They have not defeated any of the criminal organizations nor have they brought order to the prisons.

Hundreds of municipal, state, federal and joint operations have not ended the violence in Ciudad Juarez. They have not defeated any of the criminal organizations nor have they put order in the prisons, so that when two groups of inmates confront each other in the prison, the consequences explode in the streets... that is why, regarding the attacks on civilians on Thursday 11, criminologist Óscar Máynez says that violence never left the city.

CHIHUAHUA, Chih. (Proceso) - The citizens of Juarez relived the anguish of the violence of 2009 and 2010, when last Thursday the 11th one of the criminal groups operating in the region committed crimes at will and went against the civilian population with a fury not seen since those years.

On that day 11 people were killed and 14 wounded, most of them innocent victims, such as two women who were in a store and four radio workers who were making a live broadcast.

However, it is suspected that the murder of two men in the Social Reinsertion Center (Cereso) number 3 is related to that wave of violence.

Since the state government of Cesar Duarte, the so-called Sonora Group has controlled this and other prisons (Proceso 2051). One of its main promoters was Eduardo Guerrero, then Prosecutor for the Execution of Sentences, then head of federal prisons in the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and later "international" advisor on prison security to Jaime Rodriguez Calderon when he governed Nuevo Leon.

In September 2021, a judge issued an arrest warrant against Guerrero for allegedly diverting millions of dollars to ghost companies linked to the Inés Gómez Mont and Víctor Álvarez Puga case.

Regarding the criminal acts of Thursday 11 in Ciudad Juarez, authorities arrested nine men as alleged perpetrators, but none were charged for the murders. One of the detainees was hospitalized, went into a coma and died on August 16.

The defendants who were brought before a control judge in Chihuahua City alleged in court that they were tortured by municipal police.

The visitor of the State Human Rights Commission in Ciudad Juarez, Eduardo Saenz, informed that on Friday 19 they initiated an ex officio complaint based on the denunciations, documented by local media, to investigate the death of William Serafin Lopez Padilla or Francisco Alejandro Medina Arellano.

The violent day on that "black Thursday" began around 1:00 p.m., with a brawl between criminal groups inside Cereso 3, during visiting hours. The relatives of the inmates came out frightened and demanded that the authorities clarify what was happening and whether the inmates were all right. That afternoon two inmates died and four were injured.

Later, state and federal authorities entered the prison to contain the brawl between the Mexicles and Chapos groups, according to federal authorities.

The mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Cruz Perez Cuellar, refused to give information during his Monday morning conference because he considers it irresponsible to "uncover" what happened in the Cereso, as it would be to "unsettle" the situation even more and indicated that it is up to the State Attorney General's Office (FGE) to investigate the events of August 11.

Chihuahua's attorney general, Roberto Fierro Duarte, has also refused to name the names of the criminal groups involved because, he says, "it would be like giving them publicity".

In this regard, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador assured in his morning conference that the state authorities rejected the help of the Army to contain the brawl, an attitude he considered strange and warned that what happened in the Cereso will be investigated.

The federal Undersecretary of Public Security, Ricardo Mejia Berdeja, announced that the violent day was due to a local problem between criminal groups deeply rooted in that border, since whenever there is a conflict in prisons, there are always reactions outside. In this case, the Mexicles broke into the area of the prison where the fight occurred and subsequently attacked civilian groups in the streets.

The prisons in the state of Chihuahua are in charge of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office for the Execution of Sentences, which depends on the FGE, and since the government of César Duarte they have been controlled by the Sonora Group.

During the government of Javier Corral Jurado, Attorney General Cesar Augusto Peniche Espejel announced that there were no arrests or open investigations into the operation of the prisons during that administration. The same group continued to be in charge.

In the midst of the fire

López Obrador acknowledged that in Ciudad Juárez the most serious thing is that innocent people were attacked. Mejía Berdeja agrees, who pointed out that the criminal actions in that city were worse because they attacked the civilian population.

