La Linea drug cartel connected to murders of 5 ride-share drivers in Mexico


EL PASO, Texas – The search for five ride-share drivers missing in a Mexican border town since May 30 has come to an end.

The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office confirmed the five bodies found Friday near a highway in Chihuahua City are those of Abigael Ramos Gonzalez, Abigael Ramos Torres, Fabian Ramos Torres, Sandra Salais Calzadillas, and Francisco Ivan Flores Hernandez.

They were identified through dental records and fingerprints. An autopsy revealed fatal bullet wounds to the base of the skull of each victim, the AG’s Office said in a statement.

The five went missing after presumably taking fares from the state capital to Ojinaga, Mexico, across the border from Presidio, Texas. Ojinaga in 2021 made international headlines when a drug cartel abducted and killed 13 Mexicans from another gang as part of an ongoing turf war over migrant smuggling.

How the ride-share drivers’ bodies ended up back in Chihuahua City, a three-hour drive from Ojinaga, remains a mystery, but state officials say they’re closing in on the answer.

“With all certainty, we have a line of investigation, we have a motive, and we have a criminal group (identified). The investigation is ongoing,” state Attorney General Cesar Jauregui said on Monday.

He declined to elaborate further. Mexican news media citing law enforcement officials in Chihuahua on Monday said the criminal group Jauregui referenced is La Linea and reported the motive being giving migrants rides to the border without the cartel’s consent.

La Linea is believed responsible for the Nov. 4, 2019, massacre of nine American citizens, including six children, near the Sonora-Chihuahua border. A U.S. federal judge in North Dakota in 2022 issued a historic $4.6 billion judgement against La Linea in a civil lawsuit brought by relatives of the victims.

Border Report tried to contact some of Abigael Ramos Torres’ relatives for comment, but their social media profiles were no longer allowing messages outside friend circles.

Some Chihuahua officials say organized criminal groups are taking advantage of Mexico’s nebulous immigration policy to prey on migrants and make anything associated with their movement risky.

“We don’t know who is in the state, who is crossing the state, who is really missing or who has crossed into the United States,” Chihuahua Public Safety Director Gilberto Loya said. “I’m not saying criminalize migration, no. What I’m saying is the lack of immigration control makes it dangerous for migrants to cross any state. And this is directly related to the matter of kidnappings or criminal groups stealing (each other’s) migrants. We don’t know who’s here and the criminals take advantage of that to kidnap them, to extort them.”

Julian Resendiz
Julian Resendiz
Julian is a Texas journalist, writer covering the U.S.-Mexico border.

Latest stories


Related Articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!
Continue on app