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Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012

5 band members, 4 others killed in Chihuahua nightclub

Off duty-policewoman killed, as was brother of professional soccer player

Band had played narcocorridos about La Línea enforcement arm of Juárez Cartel

Five members of the La Quinta Banda musical group and four others were shot to death early Saturday in the Far West nightclub in Chihuahua City, the capital of Chihuahua state. Four people were hospitalized with injuries. One of the band members, Julio Alberto Barraza Flores, was the brother of professional soccer player Jahir Barraza Flores, 21, who plays for Atlas. Also killed was an off-duty and apparently unarmed elizabeth zafiro quintanaChihuahua policewoman, Elizabeth Zafiro Quintana, 25, (right) who witnesses said reacted to the shootings; her friend Rocío Zúñiga Sánchez; and a man accompanying them, according to El Heraldo de Chihuahua. Authorities said the killings were done by one gunman, although El Heraldo de Chihuahua indicated he may have been accompanied by others.

One of the band's narcocorrido songs, "El Corrido de La Línea," glorifies the Juarez Cartel's group of hitmen. A number of Mexican band members have been killed in recent years as a result of the narcocorridos they have sung. El Heraldo de Chihuahua writes about how narcocorridos became part of the band's repertoire.

In 2009, four people were killed in a similar attack on the nightclub.

Band members killed were: Drummer Julio Alberto Barraza Flores, 27; clarinet player Fernando Rivero Castañeda, 31; Gabriel Eduardo Rodríguez Rodríguez, 35; trombone player Marco Antonio Murga Rojas, 30; and singer Jorge Luis Mendoza Rivera, 32. Also killed were Vicente Romero Cruz, 33, and Julio César Reyes Ocaña, 31. Rivero also taught at the Chihuahua Music Conservatory and played with the state philharmonic orchestra.

Zafiro leaves a 3-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.
A second policewoman, Jazmin Nayeli Rodríguez Gallardo, 25, who worked for the state police, was shot to death Saturday night while riding her motorcycle on a Chihuahua street.

The band had been scheduled to play Saturday in Parral, the city where Mexican Revolution figure Pancho Villa was assassinated in 1923, El Heraldo de Chihuahua reported. Story in Frontera (PDF). Myspace video of the band. YouTube video.

Alleged Guzmán lieutenant captured in León; linked to 2009 killing of 18 in Juárez rehab center

An alleged lieutenant of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was captured Friday by federal police in León, Guanajuato, along with what was described as an arsenal of weapons. Authorities said José Antonio Torres Marrufo was the leader of the "Gente Nueva" grouping in Chihuahua stateand linked him to the massacre of 18 people in a Ciudad Juárez rehab center in 2009. Chihuahua state authorities had offered a 2 million peso ($156,000) reward for information leading to his captured. Story in Frontera (PDF).