An arms trafficker in Mexico has revealed that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel paid $22,800 for an arsenal of assault weapons and sniper rifles just days before a failed attempt to assassinate Mexico City’s police chief.
Omar Garcia Harfuch suffered three gun shot wounds in the early morning ambush attack that left two bodyguards and a civilian dead in Lomas de Chaputelpec, a neighborhood in the borough of Miguel Hidalgo on June 26.
The weapon dealer, identified as El Reynol by Mexican newspaper El Universal, said the deal took place at a safehouse in the Mexico City borough of Gustavo A. Madero on June 24.
El Reynol said the Jalisco New Generation Cartel was highly recommended by a party whose identity was not disclosed.
The cartel purchased 20 AR-15 rifles and three .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifles – which were all previously unused – and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
‘They really wanted to kill Harfuch,’ El Reynol said. ‘That weaponry is only requested by the large groups or the self-defense groups and the drug traffickers that are in [the state of] Guerrero. If they had gotten the grenades, I think the police chief would not have been spared.’
The arms dealer told El Universal that his group was well aware their weapons had been used in the failed plot to assassinate Mexico City’s top cop.
‘We don’t ask what the weapons are used for or who buys them,’ El Reynol said.
‘Two days after we saw what had happened to Harfuch, we learned that those who bought the weapons were the same dudes.
El Reynol said the cartel’s weapons buyers did not pose any worries when they made the inquiry into purchasing the arsenal of weapons.
‘There was no breakdowns [in the negotiation with them], they paid and that’s it,’ he said. ‘This is how business should be done. We never knew who they were, but they were well recommended and I tell you, they knew what they were doing and what they were getting into.’
Surveillance image showed about two dozen armed men opening fire from a truck’s flatbed after they intercepted García Harfuch’s convoy.
Mexico’s National Intelligence Agency confirmed after the gun battle that it knew of an imminent attack that was being planned against high-ranking official after listening to a recording that involved alleged members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, one of the country’s most dangerous cartels.
The attack on García Harfuch was the first on a Mexico City police chief since 2008 when Julio César Sánchez Amaya, the then chief of the Federal District’s Public Security, was targeted by the Sinaloa Cartel in a failed car bombing.
The police said in a statement that gunmen armed with .50 caliber sniper rifles and grenades exchanged fire with the García Harfuch security detail.
The Mexico City prosecutor’s office said the cartel hired the assassins three weeks before the shooting. They were split into groups of four with seven armed men in each group. One of the individuals who was arrested is a native of Colombia.
More than 20 individuals have been arrested in connection to the tragic attack.