Mexican Border State Authorities Probing Assassination of Intel Agent

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File Photo: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

Mexican authorities continue looking into the recent murder of a key federal intelligence agent who operated in the violent border state of Chihuahua. During the assassination attempt, the gunmen also killed the agent’s mother.

Despite the significance of having a federal intelligence official murdered, the case went largely unnoticed in Mexico. The federal agent performed intelligence work by documenting the activities of two rival cartels fighting over a drug smuggling corridor. The murder occurred when Julio Cesar Baez Guillen traveled along the Chihuahua-Cuauhtémoc highway with his 65-year-old mother and his girlfriend, who is an employee at a federal prison.

According to the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office, when Baez Guillen neared the community of Cuauhtémoc, a group of gunmen pulled up along the driver’s side and began firing, striking all three individuals in the vehicle. Baez Guillen tried to drive off but his vehicle came to a stop as a result of his injuries. The attack killed the federal intelligence agent and his mother–his girlfriend is expected to survive.

Baez Guillen was assigned to the Intelligence Division of Mexico’s Federal Police, where he documented the ongoing violence between the Sinaloa and the Juarez Cartels in the Madera District and the Las Varas municipality, Mexico’s Debate reported. Through their regional cells Gente Nueva and Los Mexicles, the Sinaloa Cartel is waging a fierce war for control of the region against the Juarez Cartel cells of La Linea and Los Aztecas. The fighting led to a series of spikes in cartel-connected executions. From March to August, the region saw 196 murders in comparison to only 89 in the same time period in 2016.

Some local media outlets reported that Báez Guillén was not part of Mexico’s federal police but was a member Mexico’s Intelligence Service called Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (CISEN). The federal agency, often called the Mexican CIA, provides strategic, tactical, and operational intelligence. 

According to El Debate, Baez Guillen’s girlfriend is a federal employee working at the Puente Grande maximum security prison in the western state of Jalisco. The prison is considered to be Mexico’s second-most secure center; some of the country’s most dangerous drug lords are housed there.

Breitbart Texas recently reported on the ongoing violence in the state of Chihuahua involving the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels to include the capture of key leaders, murders, attempts against police, and a massacre at a drug rehab center that left 18 dead.

Recently, the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office identified cartel lieutenants Adán Salazar Zamorano, who is already in custody; and his brother Crispín Salazar Zamorano, responsible for the murder of journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea who was killed earlier this year. Breach was a journalist in Chihuahua and appeared to be driven by her work exposing the close ties between government officials and the Juarez Cartel. Both brothers are leaders of the Gente Nueva which is an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. 

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.)

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