4 Gunmen from Los Linces Die in Shootout With Chihuahua State Police

“MX” for Borderland Beat

Two out of the four sicarios died inside the vehicle

The four gunmen who were killed earlier this week in the municipality of Gómez Farías, Chihuahua, during a shootout with state police officers belonged to Los Linces, the armed wing of La Linea.

The events occurred in the rural community of El Porvenir, where a group of Chihuahua State Police officers were attacked by Los Linces during a routine surveillance in the area.

The state policemen were able to neutralize the attack and kill four sicarios while the rest managed to escape. No injures or casualties were reported on the police’s side.

So far no suspects have been detained, according to the Chihuahua Secretary of Public Security Emilio García Rui. He added that security forces implemented a search group to arrest those responsible, and that 125 agents from the State Security Commission (CES) arrived from Ciudad Juarez to assist in Gomez Farias.

In a separate incident in Ciudad Juarez, authorities discovered 4 bodies inside a home in Parajes del Sur neighborhood. The victims were visibly tortured and were found with their hands and feet tied up. Investigators say they were killed with a coup de grâce blow to the back of the head.

Background

Los Linces is a paramilitary squad under La Linea, the former armed wing of the old Juarez Cartel. Los Linces were formed in the 2000s and originally served as an elite paramilitary group responsible for the security services of the Carrillo Fuentes clan. The group was mostly composed of ex-military members — similar to Los Zetas when they were formed under the Gulf Cartel.

One of the group’s earliest members, Gregorio Cobos Tellez (‘El Cobos’ and/or ‘El Lince’), was in the Mexican Armed Forces. He died in a shootout with security forces last year.

With the disintegration of the old Juarez Cartel in the mid-2010s, La Linea grew into much larger criminal network. It now directly hires local gangs as “contract enforcers” and has Los Linces as its dedicated armed wing in parts of Chihuahua.

Location of Gomez Farias Municipality within the state of Chihuahua. A source cited in this report stated that Gomez Farias has been under the control of La Linea for over a decade.

La Linea is competing for control of the Sierra Madre mountains with Gente Nueva, the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. Gente Nueva and La Linea want control of the following municipalities: Ignacio Zaragoza, Gómez Farías, Buenaventura, Madera, Bachiniva, Matachi, and Nuevo Casas Grandes.

Last December, Los Linces ambushed and killed two Chihuahua State Police officers in Gomez Farias. Alejandro Venzor, 54, the commander of the investigation agency in the area, was killed along with Otoniel Zaragoza, 39, his second-in-command. The attack occurred while the police officers were filling up their tank at a gas station.

Their deaths triggered a large manhunt in Gomez Farias, where more than 20 arrest warrants were issued by the Prosecutor’s Office. Officials mentioned that those responsible face between 60 and 70 years in prison for the crime.

Sources: El Heraldo de Chihuahua; La Parada Digital; Noticias en la Mira; Diario de Juarez (1); (2); (3); (4); (5); (6)El Heraldo de Juarez; La Jornada; El Puntero