Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

CDG: 19 Gunmen Killed in Tamaulipas Clashes

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 |

Borderland Beat posted by Computer JA

A series of clashes in Tamaulipas left 19 alleged Gulf Cartel members killed. The incident occurred in the municipalities of Matamoros and Rio Bravo, where armed civilians clashed with members of the Ministry of Defence, Navy Department and Federal Police.

The first incident took place in the ejido Lucio Blanco, in Matamoros, where officers of the Federal Police were attacked by gunmen. In that incident, the federal forces killed three offenders and secured three assault rifles, 16 stocked chargers, two charger carriers, four ballistic vests, and a pickup truck reported as stolen.

In the town Nuevo Progreso, Rio Bravo, the second confrontation between elements of the Navy and several armed civilians originated and resulted in the death of nine armed civilians. The Navy secured nine assault rifles, several rounds of ammunition and two vehicles (one of them was armored).

The third incident occurred at 14:00 pm between the municipalities of Matamoros and Rio Bravo, where the Mexican Army were attacked by armed civilians. To repel aggression, they shot down seven gunmen and seized seven assault rifles, two high caliber Barrett rifles, and seven vehicles. 


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El Recodo: Aldo Sarabia's body found, wife and fellow band member arrested


Borderland Beat  
Alma Delia Chavez Guerrero, the wife of Aldo Sarabia, and  and Alfredo Yahir Sandoval, have been arrested, as suspects in the murder.  The reports say there was a love triangle involving  the two men  and Sarabia's wife.

Aldo Sarabia, a member of fabled Mexican Banda El Recodo de Don Cruz Lizárraga, who had been missing since Oct. 13, has been found dead on a rural road in  Mazatlan, Mexico. News reports from Mexico indicated that he had been beaten  and shot in the neck.

Authorities report that  Chavez Guerrero, took Sarabia out on Octomber 13th on the pretense of dining at a seafood restaurant, but in reality he was taken to his murderer, Yahir Sandoval.

“He was our partner and inspiration in a thousand battles and all those moments we shared will live in the heart of those who knew him,” reads a statement released today by El Recodo on Twitter. 

 "Aldo Sarabia García was a great friend and family man. A person with a great sense of humor, a musician who mastered harmony and percussion and a human being of exceptional qualities.”

Sarabia was last seen Oct. 12, after the group played a show in San Jose, CA, and returned to Mazatlan. “Once everybody gets home, everyone gets on with their lives and with their families,” said Poncho Lizarraga in an interview. “But on Tuesday, my cousin asked me to call Aldo because he hadn’t heard from him at all.”

Sarabia was a trumpet player with El Recodo, the 18-man troupe that’s long been referred to as “the mother of all bands.” Those “bands” are the traditional banda sinaloense -- or band from the state of Sinaloa -- which are fully acoustic and brass and percussion-based. Although today’s Mexican music landscape is chock-full of bandas, El Recodo led the pack as the first such group with commercial appeal, the first group to modernize the banda sound, the first banda to experiment with genres like pop and tropical and the first banda to gain international recognition.

"In the history of El Recodo, we have never been threatened or intimidated anywhere and not anywhere inside Mexico,” bandleader Poncho Lizárraga told Diario Basta in Mexico yesterday, before the body was found. “On the contrary, we have already received unwavering support and affection."

Founded 76 years ago by Don Cruz Lizárraga, the group today is led by his sons, and was honored last year with Billboard’s Legado Musical -- Musical Legacy Award -- at the third annual Billboard Mexican Music Awards. El Recodo have placed more than 25 singles on the Top 20 of Billboard’s regional Mexican airplay charts.

Used material from Billboard, Borderland Beat Archives and SDP

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Hector Beltran Leyva: Trading Dime Bags for Salvador Dali

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |

Borderland Beat posted by Mars220  republished from Daily Beast

Through all the battles waged in Mexico in recent years over the shipment routes and markets for narcotics, San Miguel de Allende has remained as neutral as Switzerland in the Second World War. San Miguel, a 500-year old city nestled high in the Bajío Mountains of central Mexico, seemed to be literally above the fray, and to most of the artists and expats who inhabit it the drug violence at lower altitudes is a distant affair. The prevailing wisdom has it that narcos don't shoot up the places where they invest their money.

