Leader of Gulf Cartel Hitmen Detained in Mexico
By Dialogo August 03, 2011 Antonio Acosta Hernández, alias “El Diego,” is “an operational leader of La Línea [The Line] gang” who “ordered the homicides of around 1,500 people” in Ciudad Juárez, according to Ramón Pequeño, the head of the anti-drug division of the country’s Federal Police. Among these crimes were the March 2010 murders of three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez. The victims were consular official Lesley Enriquez, her husband Arthur Redelfs, a corrections officer at an El Paso jail, and the husband of an employee at the U.S. diplomatic mission. Pequeño spoke to the press on 31 July, and said that the leading hitman’s record includes several other crimes. “El Diego” ordered the massacre of 14 young people at a party in January 2010, an attack using explosives in July of the same year, in which two police officers were killed, and the homicides of several members of rival groups at a drug rehabilitation center. Police officers and local and federal officials were killed on the orders of “El Diego,” including a delegate of the Attorney-General’s Office and members of his own organization in whom in he had lost trust. Acosta Hernández “had infused more violence and radicalism into the dispute between the Juárez cartel and the Pacific (Sinaloa) cartel” for greater control over the drug transport routes to the United States, according to Pequeño. According to official figures, the violence unleashed by the fight against organized crime has caused the deaths of more than 41,000 people in Mexico since December 2006.