The shooting at the Guadalajara airport that ended in a massacre

The shooting at the Guadalajara airport between Joaquín 'Chapo' Guzmán Loera's hitmen and the Arellano Félix brothers is about to be 29 years old; a fact that is indelible in the memory of the people of Guadalajara.

The shooting at the Guadalajara airport that ended in a massacre
Joaquín 'Chapo' Guzmán Loera. Image: Agencies

It is about to be 29 years since the shooting at the Guadalajara airport between Joaquín 'Chapo' Guzmán Loera's hitmen and the Arellano Félix brothers; it is an indelible event in the memory of the people of Guadalajara. This criminal act became even more relevant because the exchange of gunfire resulted in the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo and five other innocent people.

The first hypothesis of the then-Attorney General's Office (PGR) was that the target of the hitmen of the Tijuana Cartel was the Sinaloan, but they mistook the vehicle in which their rival was traveling for the priest's car. The elements were able to arrest 51 people responsible for the crime, among them Jesús Alberto Bayardo Robles, alias El Gory, Édgar Mariscal and Álvaro Osorio.

The investigations left doubts and at the request of the Government of Jalisco; in 1998, an inter-institutional group reopened the case. After uncovering the evidence, it was not possible to reach an agreement, some were oriented to the intentional homicide and others pointed out that it was all a matter of confusion. On July 27, 2000, the case was closed, concluding the work of the investigation, and with the ratification of the PGR, everything was left as a circumstantial murder.

A member of the group responsible for evaluating the evidence was Archbishop Emeritus Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, who shared his theory of the crime. The religious leader declared that the cardinal was killed by the judicial police in charge of León Aragón; therefore, the murder was ordered by the State itself.

His polemic assertion was aggravated when he pointed out that the Church in Mexico knows who is responsible, but regrets that no murderer is in prison for the homicide. The hypothesis is that the cardinal had a very clear mission, due to the information given to him about the involvement of authorities with drug trafficking.

Among the expert's data, it was concluded that six R-15 and AK-45 long arms were used in the homicide, as well as a short 39 caliber. In addition, 57 bullet impacts were documented on both sides of the vehicle that were direct to the occupants. The shots were fired from a short distance and from the top down.