On October 1, a black Mercedes SUV with license plates from Querétaro pulled to a stop on a cobblestone street 10 blocks from San Miguel's central plaza. Two men stepped out and entered a modest seafood restaurant called Mario's Fresh Shellfish. They were the restaurant's only customers. Mario himself waited on them. There was nothing remarkable about the appearance of either man. They ordered the house specialty of scallops in lemon and chile piquín for an appetizer, plus two bowls of shrimp soup and two orders of ceviche. The older of the two men tasted the food and told Mario, “You have no idea of the customer you have just won over.”

Had Mario been more attuned to the affairs of local real estate or politics in San Miguel he might have recognized the younger man in the cargo pants and Indiana Jones hat. He was Germán Goyeneche, the developer of the Otomí Equestrian Club in San Miguel, and the posh Otomí residential complex beside it on the Ignacio Allende Reservoir, two miles outside of the city. He might have known that the previous mayor of San Miguel spoke at the inauguration of the development and commended Goyeneche by name as a fighter who believed in a dream and made it a reality. He might have known that the governor of the neighboring state of Querétaro (San Miguel is in the state of Guanajuato), who is a friend of the Goyeneche family, praised the men behind Otomí as the admirable type of investors who are prepared to put money in the land and generate progress.

The older man at Goyeneche's table, wearing a violet plaid button-down shirt and jeans, was Hector Beltrán Leyva, alias El Elegante, the most wanted drug-trafficker in Mexico and the head of a cartel that bears his name. He was living under the alias Alonso Rivera Muñoz as a middling real estate developer and art collector in Querétaro. As he and Goyeneche sampled the tamales that Mario served them on the house, two couples entered Mario's and opted for a table against the wall. They ordered appetizers and lemonades. 

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Beltrán Leyva, a gourmand, was savoring his tamale with its filling of roasted corn. The couples sprang from their seats with handguns drawn and ordered both men to put their heads on the table. They shouted that they were with Mexican Special Forces, and just then a team of gunmen rushed into the restaurant. “I thought it was the end,” one of the cooks later told a reporter.

Héctor Beltrán Leyva is the last in a line of brothers who built a drug cartel into a family dynasty. He is also known as El H, but of all his nicknames El Elegante is the most salient. Héctor's older brothers Arturo and Alfredo were men with the right temperament to preside over a multinational crime syndicate. Arturo in particular built up the organization and aligned it with the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels in the early 2000s. It was Arturo who waged war on the Zetas on their home turf and Arturo who later joined forces with the Zetas to challenge the hegemony of El Chapo Guzmán. Arturo was big, brash, impulsive, and menacing. 

He had all the money and power to win influence in politics and law-enforcement, but he lacked the social graces. They called Héctor El Elegante because he mixed easily with the élite of Mexico: the politicians, showbiz stars, foreign diplomats, even visiting royalty. It was a role every bit as important to the Beltrán Levya Cartel as coordinating delivery of a load of cocaine or settling a score with violence: Héctor not only bought political influence, he built relationships with the wealthy men and women from good families to help him and his brothers turn the proceeds from their drug sales into assets and investments.

In 1999, El Elegante threw a fashion benefit for more than 600 guests on the beach at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Acapulco. The fashion designer was Armando Mafud, the emcee was the famous model and television host Montserrat Oliver, the guests included an Italian baron, the French ambassador to Mexico, the owner of the Hyatt Regency Acapulco, the director of Fashion Week Mexico, and several telenovela actresses who were household names at the time in Mexico.

Goyeneche showed no interest in the abstract. He is drawn to figures in pain, to the primordial, and to gloom.

Much blood has passed under the bridge since then. Arturo was shot down during a Mexican Special Forces raid on his high-rise condominium in Cuernavaca the week before Christmas 2009. The year before that Alfredo had been taken alive in a police raid on a safe house in Culiacán. Héctor assumed the day-to-day responsibilities for the family business and the challenges to his authority occurred early and often from regional strongmen who broke off to form rival organizations. 

No city has borne a greater share of pain from the fracturing of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel than Héctor's beloved Acapulco. The glamour of the seaside resort has long since been eclipsed by spectacular violence.

