Police on patrol in Las Varas. Police on patrol in Las Varas.

Leader of La Línea arrested then freed

Gang was involved in yesterday's battle that killed 15

The new justice system’s “revolving door” allowed the presumed leader of La Línea, whose battle yesterday with the Sinaloa Cartel left 15 dead, to go free, says Chihuahua’s state security commissioner.


Óscar Alberto Aparicio said this morning that José Luis González Montes, a former state police officer who is now known as “El 32,” was arrested with arms and drugs in December but freed 10 days later because under new rules he could not be held in preventative custody.

On June 24, 40 members of his gang showed up in Las Varas, Madera, and killed two state police officers.

It was the same gang that faced off yesterday morning against the Sinaloa Cartel in the same community in a gun battle that killed 15 presumed gang members on both sides. Five people were arrested.

The security commissioner said the confrontation was triggered by a security operation that forced La Línea to withdraw into territory controlled by the rival Sinaloa Cartel, which retaliated.

Aparacio also recalled that La Línea’s González, when he was arrested in December, offered the arresting officers 2 million pesos to let him go. They declined the offer, he said.

The national security commissioner, Renato Sales, and several politicians have called for a change to give judges greater leeway in ordering preventative custody.

Source: Milenio (sp), Periódico El Mexicano (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • Beau

    Ok. The arresting officers rejected 2million but their bosses clearly accepted them. Live and learn boys.

    • Güerito

      Anyone who thinks some “new reforms” to the criminal justice system in Mexico allows criminals to go free hasn’t been paying attention lately.

  • ss

    Torture and kill the judge who let him go period!

  • Garry Montgomery

    Preventive custody? He and his gang killed x number but some new rule lets him go free? WTF

  • csb4546

    If most captured cartel leaders are former police or military officers – does that mean that the current group of police and military officers are future cartel leaders?