A witness in the ongoing murder trial of Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, who is accused of killing three U.S. Consulate workers and family members in Juarez, has made a shocking revelation before the jurors that Barrio Azteca gang had daily murder quota to instill fear in police and the public, and that he stopped counting the number of people he killed at 800.
Jesus Ernesto Chavez Castillo, a witness in the trial of Castrellon, revealed how the Barrio Azteca Gang Catrellon grew from a Texas jail to contract killers for the notorious Juarez cartel, according to Fox News. He added that he stopped counting the number of people he killed at 800, and often resorted to brutal acts, including beheading and dismembering victims, to impress his boss.
"I feel I did the right thing, since I did so much wrong," Chavez told the court, according to the news channel.
Castrellon, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of ordering the murder of El Paso County Sheriff's Officer Arthur Redfels, his wife Lesley Enriquez, and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros on 13 March 13. Ceniceros' wife and Enriquez worked at the U.S. Consulate.
According to El Paso Times, Chavez testified to jurors that Barrio Azteca members were asked to look out for a white Honda Pilot. Matching the description, the victims were travelling in a white Honda Pilot and a Toyota SUV when the incident took place.
Chavez said that Barrio Azteca leaders began suspecting if the U.S. Consulate was helping their rival Sinaloa drug cartel by providing visas, after drugs were available in El Paso at a cheaper price than they offered.
Jesus Ernesto Chavez Castillo reportedly told jurors that the Barrio Azteca gang members received training from Zetas drug cartel in Torreon, Mexico, to become better killers, including attacks on people inside moving vehicles. Castillo added that the gang members were asked to kill at least eight people per day in Juarez.
The gang is believed to have committed thousands of murders over four years, earning "Murder Capital of the World" title for Jaurez. The rate of killings in Juarez dropped drastically after the arrest of 35 Barrio Azteca members in 2010, though all the crime can't be attributed to the gang. The fact is murder rate dropped from 3,622 in 2010 to 2,086 in 2011, and 751 in 2012, reported Fox News.
Stratfor Mexico Security Analyst Tristan Reed believed that murders declined after Sinaloa cartel won the war with Barrio Aztecas.
"The murder rate in Juarez persisted because you had two powerful criminal organizations providing the weaponry, money and illicit drugs to push gangs to kill one another," Fox News quoted Reed.
"It is important to remember that Los Aztecas are still a very dangerous street gang operating in both Mexico and the United States," added Reed. "However, their ability to carry out violence as seen in 2010 is no longer around."