Officials detain 4 in robbery of former Sonoran legislator, make connection to murder case

By Kendal Blust
Published: Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 4:12pm

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State Attorney Claudia Indira Contreras
Fiscalía General de Justicia del Estado de Sonora
Sonora State Attorney Claudia Indira Contreras announces arrests of four people in connection with armed robbery at the home of a former state legislator.

Sonoran officials this week released new information about the robbery of a former state legislator and the murder of a second in southern Sonora.

Four suspects were arrested in connection with the armed robbery of Rodolfo Lizarraga, a former state congressman who was in his home when at least two assailants entered and held him at gunpoint.

Sonoran officials say the suspects had received information that Lizarraga had hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden in the house — supposedly a campaign loan that he needed to repay after losing his bid for mayor of Guaymas last year.

Employees for the cities of Guaymas and neighboring Empalme were among those arrested, as was the victim’s romantic partner.

Authorities also say Daniel Palafox, who was found murdered last week, and who briefly replaced Lizarraga in congress during his mayoral campaign, “figures into” the robbery investigation. They did not provide more details about that connection.

A video showing Palafox handcuffed and being interrogated was also released by a suspected criminal group this week. In response to questions from what appear to be his captors, Palafox implicated himself and other officials in organized crime activities, including a November attack on the municipal palace that left three dead, among them a young activist who was taking part in a peaceful protest against gender violence.

Leaders of Sonora’s Labor Party also released a statement distancing themselves from those arrested in connection with the robbery of party member Lizarraga. They said they trust state officials and their lines of investigation.

Fronteras Sonora Law Enforcement