Lorenzo Gonzalez Villarreal, a cattle businessman and former secretary of Coahuila’s Agricultural Development, was assassinated this Tuesday after an attempt to rob him while traveling on Highway 57 between San Luis Potosi and Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila. A group of armed individuals tried to take the vehicle in which they were driving from him and his son. When Gonzalez offered resistance, the assailants shot to death the 78-year-old businessman and wounded his son, who received a bullet wound to the leg of the man who is recovering in the hospital.
The victims were leaving their ranch in Nuevo Leon when they were intercepted by armed individuals traveling in two trucks, according to the first investigations by the San Luis Potosi Prosecutor’s Office. The assailants forced Gonzalez and his son to get out of the car and get into another of those who came with them. As they resumed Highway 57, more vehicles full of armed people who were not friends arrived. One of them began to shoot at the truck in which the two hostages were traveling, causing Gonzalez’s death from several bullet wounds and admitting his son to the hospital.
Jose Maria Fraustro, mayor of Saltillo, has referred to Gonzalez as a “outstanding businessman and forerunner of the dairy industry in the region”, and has sent his condolences to the family of the deceased. Jerico Abramo Masso, a federal deputy, said of him that he was a “great human being” and a “good family man.” Gonzalez was a well-known character in the region, first for his agricultural and livestock companies, and later for the role he played in the state government. His best-known business was La Lechera, which was dedicated to the processing of dairy products and was located between Luis Echevarria streets and Valdes Sanchez boulevard, in Saltillo.
Safety in Coahuila, which borders Nuevo Leon to the west and Zacatecas to the south, has long been a transit point on drug export routes to the United States, its neighbor to the north. For this reason, on February 14, Coahuila signed an agreement to shield the border with Zacatecas, after the assault suffered by the regional singer Alfredo Olivas. He was returning home with four other members of his band, already at dawn, after a concert in Monterrey, when they were surprised by an armed group that took everything they owned, including their vehicles, at gunpoint. They were not helped until they reached a security checkpoint on the border between the two states.
The data for 2021 point in the same direction. The National Survey of Business Victimization ensures that in Coahuila the most reported crime is the theft or assault of merchandise, money, inputs or goods. The second most denounced crime is extortion. In January of this year, the Criminal Stoplight has registered 19 vehicle robberies, 54 business robberies, 4 extortion cases and 140 home robberies.