A criminal gang in Chihuahua has denied responsibility for the killing of four people Sunday on a ranch in the Riberas del Bravo neighborhood of Ciudad Juárez.
State prosecutors have identified the Mexicles gang as the perpetrators of an attack that killed three sisters, identified as Linsay, Sherlyn and Arleth Sánchez Gordillo, aged 14, 13 and 4, and Rafael Gordillo González, 25, the girls’ uncle.
The girls were in a vehicle with their uncle and another man on the ranch when armed civilians entered and started shooting.
Anonymous sources told the newspaper El Diario that the girls’ father was kidnapped during the attack. The state Attorney General’s Office confirmed that a man was kidnapped, but would not say whether it was the girls’ father.
Police found 114 shell casings at the scene, some corresponding to AR-15 and AK-47 rifles.
More than five shooters are believed to have participated in the attack.
On Monday, prosecutor Jorge Nava told the newspaper Excélsior that the attackers were part of the Mexicles, a Ciudad Juárez street gang allied with the Sinaloa Cartel.
In messages left on pieces of plastic and hung from overpasses around Ciudad Juárez, a group identifying itself as the “Mexicles Special Forces” denied responsibility for the attack and blamed it on an internal conflict within the “Valle de Juárez” group.
“The Attorney General’s Office wants to put the responsibility on us for this cowardly attack with the goal of protecting the Valle de Juárez criminals, who are truly responsible,” the message read. “The true motive for the event was an internal war within the Valle de Juárez, and we are making it known that the names of those responsible for this cowardly act are Victor Elías “El Chito” and “El Chato.”
The Mexicles split with another Ciudad Juárez street gang, the Artistas Asesinos, in August 2018.