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Another alleged member of La Linea drug cartel linked to murder of 9 Americans

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11 now linked to massacre of Mormon settlement near Chihuahua-Sonora border last year

Jesus Parra Renteria (photo courtesy Federal Attorney General’s Office)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The Mexican government is linking another reputed member of La Linea drug cartel to the murder of nine American citizens last Nov. 4 in Sonora.

Jesus Parra Renteria is being charged with organized criminal activity. He’s being held in a jail in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua while the investigation into the massacre of three women and six children continues, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said on Tuesday.

Parra would be the 11th suspect linked to the massacre. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador last week said 10 other suspects have been arrested in connection with the killings, though it’s not clear what their exact role was or when they will be going to trial. All of the suspects are believed to be linked to La Linea, a remnant of the old Juarez cartel.

“A monument will be unveiled to remember the LeBaron family, the women and children that lost their lives. The sculpture is almost ready. I don’t know if it will be ready when I go there, but there are more than 10 detainees. Justice is being done,” the president said in his Sept. 17 news briefing on YouTube.

The victims were members of the LeBaron, Langford and Johnson families from the New Mormon settlement of LeBaron, Chihuahua. The women were driving vehicles in a caravan near the Chihuahua-Sonora border when, according to Mexican federal authorities, they were gunned down along with the children by members of La Linea who thought the vehicles were carrying members of Los Salazar, a cell of rival Sinaloa cartel.

Notable detainees so far include Fidel Alejandro Villegas, the former police chief of Janos, Chihuahua, and Parra, whom the federal AG’s Office says had a “leadership” role within La Linea.

Chihuahua state police on June 3 took custody of Parra, 44, after a shootout between members of La Linea and a task force comprised of state officers and the Mexican army in a farming community near Casas Grandes.

According to local media reports, the shootout left one alleged gang member dead and resulted in the arrest of Parra and Edgar Arturo Hinojos Flores, 30.

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