Tonalá, Jalisco: The Massacre On Calle Rucias Negras

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Nothing links the 11 victims with any criminal group. The intention of the hitmen was to execute, with the greatest fury possible, the group

They had just received their “pay”, they were drinking can beers in front of the contractor’s house, sitting on a cement banquet on Rucias Negras street, in the La Jauja neighborhood, in Tonalá, Jalisco.

In the pick-up truck that was next to them there were still the shovels, the sledgehammers, the work tools that they had used during the day.

That Saturday afternoon they heard them laugh for the last time. A dark truck pulled up down the street. The neighbors who witnessed this didn’t open the door to the police, but it’s believed that at least four armed men arrived aboard a dark vehicle and shot them as if instead of them being a group of bricklayers drinking they were shooting at members of a rival group.

More than 150 shell casings from AK-47s and .40 caliber were left in the street.

The photos that circulated that afternoon are of unspeakable violence. Eleven construction workers, ages 17 to 60, were split by bullets, lying in puddles where their blood was mixed up.

There were reports of a chase, and of vehicles that fled towards Zapotlanejo: it was even searched for with a helicopter, but the authorities couldn’t detect anything.

The street where the hitmen unleashed their gunfire was turned into a hell of screaming, crying, hysteria.

Tonalá returns again and again to the headlines. In October 2018, the discovery of nine clandestine graves in the Agua Escondida neighborhood exploded in the media. It was a black construction site in which at least eight people were kidnapped, tortured, and dismembered.

The investigators of the prosecution collected testimonies about trucks and recent model cars that arrived at night at that place, and of screams “that once frightened even a visitor,” according to a woman.

Nine months (July 2019) later, 21 bodies were found in an abandoned farm in the Santa Cruz de las Huertas neighborhood. Three were buried in a chamber; another eight were distributed in eleven plastic bags; the rest buried in a 200 square meter patio.

In January of the following year, another property located on the road to Matlatlán found 26 bags with human bodies. One of these corresponded to that of a UdeG student, only 18 years old, who disappeared nine months ago.

Tonalá was the municipality of Jalisco with the most homicides of policemen in 2019. At the end of that year it was reported that some of its colonies were among the most dangerous in the metropolitan area of ​​Guadalajara, and after robberies and murders suffered by several drivers, companies such as Uber and Didi suspended their services in the area.

Massacres and multi-homicides are not rare. As in the rest of the state, 90 percent of murders are associated with organized crime.

The authorities have so far found nothing to link the eleven victims of Rucias Negras with the activities of a criminal group.

After the events of Saturday, a rumor was unleashed about the possibility that the masons had worked in the ground work of clandestine graves.

In September 2008, 24 bricklayers were found barefoot, bound hand and foot, with signs of torture and gunshots to their heads in Ocoyoacac, near La Marquesa.

The investigations indicated that they came from Puebla, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz: someone had offered them a job and contracted them for a job in Mexico City.

A Beltrán Leyva operator, Raúl Villa Ortega, known as El R or El Rule, had taken them out of a house in Huixquilucan, with the support of a police commander named Antonio Ramírez Cervantes.

The rumors were identical: that they had been used in the construction of tunnels and hiding places inside safe houses, in an area where Edgar Valdez Villarreal, La Barbie, and José Gerardo Álvarez Vázquez, El Indio, operated at the time.

Some time later, when Alfredo Castillo, then the attorney for Edomex, was arrested, the bloodthirsty Óscar Osvaldo García Montoya —aka El Compayito or La Mano con Ojos— revealed that the bricklayers were innocent: that what signed their death sentence was that “they had seen faces ”.

The street where the bricklayers were shot is today covered with candles. The walls look like their final resting place. According to the evidence collected in the La Jauja neighborhood, sources from the prosecution say that the hit men were not looking for a specific person. The intention was to execute, with the greatest fury possible, the whole group.

Why? It’s not known. To this day, this is another story from Mexico that only delivers blood, and no response.


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