Border Death ThreatsPosted: Updated:
Top officials in the Border State Chihuahua are on high alert after gunmen attacked a convoy escorting the Governor Sunday night. And the Mayor of Juarez is the target of death threats that include his family "even if they're in El Paso, Texas," according to anonymous signs posted in Juarez.
The familiar handwritten signs known as "narco mensajes" by locals or narco messages appeared after Juarez Police Chief Roberto Orduna resigned. The former Army General who took over the troubled city police department quit after several signs appeared in the border city threatening to "kill an officer every 48 hours unless the chief stepped down."
After last week's brazen attack on a top police commander and 3 officers, the police chief was not willing to wait and see if the killers would carry out their threats. The patrol car they were riding in was riddled with bullet holes. The crime scene had 150 casings. The police commander was in charge of weeding out corruption on the force.
The new hand-written signs directed at Mayor Jose Reyes Ferris said, "You made a good decision in letting that filthy Ordona leave. But if you keep covering up for other
&%#! we're not going to ask for your resignation. We're going to cut off your head along with your family's, even though they are in El Paso, Texas."
This is the first public threat extending to the Texas side of the border.
Last month when I interviewed the mayor he told me he's owned a home in El Paso for many years but that HE still lived in Juarez.
Even so many Juarez business leaders and government officials have moved their families to El Paso to escape escalating violence, extortion attempts and kidnappings.
The mayor's office told me he's taking the threats seriously. Mayor Reyes Ferris was in Mexico City meeting with federal authorities about security issues and did not make any public appearances today (Monday.)
The Governor of Chihuahua also did not appear at an afternoon press conference in the capital city. Attorney General Patricia Gonzalez gave an update on the investigation into an attack on the Governor's convoy Sunday night. Gunmen killed a state police officer and injured two others who were bodyguards for Governor Jose Reyes Baeza. The State Attorney General said one suspected trigger man captured after the attack is "ex-military." In a hastily called press conference at midnight Sunday, the Governor had said it was still not clear he was the target.
The increasingly brazen commando style attacks and public pressure on government officials -- only demonstrate the drug traffickers fighting for control of the border State Chihuahua and the lucrative smuggling routes that lead to Texas -- are not backing down.