JUAREZ, MEXICO – The country of Mexico is so rife with exploitation, it makes one wonder whether the “co” in Mexico is short for corruption.
According to reports coming in from Juarez, Mexico, a police chief based out of a northwestern Chihuahua town has been placed into federal custody in the country after having been linked to the murder of nine American citizens on November 4th of this year.
From what the Mayor of Janos revealed to media outlets within the country on Thursday, Fidel Alejandro Villegas was taken into custody on Christmas Eve by the federal police in Mexico and was transported over to Mexico City shortly thereafter.
Villegas had apparently served as the police chief of Janos, a town that rests just thirty miles southeast of Antelope Wells, New Mexico and seventy miles west of Juarez.
From what was detailed by Milenio, which is a major news outlet based in Mexico City, the police chief who is in custody is being questioned regarding the various drug trafficking outlets that conduct their business within the region.
The Sinaloa cartel and La Linea, the fragments of the former Juarez cartel, work in the region and were active in a string of skirmishes in the days leading up to the killing of nine members of the northwestern Chihuahua LeBaron clan.
On November 4th, three women and six children were massacred when three vehicles driving west of the Chihuahua-Sonora border were shot at multiple times. Officials in Mexico attributed the attack to being perpetrated by members within La Linea.
As of now, two individuals were apprehended who were believed to be involved in that shooting, brothers Hector Mario and Luis Manuel Hernandez. Te duo also happened to have hailed from Janos according to the federal Attorney General’s Office.
According to members of the family of the two brothers arrested, they were adamant in saying that Hector Mario and Luis Manuel Hernandez had nothing to do with the November 4th slaying.
Patricia Hernandez, the sister of two of arrested stated:
“We know, we are sure, they had nothing to do with this.”
Family of the two have gone so far as to even accuse the Mexican government of trying to fabricate culprits.
Sebastian Pineda, the mayor of Janos, stated on Thursday while being interviewed by a radio show called MVS that “everyone has been taken by surprise,” regarding the arrest of police chief Villegas. While conversing with the station, he also mentioned that the allegations being levied against the individual are very serious:
“It is a grave accusation. They are saying he’s involved in drug trafficking, with the massacre of LeBaron.”
Apparently, Villegas has been involved in policing within the area for nearly a decade.
Pineda said Villegas has been associated with the Janos Police Department since 2010 and been its police chief since 2016. He also mentioned that Villegas has always stressed the proper training of officers during his tenure.
Although, considering there’s always been notoriety regarding police corruption throughout the country of Mexico, any amount of tenure citied doesn’t do much to dispel suspicion when there’s something awry within a department in Mexico.
According to the mayor, Villegas was in control a total of 27 police officers that maintain a patrol of a wide strip of farm and ranch land in northwestern Chihuahua state. Pineda also mentioned during the radio interview that he hasn’t been officially notified by Mexican federal officials of any charges that are being formally brought against the police chief.
From that point on in the interview, Pineda stated that he didn’t have any further information regarding the developing case or arrest.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
No matter how much the media tries to convince you how safe Mexico is, just take one look at what happened earlier this week.
Once again, violence at the United States border with Mexico reminds us why we need to keep our borders secure and keep Mexican criminals on their side of the border.
An American dentist who was on his way back home from Mexico after visiting family for the holidays in the border city of Reynosa was waiting in a traffic jam to cross the border into McAllen, TX.
Oscar Manuel Ressendez, 41, who was married with two children was approached by multiple gunmen while sitting in his SUV on Dec. 23.
The suspects demanded the keys to his vehicle, which spurred an argument.
Ressendez got out of the car to confront the men and was shot once. The assailants fled the scene, after which several witnesses tried to help Ressendez as he lay in the road between two traffic lanes.
Paramedics from the Mexican Red Cross attempted to save Ressendez, but he was declared dead at the scene.
According to Breitbart, Mexican authorities are downplaying the murder of Ressendez, and in fact tried to make it appear that he was a Mexican national, although it was confirmed that Ressendez holds an American passport.
Breitbart confirmed with U.S. law enforcement authorities, as well as diplomatic sources that Ressendez was born in Texas.
While Ressendez practiced dentistry in Mexico, he held dual citizenship.
