A U.S. citizen from Arizona was killed execution-style south of Nogales, a dangerous Mexican city on the border. The man’s body was discovered by officials on Monday.
Fox News Latino reported that the victim was 25-year-old Jorge Luis Soto. He was found in his parked vehicle, with the engine still running, on a highway under an overpass.
Reports state that Soto was shot in the face and chest.
Apparently there have been five murders during the last three days in Nogales–four of the slayings involved the victims being shot in their cars.
Prior to Soto’s murder, the U.S. Consulate General in Nogales had issued a warning for U.S. citizens, according to Fox News Latino. That warning reportedly said, “Due to multiple and ongoing credible threats, the Consulate cautions Americans traveling in Nogales or surrounding areas to defer unnecessary travel at this time. U.S. Citizens are urged to take the highest precautions regarding their safety and personal security in and around Nogales.”
Sylvia Longmire, a Breitbart Texas contributing editor and border security expert, said, “When the U.S. Consulate in Nogales issued its initial travel warning via Twitter this past Friday evening, there were more questions than answers since there was no specific information to explain what the ‘credible threat’ was to Americans. Then three people were killed over the weekend in what appeared to be ‘business as usual’ for drug traffickers in Nogales, Sonora.”
Nogales is known as being a spot frequented by drug and human smugglers. According to Fox News Latino, the city is also a popular destination for U.S. citizens seeking inexpensive plastic surgery and other medical procedures.
“When an American from South Tucson was killed execution style after a second (and equally vague) warning was issued by the Consulate, then it became only marginally easier to put some pieces of the puzzle together, but the US Consulate has still been anything but forthcoming regarding the exact nature of the threat to Americans traveling to Nogales,” Longmire continued. “It’s a city that has been plagued for years with drug-related violence, and local business leaders have been working very hard to improve the city’s image for the sake of tourism and cross-border trade. However, the incidents from this past weekend, combined with the cryptic warnings from the US Consulate, will set the Mexican city back several steps in that regard.”
Nogales is not the only Mexican city that has been known to have issues controlling violence and cartel activity; the Mexican government has had an increasingly difficult time controlling gang violence in cities across country.
Although Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto previously deployed thousands of troops to control criminal activity, armed vigilante groups were ultimately credited for successfully forcing many gang members out of communities. Some have alleged that Mexican troops are ineffective because they have been infiltrated by cartels.
Breitbart Texas previously reported that in response to the seemingly uncontrollable violence in Mexico, uniforms and assault rifles were given to hundreds of vigilantes. The armed civilians will be transformed into Mexico’s new rural police force. At this point, it is unclear how effective the rural police force has been.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.