Jesús Ernesto Chávez, said to be a leader of a binational gang that supplies contract killers to the Juarez drug cartel, was arrested on charges that he masterminded the March 13 daylight ambush and murder of U.S. Consulate staffer Lesley Ann Enriquez and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, an El Paso sheriff's deputy.
Enriquez, who was four months pregnant, and Redelfs were killed by a squad of commandos as they were leaving a birthday party. The attack occurred within sight of the international bridge, and their deaths raised fears that U.S. officials were being targeted by warring drug traffickers. The couple's uninjured 7-month-old daughter was found crying in the back seat of their car.
Chávez told police that Enriquez was targeted because she was providing visas to members of the rival Sinaloa drug cartel, the chief of the federal police anti-drug unit, Ramón Pequeño, said at a news conference.
U.S. law enforcement officials said Chávez is a leader of the Barrio Azteca organization, a violent gang born in Texas prisons that has members on both sides of the border.
Chávez, who was known as the Camel, was linked to more than a dozen other murders. It goes without saying that this was a horrible crime and, assuming Chávez is their guy, it's of course good news that he's been caught. But I'm also curious if the belief that Enríquez was dealing favors to a criminal gang was accurate, and I wonder what kind of steps American officials are taking to ensure that their officials are protected and isolated from organized crime.