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Thread: Barrio Azteca leader extradited to US

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Barrio Azteca leader extradited to US

    Re puted Barrio Azteca leader extradited to US

    By Daniel Borunda \ El Paso Timeselpasotimes.com
    Posted: 06/30/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT


    A reputed leader in the Barrio Azteca gang accused of authorizing thousands of killings in Juárez, including the deaths of three people linked to the U.S. Consulate, has been extradited to the U.S.

    Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, known as "El Farmero" and "Benny," was sent to the U.S. on Thursday and made his first appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge on Friday in El Paso. He faces racketeering, conspiracy and other charges.

    Mexican federal police arrested Gallegos during a raid at a home in Juárez in November 2010.

    Mexican authorities said Gallegos had told police that he was "responsible for at least 80 percent of the homicides in Juárez" between August 2009 and November 2010.

    The "80 percent" figure allegedly given by Gallegos raised doubts among observers. The figure would translate to about 3,378 murders during the drug cartel warfare in Juárez.

    Federal police officials had said the Aztecas had divided Juárez into seven sectors and that Gallegos was the boss who oversaw all of them. The Aztecas worked as the muscle in the Juárez drug cartel's war with the rival Sinaloa cartel.
    Mexican federal police accused Gallegos of ordering the slayings of 15 students at a birthday party in Villas de Salvarcar in Juárez, the deaths of five federal police officers and the killings of three people linked to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez. The killings at the birthday party caused outrage in Mexico, and Mexican President Felipe
    Calderón visited Juárez to launch social programs to help limit the violence.

    On March 13, 2010, U.S. Consulate employee Lesley Enriquez Redelfs and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, an El Paso County sheriff's detention officer, were fatally shot in a street attack after leaving a consulate-related children's party in Juárez.

    Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, whose wife worked at the consulate, was killed in a separate street shooting after leaving the same party in another vehicle at about the same time.

    "We allege that Gallegos Castrellon participated in the U.S. Consulate shootings in March 2010," Assistant Attorney General Breuer said in a statement. "His extradition to the United States is an important step forward in our pursuit of justice for the victims of those tragic murders in Juárez, Mexico. Innocent men and women on both sides of our border with Mexico should not have to live in fear of Barrio Azteca and other violent criminal gangs."

    Mark Morgan, the special agent in charge of the FBI in El Paso, said Gallegos' extradition was "a shining example of effective coordination and collaboration with the law enforcement community within El Paso, as well as the government of Mexico, to ensure the border will not act as an obstacle to justice being served."

    Gallegos was one of 35 people indicted by the U.S. in 2011 in a racketeering case against reputed leaders, members and associates of the Barrio Azteca. If convicted, Gallegos faces life in prison.

    Of the 35 defendants charged, 33 have been arrested, 24 have pleaded guilty, one committed suicide while on trial and six are awaiting extradition from Mexico, officials said.

    The only two fugitives are Luis Mendez and Eduardo "Tablas" Ravelo, a reputed gang capo on the FBI's 10-most-wanted list. The Aztecas in Juárez and the Barrio Azteca in El Paso are believed to have separate leadership structures.
    Daniel Borunda may be reached at dborunda@elpasotimes.com; 546-6102. Follow him on Twitter @BorundaDaniel.


    Reputed Barrio Azteca leader extradited to US - El Paso Times
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    While I'm glad for the arrests, the extraditions, the trials and convictions, what positive effect has this had upon the overall situation? Has anyone noticed any improvement on either side of the border? This does not look like a final solution.
    HAPPY2BME likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinssdad View Post
    While I'm glad for the arrests, the extraditions, the trials and convictions, what positive effect has this had upon the overall situation? Has anyone noticed any improvement on either side of the border? This does not look like a final solution.
    The alternative would be to NOT arrest them, NOT extradite them, NOT send them to prison and I don't see that as much of a solution.
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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Mexico has the third largest white population in South America.

    Accused Mexican cartel killer facing trial for murder of Americans alleges torture by police


    By Joseph J. Kolb
    Published November 30, 2013FoxNews.com




    EL PASO, TEXAS – Lawyers for a Mexican cartel enforcer suspected of killing thousands of people in Juarez and now facing trial here for the murder of Americans hope to free him with claims police south of the border tortured him before handing him over to U.S. authorities.

    A federal judge has already ruled that Juarez gang leader Arturo Gallegos Castrellon’s confession that he killed a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband, who was an El Paso County law enforcement officer in 2010, and another man whose wife worked for the U.S. Consulate cannot be suppressed. But that won’t stop his attorneys from challenging it before a jury, with claims the admission came only after Mexican police shocked his testicles and raped his wife.

    "Americans are aware that suspects are tortured in Mexico, but I don't think they really know to what extent," said defense attorney Randolph Ortega.

    Castrellon, 32, who authorities say heads the Barrio Azteca gang, enforcers for drug cartels, has been charged in the 2010 murders of four people connected to the U.S. Consulate in Juarez. U.S. citizen and consulate employee Lesley Enriquez and her husband were gunned down along with El Paso County Sheriff's Detention officer Arthur Haycock Redelfs after they left a children’s party. The motive is unclear, though authorities believe they may have been mistaken for rival gang members.

    "Americans are aware that suspects are tortured in Mexico, but I don't think they really know to what extent."
    - Randolph Ortega, attorney for drug cartel killer

    Castrellon was arrested and interrogated by Mexican police Nov. 26, 2010, then handed over to FBI agents in Mexico City. Ortega says Castrellon only confessed to the murders after the Mexican cops softened him up with torture. There is no indication the FBI took part in the alleged torture, but Ortega claims the confession his client made to FBI Special Agent Lorenzo Perez was "the product of torture at the hands of Mexican officials and improper psychological pressure by the FBI agents."

    While the U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone denied the suppression of Gallegos Castrellon’s confession Nov. 13, Ortega hopes an American jury will refuse to convict a suspect if it believes a confession was coerced via torture. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Cooley said even if a jury discounts the confession, there’s plenty of evidence to convict Castrellon.
    “We are not simply relying on a confession in this case,” Cooley said.

    Fred Burton, a specialist in Mexican organized crime for Stratfor, a Texas-based private intelligence firm, and a former counterterrorism agent with the U.S. State Department, said even if Gallegos Castrellon’s allegations are true, the confession would still be admissible in a U.S. court.

    “It really doesn’t matter what happened while he was in foreign custody, as long as no torture was conducted by U.S. agents,” Burton said. “Ultimately, how the confession was obtained is not an issue in a foreign country.”

    The arrest of Castrellon and others allegedly involved in the shootings has coincided with a sharp decline in Juarez’s murder rate. Some 10,836 homicides occurred there between 2008-2012, as the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels fought over control of the lucrative drug smuggling route into the U.S. The El Paso Times reported that Castrellon, also known as "El Farmero" and “El Benny,” admitted to ordering, carrying out or otherwise being involved with 80 percent of the murders in Juarez, which would account for 8,669 over the same time period.

    Since the arrest of Castrellon, the murder rate in the violent city plummeted from 3,622 in 2010 to 2,086 in 2011, then 751 in 2012.

    Gallegos Castrellon's trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 3 in El Paso Federal Court.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/30...cmp=latestnews




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