MEXICO CITY—A drug gang leader says he ordered the killing of a U.S. consulate worker because she gave visas to a rival gang in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, federal police said Friday.
Jesus Ernesto Chavez, whose arrest was announced on Friday, leads a band of hit men for a street gang tied to the Juarez cartel, said Ramon Pequeno, the head of anti-narcotics for the Federal Police.
Pequeno said Chavez ordered the March 13 attack that killed U.S. consulate employee Lesley Enriquez and her husband as they drove in the violent border city, and he said Chavez told police that Enriquez was targeted because she gave visas to a rival gang.
A U.S. Embassy official said there would no immediate comment on the allegation.
Enriquez, who was four months pregnant, and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, were killed when gunmen opened fire on their sport utility vehicle after they left a birthday party. Their 7-month-old daughter was found wailing in the back of the vehicle.
Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate, also was killed by gunmen after leaving the same event in a separate vehicle.
Chavez told police that gunmen opened fire on Salcido because the two cars were the same colour and the hit men didn’t know which one Enriquez was in, Pequeno said.
Pequeno said Chavez belongs to Barrio Azteca, a gang that works for the Juarez cartel on both sides of the border.
The Juarez cartel’s turf war against the Sinaloa cartel has made Ciudad Juarez one of the deadliest cities in the world. More than 2,600 people were killed last year in the city of 1.3 million people across the border from El Paso, Texas.