A Mexican cartel boss known as ‘The Liquidator’ has been detained by the country’s authorities, who claim he is ‘linked to the bloodiest events ever recorded in Juarez City’.
Mexican federal authorities arrested Juarez Cartel boss Jesus Salas Aguayo on Friday, bringing an end to the career of a criminal who was famed for dispatching his enemies with the use of dynamite.
Earning the nickname ‘The Liquidator’ for the brutal and ruthless methods that earned him a place on the DEA’s Most Wanted list, Aguayo is charged with multiple felonies including the distribution of narcotics, homicide and arms trafficking.
Mexican authorities link over twenty deaths directly to The Liquidator, including the 2009 murder of a state witness in El Paso, a 2010 car-bombing which claimed the lives of two federal police officers and a 2012 massacre of fifteen people in a Juarez City bar.
In 2008 the Sinaloa Cartel declared war on the Juarez Cartel as it sought to take control of Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.5 million people that sits on the border with El Paso, Texas.
That year alone saw 1,600 homicides in the city, and Ciudad Juarez City achieved the title of the most dangerous city in the world for three consecutive years.
Jesus Aguayo, also known as ‘El Chuyín’, led the assault on the invading Sinaloa forces, causing the bloodshed of narcos, Mexican authorities and civilians alike.
A respected ‘sicario’ or hired gun, The Liquidator was known to have spoken of his ambitions to one day run his own drug cartel.
In 2008 he was hired by the Juarez Cartel bosses, who sent him to Ciudad Juarez to take over command of La Línea (The Line), the cartel’s street-level army of assassins, who were notorious for mutilating the bodies of their enemies and civilians alike.
The Juarez Cartel eventually lost the conflict after three murderous years, and today its agents are spread widely across Chihuahua state.
Today Juarez City, once a lively and popular border town, shows the scars of a drug war that cost nearly ten thousand lives over the space of four years.
Entire districts of the city are deserted, rare are the buildings not marked with bullet holes and there are sections where even the police dare not enter given the narcos’ stranglehold on the territory.
The arrest of The Liquidator occurred on Friday in his hometown of Villa Ahumada, some 80 miles south of Ciudad Juarez.
A gunfight occurred as the task-force moved in to detain Aguayo and his two bodyguards, one of whom was killed in an exchange of fire.
Following The Liquidator’s detention, federal agents seized a number of items that were in his possession, including 2 SUVs, 4 quad-bikes, a large bag of marijuana, a heavy-duty assault rifle, US$20,000 in cash and some 17 mobile telephones.
Following his arrest, The Liquidators criminal associates fled northwards to the town of Buenaventura and the surrounding region, threatening local people with death if they did not help them in their plight. A number of complaints were made to the police from residents of the town.
The Liquidator had only been in the top spot for six months, following the arrest of former Juarez Cartel boss Vicente Carrillo in October of last year.
The arrest is expected to put an end to what is an already significantly weakened criminal organisation following its defeat at the hands of Sinaloa.
Following a difficult 2014 for the Mexican government – a scandal-filled year topped by the disappearance of 43 students at the hands of local police in Guerrero state – the country’s authorities have made a number of drug kingpin arrests.
‘This government has neutralised 93 of the total 122 targets that it set out when it came to power’, National Security Commissioner Alejandro Rubido told reporters following The Liquidator’s arrest.
Saturday saw the arrest of another cartel boss, José Tiburcio Hernandez, supposed leader of the Gulf Cartel that operates on the eastern end of the US-Mexico border.
His arrest in Reynosa, a town which borders McAllen in Texas saw the sustained attack by over 60 armed criminals in 15 vehicles on the District Attorney’s office in the town centre.
The criminals laid siege to the building for over three hours without success in an attempt to prevent their leader’s extraction to Mexico City, where he and Jesus Aguayo will both be formally charged with drug trafficking, homicide and multiple other felonies this week
The Juarez Cartel, which was founded in 1970, claims to be the first drug cartel to have moved cocaine into the United States by aircraft
The Barrio Azteca gang, which operates in a number of Texas cities including El Paso and Houston is aligned with the Juarez Cartel.