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|According to investigators, there may be a possibility that these Sinaloa Cartel members from Valle de Zaragoza Municipality were killed by another Sinaloa faction based in Parral Municipality.|
The bodies of six men were found during the early morning in Zapien, a rural community in Parral, Chihuahua. Personnel from the State Investigation Agency arrived at the scene following an anonymous call and discovered the bodies.
All of the victims were shot dead; at least two were beheaded. Preliminary reports indicate that the victims were between 25 and 30 years old. After the discovery, the police cordoned the crime scene and called on foresic experts to gather evidences there.
Investigators say that four of the five victims were from Sinaloa and believe they were part of the Sinaloa Cartel faction Gente Nueva. Among the dead was Rogelio Adán Vega Rodríguez alias ‘El Rojo’, who was the plaza boss of the Sinaloa Cartel in Valle de Zaragoza Municipality.
César Augusto Peniche Espejel, the Attorney General in Chihuahua, said that El Rojo and his faction had issues with La Linea, the former armed wing of the old Juarez Cartel, and with Sinaloa Cartel members under Antonio Leonel Camacho Mendoza, alias ‘El 300 de Parral’, suggesting this may have been an internal strife.
These criminal groups are competing for the control of the drug smuggling routes in the area. However, Peniche stressed that there is a growing huachiol (oil theft) presence in southern Chihuahua, so they have not discarded this as a possible motive for their dispute.
Meanwhile, he said that this event was similar to what occurred on February 14 in the municipality of Coronado, where five people were killed, three which were beheaded. Peniche added that there is coordination with federal authorities to facilitate the investigation.
|El Rojo (pictured) had issues with La Linea and another Sinaloa Cartel faction.|
Borderland Beat analysis
As reported by Borderland Beat, the criminal group that reportedly operates in Parral is Gente Nueva. They get many of their reinforcements and support from the neighboring state of Durango. As for the municipality of Jimenez, local newspapers indicate that La Linea operates there.
Both Parral and Jimenez connect to Chihuahua city, where other gangs like La Empresa operate. The Mexican Federal Highway 16 goes through Chihuahua city and connects it to Ojinaga, a town just across the US-Mexico border from Presidio, Texas. Controlling the municipalities that connect to Chihuahua city are crucial for smuggling activities.
Clashes between La Linea and Gente Nueva increased in 2020 in this part of rural Chihuahua. Reporters say that La Linea is “cleansing” rival gang members because they are competing for control of the Presidio-Ojinaga corridor.
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