Sunday, December 21, 2014

Alfredo Castillo shops for a Rolex while Michoacan burns

El Diario de Coahuila (Sunday December 21, 2014) by Jose Gil Olmos
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

MEXICO, D.F. (Apro).- For two hours on Tuesday afternoon, (December) 16, two groups equipped with high power weapons fought for control of La Ruana, in the Tierra Caliente, Michoacan, a key location in the production of synthetic drugs and an obligatory route for loads of cocaine, marijuana and gum opium going to the United States, according to official documents.

On that day, the followers of Hipolito Mora and Luis Antonio Torres, "El Americano", exchanged gunfire with .50 caliber machine guns, assault rifles and high power pistols, and launched fragmentation grenades.  The result: 11 killed.

And while that was happening on Michoacan territory, the federal government's commissioner, Alfredo Castillo, was in Mexico City. He had lunch in a Polanco restaurant, then he went shopping in a luxury watch shop in the neighborhood, so claimed PAN senators Luisa Maria Calderon and Javier Lozano. [He was shopping for a Rolex, according to other news services.--un vato]

When he was told about the shootout, all that Castillo could think to say was that it was due to personal differences between Mora and "El Americano". However, residents of La Ruana, in the municipality of Buenavista Tomatitlan, assert that it is in reality a battle for control of this area that is important in the production of synthetic drugs and the strategic route for transporting other drugs.


In the beginning, they say-- on the condition that their names be withheld-- the area was controlled by Jesus "El Chango" Mendez, the founder of La Familia Michoacana and a native of that municipality. The inhabitants of the community of Felipe Carrillo Puerto -- known as La Ruana in honor of a white mare with grey and bay spots-- comment to the reporter that La Familia Michoacana as well as Los Caballeros Templarios have for some time used the place for construction of laboratories for the production of synthetic drugs.

According to them, on September 20th, personnel with the Mexican Attorney General (PGR: Procuraduria General de la Republica) and the Federal Police (PF: Policia Federal) shut down a laboratory in the town of 18 de Marzo. At the same time, the National Security Commission (Comision Nacional de Seguridad) issued a communique in which it disclosed that "tambos" (oil drums) had been found "in the brush", as well as "improvised burners" and plastic containers with precursor chemicals for manufacturing methamphetamine.

Synthetic drugs continue to be manufactured in Tierra Caliente, such as ephedrine, crystal and crack. This last (substance) was, according to official documents consulted by Proceso, invented in Apatzingan by Los Caballeros Templarios.

In Aguililla, Coalcoman, Aquila, Chinicuila, Coahuayana, Tepalcatepec and Sierra de Tumbiscatio, they grow opium poppy, from which opium gum is extracted. Opium gum is the basis for morphine and heroin, the most powerful drug.


According to the National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA), soldiers from the XXI and XLIII military zones have located and destroyed dozens of narcotics laboratories in the Tierra Caliente region where La Ruana is located, which puts this state in first place in this activity, above Jalisco and Sinaloa. In 2012, the PGR dismantled 938 clandestine laboratories, 83 of which were used to manufacture methamphetamine in Tierra Caliente (Proceso, No. 1917).

The Navy reported that the construction of these "narcotics factories" increased 1200% in Michoacan and displaced the cultivation and planting of marijuana and opium poppy. Another document, attributed to military intelligence and which this reporter had access to, establishes that as a result of the rise of self defense forces in February of 2013, two groups took advantage of the Templarios' weakness to take control of Tierra Caliente.

One of them, Los Gallegos, is led by lemon grower and hotel owner, Miguel Gallegos Godoy, "El Micheladas" or "El Migueladas"; the other group is "La Tercera Hermandad", or H3, associated with Los Viagras and led by "El Americano", who, although born in the United States, is a Mexican citizen.

Félix Gallardo goes to medium security because of Sickness Concerns

Spike for Borderland Beat

Mexico, D.F. (apro).-Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, the Godfather, founder of the Guadalajara cartel, will be transferred to a medium security prison in Guadalajara, Jalisco, due to his precarious state of health, according to Apro judicial sources.
The Godfather is almost blind and deaf, so the fourth processes criminal Federal District Court ordered the relocation of Félix Gallardo from the supermax Altiplano no 1, in the State of Mexico, where he has been confined since 1991, when the prison opened he was the first criminal on high security lockdown in the country.

68-year-old Felix Gallardo was sentenced by a Court of the Federal District, in 1994, to 40 years in prison for murder, multiple crimes against health, possession of firearm and bribery.

Linked first with Arellano Felix, then Sinaloa; Garibay Released in San Luis Rio Colorado

Spike for Borderland Beat translated from Zeta Tiajuana Article

Near 9 o'clock  on the evening of Wednesday, December 17, Manuel Garibay Espinoza was released from the Center for Social re-adaptation in San Luis Rio Colorado, only four years and six months after his arrest in Mexicali Valley in June 2010.

