Cartels Behind Mexico’s Recent Mysterious Energy Worker Deaths

CFE workers
Twitter Screnshot

Executions, shootings, and even suicides are now part of a wave of mysterious deaths of Mexican government energy workers. Cartel gunmen appear to be involved in the deaths, Mexican officials confirm.

Mexican drug traffickers are carrying out a new tactic to intimidate the population, the country’s government has been forced to confirm.  The deaths of Mexican energy workers are taking place mainly in border areas with the United States and in states where the cartels have control. Virtually all of Mexico has become the scene of bloody cartel shootouts, where criminal organizations fight for control of plazas or regions, turning hundreds of towns into no man’s land. In those areas, if locals don’t support the dominant cart, gunmen then close access to highways and damage infrastructure in general.

Cartels in Mexico have increasingly attacked civilian communities in their turf battles, isolating towns that do not support them, cutting off roads and electricity, or forcing residents to leave. 

The Mysterious Deaths

On September 6th, two vans from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) were ambushed by gunmen in the Sonora mountains, near the town of Onavas, Sonora. Two workers were injured and two others died.

According to the Sonora State Prosecutor’s Office, the attack took place when the workers stopped along a road so one of them could go to the restroom. That is when gunmen placed on top of surrounding hills began firing at them. One of the vehicles with the workers tried to flee after the workers in that car realized they were the intended targets of the gunmen.

The area of the attack has been labeled as an “area of confrontation” between La Línea Cártel, which is based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and factions of the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS). For years the two criminal organizations have been fighting over lucrative drug-production areas and corridors in the state of Sonora.

On September 11, in the coastal state of Guerrero, a third CFE worker was killed. This time it was a direct attack in which the employee, identified as Marco Antonio, was shot to death in the municipality of Coyuca de Benitez. The case remains unsolved.

On the same day, a member of the Mexican Navy, identified as Rodrigo ‘V’, 20 years old, took his life on the Nohoch-A platform, of the state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Rodrigo ‘V’ was assigned to the Thirteenth Marine Infantry Battalion and had been tasked with guarding the area against constant maritime robberies. So far, Pemex officials have yet to reveal a motive for the apparent suicide.


On September 8, in his morning press conference, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador acknowledged that the area where the first two murders of CFE workers were recorded is the scene of clashes between “gangs” that had cut off the electricity to two towns in “retaliation” for not supporting their operations.

“There is a confrontation between groups there,” López Obrador said referring to the outskirts of the town of Onavas where the attack took place. The president said that “in the performance of their duty,” the CFE workers went to reinstall electricity in two towns that had the power cut by cartel gunmen.

However, AMLO also hinted that the shooting could have been a case of mistaken identity where the gunmen mistook the convoy of CFE workers for a convoy of rival cartel gunmen. Prior to that, there were no recorded cases of cartel gunmen targeting energy employees. Investigations in the three cases are ongoing. The Onavas area is the same area where on November 4, 2019, nine U.S. citizens from the Langford, LeBaron, and Miller families were ambushed by hitmen as they drove toward the U.S. border, Breitbart Texas reported at the time.

Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to Mexico City and the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “Dharma Fernández” from Baja California


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