Testimony: 2010 Juárez wedding kidnapping almost did not end in blood

Border Crime

View of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico on August 15, 2019. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For a brief moment, a kidnapping at a 2010 Juárez wedding had the chance not to end in blood, according to a former sicario for the Sinaloa cartel.

The former assassin told a jury on Monday that a hit ordered by the top Sinaloa cartel leaders in Juárez during the late 2000s was almost halted because of a family connection. The sicario and his squad had kidnapped three men from a wedding in Central Juárez.

His wife’s family had a connection with the men who had been kidnapped. And he asked Antonio Marrufo, who was at the helm of the cartel in Juárez at the time, and he said they could let them go.

But the sicario told jurors that he had contacted the squad he worked with too late. Their captives had already been taken to a safe house, beaten, and killed.

The testimony was part of the ongoing trial of reputed cartel members Arturo Shows Urquidi and Mario Alberto Iglesias Villegas in U.S. federal court in El Paso. The two are accused of being involved in the Sinaloa cartels operations in Juárez in connection to murders, kidnappings, and drug trafficking.

The trials are part of a large indictment by a federal grand jury that included Sinaloa cartel leaders Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Ismael “Mayo” Zambada Garcia. On April 24, 2012, the leaders and 22 other members of the cartel were charged with criminal activities ranging from trafficking drugs to conspiracy to kill in a foreign country.

The man who took the stand said he’d been involved in criminal activity since the late 1990s. He’d been a police officer and then began working for the Sinaloa cartel in the mid-2000s.

Using his training as a policeman, he and a few others would coordinate over radio, using coded language to communicate with each other. The former sicario said he worked in a hit squad for the Sinaloa cartel and would often see Iglesias, also known as “El Dos,” or “El 2.”

He said the day of the kidnapping at El Señor de la Misericordia Catholic church in Juárez, or the Lord of Mercy Catholic Church, Iglesias had fallen behind because the squad later found out he was in a car accident. But he was still in communication with the squad, which matched earlier testimony of the day.

The sicario who took the stand Monday said he became emotional during the kidnapping because he saw the groom’s mother cry out not to hurt his son. She ran outside calling for the hit squad not to take her son, he said.

And, she tried getting the attention of a federal police vehicle passing by. She was unsuccessful in getting the police stop, he added.

“It reminded me of my mother,” he said.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.