A recent Mexican State Intelligence report claims that, after Alfredo's arrest and Arturo's death, Héctor made a conscious decision to lower the profile of the cartel and repair its hemorrhaging finances the way he knew best, by establishing ties with political and business elites and investing drug proceeds through them.

What distinguishes Germán Goyeneche from other men who have been accused as accomplices of the Beltán Leyva brothers is, above all, his pedigree. Men of his social stature in Mexico do no often appear on police blotters. Previous Beltrán Leyva henchmen had nicknames like El Grande or La Barbie and were stone-faced killers. El Grande was an ex-cop accused of 43 murders, a man who recruited contract killers and supervised the unloading of tons of cocaine at a time out of jet hangars in Mexico City Airport. La Barbie videotaped himself in the act of committing atrocities and mailed the evidence to The Dallas Morning News.

Goyeneche practices yoga and follows the Dalai Lama on Twitter. He juices with vegetables, romances on Tinder, and shops for rustic furniture built with reclaimed materials. The Mexican subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch awarded him a certificate of recognition for planting trees in San Miguel, and he the Mexican Green Party was advancing him for positions of leadership within its ranks. Goyeneche hails from what the newspapers in his native Querétaro call an “ancestral” family; his father is reputed to be a large landowner. He studied agricultural engineering at an elite private university in Mexico, speaks fluent English and passable Portuguese, and is publicly identified as the owner of three separate real estate and construction firms.

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Tijuana: Lieutenant of 'Guero Chompas' arrested, amidst chaos


Lieutenant of 'Guero Chompas' Arrested

Luis Alberto Garcia Meza, 'El Wicho', was arrested by elements of the municipal police on October 20 2014.  The 25 year old was arrested on the La Cienga Avenue, around 3:00 in the afternoon, in possession of 10 doses of crystal meth, packaged for sale.  In his company was an 18 year, Ruben Hernandez Manuel Rios.  

Garcia Meza 'confessed' to working for Jose Luis Mendoza Uriarte, 'El Guero Chompas', renegade cousin of Raydel Lopez Uriarte, 'El Muletas'.  Ryadel Lopez was a near legendary figure in Tijuana, during his years with Teodoro Garcia Simental, 'El Teo', one of his lieutenants in the war against the Arellano Felix cartel.  Teo broke away, taking 'Muletas' with him, who at the time commanded a crew of at least 100, many with 'Special Forces De Muletas' shirts and hats.  

Raydel Lopez was captured in Febuary 2010, after his sister Diana Lopez and her boyfriend were kidnapped, by Juan Sillas Rocha, CAF operator.  Diana was released, the boyfriends body was left in the street.  Shortly thereafter, Guero Chompas emerged, as a Los Teos operator, a collection of former CAF, former Teos, who now worked loosely under Sinaloa Cartel management.

Chompas was arrested in December 2011, but released in 2013, and began right where he left. Tiendtias and territory that were his, had been restructured during his time away, and he went at everyone who he felt owed him.  At the moment his cell his said to be responsible for over 100 murders in Tijuana during the last year or so, he recently left a banner saying he was 100 percent with the Sinaloa Cartel, and taunting El Atlante, now captured Sinaloa cell leader, and former Teo, from the same line.

El Guero Chompas, December 2011
Meza Garcia was a former Teo, arrested in 2009 with other Teos, in possession of firearms.  He was apparently released in the years that followed.  It is questionable that a 25 year old would be a valued lieutenant in a cell, much less someone carrying less then a quarter ounce of meth for retail sales.  However, years ago, when 'Gordo Villareal' and 'El Jimmy' were said to be the 'new generation, it was generally accepted these men were more violent, flashy, and considered less then their predescssors.  If these are the replacements, it's no wonder the caliber of workers has diminished.  Sicarios to hits for 500 pesos and some crystal, long gone are the trained killers and special forces like units of organized crime in Tijuana.  

Left are the remnants of the crews, the killers, enforcers and bodyguards who move easily with violence and executions, taking to the retail drug trade with little finesse or diplomacy.  Guero Chompas continues his bloody rise in Tijuana, as insecurity continues to rein, as cells and organized crime suffer from confusion, and realignment of alliances within their ranks.  

Sources: AFN Tijuana

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Guerreros Unidos leader shouted "Ahi se ven", before ending his life


Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

He cried out "Ahi se ven" then pulled the trigger, ending his life. Ahi se ven, roughly
translated means "and that's that", or "there it is".