Oscar Máynez Grijalva, a criminologist from Juarez, points out that so far there are only speculations about the motive of the violence on Thursday 11: if a group tried to occupy the territory of the local cartel, if they tried to pressure the federal authority to break into Juarez and inhibit the operation of one of the cartels, or if it was triggered by an alleged transfer of an important or dangerous prisoner.

The criminologist indicates that in Ciudad Juarez there are moments when society normalizes violence, "but this time it went out of the patterns because innocent people were attacked. Usually there are countless dead bodies; as a defense mechanism they rationalize that they are involved, but now there were cashiers, a child, journalists, who had nothing to do with it.

"Thirteen or fourteen months ago Juarez lived a state of siege. Juarez society is very resilient, violence goes down and they go out again to make a living.The problem is that there is no rule of law.

For Máynez Grijalva, the criminal groups that generated violence in several states almost simultaneously tried to pressure the authorities to do or not to do something, although he assumes that these are criminal groups that operate in each state and it seems that the attacks occurred due to local conflicts.

"Obviously in Guanajuato, Jalisco, Baja California, they are local issues, perhaps internal groups, but in the end the fact is that the State does not exercise the monopoly of violence that it should. In Juarez violence has not gone away, there are periods when it takes root and then it normalizes.

"In Ciudad Juarez, the information on the demands of these groups should be available to the Security Roundtable, where representatives of all levels participate, to know the real causes (...) We do not have authorities or security structures that are at the level of the city's needs. There should be a constant presence of federal authorities because neither the state nor the municipality has the capacity to confront organized crime. There is a lot of infiltration of organized crime in these types of institutions. A federal strategy is required and not just the National Guard taking walks through the streets to inhibit, because it is only for a while, they leave and everything remains the same".

He recalled when the military and the Federal Police arrived between 2008 and 2010 was when violence increased in Ciudad Juarez, so in addition to a strategy it is required to clean up the corporations.

The federal government has deployed 6,000 elements in the city for this year: 1,000 from the Mexico Joint Task Force, 300 from the regional task force, 4,865 military personnel and 796 from the National Guard, according to the federal Undersecretary of Public Security.

The victims

The inmates killed in Cereso 3 on Thursday 11 were Kevin Alan Campos Aguilera and Raúl Abraham Sepúlveda Olivas.

At the Bip Bip store, the assassins murdered María del Refugio Gómez Ramírez, 54, and Zaira Janet de Santiago Castro, 18.

Jose Manuel Balderas Ruiz, 54, was killed on Teofilo Borunda Avenue and Oscar Flores Boulevard. Outside the Little Caesars pizzeria they shot the announcer of Mega Radio for Switch 105.9, Allan Gonzalez Escobar, along with the operations manager Armando Guerrero; Lino Flores, from the promotions area, and an escort identified as Manuel Alejandro Arriaga.

They also killed Cristian Omar Zúñiga Morales, 13 years old. One more person died after being in a hospital due to gunshot wounds. In addition, 14 people were injured in the burning of at least four stores and several vehicles.

On Sunday 14, the Public Security Secretariat of Ciudad Juarez apprehended nine alleged perpetrators of the violence on the 11th, but two were released for lack of evidence.

The following Thursday, Jorge Antonio C. B. was indicted for his alleged participation in the burning of a truck on Rivera de Delicias street, Riveras del Bravo neighborhood, and for making an attempt on the life of a person on Thursday the 11th.

He is accused of throwing burning bottles at a parked truck and for making an attempt against its manager, who tried to extinguish the fire but the alleged offender threw an incendiary bottle at him.

Five of the detainees are scheduled to face trial this Friday for attacking municipal police officers with firearms when they were being chased to arrest them. The accused are Manuel Alfredo L.G., Jorge Adrián V.L., Ezequiel A.C., Víctor Hugo L.T. and José Antonio L.E., also accused of damaging official vehicles.

The other detainee, William Serafín L P. or Francisco Alejandro M.A., was not presented before the judge because he had to be hospitalized for injuries.

In the hearing for the formulation of the charges against the five detainees (criminal case 25444/2022), those who allegedly attacked the municipal agents and the secretary of Public Security of Ciudad Juarez who headed the operation, Omar Muñoz Morales, denounced that they were tortured.

