HomeNewsBriefMexico Rehab Center Massacre Tied to Conflict Over Local Drug Trade
BRIEF

Mexico Rehab Center Massacre Tied to Conflict Over Local Drug Trade

BARRIO AZTECA / 2 OCT 2017 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

Authorities have blamed conflict over local drug markets for a bloody massacre at a drug treatment center in Mexico, the latest example of violence fueled by Mexico's fragmented criminal landscape.

On September 26, half a dozen men armed with AK-47s invaded a rehabilitation center in the state of Chihuahua and indiscriminately slaughtered 15 people, Excelsior reported.

The Chihuahua State Attorney's Office announced during a September 27 press conference that the Barrio Azteca gang was thought to be responsible for the massacre.

Authorities' working theory at this early stage of the investigation is that the killings were spurred by a turf war between two gangs reportedly working as cartel subcontractors: Barrio Azteca, also known as "Los Aztecas," which is tied to the Juárez Cartel, and the "Mexicles," which is linked to the Sinaloa Cartel. Both gangs appear to be vying for control of the local drug market.

Officials also suspect Barrio Azteca of being behind a spate of deadly attacks in bars that have bloodied Chihuahua in recent months. The last incident occurred four days before the rehab center massacre, leaving five dead in a nightclub.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Barrio Azteca leader Eduardo Ravelo, who has a place on the FBI's "Top Ten Most Wanted List."

InSight Crime Analysis

The recent series of bloody attacks is consistent with the particularly violent history of Barrio Azteca, which allegedly received training from the infamous Zetas, the crime group created largely by deserting members of Mexico's military special forces.

Among past massacres was a prison riot instigated by Barrio Azteca that left 20 dead in Ciudad Juárez in 2009. The targets of that attack were none other than incarcerated Mexicles members, the Los Angeles Times reported.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Although authorities consider Barrio Azteca an armed wing of the Juárez Cartel, the gang appears to have gained considerable autonomy in recent years, in large part thanks to microtrafficking activities that produce roughly half its earnings.

But the recent bloody incident at the rehab center is more than just the latest tit-for-tat in a long-running war. It is also an illustration of how, with more than 40 gangs and nine cartels, Mexico's fragmented criminal landscape has contributed to violence as these groups jockey for control of strategic resources. As InSight Crime previously reported, conflict over the local drug trade in Chihuahua -- rather than international trafficking routes -- has been blamed for rising violence in the state.

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.

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

HUMAN RIGHTS / 27 JUL 2021

Reports of migrants dying and disappearing in the US-Mexico borderlands are becoming increasingly common, propelled in part by a restrictive…

GUATEMALA / 31 MAR 2011

A trafficker believed to be a key contact for the Sinaloa Cartel was arrested in Guatemala on Wednesday. The Drug…

MEXICO / 20 JUN 2011

More than 3,700 people were arrested in the first six days of a nationwide effort by Mexico's state police forces…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.