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Mexican soldier assigned to guard “El Chapo” Guzman found murdered

June 18, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mexican soldier assigned to guard “El Chapo” Guzman found murdered

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Authorities in Mexico have opened an investigation after the discovering the body of a member of the Mexican military assigned to guard notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the nefarious leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

The Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) identified the victim as Jorge Mauricio Melendez Herrera, an active member of the military who worked as the first filter security guarding Guzman at the Federal Social Readaptation Center (Cefereso) No. 9, located outside Ciudad Juarez.

According to Milenio, authorities discovered Herrera’s tortured remains wrapped in a blanket on a dirt road in a remote area of Juarez, the city that was once ground zero for a brutal cartel turf war involving Guzman’s Sinaloa Federation and the Juarez Cartel.

Investigators are now working to find out why Herrera was targeted and who’s behind his murder. Despite the fact that fighting has subsided in Juarez in recent years, acts of violence still occur in the city.

Hererra was part of a deployment of 300 soldiers from a barracks near Juarez that was stationed at the prison after Guzman was suddenly transferred there back in May.

Autopsy results revealed Herrera had suffered multiple stab wounds. However, forensics experts listed the cause death resulting from blunt force trauma to the back of the head.

Officials maintain they haven’t ruled out the possibility the murder could be unrelated to Herrera’s job guarding Guzmán.

However, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office has since taken over the investigation from the Chihuahua state prosecutors after officials confirmed reports that Melendez was a part of a federal operation in charge guarding Guzman at the Juarez prison.

Officials also concede the possibility that the killing could be an attempt by Guzmán and his associates to circumvent the massive security presence authorities have maintained around the prison.

The brutal killing has prompted the Mexican government to increase military and police presence further at the penitentiary.

Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, says the heightened security conditions, which includes the deployment of the 300 additional soldiers, helicopters, and other branches of law enforcement to secure the detention center could be costing the Mexican government nearly 2 million pesos a week.

The security protocols taken by the Mexican government is part of a sustained effort aimed at thwarting another possible prison escape by the drug lord.

Officials transferred Guzman out of the Altiplano prison, located west of Mexico City to the Cefereso No. 9, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Many security experts believe Mexican authorities made the move in anticipation of the drug lord’s impending extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for charges in several U.S. jurisdictions.

“The vast majority of transfers take place across the bridges in El Paso, It’s a short distance to [a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] removal operations office,” says Victor Manjarrez Jr., former U.S. Border Patrol chief for the Tucson Sector, told Fox News Latino.

“It’s an even shorter distance to the airport, which makes a lot of logistical sense,” Manjarrez added.

Guzmán had twice escaped from jail the first occurring in 2001 when he broke out of the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in a laundry cart

To date, Mexican authorities have arrested twenty prison officials, including a former head of the country’s prison system, who stand accused of aiding and abetting his second escape from the Altiplano prison back in July 2015.

Last week, a court issued additional detention orders against eleven of the officials who have been charged in the jailbreak, including the former director of the Altiplano prison.

Security experts sat if Guzman managed to corrupt those officials to aid in his jailbreak then he would indeed employ the same tactic to escape try and again.

El Chapo “would use the very standard tool of corruption and intimidation, to subvert the conditions [in prison], could he escape?… In the short term no, but long term who knows” said Alejandro Hope, a Mexican security analyst.

“It should be remembered … some of the structural weaknesses within the Mexican prison system remain, this was not just at the Altiplano, it was systemic throughout,” Hope said.

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