Two mutilated bodies found in Juárez, 11 killed in mountain gunfight

Victims found after deadly drug-cartel gun battle in Chihuahua
By Daniel Borunda @BorundaDaniel on Twitter
POSTED: 09/29/2014 06:31:46 PM MDT

Two dismembered bodies were found in a parked van in Juárez during the weekend while a drug-cartel battle left 11 people dead in the mountains in southwestern Chihuahua.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, the bodies of two men were found inside six plastic bags in a Ford Windstar at convenience store on Boulevard Juan Pablo II in northeast Juárez, said a spokesman for the state attorney general's office.

The van had been reported stolen earlier this month.

The men had not been identified.

In southwestern Chihuahua, 11 people were killed in a gun battle on a mountain road in an area known for marijuana and heroin poppy fields, the state attorney general's office said.

The gunfight occurred near the town of Tonachí in the area of Guachochi, an estimated 200 miles southwest of Chihuahua City.

The men in the shooting were allegedly members of "two crime groups that operate in the mountain region" involved in the production of marijuana and heroin poppies, the Chihuahua state attorney general's office said in a news release.

Authorities said they learned of the gunfight after receiving an anonymous call Friday afternoon.

More than a thousand rounds were fired in the battle, officials said.

Four pickups were set on fire and inside the trucks were the burned bodies of 11 men, who had been shot multiple times.

The men were wearing tactical uniforms and vests.

The state attorney general's office said that the confrontation did not involve the Mexican army, state authorities or any police agency.

The Heraldo de Chihuahua reported that the mountain shooting was a battle between the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels. Grenades were reportedly used in the fight and one of the men killed was Pedro Salgueiro Gonzalez, a cousin of Noel "El Flaco" Salgueiro Nevarez, the newspaper reported.

In 2011, Mexican army special forces arrested Noel Salgueiro in Culiacan, Sinaloa.

He was reputed to be a high-level lieutenant for kingpin Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, and was allegedly the founder and leader of the Sinaloa cartel's Gente Nueva group (the new people) warring for control of Juárez and the state of Chihuahua, officials had said.

Daniel Borunda may be reached at 546-6102.