Jury selection underway in trial of alleged U.S. consulate employee assassin, accomplice

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Jury selection began Friday morning in El Paso in the trial of the alleged shooter and an associate in the 2010 murder of a U.S. consulate employee in Juarez.

The trial itself for Jose Guadalupe Diaz, a.k.a. “Zorro” (Fox), and alleged Barrio Azteca gang member Martin Perez Marrufo is set to start Monday morning in U.S. District Judge Kathlene Cardone’s court. The two men face federal charges of violent crimes in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to kidnap, kill, main or injure persons in a foreign country, firearms violations, and others.

Diaz is accused of fatally shooting consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Alberto Salcido Ceniceros – the husband of another consulate employee.

A third man, Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, described by the U.S. Justice Department as a lieutenant in the Barrio Azteca hierarchy, was sentenced in 2014 to life in prison for ordering the killings.

In this Nov. 28, 2010 file photo, Mexican federal police stand next to Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, an alleged leader of the Aztecas cross-border drug gang suspected in dozens of killings, as he is shown to the press at the federal police headquarters in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Gallegos “led the teams of assassins who carried out the U.S. Consulate shootings in March 2010 and ruthlessly murdered nearly 1,600 others as part of a cartel conflict over a drug trafficking route from Mexico into the United States,” Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General David O’Neil said at the time.

Barrio Azteca gang members were “foot soldiers” for the Juarez cartel, which fractured but has been making a comeback as La Linea, a transnational criminal organization in recent years. La Linea controls drug trafficking, migrant smuggling and drug sales in much of Chihuahua. Its operatives in the neighboring state of Sonora (across the border from Arizona) are facing charges in Mexico in connection with the Nov. 3, 2019 murder of three women and six children who were American citizens.

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