Revenge: Sinaloa cartel leader suspected of Jesuit priest killings, assassinated
'El Chueco' remained a fugitive from justice for nine months, although a reward of up to 5 million Mexican pesos was offered for his whereabouts
March 27, 2023 10:37am
Updated: March 27, 2023 10:37am
Mexican authorities confirmed the death of a Sinaloa cartel leader suspected of killing two Jesuit priests and a tour guide in Chihuahua in June 2022.
José Noriel Portillo, one of the main leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, known as "El Chueco" was found dead in the community of Choix (Sinaloa), and subsequently identified by his relatives.
The Mexican government is currently carryinh out tests to confirm his identity.
President López Obrador confirmed that forensic examinations identified the body of José Noriel Portillo, alias 'El Chueco', the alleged murderer of Jesuit priests and a tourist guide.— Joaquín López-Dóriga (@lopezdoriga) March 23, 2023
Más, en: https://t.co/vVBiqUl1e7 pic.twitter.com/f2bTxp3xrX
"El Chueco," known as the leader of an armed Sinaloa group and was reportedly engaged in illegal timber trafficking in the Tarahumara mountains. He remained a fugitive from justice for nine months, during which time he evaded a massive government manhunt that included a reward of up to 5 million Mexican pesos for his whereabouts.
The Society of Jesus, the organization that represents Jesuits, denounced his death, saying that his killing "can in no way be considered a triumph of justice or solution to the structural problem of violence in the Sierra Tarahumara."
The Sierra Tarahumara region is known as an area of conflict between drug cartels as it is considered a significant drug trafficking route to the United States.
FGE offers a reward of up to 5 million pesos for the capture of "El Chueco"
— Fiscalía General del Estado de Chihuahua (@Fiscalia_Chih) June 22, 2022
•We will not give up in the fight against impunity: Prosecutor Fierro
•It is the highest reward that has been offered in the history of the State https://t.co/lzaWKgiHo6#FGEChih pic.twitter.com/t0DJYfhvOK
Some 30 priests have been assassinated in the last decade in Mexico, according to the NGO Centro Católico Multimedial.