Republished with permission from Borderland Beat:
Buenaventura, Chihuahua— A large presence of “authorities” was reported on by residents of the municipality of Buenaventura, with the control that an armed group carries out in the area, stealing livestock, crops, agricultural machinery, and hydrocarbons to support their drug smuggling activities . . .
Furthermore, residents of Flores Magón, Namiquipa and Ahumada, say they are threatened, as a criminal cell calling itself “Los Linces” (The Lynxes) maintain an active presence and the lack of vigilance keeps the villagers vulnerable. “Los Linces”, is presumably the same group consisting of mostly members of the Mexican Army who have deserted, who on February 10, faced against a dozen members of the only preventative state police division.
The same agents had arrested one of the leaders of “Los Lines” in Flores Magón for the bearing of a high-powered rifle and his followers were able to rescue him after a shootout. Following this incident, the attackers were attacked by state agents and a large operation was carried out to capture them; however, due to the visit of Pope Francis to Juárez, the search was suspended because agents were moved to the border as part of the operation of the papal visit.
Residents of Buenaventura, Ahumada and Namiquipa, mostly peasants, farmers, and ranchers, say that they are virtually at the mercy of the criminals who keep them threatened with death if they try to organize themselves. The criminal cell is composed of about 150 people, who travel in convoys of at least 50 trucks, according to the residents.
The same versions indicate that the men use paramilitary uniforms and are heavily armed with .50 caliber Barrett rifles. This criminal group arose from a dispute that the leaders of the Juarez Cartel had. Gonzalo García, “El Chalo” died on March 16, 2015, and his successor, Jesús Salas Aguayo, “El Chuyín”, was arrested by the army a month later, in his ranch in Villa Ahumada.