Another Federal Prosecutor in Guerrero is Assassinated, Led Cases Against Los Ardillos

Latin America World

“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

Armed men murdered Fernando García Fernandez, head of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in Guerrero, Chilpancingo. The attack occurred after 8:30AM, according to local media, in the Cipatli neighborhood, in the south of the capital. 

García’s murder comes just days after that of regional prosecutor Víctor Salas, head of the Guerrero prosecutor’s office in the Tierra Caliente region. Hitmen fired over 50 shots, killing him in Coyuca over the weekend two days after his appointment.

Not much is known about the attack against García. The state’s undersecretary of police operations, Irving Jiménez, explained in a message posted online that the official was driving his SUV when he suffered a gunshot attack. García would have lost control of the vehicle, crashing it into the door of a building.

There, the hitmen took him out of the truck and shot him. It didn’t take long for the emergency services to arrive, but García would have died shortly after. A source close to the Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the death and the identity of the victim.

The delegate of the FGR in Guerrero had participated in the arrests of two important members of Los Ardillos and in at least 138 convictions before being murdered. Those two members are identified as Jesús Echeverría Peñafiel, “El Topo” and Bernardo “C”; as well as Lenin “L” and Paula “C”, members of a gang dedicated to aggravated kidnapping.

Los Ardillos Arrests & Protests

Jesús Echeverría Peñafiel, “El Topo” arrest on July 5, 2023, triggered violence in the area. According to the FGR, “El Topo” claimed to be a member of the UPOEG Community Police, which they point out as the armed wing of the criminal group “Los Ardillos.”

It is known that this man was the head of the plaza in the communities of Rincón de la Vía and Cajelitos and controlled the Ocotito Valley corridor, from La Haciendita to Rincón de la Vía, a route used to transport and distribute synthetic drugs, and car theft. and cattle. He was also the leader of the Tierra Colorada taxi drivers group, where he was in charge of collecting payment of transport union fees.

Jesús Echeverría was arrested on July 5 on the Mexico-Acapulco national highway, in Chilpancingo, by members of the State Police, along with another man identified as Bernardo “C.”

After that arrest, transporters from Colotlipa and Quechultenango blocked the Autopista del Sol. That same day, a video was also released in which the mayor of Chilpancingo, Norma Otilia Hernández, met with one of the leaders of that group.

Days later, the state experienced other episodes of violence. Five taxi drivers were killed, and four vehicles were set on fire. Residents of the La Montaña region blocked the Autopista del Sol, clashed with police, took 12 security personnel hostage, and stole an armored vehicle.

FGR Carries Out Operations in Tierra Caliente

Following the homicide of the former Regional Prosecutor of Tierra Caliente, and in order to reinforce the investigation actions, clarify the facts, and find the probable culprits; the State Attorney General, Mtra. Sandra Luz Valdovinos Salmerón, leads an operation in coordination with elements of the Mexican Army and the National Guard, in the Tierra Caliente Region.

State and federal elements, aboard official vehicles, carry out operations and tours starting this Monday and will remain permanently in the various municipalities of the Tierra Caliente region. Another objective is also to reinforce and guarantee security in that region of the state of Guerrero.