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8 Dismembered Bodies Left Outside Chihuahua City, An Area Disputed by CDS, La Linea, & La Empresa

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The dismembered remains of at least 8 people were dumped on the side of a highway in near Chihuahua city – an area being fought over by the Sinaloa Cartel, La Linea, and La Empresa. 

Alongside the body parts, the cartel hitmen left an eerie message featuring the lyrics of an old song.

Warning: Some graphic images below this point.

The Dismembered Bodies

On April 21, 2024, a motorist called 911 and reported that there appeared to be dead bodies left on the side of Highway 45, near kilometer 37 / 38. 

The location was north of the city of Chihuahua in the state of Chihuahua, near the exit which leads to Santo Nino and Tres Hermanos. 

Municipal police officers were dispatched and they arrived on scene at approximately 8:30 am. 

They found a pile of naked bodies on the side of the highway. The remains were dismembered and some body parts were wrapped in plastic. 

The area around the bodies was cordoned off and other government agencies began showing up on scene. Evidence technicians began to document evidence and at times the highway had to be partially closed off from traffic.

There are conflicting reports about how many dead bodies were found. Julio César Salas, the head of the state police, was asked on scene about the bodies and he said there were 13 deceased, as seen in the video below.

Video Source: Lety Villarreal

However, the state Attorney General’s Office (FGE) released a press release which said just 8 male bodies were found on scene.  The latest articles on the discovery are currently citing 8 deceased, so the Salas’s initial estimate of 13 on scene may have been presumptive.

The press release noted that no ballistic evidence was found at the location and it stated that work was being done to determine the cause of death for the victims. 

The news publication El Diario MX reported that sources in the state police told them that the victims “were not shot, they were killed with ‘fileros’ [smaller knives, like switchblades] and ‘cuchillos’ [larger knives].”

They also stated the victims were “tortured and sliced up.” They also stated the victims were “tortured and sliced up.” Other publications, such as El Litoral, have also written that the victims were tortured. 

One of the victims reportedly had a neon-colored poster stabbed into his chest with a knife.

Journalist Lety Villarreal reported on Twitter that the message on the poster was: 

Iban para Magdalena ahora van para donde sea…. 

Chihuahua tiene dueño entiéndalo ¡bienvenidos!

“They were going to Magdalena, now they are going wherever. 

Chihuahua has an owner, understand? Welcome.” 


The first line of this narco message may sound strange, given the context, and it would make more sense for the message to read that “now they are going nowhere” but the bizarre wording has a reason behind it. 

The line is actually the lyrics of an old song called Sonora y Sus Ojos Negros which features the lyrics “Iba para Magdalena, ahora voy pa’ donde sea” or “I was going to Magdalena, now I’m going anywhere.”

The second line about Chihuahua having an owner is likely not referring to the entire state of Chihuahua (which has had multiple cartel groups operating it in for decades), but instead referring to Chihuahua city, especially considering how close the bodies were found to the city.

Later in the morning, a burned out vehicle was found further down the same highway. So far the FGE has only stated that they are investigating if the vehicle is related to the bodies and has not confirmed a connection. 

Although they didn’t state it outright, El Diario made a point of highlighting that just 7 kilometers down the highway is a traffic checkpoint which has 1 static surveillance camera and 2 mobile surveillance cameras. Any group which traveled from Chihuahua city towards the body dump site would have had to pass through this checkpoint, implying that law enforcement should be able to identify the vehicle which dumped the bodies.

The Cartel Groups Operating in Chihuahua City

So the narco message on the dismembered remains is talking about Chihuahua already being owned by a cartel group. But which cartel groups are currently operating in the city? 

Back in June 2023, the FGE’s regional leader Francisco Martínez Valle stated that a recent rash of violence was due to the fighting of the three cartel groups which are present in the city: 

Cartel de Sinaloa (CDS) 

La Línea

La Empresa

He stated that all three of these groups “have been operating in the city for years, and the conflict [between them] continues.”

He noted that the groups appeared to be fighting over drug dealing territory within the city, like street corners and bars where dealers sell to locals, and that law enforcement has found no fentanyl manufacturing labs within the city. 

In addition to local turf battles, a steady flow of foreign migrants heading to the US passes through Chihuahua city, sometimes establishing small encampments, and these migrants are regularly preyed upon by cartel groups. 

NMAs noted that “the place where the [eight] bodies were found is a place with a high flow of migrants, who walk 444 kilometers from Chihuahua City to Juárez to try to cross into the United States.” 

It’s not easy to pinpoint the current local leaders of the three cartel groups, but one local CDS figure has been making headlines – a man named Enrique López Acosta, alias “El Cumbias”. 

El Cumbias used to lead a CDS Gente Nueva group which operated southwest of the city, in places like Creel, however in 2010, he was arrested and sent to prison, where he remained for 13 years. 

In July 2023, he was tried for his involvement in the infamous Creel massacre but judges did not allow the video evidence of him during the massacre to be shown in court and he was subsequently acquitted of the crime. He was released from prison on August 10, 2023.

He returned to cartel activity and he based his operations out of Chihuahua city. 

Just four months ago, in December 2023, El Cumbias was re-arrested in Chihuahua city after a string of car thefts that he was allegedly involved with. He was recently sentenced to 160 years in prison.

El Cumbias is also known to have a son named Daniel Enrique Lopez who is involved in Sinaloa Cartel activity.

Earlier this month, La Empresa was named by law enforcement as responsible for the assassination of prison official Nicolás Monárrez Gaxiola, who was killed near Chihuahua city. 

Starting last year, Chihuahua’s state government has attempted to reform their state prisons and they’ve seized 18,000 prohibited items from prisoners. This enforcement of prison rules has led to multiple cartel groups attacking and assassinating state prison staff, as well as deadly riots which killed more than 10 FGE agents.  

Meanwhile in Juarez, the FGE has recently stated that five groups were operating in Juarez, naming: La Línea, La Empresa, Artistas Asesinos, Mexicles and Aztecas.

Bodies by the Highway Sources: State Attorney General’s Office Statement, Uno Mas Uno, Canal 44Calibre 800, Vivre in Juarez, El Diario de Chihuahua, Sol Yucatan, El Diario MX Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, El Sol de Mexico, Entre Lineas Article 1, Article 2, Charro Negro, Anabel Hernandez, Lety Villarreal, El Litoral

Cartel Groups in Chihuahua City: NMAs, El Heraldo, UNICEF, Diario

Videos: Entre Lineas Video Live from the Scene, Lety Villarreal


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