At least seven victims were shot to death with another 14 wounded by heavily-armed gunmen at a clandestine cockfight arena in Chihuahua.
Preliminary information revealed that an unknown number of gunmen opened fire at the cockfighting arena known as “Centro Gallístico Santa María” which is located on the outskirts of the state capital of Chihuahua, according to Mexican news outlets.
Based on a statement by the state prosecutor’s office, several masked gunmen opened fire on people gathered at the club late Saturday at approximately 11pm. Four were killed at the scene with an additional three succumbing to their wounds in transit to hospital. Two of the wounded were identified as children aged seven and 10. One victim, who died early Sunday morning, was identified as 15-year-old Juan Daniel Magallanes Rodríguez received a gunshot to the chest.
The state prosecutor announced the investigation would be handled by the ministerial police. No arrests have been made at this time. Preliminary information indicates that one suspect is only known by the nickname “Cochiloco” (crazy pig).
The Chihuahua state capital and surrounding municipalities have been plagued by ongoing cartel violence and associated corruption. Breitbart Texas previously reported on much of the bloodshed involving the turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels and other groups aligned with them.
In January, authorities in Ciudad Juarez arrested eight hitmen for Los Aztecas suspected in 16 cartel assassinations in the last three months. The 58-year-old male accused of leading the cell was also captured. In late December 2017, a police chief from Namiquipa believed to be working with drug cartels by providing protection was arrested along with two officers. In early December, Breitbart Texas reported that two police chiefs from Casas Grandes and Cuauhtemoc were murdered within a week by cartel gunmen.
Cockfighting is very popular in many parts of Mexico; the primary draw is the gambling. The activity also tends to invite organized crime and cartel elements due to the high-stakes wagers. Gun violence is also common.
Cockfighting operations have also been discovered in the United States, typically along the southern border. The illegal operations are primarily run by illegal and legal immigrants from Mexico. Numerous operations have been closed down in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)