Wave of murders on the rise in southern Veracruz following the death of CJNG member ‘El Pollo’

 “MX” for Borderland Beat; TY to “stevectpa”

CJNG member El Pollo was killed in early September; his death triggered violence in the area

Narco-violence has unleashed in the southern region of the state of Veracruz after the death of Jesús Antonio González Hernández (‘El Pollo’, The Chicken), a high-ranking Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) member who commanded a group of hitmen under José Roberto Sánchez Cortés (“El Licenciado” or “El Huevochas”) in the Acayucan, Veracaruz, area.

El Pollo was killed on September 9 along with three other people in a shootout with the Veracruz State Police. These cartel members were transferring a kidnapping victim to an undisclosed location when they were confronted by security forces.

Two months earlier, El Pollo was arrested along with “El Mandi” during an operation implemented on the afternoon of June 27 by the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) and the  Navy in Acayucan. Both are linked to the CJNG; days later El Pollo was released. But this was not the first time El Pollo had been arrested. According to his criminal career, he was arrested for being in possession of stolen fuel but was also released.

Cartel violence

Ten days after El Pollo was killed, violence exploded in Acayucan; in only 72 hours, five men and a woman were killed in firearm attacks.

On the morning of September 19, the taxi driver leader of the Authentic Federation of Workers of the State of Veracruz (FATEV), Valdemar Molina González, was attacked by gumne when he he was shopping in Acayucan. Still alive, he was transferred to a nearby hospital but eventually succumbed to his wounds.

Paramedics attempt to save the life of mechanic Jesus Zetina Fonseca, who died in Acayucan from machete blows

Hours later, Hours later, the siblings Balfre and Elías García Hernández were murdered when they were traveling on the highway to near Acayucan. The two men, aged 43 and 53, were residents of the community of Miguel Alemán, in San Juan Evangelista, and were apparently attacked on their way to their town. A few minutes away from the crime scene, a motorcyclist was shot and killed by unknown assailants.

That same evening, the owner of a mechanical workshop was killed with machetes. The victim was identified as Jesús Zetina Fonseca, aged 36. The mechanic had spent the night in his shop because robbers had tried to break in the day before.

Mariana was killed in front of her 6 year old son; no one has been arrested for the crime

The killing that reached national headlines committed on September 22, when gunmen ambushed and killed Mariana in front of her six-year-old son while driving through Acayucan. She worked as an accountant for Industrias Cañeros S.A. de C.V.

When authorities arrived at the scene, her bullet-ridden body was next to where her son was sitting. Her son was not injured during the attack. Her murder caused consternation among the community and family and friends demanded justice. So far there is no information on the motive for the attack against her.

CJNG presence in the Acayucan area

Acayucan and the surrounding areas are rich in livestock and agriculture but many of parts of this region have been severely hit by crime. The police patrols many of the municipality’s highways but much of Acayucan is rural and cartel members use dirt roads to circumvent their patrols.

Civilians have reported a rise in cattle raiding, extortion and kidnappings. Investigators say the criminals in the area are likely tied to the CJNG. Earlier this year, Borderland Beat reported that a police chief in San Juan Evangelsita (which borders Acayucan) was killed by CJNG members for not supporting the CJNG’s activities in the area.

It is rumored that he refused to allow the CJNG’s cattle theft operations and kidnappings in the area. His dispute with the CJNG dates back to August 2019, when police officers working under him detained 40 CJNG members who were looting ranches in the municipalities of Playa Vicente, Azueta, Isla, Rodríguez Clara (in Veracruz) and several others along the border with Oaxaca.

Sources: e-VeracruzLa Nigua; Diario El Mundo