Gunmen Kill Mexican Federal Judge, Wife, in Home Attack

Mexico’s National Guard patrols along the road leading into Uruapan, Michoacan state, on Feb. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AFP) — A Mexican federal judge was shot dead Tuesday along with his wife after gunmen broke into their home in the state of Colima, the Supreme Court announced.

Judge Uriel Villegas was home with his family when armed men broke in and opened fire shortly before noon. 

The couple’s two children and a domestic worker survived the attack.

Supreme Court president Arturo Zaldivar called for greater protection for federal judges. Villegas had tried several organized crime cases.

“We are asking the competent authorities for their support to guarantee the safety of federal judges and their families,” and that the case be investigated and the culprits found, Zaldivar said.

Mexico’s Attorney General’s office tweeted that it would lead the investigation into the killings.

Villegas was appointed to the federal criminal court in state capital Colima in February.

He was previously in charge of a high-profile case involving the son of Jalisco New Generation cartel leader, Nemesio Oseguera.

Villegas sent Ruben Oseguera to jail in 2018. He was extradited to the United States in February.

In 2006 then-president Felipe Calderon launched a controversial military offensive against organized crime gangs that experts and human rights groups say is one of the main causes of an escalation of violence in Mexico.

Official figures show almost 275,000 murders have been committed in Mexico since then, though it is unclear how many are directly linked to drug cartel violence.

© Agence France-Presse

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