96-Year-Old Grandmother Killed by Cartel Gunmen in Southern Mexico

Ayotzinapa
AP PHOTO

Cartel Gunmen stormed a residence in the southern coastal state of Guerrero and executed the 96-year-old grandmother of a former politician who was previously murdered by suspected cartel gunmen in October 2018.

Investigators are probing a connection to the recent release of one of the main suspects in the 2014 Iguala Mass Kidnapping, which involved 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College being taken by the Iguala police who then turned them over to cartel operatives. Investigators believe the victims were eventually murdered.

Investigative personnel of the state attorney general’s office of Guerrero responded to the Monday night murder of a 96-year-old woman, presumably at the hands of cartel gunmen. Her residence was stormed in the western section of Iguala, according to local reports.

The cartel gunmen reportedly shot a lock off a security gate and sprayed gunfire before entering the home to target the 96-year-old while she watched television. She was reportedly shot multiple times with at least two different rifles, according to a government spokesperson.

The victim was identified as “Mariana,” the grandmother of Marco Antonio Bustamante Nájera, the former community president of a rural section in Iguala. The grandson, Bustamante Nájera, was murdered by suspected cartel gunmen in October 2018, according to reports at the time. He accused the former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, of making death threats a few weeks prior to the 2014 mass kidnapping case. When Bustamante Nájera filed the complaint, he did so in the company of Esther Orea Vargas, who was later murdered in March 2016. Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca and wife María de los Ángeles Pineda were later arrested in connection to the 2014 case and remain in custody to date.

Nicolás Nájera Salgado, aka “El Mike,” a high-ranking member of “Los Guerreros Unidos” at the time of the 2014 case is currently in a maximum-security prison for alleged involvement, according to local reporting. El Mike is the nephew of Marco Antonio Bustamante Nájera.

Earlier in the week, Gildardo López Astudillo, aka “El Gil o El Cabo Gil” was released from custody due to torture accusations leveled against investigators to elicit a confession. El Gil was considered one of the main suspects and the leader of Guerreros Unidos.

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.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at robertrarce@gmail.com.

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