 Garibay Espinoza has been the head of a gang of organized crime that operated for years in the southeastern part of the Valley of Mexicali. This linked in the mid 80's to the Arellano Felix Cartel,  he was arrested in Arizona and became a protected witness, then returned to Mexico to get involved with the Sinaloa Cartel.

In the Mexicali Valley  a wave of murders were attributed to the group "Los Garibays" , their centre of operations being a ranch called Pescaderos, in the Chiapas Ejido. In 2002 there was a strong operation by the State Attorney's office looking for clandestine graves in that area.

  The group  was presumably responsible for  the death of seven sinaloans - in June 1999 - apparently part of a rival gang, the same group carried out the kidnapping and murder of a farmer's called  Larios, as well as the execution of a police officer called Federico Alvidrez, who had been investigating a series of robberies to packing houses in the Valley. In July 2004, the Garibay group also killed the Commander of the Ministerial police, Humberto Armenta.

In March 2002, the Chief of police in San Luis Rio Colorado, Luis Antonio Pineda Rodriguez were  riddled with bullets outside their homes, attributing the crime to Manuel Garibay, who had been arrested by the police chief a week before.

Vancouver Canada-Mexican cartel connection

Lucio Borderland Beat republished from National Post
Mexican Cartels Money Laundering and operations
Ariel Julian Savein would drive to classes at Vancouver’s Point Grey secondary a decade ago in his father’s green BMW.
In his 2003 graduation yearbook, Savein thanked his parents and teachers for getting him through school: “Looking back, it’s hard to put things in perspective but I think I’ve learned a lot.”
His privileged existence was dramatically different from those 3,000 kilometres away in rugged Culiacán, Mexico, headquarters of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization.
The Vancouver Sun has traced how these two worlds collided on the streets of Metro Vancouver, where millions of dollars in dirty money owned by the Sinaloa and La Familia cartels was laundered.
Millions flowed into the bank account of Sinaloa kingpin Joaquin Guzman, known colloquially as El Chapo ( Shorty).
Some cartel cash was delivered by Savein.
Vancouver money even ended up in Colombia and Ecuador, where Sinaloa brokers used it to purchase thousands of kilograms of cocaine.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Arrest of "El Durazno" and Wave of Violence in Acapulco

The beginning of operation Lluvia de Estrellas on Saturday, December 13, in which two hundred members of the Federal Police and Gendarmería (in forty patrol vehicles and a helicopter for support) were deployed in an effort to reduce violence in tourist areas in Acapulco, Guerrero, has apparently resulted in an unintended wave of executions.
One particular event that occurred on that day appears to have played a major factor in the violence.  Members of the Gendarmería in the La Poza colonia, located on the west side of Acapulco, stopped a vehicle that had been reported stolen.  On board were two alleged members of the Cártel Independiente de Acapulco (CIDA), 26 year old Irving Josué Gutiérrez Sandoval, alias "El Durazno", and 28 year old Edén Pinzón López.  Upon inspecting the vehicle, the Gendarmería found two rifles, eight ammunition clips, two hundred nineteen rounds of ammunition, a small bit of cocaine, and a packet of one and a half kilograms of marijuana.

The arrest was announced by the National Security Commission on Thursday, December 18.  "El Durazno" was reported to be a financial operator within CIDA, in charge of collecting and administering money from drug sales and extortion (which includes commercial centers, businesses, restaurants, bars, and clubs), as well as coordinating a group of informants who reported the location of members of enemy groups and potential victims of kidnapping and extortion.  Edén was reported to be his personal bodyguard.

"El Durazno" was further reported to be a direct collaborator of the current leader of CIDA, Víctor Aguirre Garzón, alias "El Gordo", an alleged cousin of the former governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero.  "El Gordo" is a former Federal Police officer who was once imprisoned for drug trafficking.  Rumor has it that a reorganization is taking place within CIDA, though it is unclear if this was triggered by the arrest of "El Durazno" or if his arrest was the product of the reorganization already taking place.

'Guero Chompas' arrested in Culiacan

Tijuana cell leader, 'Guero Chompas' arrested in Culican 

For the second time, Guero Chompas will be in custody for Christmas.  On December 7 2011, Jose Luis Mendoza Uriarte was arrested in Tijuana, in possession of weapons and crystal meth.  A cousin of  Raydel Lopez Uriarte 'El Muletas', 'Chompas' was one of many cells operating in Tijuana at the time.  The cells were a loose coalition of the former people of CAF, who switched sides with Teodoro Garcia Simental, in 2008.  

The cells trafficked mostly in retail crystal meth distribution in tienditas, and were constantly at odds for the locations all across the city where the product was sold.  Killings, shootings, kidnappings were carried out in these bloody wars of attrition, during that time in Tijuana, as the people under Inge, and the newly arrived Sinaloa Cartel attempted to operate, after the war from 2008-2010.  

Corrido de 'Guero Chompas' 

'Chompas' was suspected of over a dozen murders, committed by proxies in his battle for the valuable strips of territory in Tijuana and Rosarito, despite these allegations, he was released in December 2012.  Upon his return, he attempted to settle old scores, and wrest control of his former  territories from rivals, or those who betrayed him, taking the territory as their own.  

