Cartel Hitman Captured in Mexican Border City

Santos H. R. mugshot
Photo: Juarez Municipal Police

Municipal police in Ciudad Juárez arrested a cartel hitman earlier this week who is wanted for series of attacks in this Mexican border city.


Elements of the municipal police in Ciudad Juárez arrested a cartel-hitman believed responsible for at least two homicides and suspected of numerous others, local media reported. The arrest took place after police officers responded to a 911 call about a home invasion killing in colonia Guadalajara Derecha. Officers arrived and received a description of the killers and vehicle in which they fled in. A short distance away, officers spotted a car believed to be the one in which suspects fled in and initiated a traffic stop. After a brief foot chase, the officers arrested an individual identified as Santos H. R. Witnesses identified the man at the homicide scene as one of the shooters involved in the killing in colonia Guadalajara Derecha.


During questioning, Santos H.R. allegedly admitted being a member of “La Empressa” and to his involvement in two prior homicides and one other shooting which left a victim wounded. He is a suspect in numerous other cartel-related killings in the border city of Juárez. Santos H.R. also reportedly admitted to his involvement in a cartel hit of an 18-year old male that occurred in colonia Juárez on the 1st of August and an armed attack on July 27 in colonia Obrera. Investigators determined that Santos H.R. had numerous prior arrests for drug-related charges — most related to street sales activities.


“La Empressa” is an offshoot of “Los Aztecas” that grew out of a split which occurred within the gang which, Breitbart Texas reported. The gang previously carried out cartel hits on behalf of the Juárez Cartel/La Linea. The outbreak of violence in Juárez is attributed to the resurgence of the Juárez Cartel or “El Nuevo Cartel de Juárez” and the split of a key leader from “Los Aztecas” to “La Línea.” Los Aztecas, also known as “Barrio Aztecas,” operate in the El Paso- Juárez Metropolitan Border Area by performing hits for the Juárez Cartel in addition to extortion, kidnapping, and street-level drug sales. Los Aztecas’ internal conflict is between the “Old School Aztecs” and a second faction loyal to the captured leader of La Línea. The split set off a deadly turf war. Local and federal law enforcement sources also cite the presence of the Sinaloa Cartel as a cause for violence throughout the border state abutting Texas and New Mexico. The Sinaloa Cartel-aligned “Los Artistas Asesinos” is also reported to be in the midst of an internal struggle between “new” and “old” school factions — only exacerbating the local homicide count.


Homicide cases officially accounted for per month in 2019 in Ciudad Juárez

Source: Chihuahua State Attorney General


Jan — 104

Feb — 94

March — 116

April — 147

May — 151

June — 131

July — 141

August — 129

As of September 13 — 44 


Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce completed work assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year tour in Monterrey, Mexico, for the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program. As the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico in charge of the Mexican states of, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas) You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.