According to the accused, the police officers beat them with boards, placed plastic bags over their heads, tied them up and burned their genitals to make them plead guilty.

Muñoz Morales, in an interview with Proceso, clarifies that the detainee who died in the hospital jumped over fences like the others and shot at the agents, which is why he was injured there. He denied that they had committed torture and said that the investigation would be in the hands of the FGE.

On a Facebook page in the name of Arturo Delgadillo (, which was recently created, it was reported that William Serafin L.P. or Francisco Alejandro M.A. was severely beaten and left in a coma:

"How can it be possible that there is a government that allows this type of atrocities, with the eagerness to deliver good news and say that they already found the culprits of the unfortunate events that occurred in Ciudad Juarez, taking any person who at the time could not legally identify himself and forcing him to accept the recent crimes with torture to the extent of leaving him in a coma and currently he is in a serious state of health. And they still have the cynicism to present him before the judge as if he were fine and only present evidence that they say they have".

In the same profile there are photographs apparently of that person in the hospital and one more, presumably from when he was arrested. Because of this version, the State Human Rights Commission initiated an ex officio complaint on Friday 19.



  1. If the city refused federal assistance in containing the violence at CERESO, that must be investigated. Did they refuse assistance because city and state actors are profiting off of the inmates and their families in CERESO? It should be interesting to hear what develops from this situation.
    Thanks Ivan for the heads up. I hope you pursue this story and provide us with updates.

  2. If CDS can keep they're hands off Juarez there will be peace in Juarez.

  3. I grew up in Juarez from 1988-98 and I’ll tell you that the narco-violence has always been rampant but like the article says “normalized” by civilians in an attempt to move on with your day to day life. I grew up with 2 uncles that were Judiciales back then, and as much as I love and care about them I will be the first one to say that they were scumbags and corrupted all the way around.. today one of them is president of his local electrical union and the other is locked away in Maricopa County on trafficking charges … I blamed them for a long time for exposing me to murder at a young age (7yrs old) when i first saw two ejecutados one with their head blown to bits and the other still gasping for air and clinging to the minutes of life he had left … I saw his face when his life finally ended, the grotesque scene of human destruction didn’t bother me as much as the lack of empathy from the cops, paramedics and onlookers present.. cops were laughing talking nonchalantly about they’re weekend while this man was looking desperately around for some miracle to save him … that’s what I found disturbing and yet part of me is thankful that I witnessed such atrocities.. when I’m having a shitty day, I’m always reminded that someone in the world is having a shittier one

    1. So you're saying somehow they were murdering people and you witnessed 2.
      I am glad to hear you don't live there anymore, anyone that is there, dream of moving to USA to avoid hardship.

  4. 6:29:
    Thank you for your insight. It is unfortunate that you had to witness such events as a child, but it is good that you grew from them.

  5. Bastards. I'm white yet I never had trouble with the citizens of Juarez. Just the police. When I had to deal with them I knew that I wasn't really talking to the law. I have had several friends that had family there and we'd go visit them. We didn't talk about drugs. Just about women and tequila.
    I miss it so much. Compared to El Paso, Juarez is just so much more alive. Well, it was until some guy named Calderon came along.
    The 1990's in Juarez are no comparison to the 2000's.

  6. Juarez was the place to go. Even Al Capone went there. Los tigres del norte say it in pacas de a kilo. My dad use to take us. It was fun. It was crowded back then. Lots of tourist

    1. Tourist and gringo expatriates hope you made it your home since you brag about the crappy town.

  7. Those guys deserved getting tortured and their genitals burnt for targeting innocents. But I'm sure them dirty cops only did it because they were getting shot at, they could care less about the population they abuse.

  8. Sinaloa cartel acted out on Balck Thursday ordering the Mexicles gang faction under it's control to destroy the city of Juarez because of two of it's members being killed in the Cereso prison that day.
    Yes violence continues in Juarez till today after a decade of it but Sinaloa is the only cartel that has gone directly after innocents in the past few dozen years at least.


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