Mexican Attorney General Identifies Most Wanted Criminals

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The Attorney General’s Office is now offering rewards from 10 to 15 million pesos (about US$822,000 and $1.2 million) for some of the most important regional bosses for the Juarez Cartel, among others. InSight Crime takes a look at the criminal history of three key players based in Juarez.

The Attorney General has published photos of almost 100 of Mexico’s most wanted criminals.

Those with the highest prices on their heads are mostly concentrated in central and northeast Mexico, where violence is most rampant.

Emilio Ramirez Castillo, alias “El Negro”

Castillo is a former commander of the judicial police in the state of Chihuahua. According to the Diario de Juarez, he leads an enforcer gang for the Juarez Cartel, and works alongside another ex-police officer, Juan Antonio Acosta, alias “El Diego,” who used to work in Chihuahua’s anti-kidnapping unit. The two of them are blamed for ordering the January 2010 massacre of 15 students at a birthday party in a working-class neighborhood. The killings shocked Mexico and led the Calderon administration to further intensify the government offensive in the border city.

Juan Pablo Ledezma, alias “El JL”

Ledezma is one of the top lieutenants for the Linea, the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel, responsible for much of the city’s devastating violence. He responds directly to Vicente Carillo Fuentes, alias “El Viceroy.” Ledezma works directly with the Aztecas, a street gang that acts as hired killers and local drug distributors for the cartel, and have business links with other offshoots of the Aztecas in the U.S., most notably in El Paso. Ledezma is also believed to manage the street gangs known as the Linces and the Condores, made up of ex-military and police officers. He is accused of ordering attacks against police patrols in the city. He has a 15 million peso reward on his head.

Juan Pablo Guijarro, alias “El Monico”

Guijarro is believed to be a top leader of the Linea. His main responsibility is defending Juarez territory from the street gangs recruited by the Sinaloa Cartel, long interested in controlling the border city. Guijarro directs La Linea’s offensives against rival enforcer groups like Gente Nueva, the Artistas Asesinas, and even some dissident elements of the Aztecas in the pay of the Sinaloans. In May 2010, the government first began offering a 15 million peso reward in return for information leading to his capture.

A run-down of other top lieutenants named by the Attorney General’s Office, including several from the Zetas and the Familia Michoacan, can be found at news blog Animal Politico.

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