News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Barrio Azteca leader found slain in Juárez

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/16/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

One of the reputed leaders of the Barrio Azteca gang was found slain in Juárez last month, FBI officials in El Paso confirmed this week.

David "Chicho" Meraz, 49, was a capo, or captain, within the gang's paramilitary-style hierarchy. Years ago, Meraz was head of the gang's operations in El Paso, according to investigators' court testimony that is part of the ongoing federal racketeering case against the gang.

"He was a known Barrio Azteca leader," said Special Agent Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokeswoman.

Meraz, a lifelong resident of El Paso, had not been named in the current indictment that has lead to the arrest of 15 gang members and associates.

On the morning of March 27, Meraz's body, which is decorated with numerous tattoos including the phrase "Perdóname Dios mió" (Forgive me, my God), was found in the parking lot of the Lienzo Charro Adolfo Lopez Mateos in Juárez, Chihuahua state police said. Meraz had multiple stab wounds, including a slash to the neck.

Simmons said the bureau would not comment whether Meraz's killing was linked to the current investigation.

The Barrio Azteca operates on both sides of the border, where it is involved in drug dealing and the collection of "taxes" from street-level drug dealers in El Paso. Members of the gang sought by U.S. authorities have been known to take refuge in Juárez.

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