HomeNewsBriefEx-US Soldier Led Mexico Kidnapping Gang
BRIEF

Ex-US Soldier Led Mexico Kidnapping Gang

MEXICO / 12 NOV 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

A former US Army and Texas police officer is accused of leading a kidnapping gang captured by authorities in Mexico, the latest example of US military skills being utilized by Mexican organized crime.

The 16-man organization allegedly kidnapped and killed the 70-year-old father of a municipal mayor in the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, where the group operated, reported Vanguardia.

Identified variously as Luis Ricardo Gonzalez Aguirre, Javier Aguirre Cardenas, or Javier "N" by Mexican news sources, the group's leader is a 32-year-old US citizen who served in the US Army from 1998 to 2002 and then as a Texas police officer in the border city of Laredo between 2004 and 2009.

According to El Universal, he moved across the frontier to Tamaulipas in 2009, at which point he became involved in criminal activity.

The former US security official is originally from the Tamaulipas border town of Reynosa, and allegedly ran illegal activities in various municipalities throughout the state. It is believed the group operated on the behalf of a larger criminal organization, although it is unclear which group and what other illicit activities the kidnappers engaged in, reported Proceso.

The 16 members of the gang were arrested in eight separate operations by anti-kidnapping police, reported Milenio.

InSight Crime Analysis 

The revelation of a former US serviceman offering his services to a Mexican organized crime group follows a number of similiar reports this year which some say illustrate a deliberate strategy by cartels to recruit from US security force ranks. In July this year, a former US soldier was convicted of the 2009 assassination of a Juarez Cartel member, after being recruited by the rival Gulf Cartel to carry out the slaying.

Earlier this year, in April, an FBI bulletin (pdf) from 2011 was leaked which outlined the vigorous expansion of recruitment by the Zetas in the United States. In September, a former US soldier plead guilty to offering assassination services to undercover DEA agents, who he thought were members of the Zetas.The Zetas themselves have military origins, often considered a key factor in their rapid expansion throughout Mexico following their 2010 split from the Gulf Cartel, and other organized crime groups have mimicked their military rigor.

SEE ALSO: Zetas News and Profile

A close relationship between organized crime and security force personnel is common throughout Latin America. The Zetas are reported to have recruited Guatemalan military personnel to operate on their behalf, while Honduran and Brazilian policemen have been known to work as hitmen, to note just two examples.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 9 OCT 2014

A recent massacre of student protesters in the turbulent state of Guerrero has shined a spotlight on the Guerreros Unidos…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 MAY 2020

The former head of Mexico’s federal police has been implicated in a money-laundering scheme that moved millions in suspected bribes…

COLOMBIA / 3 OCT 2013

Authorities in Colombia have dismantled an organization dedicated to providing precursor chemicals to Mexican cartels, illustrating how tightening restrictions on…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.