“Ivan” for Borderland Beat 

A common criminal judge in Jalisco issued a formal arrest warrant against Jesús Héctor Palma Salazar “El Güero Palma” for the murder of Juan Castillo Alonso, who was head of custodians at the now defunct Puente Grande maximum security prison a little over 22 years ago.

The criminal case 9/2023-C of the Second Criminal and Integral Justice for Adolescents Court of the First Judicial District of Jalisco (traditional mixed criminal system) initiated the process against the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in the nineties for the crime of aggravated homicide.

The crime against the former deputy director of internal security of the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) number 2 “Puente Grande” was perpetrated on the evening of December 3 at his home in the Haciendas del Valle neighborhood, in the municipality of Zapopan.

Juan Alonso Castillo had served in the position until February of that same year, when he resigned after many years of service in the state prison of Almoloyita, in Cefereso 1 “Altiplano”, and in the federal prison located in El Salto, Jalisco, where he was always considered an energetic public servant.

That night, a month and a half before the escape of drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán from prison, Juan Alonso was resting in his home when armed individuals arrived at his house on Hacienda Las Gardenias street, and one of them shot him four times, and he died at the Cruz Verde Zapopan where he was taken.

The murderers escaped in a car with cab colors, with a theft report, which they abandoned in the parking lot of the Plaza San Isidro shopping center, on the peripheral ring road of the Guadalajara metropolitan area.

The homicide remained for many years without being clarified by the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Jalisco. It was the former Attorney General’s Office (PGR), through the Specialized Sub-Attorney General’s Office for Organized Crime Investigation (SEIDO), which obtained a testimony that compromised Palma Salazar.

The protected witness Marcelo Peña García, with the code name “Julio”, brother-in-law of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, was the one who testified in court that he knew that “El Güero” Palma had ordered the murder of Juan Alonso, with whom he apparently had some difficulty before “El Chapo” and other inmates controlled the penitentiary.

Days before the murder of the head warden, the former director of the “Altiplano” prison and former director of the Federal Judicial Police, Juan Pablo de Tavira Noriega, was murdered in a restaurant of the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, a matter for which “Güero Palma”, who at that time had not been in that prison in the State of Mexico, is also being linked to.

Currently, Jesús Héctor Palma Salazar is still imprisoned in Cefereso 1 “Altiplano” in Almoloya de Juárez.