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5 residents from Uruachi, Chihuahua, killed by cartel members

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The shooting occurred on a rural highway leading to Santisimo de Abajo, a village in Uruachi municipality. All of the perpetrators at large.

Violence in the state of Chihuahua is not only high but often merciless. Five residents from the indigenous  community of Santisimo de Abajo in the municipality of Uruachi, Chihuahua, were ambushed and killed by cartel members yesterday afternoon. They were driving home through a mountainous road when gunmen fired at them for unknown reasons. When authorities arrived at the scene, they found the corpses with bullet wounds and their Toyota truck on fire.

Three of the victims, Misael Elmer, Genaro Alex, and Mario Huber R. R., died at the scene before paramedics arrived. The last two were siblings. The driver and owner of the vehicle, Alan P. M., was gravely wounded and was taken a hospital in Cuauhtémoc municipality. However, he died before he was able to receive medical attention.

Uruachi is a small municipality in western Chihuahua, located on the heart of the Sierra Madre mountain. It has a population close to 2,000, most of them indigenous Tarahumara people. Since the start of Mexico’s drug war, Uruachi has been affected by cartel violence and illegal mining and logging. This convergence has added another layer to the cartel war in the region.

Uruachi is considered part of the Lower Sierra region in Chihuahua. This region has historically been under the control of Sinaloa Cartel-affiliated groups like Los Salazar.

Historically, Sinaloa Cartel-affiliated groups like Los Salazar have controlled Uruachi and other towns that are part of the Low Sierra municipalities. Groups once affiliated with the old Juarez Cartel, like La Linea, control most of the High Sierra municipalities. These criminal groups seek to control towns like Uruachi by infiltrating local party candidates and municipal police forces.

In 2011, residents in Uruachi began to arm themselves to protect their homes and families from a group of armed men who had surrounded the community. The mayor said that cartel members had posted themselves in the hills surrounding the area and were involved in a series of attacks that left several homes damaged, as reported by Borderland Beat.

The following year, security forces killed plaza boss Antonio Erives Arduño (“El Toño”), who headed a Sinaloa Cartel cell in Uruachi. He was competing with his former colleague Julio César Aguilar García (“El Vaquero”), former regional boss of La Linea. Borderland Beat reported that some local residents said that things were “calm” in Uruachi until La Linea arrived.

Source: Diario de Chihuaua; Letra RojaNoticias Chihuahua; LARR; Borderland Beat archives


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