There have been additional details published of the suicide of Benjamin Mondragón Pereda, a leader in the Guerreros Unidos Cartel and one attributed directly of  being an author of the normalista killings.

The man known as, 'El Benjamon', shot and killed himself to culminate a confrontation with federal agents.

Prior to his suicide, Mondragón, a plaza chief, negotiated with agents to allow his pregnant girlfriend, Bertha Paco Lopez,  to safely exit  the home.  She was  barricaded in home with him and two others.   Officers granted his request.
It was the morning of Tuesday 14 October. Federal forces had located the narco in a modest home in the San Gaspar the municipality of Cuernavaca, Morelos. They mounted an operation to capture the leader who had been operating in both, Morelos and Guerrero.

'El  Benjamon' or 'Tio' discovered the presence of the elements and immediately began shooting. Federal forces and the suspect exchanged gunfire. During the confrontation  a sergeant, was injured from gunfire.

The shooting stopped and the suspect negotiated with officers to allow his girlfriend out.
The 35 year old woman, originally from Guerrero left the modest home, and was safe, at that time,  Mondragón shouted that he was going to shoot himself.

In high drama, Benjamin  poked his head through one of the windows of the house with a gun pointed at his head, and shouted "Ahi se ven",  said National Security commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido, in a press conference, and he then shot himself in full view of agents.
Arrested in the operation were Samuel Mondragón Antunez, 26, and Edgar Antonio Mondragón Morales, 24, both are nephews of 'Mondragón.  The two men were also involved in the shootout. 

Inside the home  which were found rifles, two r AR15 four AK47, 12 gauge shotgun and two pistols,  9mm and .38 special.

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The teachers schools do not fit within Mexico's neoliberal economic model

Monday, October 20, 2014 |

Puebla Directo (October 18, 2014) 

Fragment published in Proceso, written by Jose Gil Olmos.

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

[Note: As Borderland Beat readers are well aware, in Mexico, schools that train teachers are called "escuelas normales". Students and teachers in these schools are called "normalistas", while the shorthand term for these schools is "normal" or "normales". I will use these terms in translating this article, originally by Jose Gil Olmos, to express his thoughts accurately. ---un vato].
Escuela NormalRural  Raul Isidro Burgos: "Ayotzinapa; Birthplace of Social Conscience."
The violence against the "normales" (teachers schools) reached its limit in Iguala, Guerrero, with the attack against the Ayotzinapa students. The disappearance of 43 of their fellow students triggered movements by their counterparts in other states and is evidence that the attempt to make them disappear or to transform them into centers for training "tourism techs" could initiate a popular struggle, a broad expression of rebellion, says researcher Tanalis Padilla, who is writing a book on this subject, to Proceso.  These learning centers represent an obstacle for the [PRI's] neoliberalist project.

Abandoned by by the federal government for decades, the rural normales -- once a revolutionary symbol for the education of campesinos (peasants farmers)-- lack the funds to provide for their more than 7,000 students, who now look for subsistence on the streets, risking systematic attacks by the police and organized crime groups, as was the case this past September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, with the Ayotzinapa students.

Of the original 29 institutions, only 17 remain. In the past 40 years, in addition to ever more frequent and violent attacks, state and federal governments have tried at all costs to close them down or to transform them into technical education centers to produce mere "tourism techs".

That tendency was manifested in the year 2000, when the Escuela Normal Luis Villarreal, in El Mexe, Hidalgo, was subjected to these attacks, and eight years later, it had converted into a "polytechnic" university. In November, 2012, it was the Normal Vasco de Quiroga's turn, in Tripetio, Michoacan, where there were 133 arrests.

In the interim, from 2007 to 2011, the repression  of students from the Normal Raul Isidro Burgos-- known as Ayotzinapa -- was unleashed in Guerrero. During that period, two young men were killed by gunfire by state police. The destabilization against the Guerrero students sharpened this past September 26, when the Iguala police killed two of them.  That day, 43 normalistas also disappeared.

On Wednesday, (September) 8, after the protest march in Chilpancingo, a normalista from Ayotzinapa got up on the platform  and took the microphone to demand the return of his 43 friends: "The State regards us as the enemy, but we're simply students". His voice echoed thunderously from the walls of the Palace of Government.

