Monday, June 17, 2024

Suspected gangster was senior staffer in Cuernavaca government

A Morelos man arrested on Monday night for alleged involvement in organized crime worked as a senior staffer in the Cuernavaca municipal government, prompting accusations of a cover-up by Mayor Francisco Antonio Villalobos Adán.

Juan David Aparicio Sotelo began working for the municipal government as director of the Jardines de la Paz public cemetery on January 1, 2019, and left the position on March 30 of this year.

He was arrested in an operation to take down Crispín “El Cris” Gaspar Corté, presumed lieutenant in the Guerreros Unidos criminal gang, a known ally of the violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Police arrested Aparicio, Gaspar and two other men at a gas station in Cuernavaca while responding to a 911 call about a kidnapping in the area.

At least one early media report claimed Villalobos had been aware of and kept quiet about the criminal connection in his administration, prompting municipal secretary Erik Salgado to state that the mayor had no knowledge of Aparicio’s link to the Guerreros Unidos.

Aparicio is known to have participated in a 2017 march to protest the arrest of José Manuel Gaspar, son of El Cris, who had been detained in an operation in Temixco in which four women, one teenager and a baby were killed.

That operation took place on property owned by El Cris, believed to be responsible for much of the violence in Temixco and the southeastern part of the state.

Salgado said that Aparicio voluntarily left his post in the municipal government for personal reasons.

Sources: La Silla Rota (sp), El Universal (sp)

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