Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jul 2009
Source: Athens Banner-Herald (GA)
Copyright: 2009 Athens Newspapers Inc
Author: Alicia Caldwell, Staff Writer


Man Led A Double Life

EL PASO, Texas - The eight bullets that leveled Jose Daniel Gonzalez
Galeana outside his home just doors from the city's police chief were
fired at close range and left little doubt about their message.

Gonzalez, a Juarez cartel lieutenant shot on his quiet El Paso
cul-de-sac this spring, was working for U.S. officials as a
confidential informant, sources told The Associated Press, and experts
suspect his slaying may be the first time assassins from one of
Mexico's violent drug gangs have killed a ranking cartel member on
American soil.

Experts said the murder represents a growing brazenness of the cartels
on this side of the border that most likely will lead to more deaths.

"He got shot up close," police chief Greg Allen said. "Whoever did it
wanted to make sure it was known that it was for payback."

Mexican drug kingpins, including Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin "El
Chapo" Guzman, publicly gave hit men permission this year and last to
cross the border in search of targets.

"There's an increasing number of (cartel) leaders living in the U.S.,
probably either to escape law enforcement or their enemies in Mexico,
so that's one of the risks that has increased in the last few years,"
said Stephen Meiners, a senior tactical analyst for Latin America at
Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in Austin, Texas.

"There's a possibility that this thing could get out of hand," he

Shannon O'Neil, an expert on Latin America at the Council on Foreign
Relations, said she knows of no other high-level killings in the U.S.,
but fears it won't be the last.

"We have started to see more brazenness close to the border on the
Mexican side and on the U.S. side," O'Neil said. "Once you get these
organizations firmly established in Mexico and the United States, you
will have killings at all different levels."

Gonzalez, a 37-year-old legal immigrant who lived with his family on a
cul-de-sac in an expensive neighborhood, was shot May 15 in front of
his spacious home. His wife, Adriana Solis, and the couple's two
children fled not long after.

Two federal officials and one local official told The Associated Press
that Gonzalez was handing over information about cartel activities to
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which in recent years has
taken a broader role in cross-border drug trafficking investigations.
One of those officials said federal investigators were monitoring
Gonzalez's activities and whereabouts.

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they
were not authorized to comment publicly about the case. In a statement
e-mailed to the AP, ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa said, "It is ICE
policy to neither discuss nor comment on issues regarding confidential

The cartel once was among the most dangerous in Mexico, but recently
has lost some standing because of arrests, deaths and infighting.
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