The LeBarón family, the dead women of Juárez and hundreds of murders: more than 20 years of unstoppable violence in Chihuahua


The state of Chihuahua has lived for more than two decades a wave of violence, homicides, femicides, disappearances and forced displacement, Due to the dispute of the coveted territory, drug gateway to the United States, by the drug cartels.

In Chihuahua they operate: The line, the criminal organization designated by the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) as likely responsible for the murder of nine members of the LeBarón colonyarmed arm of Juarez Cartel. The group "The Aztecs", also belonging to Juarez Cartel.

Sinaloa Cartel or New Peoplewhose armed arm is the organization called "The Mexicles". The Salazarwho are also service of the children of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán and Ishmael "El Mayo" Zambada.

Another criminal group in the region is the one led by Francisco Arvizu, "The Jaguar", leader of "The Jaguars". And the Jalisco Cartel New Generation Begins to dispute the square.

The history of violence in Chihuahua dates back to 1993 with the finding of the teenager's body Alma Chavira, 16, in Ciudad Juarez. Since then an alarming number of feminicides, which put society in check, the national justice apparatus and public opinion.

The women were found in desert places with signs of rape, torture, strangulation and, in some cases, of mutilation. The approximate ages of the victims were those 15 to 25 years old, workers of maquila in most cases, brunettes and thin.

These cases began to be known as “The dead of Juarez”, which caused commotion not only in Mexico, but worldwide and they gave rise to movements of feminist organizations that claimed "Not one more".

Books, hundreds of articles and reports, television series and even a film are alluding to these cases.

Within the multiple theories about who or who were killing women: narcos, the extreme right, ritual crimes perpetrated by sects, domestic violence, etc., came to the public's light Abdel Latif Sharif Sharif, a man born in egypt who had come to Mexico to serve as chemical in a transnational company.

The Attorney General of Chihuahua saw in this man the scapegoat that I needed to present a suspect, the serial killer who allegedly operated in Juarez. Sharif adjusted to what sadly happened in the border city, so was arrested in 1995 taking advantage of that a young prostitute filed charges against him Of course kidnapping and sexual abuse. That accusation is would add the suspicions of to have killed about 20 women and have ordered the murder of another 24.

The nickname "The Egyptian" or "The Jackal of Juarez" always claimed his innocence until his death happened on June 2, 2006 at 59 years of myocardial infarction in the prison of Aquiles Serdán in which he was a prisoner. Over time it was confirmed that Latif Sharif was not the serial killer that the authorities were looking for, because being prisoner followed the killings of young people

The murder of women were investigated from a gender perspective as of 2016 and were known under the denomination of femicide.

The most violent city in the world

Between 2008 and 2011 a severe insecurity crisis led to consider in 2009 to Ciudad Juárez as the most violent city in the world. For the second consecutive year, the capital of Chihuahua was considered even more dangerous than Baghdad.

The declaration of war on drug trafficking, which declared then President Felipe Calderón triggered a bloody organized crime response. In 2009, they registered 132 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants, against 40 in the Persian city. Chihuahua has a million and a half inhabitants.

In January 2010, one of the cruelest and inhuman massacres of which there is memory in the state of Chihuahua occurred. A command of The line led to fractionation Villas of Salvárcar, in Ciudad Juárez, where students from campus 9 of the Baccalaureate College and the Center for Industrial Technical and Services Baccalaureate Studies (CBTIS) 128 they celebrated the birthday of one of them.

The hitmen opened fire Against all attendees. Three teenagers fell down outside house number 1306, three others against 1308 and four more in 1310. Five more died during the transfer To the hospitals. One of the victims was a student at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua.

Among the dead were counted 11 high school students, one university student and three adults, as reported by the State Attorney General. Some of the corpses were picked up in the backyards from several houses because young people were hit by bullets while trying to escape.

José Antonio Acosta Hernández, "EL Diego" or "El 15"; one of the detained for that massacre, confessed to killing or having participated in the crimes of at least another 1,500 people, among members of rival groups as of innocent people. That size is the horror unleashed by Criminal organizations.

A year before, On May 2, 2009, Erick LeBarón, 17, was kidnapped in Chihuahua. Your captors They demanded a million dollars of ransom. The great family mormon refused to pay. Erick went released a week later. This experience left a dangerous inheritance within the family.

Benjamin LeBarón, 32, one of Erick and Julian's brothers, became activist and leader Community in Safe Organized Society (SOS Chihuahua). The organization demanded the end of violence caused by the fight against drug trafficking. The demand produced great pressure on this family of farmers. Benjamin was killed in July 2009 with his brother-in-law, Luis Widmar, by 17 hit men that they entered his house And they took them away.

Julian picked up the post that his brother Benjamin dropped and heard the call of other victims of violence In March of 2011, Julian He joined the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, a protest group that had its origin after the murder of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia.

In Chihuahua the violence had yieldedafter suffering the bloodiest periods of its history (2010-2011), but in 2017 the nightmare came back: organized crime groups increased their presence and their disputes, to the extent that malicious killings increased 28% regarding records of 2016, according to data from the National Public Security System.

In accordance with official data, 2,500 cases of forced disappearance are investigated so far this 2019. Unofficially, in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc the organizations of the civil society looking for missing persons or accompanying relatives of victims of this crime they estimate that there are about a thousand disappearances.

At In the first half of 2019, 148 murdered women were registered in Chihuahua and you have the record of 1,300 missing, so that civil organizations sued the government headed by panist Javier Corral, who intensify search tasks of the absent, and prevention campaigns.

In 2014, 33 members of the Archuleta family left their home to survive crime in Valley, about 50 kilometers from Ciudad Juarez. "We had no choice but to leave the town, for security", he tells the press one member of that family interviewed from El Paso, Texas, who asks for the reservation of her identity because she still fears for her life.

Their houses were stolen, destroyed, they were left with nothing. Some were a few days in Ciudad Juarez and others left immediately for the United States, but finally all moved and reunited in Texas.

The confrontations between the Sinaloa cartel, La Línea and the splits of these they have also caused the forced displacement of hundreds of people, especially of Tarahumara peasants and indigenous people settled in the mountains.

Ruth Fierro, director of Center for Human Rights for Women in the state of Chihuahua, ensures that “Groups have full control of the municipalities and their police, particularly in Guadeloupe and Bald, which is in the center of Golden triangle (formed by the states of Sonora, Durango and Chihuahua, one of the most used areas by the cartels to transfer drugs to the United States), and in Cuauhtemoc, which is the door precisely to the sierra and all that area where threaten also at indigenous communities ”.

Chihuahua was the first scenario of the war on drug trafficking Y their tracks still stain with blood Its extensive territory.


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