EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Juarez police have arrested three men and a woman in connection to the Sunday murder of a man whose body parts they allegedly left on a sidewalk under a miniature Christmas tree.
The suspects were carrying a backpack with bloody knives and a machete; they are known members of a criminal gang and have previously been convicted of drug offenses, migrant smuggling and assault, said Juarez municipal police Chief Cesar Omar Munoz.
The murder victim is a male in his 20s. Munoz said the suspects told investigators during questioning that they killed the man for selling drugs in their southeast Juarez neighborhood for a rival gang.
They allegedly left the man’s dismembered body inside plastic bags under the tree and hung some body parts as ornaments as a warning. The southeast area of the city has seen several drug-related murders this year involving the Aztecas and another gang that Munoz did not identify.
Police have not identified the victim and they only released the first names of the suspects: Misael G.Q., 33, Brisa Lizbeth G.R., 22, Emanuel C.P., 28, and Edwin G.B., 32.
Juarez as of Sunday had reported 1,363 homicides for the year – most of them drug-related –, according to the nonprofit FICOSEC.
The homicides have shot up in the past three years as the major drug cartels operating in Juarez — Sinaloa and La Linea (formerly Juarez cartel — have turned to paying their associated gangs in drugs instead of cash and are bent on developing a domestic drug-consumption market, experts have told Border Report.