Mexican Gang Member Sentenced to 430 Years Following Murder of Eleven Women
Pedro Payán Gloria (alias “El Pifas”) was a member of the notorious Mexican gang known as, Barrio Azteca. According to the FBI, the gang functions as an arm of the Juárez Cartel and has been connected to illicit drug trafficking schemes, trafficking of arms and various prostitution rings around the urban center. Payán was convicted of killing eleven women, some as young as 15 years old, and has subsequently been sentenced to 430 years in prison.
Ciudad Juárez has become an area notorious for femicides. Of the hundreds killed in the Juárez area over the past decade, many victims have been young factory workers who were abducted, sexually abused and strangled before their bodies were dumped in the desert.
In this particular case, Pedro Payán Gloria had drugged the women and forced them into prostitution at a hotel in Juárez. These women were also forced into the drug trade, and were killed when they were no longer of use. It was in early 2012 that police discovered the skeletal remains of Payan’s victims, whose corpses were found in nearby field, located in the heart of the Juarez Valley.
The gang would bribe local businesses in return for helping them recruit women who were promised jobs and other opportunities before being kidnapped, and held captive. The state prosecutors office stated that such businesses included clothing stores and modeling agencies who “were used by the gang as a ‘hook’ to offer young women jobs. Once they obtained the information they needed from the women’s job applications, they used different techniques and other people to kidnap them or pressure them into forced prostitution, and the consumption and or sale of drugs.”
Though cases like this have persisted for decades in Juárez, few have been properly or thoroughly investigated due to lack of government enforcement and high levels of complicity among government officials and drug cartels. Surpassing Mexico’s normal 60-year limit, this 430-year sentence is historical symbolic and perhaps marks a shift to a more responsive and attentive Mexican government.