Words can’t express the way we felt when we received the news today of the murder of Humberto Vega Avalos. He was a happy-go-lucky young man; a friend that always had a smile. He worked at the prison at Santa Adelaida for about nine years and greeted me upon my arrival every time I visited this prison.
Vega, as he was called, worked in the Judicial records office. About 2 years ago he filled in as acting Warden for a few weeks when a replacement was being sought. I remember sitting in the Warden’s office talking with him about his goals. I laughed and told him that he didn’t really want to become a warden because of the lack of security. It seems that they are being changed and transferred to different locations on a regular basis about every 8 months or so and that he didn’t really want to live that way. He laughed but didn’t comment.
He received his promotion a few months back and became the Director (Warden) of the prison in Nuevo Laredo. Last week, after some new inmates were delivered to his prison, there was a small fracas that broke out. A judge signed off to move five inmates from his prison to another at Altamira. This past Sunday night Vega was ambushed outside his house and brutally murdered. Mexican newspapers are horrible. His picture is there, but I don’t feel it necessary to exploit it for this notice. 29 gun-shot wounds for a caliber 7.62 (probably AK-47), 34 shots from a .223 (probably AR-15 or AR-13), 63 shots from a combination 40 caliber and 9 millimeters. He was shot 126 times.
I still remember his smiles and the laughter that we experienced when he came to McAllen for a little business and we took him and the Chief of Security out to Golden Corral. Mexico is a violent place and I hope it doesn’t sound too carnal, but it especially hurts when it comes home to your friends and loved ones.