Juárez police under attack after the arrest of reputed gang leader

A series of shootings hit Juárez police stations and law enforcement officers Wednesday night following the arrest of a reputed gang leader.

The attacks occurred after the arrest of “El Iraqui,” the moniker of Jose Dolores Villegas Soto, an alleged high-ranking leader in the Barrio Azteca gang. 

Villegas also is known as “El Iraki” and “El Lolo,” a nicknamed derived from his middle name. (Photo: El Paso Times)

“El Iraqui” Jose Dolores Villegas Soto, an alleged leader in the Barrio Azteca gang, was arrested in Torreon, Mexico, on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (Photo: Courtesy Chihuahua attorney general’s office)

There were at least five attacks on Juárez law enforcement overnight that left four attackers dead, two police officers wounded and at least 10 suspects detained, authorities said.

Hundreds of gunshots near a police station could be heard in videos shared on social media, and news reports stated that grenades were used in an attack on Chihuahua state police offices.

The attacks were possibly in retaliation for the arrest of Villegas, whom Mexican authorities suspect in more than 50 slayings along the border.

“El Iraqui” (the Iraqi),  who sports a shaved head and a dark beard, commands more than 50 men, including killers and drug dealers, the Chihuahua attorney general’s office said.

Coahuila state police working with Chihuahua state investigators captured Villegas on Wednesday in the city of Torreón, officials said.

Villegas was among the 10 most-wanted fugitives featured on the El Paso-Juárez border binational “Se Busca,” or “Most Wanted,” billboard campaign.

The arrest was a “hard and accurate blow” to organized crime, Chihuahua Attorney General César Peniche Espejel said in a statement.

Source: El Paso Times

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