General Raúl David Guillén Altuza, chief of staff of the 5th Military Zone headquartered in Chihuahua, yesterday confirmed the existence of "Los Linces," a relatively new group of assassins working for La Linea, a component part of the Juárez cartel. Ricardo Espinoza, writing for Norte, reports this morning that the general indicated some of the members of Los Linces are ex-military, but not all of them.
Little is known about Los Linces other than that. Francisco Gomez, writing in Mexico City's El Universal on July 20, asserts that the group is composed of "no more than 80 men. They were recruited in various parts of the country." He asserts that the group enjoys "the protection of federal, state and municipal police," and that their only reason for being is to act as a hit squad for La Linea in Chihuahua and Cd. Juárez. The report quotes a man who admitted to authorities he was a chauffeur for some of them. "..They operate in groups of four and five...always with chauffers." According to documents reviewed by Gomez, the assassination list attributed to them is long, and includes "state government officials, mayors, former mayors, state and municipal police, rival retail drug pushers or pushers who haven't paid their debts, members of the Sinaloa cartel, now known as Gente Nueva, thieves, or even drivers who have given them trouble in traffic." Among the victims were Pedro Aragonez, director of Forensic Services, Leonel Carrillo Marquez, comander of the Ministerial Police, Jose Torres Duran, a police agent killed in a WalMart, and the decapitation of four men. According to the Prosecutor for Investigating Organized Crime, Los Linces are also associated with the attempted assassination of Governor Jose Reyes Baeza, last February 22, when a commando attacked the convoy of vehicles carrying the governor.
Coincidence? A popular group of musicians from Tijuana, known as the Linces Boyz, specializes in singing narco-corridos. Something of an outlaw group, they apparently have not cut a CD, but they have been recorded at various venues and placed on YouTube singing such songs as "Spent Cartridge," "Black Commando," "El Muletas," ("Crutches," referring to a man who inflicted injuries crippling his victims), and "Don't Upset the Wasps." (no alboroten las avispas) They can be heard on myspace here. Life imitating art? In Cd. Juarez and Tijuana, in the past year or so this type of music has become less popular than before, perhaps because the negative side of narco-trafficking has become more real in the daily lives of just about everyone. There is another group of Norteño musicians known as Los Linces, in Mexico, who have been around a long time and another, also of old-timers, in Argentina. "Lince" in spanish means lynx, or wildcat.