Cartel violence in the Mexican border state of Sonora continues in 2019 with the police discovery of four male bodies dumped in a canal this week.
Each corpse displayed signs of torture and deadly strangulation. The four men were reportedly kidnapped by armed gunmen on Saturday, according to local reports.
The grisly discovery was made at approximately 2 am Sunday when local police responded to a rural area near Pueblo Yaqui, located in southern Sonora within the municipality of Cajeme. Authorities found two victims dumped in a canal on the north side of a street and two others in a separate canal to the south. Each victim was restrained with hands behind their backs and appeared strangled with ropes around their necks. One had a piece of wood attached to the rope, similar to a tourniquet. The four victims were later identified as Raúl Antonio G. M., Jesús Raúl A. A., Iván M. G., and Manuel de Jesús V. They were handed over to a forensics team of the state attorney general’s office.
Recent statistics released by the Secretariat of the National Public Security rated Cajeme the 14th most violent among municipalities during the recently concluded six-year administration of former President Enrique Pena Nieto. During this time, the once peaceful city registered 1,092 homicides. Tijuana registered the most with 6,124 over the same period.
Cajeme reported at least 16 murders during the first 15 days of 2019. On Saturday morning, two victims were dumped in Valle del Yaqui. At 1100 and Bambú Street, an unidentified female victim was attacked by hooded gunmen in colonia Villa Bonita. Most recently, an unknown male driving in Bácum on Tuesday night was struck in the head and killed by errant gunfire as two other vehicles were engaged in a rolling shootout. The victim died at the scene but was not believed to be an intended target.
Breitbart News continues to report on the cartel violence in Cajeme, which included 52 homicides in September 2018 and the discovery of seven heads abandoned in an ice chest in Bácum. On Christmas Eve, a young couple was gunned down in a Walmart parking lot by a group of cartel gunmen fired more than 150 rounds from AK-47 and AR-15 rifles.
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.)