Report: Ciudad Juarez Airport Shooting Tied to Human Smuggling Turf War

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images


6 May 2024

A recent shooting at the Ciudad Juarez Airport that killed two men is directly connected to a turf war between human smuggling organizations.

The organizations continue to fight for control of the arrival of migrants trying to make their way to the Texas border.

The shooting took place on Friday night at the airport in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican border city immediately south of El Paso, Texas.

The region is a known drug and human smuggling corridor into Texas.

Unknown gunmen shot two men who were in separate vehicles. One of the men tried to drive away, but the gunmen caught up with him and shot him with rifle-caliber bullets.

According to El Diario De Juarez, that shooting and another similar case earlier this year are connected to an apparent turf war for control of the “airport plaza.”

Plaza is colloquially used to refer to turf used by organized crime for various illicit rackets. The local news outlet quoted federal law enforcement sources as saying “polleros,” or human smugglers, are behind the turf war.

As Breitbart Texas reported, cartel-connected human smugglers are the ones who control the flow of migrants, including the ones requesting asylum.

In cities like Reynosa, Tamaulipas, the cartel has operators stationed at the airports and bus stations where they pick up migrants and move them to stash houses or other locations. These cartel operators in Reynosa operate without any interference from Mexican federal authorities.

In many cases, corrupt agents with Mexico’s National Migration Institute also work with human smugglers by providing them with permits and preferential treatment for a fee, Breitbart Texas reported.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management.

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at