Since the 1960s, the federal government has associated the rural normales with rebellion, because they have produced social activists such as Othon Salazar, Pablo Gomez, Jose Santos Valdez, Misael Nunez Acosta, as well as guerrilla fighters such as Lucio Cabanas and Genaro Vazquez.

For Tanalis Padilla -- who teaches history at Dartmouth College, a private university in New Hampshire, and who is writing a book about rural normales--, attacks against these schools began with the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz administration. The authorities consider  them as producers of rebellious students. The truth is something else, she says from London: those centers do not enrich the [PRI's] neoliberal education project.

She insists, too: Elba Esther Gordillo, the former leader of the National Syndicate of Education Workers (SNTE: Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educacion), was determined to convert the rural normales into centers for training "tourism technicians". If the state and federal determination remains in effect, as everything indicates it will, that may provoke a social uprising, because many campesinos only have access to an education in those centers of learning.

PRD congressman Miguel Alonso Raya, a graduate of the normal in El Mexe, characterizes as "stupidity" any attempt to bury this project [the normalista project] only because it is considered a "breeding place for guerrillas".

"It was from 1969 forward -- he comments -- that the attack on this educational project began. President Diaz Ordaz ordered the elimination of 14 schools and the conversion of some of them into agricultural secondary schools, which is what happened with the normales in Tomatan, Tamaulipas, and the one at Roque, in Guanajuato.

"Even then, there were great shortages (of basic necessities) and much stigmatization because Arturo Gamiz, who took part in the assault on the military barracks in Ciudad Madera; Lucio Cabanas, leader of the Party of the Poor, and many more who were in the September 23 Communist League and other guerrilla movements, all came from there. They seized on that fact to say that they (rural normales) were breeding grounds for guerrillas and subversives."


From the beginning, normales were conceived as part of a revolutionary educational project for peasant farmers (campesinos). Their immediate predecessors were the regional normales and the central agricultural schools, points out researcher Tanalis Padilla in a study.

During the administration of General Lazaro Cardenas, they were extended into the poorest regions and received full official support without losing their essence. Their academic programs had a socialist character and included practical activities so that the students could learn diverse occupations; they had modules for agricultural activities and also for cultural (activities)-- such as popular music and regional dances --, as well as for imparting civic and patriotic values.

They also foresaw sports, and a political module in which they studied Marxism-Leninism-- which is is still active -- to analyze the political and social reality of the nation.

But all that support was withdrawn after the 1968 student movement and the appearance of guerrilla groups in several parts of the nation. The rural normales were abandoned and began to be attacked by the government.

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Golden Triangle in Flames...Again

Sunday, October 19, 2014 |

El Diario de Coahuila (October 19, 2014)

By Patricia Davila and Patricia Mayorga, translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

Aerial view of the southern mountains in Durango located in the Golden Triangle.

Golden Triangle in flames
GUACHOCHI, CHIH. (apro).-- Up until two months ago, in this and other municipalities bordering the drug trafficking Golden Triangle -- which encompasses parts of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Durango-- there was a relative calm: the young sicarios who defend the plaza for the Sinaloa Cartel seemed at ease.

Driving pickups and equipped with weapons intended for military purposes, with radio communications, they would carry out their jobs of guarding the area to prevent entry of Juarez Cartel members, just in case this rival group tried to retake lost territory. With the advent of the marijuana harvest season, this "peace" was lost.

However, this time, it was not the Juarez Cartel that ended the peace, but rather "Los Salgueiro" and "Los Chavez Matamoros", two Sinaloa Cartel cells that battled for control of the two drug smuggling corridors for drug grown in this area destined for the United States.

The arrest of Joaquin Guzman Loera, "El Chapo", who led the Sinaloa Cartel with Ismael Zambada, "El Mayo", did not cause strife in the area; the local cells, even in the middle of a fight, still call themselves "Los Chapitos".

In Batopilas, a municipality that borders Guachochi on the south, there had not been any confrontations until a month ago. Afterwards, it was clear that attitudes had changed between members of the organization. There are close to 100 men identified as "El Chapo" people, who work for "Los Salgueiro", who are now on permanent alert. They travel from there to other municipalities to provide reinforcements.

