A team of cartel gunmen torched at least 16 vehicles Tuesday, November 5, in Ciudad Juárez, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 victims. Members of “Los Mexicles,” an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel, also opened fire on a government building adjacent to the offices of the state attorney general’s office.
Violence erupted in Juárez early Tuesday morning at approximately 2:00am local time when cartel shooters stopped a factory worker transit bus. The operatives barricaded the doors and set it on fire. The passengers were able to break out windows and jump to safety after sustaining first and second-degree burns.
The bus marked a series of attacks throughout the city, resulting in four factory vehicles ignited, according to local reports. At least 10 cars were also torched throughout the day, resulting in numerous burn victims. Cartel henchmen also reportedly directed gunfire at several individuals.
Late Tuesday night, an attack was carried out on a building adjacent to the Chihuahua State Attorney General’s Office, according to local reports. Gunmen opened fire on the building, resulting in a civilian security guard sustaining non-fatal gunshot wounds.
Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral Jurado released a statement Wednesday, denying any shooting. He did acknowledge that numerous vehicles were set ablaze by cartel men in an attempt to disrupt a planned security operation at the Cereso No. 3 Prison in Juárez.
Es falso que se hayan producido balaceras en distintas partes de la Cd. y que @Fiscalia_Chih haya sido atacada. Hubo reacciones de grupos, encaminadas a distraer el operativo con la quema de varios camiones de transporte de personal. El operativo se realizó conforme lo planeado.
— Javier Corral Jurado (@Javier_Corral) November 6, 2019
A short time later, Jorge Arnaldo Nava López, the attorney general for the north zone of Chihuahua, contradicted the governor by announcing that a cartel attack carried out by Los Mexicles left at least 10 dead in Juárez. Los Mexicles is a local gang that acts as an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. Nava López said four members of Mexicles were arrested during the previous night.
The motive for the bus targeting was to create roadblocks to against security elements carrying out the operation at the prison. The prison raid was designed to disrupt gang and organized crime within the walls before it could spread to the broader city.
The attorney general said the overnight incidents were not related to the narco-terror attack from Monday that left nine women and children dead.
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.