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Reputed drug cartel boss ‘El Jaguar’ wounded, arrested in Mexican army shootout

Mexican troops during a patrol. (BSMFBSMF/Wikimedia Commons)

A reputed drug cartel leader suspected in the massacre of a U.S.-Mexican family was captured over the weekend after a shootout with Mexican army soldiers in a Chihuahua mountain village.

Francisco Javier Arvizu Márquez, alias “El Jaguar,” was wounded in a gunbattle with soldiers Saturday morning in the community of La Norteña near the town of Madera, Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense and Chihuahua state authorities stated.

“El Jaguar” is reputedly the leader of the “Gente Nueva del Jaguar,” a branch of the Sinaloa drug cartel, or what the army called the Cartel of the Pacific, a military news release stated.

The military stated that soldiers were acting on intelligence when they observed a suspicious vehicle and were fired upon. During the gunfight, “El Jaguar” was wounded and taken into custody, given first aid and transferred to a medical facility in Chihuahua City.

Three other people were arrested and eight high-caliber rifles and ammunition were seized.

Mexico’s defense ministry stated “El Jaguar” was arrested on homicide and organized crime charges and described him as a major generator of violence in the towns of Madera, Casas Grandes and Gómez Farías in northwestern Chihuahua.

El Heraldo de Juárez reported that a video circulating on social media showed La Norteña villagers allegedly attempting to bribe soldiers into releasing the suspected narco trafficker.

“Think about it, what would you do with three million pesos to free the Jaguar and bring him here,” one person says in the video, El Heraldo de Juárez reported. Three million pesos is worth nearly $149,000.

Chihuahua Attorney General Roberto Javier Fierro Duarte said in a statement that the capture of “El Jaguar” was an important arrest of a “priority objective.”

Arvizu Márquez had reportedly wrested control of the region from reputed La Linea drug trafficker Roberto Gonzalez Montes, known as “El Mudo” (The Mute) and “El 32,” who was arrested last year.

The Mexican military stated “El Jaguar” also is suspected of being involved in the ambush killings of nine women and children of the Miller, Langford and LeBarón families on a mountain road near Bavispe, Sonora, in 2019.

The three women and six children killed were dual U.S.-Mexican citizens and members of the offshoot Mormon communities of Colonia LeBaron in northwestern Chihuahua and La Mora in Sonora state.

He is not the only drug trafficker to use the moniker of “El Jaguar.” Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, also known as “El Jaguar” and “El Catorce (14),” was one of the reputed founders of the Gente Nueva of the Sinaloa cartel and a key figure during in its war with the Juárez cartel a decade ago. He has been in custody since 2012.


© 2021

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.