As in other Chihuahua municipalities, in Batopilas, some members of the municipal police help the criminal group. Most of them are young men no more than 25 years old and who are willing to die. To give themselves courage, they increasingly consume more drugs.

From the mountains in Durango, Chihuahua and Sinaloa, they bring down the marijuana and opium poppy that they take to the United States. Through the Chihuahua municipalities, the drugs are transported north by two routes; one runs through Janos and the other through Ojinaga.
burning amapola in the Golden Triangle

Third most violent area

In 2008, members of the Juarez Cartel were collecting extortion money from the residents,  traveling salesmen and indigenous artisans in the plaza.

On October 6 that year, when they killed Anicasio Cevallos, "El Cacho", chief of the Juarez Cartel in the area, violence broke out in Guachochi. "El Cacho" was one of the principal sicarios and drug traffickers in the mountains, who spread terror at the point of a gun in Guachochi and bordering areas in Durango and Sinaloa. Cevallos had been accused of masterminding the murder of 13 people in Creel a month before.

That was a year of terror, recall people in the area. Since then, people with the Sinaloa Cartel have maintained control, and they let the inhabitants know that. When they came in, they assured them they would no longer collect "cuotas" (protection money). They asked that anyone who was hassled should call them so they could take care of the troublemakers. Nobody called them.

Young men and teenagers were recruited voluntarily or by force. This is how indigenous and mixed blood people swelled the ranks of the criminal organization.

From that point on, the violence intensified, to the point that by the first trimester in 2013, Guachochi was classified s the third most violent area in the world. Fifth place was taken by Guadalupe y Calvo. The two municipalities exceeded the murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants of Ciudad Juarez and the state capital. Localities in mourning multiplied. When the Sinaloa Cartel was able to settle in, the was some degree of tranquility.

But that respite was temporary: last month, on the 26th, beginning at 2:00 in the afternoon, armed groups entered the municipality and one and a half hours later the fighting began.

In the midst of the terror, a local resident who was passing by during the attack says there were many men and he was not able to count them. Another witness says hat he got there after the sound of gunshots stopped. He saw the bodies of 11 men killed by gunshots. At that time, none of the bodies had been burned, he claims.

The first to arrive were Army personnel based in the municipal seat of Guachochi. Personnel from the Attorney General's office and federal police joined them. The first report issued by Arturo Sandoval Figon, spokesman for the office of the Attorney General, stated that it had involved a clash between two organized crime groups that operate in the Sierra Madre Occidental (western range of the Sierra Madre).

The violence was mitigated

He (Figon) specified that more than one thousand cartridges were fired , in calibers .223, 7.69x39 and 9mm. When the authorities got there, they found four persons incinerated inside of pickups destroyed by the fire. The bodies of the other seven dead people were wearing tactical uniforms and ammunition vests. They had burns and were spread out in a small perimeter in the road that goes to Cerro Grande, town of Tonachi, in Guachochi.  

But the police and military patrols did not mitigate the violence. On the 28th, two days after that attack, towards the southwestern part of the state, outside of Santa Anita, there was another confrontation, in which eight people died, four of which were incinerated. 

According to investigative and forensic sources with the Office of State Attorney General, one of the men and incinerated in Cerro Grande was Artemio Bernal Gonzalez, "El Temo", 43 years old who was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel group that operates in Yoquivo, Batopilas municipality. His brother, Ignacio Bernal Gonzales, 37 years old, died with him. Both of them were originally from El Ranchito, Chihuahua.

The Attorney General's Office, Southern Zone, indicated that the other partially identified man was Edgar Herrera Carrizosa, who was carrying several false identities with different names,  one of which is the one just mentioned. Also identified were Ignacio Bernal Gonzalez and Jesus Javier Lopez Mendoza. The only detainee who was injured was Gabriel Torres Hernandez.

According to the statements compiled by the attorney general, the dead men and the one who was injured worked for "Los Salgueiro". Apparently, "Los Chavez Matamoros" did not have suffer any casualties in their incursion into Guachochi.

