An Informant, a Missing American, and Juarez’s House of Death: Inside the 12-Year Cold Case of David Castro
David Castro disappeared 12 years ago after running afoul of a Mexican cartel—but the U.S. doesn't count him as dead and his case is riddled with bloody mysteries.
David Castro is a statistic. He has been disappeared, like some 30,000 other victims of the drug war in Mexico whose fates are unknown—some because they were involved in the narco business, some for far more innocent reasons—as the targets of extortion, or political oppression, or casualties of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In Castro’s case, it’s pretty clear he got in too deep. He was a truck driver and U.S. citizen living in El Paso, Texas, who found himself sideways on a valuable drug load—just one of the thousands of such cargos moved each year from Juarez, Mexico, into the United States. As a result, Castro owed money to the wrong people. It finally caught up with him.
According to those familiar with the case, including federal agents, family, and a U.S. government informant, Castro was abducted in Juarez in late September 2002. He was then apparently murdered, after the money he owed a player working for a cell of a major Juarez drug organization was not delivered in time. His body has not been found.