MEXICO CITY – Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, a high-level Juarez drug cartel member who allegedly ordered at least 1,500 murders in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, told investigators he received assistance from state and municipal police officers, the Public Safety Secretariat said.
“I don’t know the names of the officers, I just know that there were some officers who helped out by providing information to us,” Acosta said in the second part of a summary of his questioning released by the secretariat.
Police told the cartel “where the checkpoints were, where the Federal (Police) units were ... and even (where) the state and even the municipal (units were),” Acosta, who was arrested over the weekend, said.
Acosta told investigators that he commanded about 45 gunmen ranging in age from 18 to 25 whose mission was to eliminate officials, police and members of the rival Sinaloa cartel, which the Juarez organization has been fighting for control of the border city of Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
“I received a lot of support (at first) from state officials, state police and the municipal police, but not so much now,” Acosta, known as “El Diego,” said.
Acosta told investigators that he ordered the Jan. 31, 2010, massacre of 15 young men in Juarez’s Villas de Salvarcar neighborhood because some members of the rival Artistas Asesinos gang were attending the birthday party.
The drug trafficker confessed that he ordered the killing of Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office deputy internal affairs unit chief Sandra Ivonne Salas last year because “she had made too many arrests” and the cartel thought she was working for a rival gang.
Acosta also told investigators that he easily obtained a voter’s registration card, considered a secure document in Mexico, by using a fake birth certificate.
The Juarez cartel was founded in 1993 by Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who was known as the “Lord of the Skies” for his fleet of aircraft.
Amado’s brother, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, and his son, Vicente Carrillo Leyva, who was arrested in 2009, took control of the cartel following the drug lord’s 1997 death after undergoing plastic surgery to disguise his identity.
The Juarez cartel, one of Mexico’s most violent criminal organizations, is waging a war against the Sinaloa cartel that has left about 9,000 people dead in the past five years. EFE