By Tuesday night, September 30, the violent incidents reached the Bocoyna municipality, which borders Guachochi. The attorney general reported that an armed group intercepted members of the State Police while they were traveling on the highway. It was reported that the confrontation was as a consequence of an operation that took place that morning in a house in the town of San Juanito, in which Madday Sarahi Dominguez Carrillo, from the municipality of Casas Grandes, and Jesus Armando Cisneros Loya, born in Cuauhtemoc, lost their lives.....continues on following page

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Rurales Commander who said "We were Better Off with Autodefensas", Ambushed and Killed


By Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat-with info provided by Pepe

A Rurales commander who gave an interview to the press saying Michoacán was better off with autodefensas, has been killed. 

Yesterday the commander of Coalcomán Rural Township, Felipe Ávila Díaz died. He had been shot last Friday morning and then transferred to Civil Hospital of Morelia. He succumbed to internal injuries caused by multiple gunshot wounds.

On 17 October, the police arrived at a sawmill located one kilometer Coalcomán, where he was taken after being abducted by armed men in a van.  He was discovered where kidnappers discarded, what they must have thought was a dead body,  near the sawmill. 

Although he was shot repeatedly, only one wound, that in the abdominal area, proved to be the fatal injury.

Díaz Ávila candidly spoke out against the Fuerza Rurales on September 27th ;

“We were more effective and better as autodefensas, than Fuerza Rurales.”

Díaz,once a leader in the autodefensas movement of Michoacán, became the Coalcomán commander of the federally created, Fuerza Rural, hoping that working with the government would create a stronger security for the state. 

The commander said they are now constrained of any movement or operation that as autodefensas, they previously implemented in the Sierras.  Now, he said,  they have to notify the government and await approval to move, more often than not the requests go unanswered.  He said the conditions they are left to work in are deplorable.

As autodefensas, their operations were very successful because they knew the treacherous mountain landscape, and their reconnaissance were of a surprise with few being aware of the pending operation.

“When we were autodefensas operatives, we were implementing the element of surprise” 

Diaz, went on to say that the government quickly abandon them.  The same complaint heard throughout Michoacán with respect to the government backed Rurales program. 

Like others who have spoken of lack of support, Díaz said, the government only appeared to take photo ops, depicting the issuing of weapons and uniforms and vehicles, then vanished.  He said they were given only 2 vehicles, few weapons, no funds, no gas, and were never trained by SSP as Alfredo Castillo touted would be done. 

He reported that both the vehicles the government had provided to the city had been taken by organized crime.

Some rurales have openly returned to the autodefensas movement, which never was completely disbanded.  In fact, the coastal AD, once led by Dr. Mireles, has never disbanded and have been openly operating all along.

Reasonable people can only conclude that the installation of the Fuerza Rural, was in fact an operation with an objective not to secure Michoacán, but rather to disrupt the autodefensa movement.  

Michoacán social media users are expressing their anger, which is being directed at one person, EPN appointed Commissioner Alfredo Castillo, writing phrases such as “Biggest criminal of Michoacán, AFREDO CASTILLO”, “ and “No. 1 enemies  to Michoacán Alfredo Castillo and Enrique Peña Nieto”, leaving no doubt who some hold responsible for the murder and heighten violence

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"El Tucán" of Los Caballeros Templarios Arrested


Members of the Federal Police arrested Mario Alberto Romero Rodríguez, alias “El Tucán” and also known as Efraín Isaac Rosales, before dawn on Saturday, October 18. “El Tucán”, who is 48 years old, is reportedly a high ranking member of the Los Caballeros Templarios cartel. He is specifically reported as an operator for Servando Gómez Martínez, alias “La Tuta” dating back to the days of La Familia Michoacana and said to be his right hand.

El Tucán” operated principally in the municipality of Parácuaro, Michoacán. In June 2013, he allegedly participated in the grenade attack on a hotel in Los Reyes, which was housing members of the federal forces. With the rise of the autodefensa movement, he was considered a major foe in the region of Apatzingán. To impede their advances, he allegedly organized roadblocks and vehicle burnings on January 5, 2014 in Antúnez. Thereafter, his luxurious residence was discovered there, located next to the town church.

El Tucán” moved to Mexico City several months ago and was arrested in the colonia of Condesa, where he had been distributing drugs in the area where the bars were located. At the time of his arrest he had about a kilogram of crystal meth, a firearm, and two ammunition clips. Based on this information, it is my speculation that Los Caballeros Templarios is largely disbanded and “El Tucán” was no longer an important cartel member. It appears that he had become nothing more than a local drug distributor.

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