Mexico, which has been under pressure from the United States and President Trump to do something about violence in the country, issued a statement that claimed Ressendez was a “citizen of Reynosa that worked in a Pemex clinic.”
The news release attempts to downplay the crime, however on Christmas Day, another tourist was held up by gunmen, who then repeatedly beat him outside the same port of entry, according to El Manana. The victim in this case was wounded.
The latest murder and a rash of armed robberies in Reynosa ironically come after the Tamaulipas government started its winter security surge along several highways in the area of the border.
This is for anticipated increase of tourist traffic; however, it is unknown if additional security measures are being implemented. Mexico appears to be trying to downplay incidents such as this in order to avoid drawing international scrutiny, particularly that of the United States.
According to Business Insider, violence in Reynosa has been spiking since earlier this year, when a Gulf cartel leader was killed. Since then, several splinter groups have broken off from the cartel, while those left behind are fighting each other for influence.
Reynosa has seen numerous violent clashes between various factions of the cartel over the past several months.
Reynosa recorded 144 homicides through September, according to the Mexican government. Last year during the same period, Reynosa experienced 54 homicides, which is a 167% increase. According to the same Business Insider repot, it is believed that Mexican authorities actually underreport homicides.
Most of these murders occurred between May and June, which is just after the killing on April 22 of Juan Manuel Loisa Salinas, who was killed by Mexican authorities.
Salinas was the leader of much of the Gulf cartel, and his death seems to be the spark plug that set off the violence, according to Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Most of the violence has occurred between the members of the various factions, and with police and soldiers who are stationed around the city.
Along with homicides, other crimes have increased as well, such as kidnapping and car theft. In Tamaulipas, 113 people were kidnapped through September. Car theft is typically used by criminal gangs to procure vehicles.
The Gulf cartel members have become increasingly bold, to the point where they will post videos on social media advising residents to stay inside their homes while they attack rivals. They have been able to move around Reynosa as well as the nearby city of Rio Bravo unabated.
In addition to homicides, innocent bystanders have also been victimized, wounded by stray bullets, and parts of the cities have been shutdown due to shootouts between criminals and Mexican soldiers. School children have had to scramble under their desks to avoid becoming innocent victims.
While most times a strong cartel will splinter into two or three groups, according to Vigil. However, he said:
“The Gulf cartel has been crippled for a number of years, so now with the demise of El Comandante Toro [Salinas]…it splintered into so many groups you need a scorecard to keep track of them.”
According to the Mexican national statistics agency, a staggering 89.6% of residents say that they do not feel safe.
In early September, the state government implemented a so-called “United Plan” for Reynosa, where they allotted nearly $35 million for anti-crime infrastructure, along with development programs involving civil society and the commercial sector.
The governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco Cabeza de Vaca said, “It must be remembered that Reynosa is the most important city in the state—close to 20% of the population lives there.”
“It’s the most booming city in Tamaulipas [and] that which generates the most jobs, but at the same time it is where the quality of life has deteriorated the most.”
Another reason for the spike in violence may be Cabeza de Vaca’s rise to being the governor. He took over from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which had basically not done much to combat drugs and crime. Vigil said, “…they were bought and paid for by the remnants of the Gulf cartel.”
Cabeza de Vaca has made it a mission to put the cartels out of business and get control over the violence that is plaguing the state, and Reynosa in particular. That may not be easy, since there is not a central group or leader to target.
Finally, Vigil said:
“Right now it’s like a free-for-all. It has become a free-for-all, with just about everybody within the Gulf cartel.”
Violence such as this causes even more of a divide between anti-illegal immigration forces and open borders, anything goes zealots.
Those who advocate for President Trump’s wall and for stricter immigration policies point to violence such as occurs in Reynosa and other border towns. They point to the nine Americans who were killed in a highway ambush in November.
At the beginning of December, another nineteen people were killed in a gunfight between suspected cartel members and security forces in northeastern Mexico. Among those killed were four police officers, two civilians and 13 suspected cartel members. An additional six people were injured.
While liberals and Democrats rail against mass shootings in the United States, you don’t hear a peep from them when incidents such as the ones referred to above occur. Does anyone honestly think that by opening the borders, criminals such as this will suddenly turn into model citizens? Not likely.
Until Mexico gets their house in order, our borders need to be sealed, tightly. We have enough of our own problems in the United States. We do not need to import more.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!