A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

5 accused in killing of Sonora state legislator-elect placed in prison

Slain deputy's designated successor, considered the top suspect in the case, is still missing; designated successor's brother remains under arraigo

     Five men suspected in the Sept. 14 slaying of Sonora state legislator-elect Eduardo Castro Luque have been formally accused of murder and placed in the Ciudad Obregón prison. The five had been held under arraigo, where suspects in organized crime cases can be held 40 days without charge, Mexican media reported.

      The man suspected of being the mastermind of the case, Manuel Alberto Fernández Félix, remained at large. Fernández Félix, 25, was the designated successor for Castro. Both ran on the ticket of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

     Fernández Félix's brother, Gerardo Fernández Félix, 22, remains under arraigo.

      The five men who were imprisoned were:
       • Alleged gunman Wilfredo Álvarez Félix, 40
       • Sergio Román Gil Zavala, 24, the alleged organizer of the killing
       • Wilver Joel Sánchez Quezada, 34, who allegedly recruited Álvarez Félix  
       • Diego Misael Cervantes Méndez, 26, who alleged acquired the .45-caliber murder weapon
       • Juan Manuel Rodríguez Hernández, 24, who allegedly acquired the motorcycle the alleged assassin used.

       Story in Frontera (PDF).

       Killings like these, while rare, help show why Mexico does not have a designated successor for president.

Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012

PRI laments slaying of Sonora state legislator-elect in Ciudad Obregon

eduardo castro luque      President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and other Institutional Revolutionary Party politicians on Saturday lamented Friday night's slaying of state legislator-elect Eduardo Castro Luque outside his home in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.

     The state PRI issued a statement that his killing would not intimidate those opposed, like Castro Luque was, to the construction of the El Novillo-Hermosillo aqueduct to provide water to the state capital.

     It was not clear that his killing had anything to do with the acqueduct project.
Ciudad Obregón also has become a point of conflict between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel.

     Castro Luque, 48, who had been a marketing manager for the Yaquis professional baseball team in Ciudad Obregón, was reported to have been shot numerous times by a man who then fled on a motorcycle. Media reported that Castro Luque's wife and son were at the home waiting for him to return.

Elected July 1, Castro Luque would have taken office Sunday.

Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Sept. 17: Prosecutor urges people to stop speculating about the motive behind Castro Luque's death (PDF).
Sonora Sistema Integral webpage on aqueduct.
October 2011 El Universal story on Yaqui Valley opposition to the aqueduct.
March 2012: Aqueduct reported to be 72% done.
Aug. 12, 2012 YouTube posting on aqueduct.