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Hitmen and extortionists recruited in Mexico City set up in Cancun and Playa del Carmen

Cancun, Q.R. — In a press conference out of Mexico City Monday night, SSC head Omar García Harfuch reported on a criminal cell linked to Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Harfuch, the head of the Secretary of Citizen Security of Mexico City (SSC), reported that in coordination with the Attorney General’s Office (FGJ), through the Police of Investigation and the High Impact Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the National Intelligence Center (CNI) of the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC), they dismantled the organized crime cell.

The cell, he explained, was operating out of central Mexico City and dedicated to the sale and distribution of drugs, but most importantly to extortion and collection of property to the detriment of merchants and tenants.

He said the extortionists demanded amounts of money ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 pesos to keep their businesses open, threatening to damage their integrity if they refused to pay.

Harfuch explained that with the results of the investigations and after arrests, it was possible to establish that the leaders of this criminal cell are characterized by showing a high degree of violence and are allegedly linked to the homicides of members of antagonistic criminal organizations, as a result of the dispute over territorial control of the sale and distribution of drugs, as well as criminal acts perpetrated against independent merchants and drug dealers.

The leader of this criminal cell is known as Raúl “N”, alias “El Jefe”, who was arrested by the Investigative Police of the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office in May 2022 and is considered one of the main generators of violence in the Cuauhtémoc and Venustiano Carranza areas of Mexico City.

“It has been determined that the members of this criminal cell have participated in various violent events, while a faction of it maintained ties with a criminal group that operates in the state of Quintana Roo, recruiting people in Mexico City to act as hitmen for said group and carry out executions in that state, specifically in Playa del Carmen and Cancún,” he said during the Monday press conference.

The people who agreed to be recruited were paid the transportation expenses from Mexico City to Cancun and the lodging expenses to remain in safe houses awaiting instructions, as well as paying them 5,000 pesos a week and, occasionally, an additional amount of money per criminal event they carried out.

“In order to dismantle this criminal cell, in coordination with the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office, whom we thank for their valuable collaboration, and the National Intelligence Center, we implemented various operational actions in recent days that culminated in the fulfillment of nine arrest warrants for the crime of Criminal Association, against the members of this criminal organization, who were arrested in recent days, as well as those who were previously arrested by the prosecution itself,” he said.