The Chavez home. A small address plaque can still be seen on the corner of Vicentes house. It says: 5824 Rosita Road. God Bless Our Home. // Manuel Saenz // El Diar
Life and Death in Juárez
The Story of Vicente
Who Murdered His Mother, His Father, His Sister
What’s one more crime in the murder capital of the world?
A warning: the excerpt below contains graphic violence.
What can possibly drive a human being to such an unstable state of mind to want to terminate another person’s life? Even worse, your parents’ life?
16-year-old student, Vicente—was intelligent, rebellious, and indifferent to any sort of authoritative figure. He had an insatiable desire for three members of his immediate family to disappear: his mother, father, and sister. With the assistance of his two friends, the assassination of the León Chávez clan is carried out close to perfection prior to dawn on May 21, 2004. Only little C.E.—his three-year-old brother whom is only described as “the only person in the world for whom he felt true affection”—is pardoned from his murderous thoughts.
In 2004, the discovery of a burnt-out truck in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, just south of the U.S. border with Mexico, was found, it contained three corpses. High school student Vicente Leon Chavez, angry with his parents for their preferential treatment of his younger sister and their adverse attitude toward him, convinced two friends to help him to murder his family. Vicente’s inept efforts to conceal the killings, including an obviously false story about a ransom demand for his missing family members, quickly led to his arrest. Vicente’s crimes were motivated in part by his belief that there would be no genuine investigation by corrupt police forces who were themselves responsible for multiple murders.
Vicente had joined Artistas Asesinos, a gang that became the armed wing of the Sinaloa drug cartel in its war with the Juarez cartel and its allies, La Linea and Los Aztecas.
By 2004, there were an estimated 300 gangs crawling city streets, the majority located in south east Juárez where the band known as Los Artistas Asesinos only grew in numbers—young individuals who were silently coerced into a life of crime.
Killing in Juárez is a way of life. And in its footsteps follow a pack of ill-nurtured teenagers who are subjected to a violent upbringing, as the lack of educational funds, recreational areas, job opportunities, and appropriate citizen input during their formative years raise them to be the future pawns of a war on México’s own people.
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