December 2011 arest 
In the past 18 months he has cut a bloody path of retribution through Tijuana, leaving sloppily written mantas and corpses for his enemies.  He claimed to be aligned with elements of Sinaloa Cartel, but many said he was independent and a loose cannon, not on the team of Aquiles and La Rana, the chosen two of Mayo Zambada.  

Chompas was arrested in Culican, bringing to mind the phrase in the narco world, and those that report it, 'Never take a meeting in Culican', as it has been the place of many arrests of troubled affiliates and onetime disposable assets of Sinaloa's bosses.  There is no word whether he was given up, betrayed, or simply too hot and on the run in unfamiliar territory.  Elements of the military in coordination with Federal police were responsible for the arrest. 

Recently, it was said Chompas controlled territory in Tijuana, in the areas of Los Pinos, La Presa, and La Presa Rural, and was in the line of 'El Chapito', another Sinaloa affiliate, but who were fighting El Atlante and Aquiles crews.  

AFN Tijuana 

Friday, December 19, 2014

“We have an opening up in history”: John M. Ackerman discusses Ayotzinapa and what’s next

Photographs of the 43 disappeared students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero sit on school desks placed in a plaza at Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM). Photo: AP Photo/Moises Castillo

 Posted by DD Republished from Latin Correspondent
By Julie Schwietert Collazo   |   17th December 2014   |    @collazoprojects 

English-speaking readers who are keen to keep up with the news about what has happened in Mexico since the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero in late September would do well to make note of the name John M. Ackerman.

Ackerman, a law professor at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM), editor-in-chief of Mexican Law Review, columnist for Mexican publications La Jornada and Proceso, frequent contributor or interviewee to a number of international media outlets including Foreign Policy and Huffington Post, and prolific tweeter, Ackerman has been a valuable source of information and reporting.

We spoke via Google Hangout about the significance of Ayotzinapa, the subsequent months of protests and what to expect in the coming months.

Latin Correspondent:
What makes the situation with Ayotzinapa so different from any other set of disappearances and killings in Mexico, and what makes the reaction to Ayotzinapa so different?

John Ackerman:
What makes this particularly relevant is the fact that this event interrupted the narratives of power and control that Mexican society has been used to hearing for at least the past 10 years, if not 30 years. That narrative was initiated in terms of the drug war specifically but it goes far beyond the drug war.

Hipolito to be arrested today.

"we're all friends";  Hipolito, Castillo, and Americano in happier days
 Chivis posted today on the Forum, that ;  rumors are strong that hipolito will be arrested today or soon”

Jlopez then reported on the Forum  a story from the following;

"State Attorney General prepares arrests as a result of La Ruana confrontation”
Morelia- Within the next few hours, 56 persons who took part in the confrontation last Tuesday in La Ruana, in the municipality of Buenavista Tomatlan, will be arrested; among them the former self defense forces leaders Hipolito Mora Chavez and Luis Antonio Torres, El Americano, the State Attorney General (PGJE: Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado disclosed today.

They said that they are waiting for a judge to issue the arrest warrants to detain the persons who fired weapons in the confrontation in which 11 persons died, five from the Mora group and six from El Americano's (group).”

Friday morning, Hipolito Mora stated that he had been informed that there was an order for his arrest against him; he is worried that the government is preparing to frame him and does not understand why the federal commissioner for security in Michoacan, Alfredo Castillon, was protecting Luis Antonio Torres.
Meanwhile, El Americano threatened to block highways if Hipolito (Mora) is not arrested.

It is worth pointing out that Luis Antonio Torres has not been part of the special G250 group of the Rural Forces since this past December 15, while Hipolito, although he had announced he was leaving, had not yet presented his resignation.
Posted by DD

Mex. Army General: "The only way an event (Iguala) of this magnitude could happen is collusion and participation of the Army. …. may cause a civil war”

Posted by DD Translated and Republished from Proceso
Retired General  José Francisco Gallardo Rodríguez.
COLIMA, Col.   From his personal experience in the militia, where he tried without success to create the office  of  military ombudsman within the army (to protect the public from human rights abuses), the general in retirement José Francisco Gallardo Rodríguez affirms that,  his attitude after looking at the facts of Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa, is that president Enrique Peña Nieto  is betting on repression.

What we see" - he says -" is a sign, an escape valve for the people through active participation in dissent and social mobilization, which these two serious developments show. Paradoxically the only support that Enrique Peña Nieto has as the President of the Republic are the armed forces'

In an interview, the retired General indicates that according to the Geopolitical Observatory of Armed  Groups in Latin America there exists 42 such groups in Mexico.   

“The Government must be very careful because it may cause a civil war in the country: we are seeing it in Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Guerrero; there are 16 states with the presence of self-defense groups”.

These groups, he adds, were not created to ask for the resignation of Peña Nieto or with the purpose of dismissing and supplanting the government, but because "there is no government, there are no institutions and there is a power vacuum that has been created because we have authorities of illegitimate origin, who have come through fraudulent elections”.