Friday, February 23, 2024

Cartel leader arrested in connection to Oct 2 mall shooting in Jalisco

An arrest has been made in connection to a shooting outside an upscale shopping mall in Zapopan, Jalisco, on Oct. 2 that left one dead and six injured, Deputy Security Minister Ricardo Mejía reported on Thursday.

The man captured and arrested by the Mexican army was named as César Augusto “N,” an alleged higher-up in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) who goes by the nickname “El Gafe.”

Mejia said “El Gafe” has been a regional leader for CJNG in the Jalisco municipalities of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga and El Salto, and as someone who coordinates ”drug dealing cells, hitmen and informants,” he is one of the main generators of violence in the Guadalajara metro area. He recruited people in Jalisco, México state Quintana Roo and Querétaro for criminal activities, Mejía added.

Mejía said that the seizure of “El Gafe” on Tuesday was carried out in three locations, during which 1,000 fentanyl pills, an assortment of rifles and guns, grenades, cartridges and vehicles were seized. An additional CJNG operative, said to be Juan Carlos “N.” (aka “Carlitos”) was arrested during the operation, Mejía added.

The detainees were transferred to the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime and are awaiting trial for the crimes of homicide and kidnapping.

Mejía said “Carlitos” participated in the series of violent outbreaks in Jalisco in August, when criminals blocked roads and burned vehicles and convenience stores, leaving at least three dead. Mejía said “Carlitos” was part of the uprising in Ixtlahuacán del Río, Jalisco.

The wave of violence in Jalisco has put the government of President López Obrador under the gun and set off alarms in the United States. On August 10, the U.S. Embassy issued a travel alert, stating, “Following numerous confirmed acts of violence on August 9, including arson of buildings and vehicles, U.S. citizens are reminded to reconsider travel to Guanajuato state.”

At the Oct. 2 shooting at the Andares Shopping Mall in Zapopan, a city of 1.5 million next to Guadalajara, several black vans stopped in front of the high-end center, at which point the shooting began, according to videos seen by Mejía and others. Hooded men dressed in black can be seen with assault rifles firing in different directions.

The man who died was a bodyguard in an escort car with Mexico City license plates, authorities said. The next day, López Obrador said the CJNG commandos intended to kidnap a businessman who deals in the purchase and sale of vehicles, though he didn’t reveal his identity.

With reports from El Pais

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