Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

La Tuta Confirms El Chayo's Death

Thursday, December 16, 2010 |


By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ Associated Press

MEXICO CITY—The operational leader of Mexico's La Familia drug cartel has confirmed the death of its ideological chief, according to a recording broadcast Wednesday by a television network.

The Televisa network said the recording was made by Servando Gomez Martinez (a) La Tuta, on Dec. 9 as he addressed cartel members over a radio frequency hours after the death of the group's leader, Nazario Moreno, nicknamed El Chayo "The Craziest One" or "The Doctor."

"Remember guys that even though our maximum leader is no longer here, may God have him with him, we have to move forward," said the voice, described as that of Gomez.

Authorities say Moreno was killed in a shootout with federal police who had gone to investigate a drug gang party in the western city of Apatzingan, but that gunmen took his body when fleeing.

Moreno, 40, was considered the ideological leader of La Familia, a quirky figure who urged cartel members to follow a code of morality even as they were decapitating rivals and terrorizing civilians in their home state of Michoacan.

He reportedly prohibited members from using hard drugs or dealing them within Mexican territory, and handed out Bibles and money to the poor.

Televisa said the recording was sent to its offices anonymously.

The voice is similar to that of a man who called a live television program in 2009, identified himself as Gomez and said he was ready to make a deal with the government. It also sounds like the voice in a taped telephone conversation that officials say showed a federal lawmaker talking with Gomez.

Federal prosecutors presented that recording to Congress as proof that Congressman Cesar Godoy has links to La Familia. On Tuesday, the lower house of Mexico's Congress voted to rescind Godoy's congressional immunity from prosecution. Godoy was not present at the vote, and his whereabouts were unclear.

Officials at the Attorney General's Office refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the new recording on Wednesday.

Authorities say Gomez, a former elementary school teacher, heads operations for Michoacan-based La Familia. He is also wanted in the United States, where he is accused of importing and distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico.

La Familia has been the most flamboyant of Mexico's drug cartels, combining violence with religious messages and professions of love for their state. The gang claims it is trying to protect Michoacan—President Felipe Calderon's home state—from other cartels and common criminals, a message it touts in banners and even in occasional interviews with the news media.

Since Moreno's reported death, sympathizers—some with small children—have marched repeatedly in Apatzingan and the state capital of Morelia carrying signs supporting the capo and demanding the withdrawal of federal forces.

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16 Borderland Beat Comments:

Capo said...

La Tuta was a school teacher? Pretty good profession in Mexico. They make a decent living and have good retirement, guess narcotics trafficking pays more!

Anonymous said...

What I find astounding are the protests where they carry placards and banners saying "Viva LFM". Praising drug traffickers and murders and extortionists and kidnappers. Throwing a few bibles and trinkets at the locals and they lose their common sense.

Sad what my country has come to. With an attitude like that, I wonder if there is any hope

Anonymous said...

I thought I had seen a picture with marines or federal police standing around El Chayo's body n now they can find him? Could this be a ploy by La Familia Michoacana to make the goverment think Chayo's dead and that way he can perhaps operate more freely?

Anonymous said...

"I thought I had seen a picture with marines or federal police standing around El Chayo's body n now they can find him? Could this be a ploy by La Familia Michoacana to make the goverment think Chayo's dead and that way he can perhaps operate more freely?"

My thoughts too as I also recall a pic with military personnel around his dead body.

Anonymous said...

Easy for many of you to say from the comfort of your homes that the people in Michoacan protesting are out of their minds. Most of these people had nothing from the beginning and although they might have a little more now. It's a sense of someone giving back to the poor people in Michoacan. Because people feel they are betrayed by the government when all hope is lost and no employment is available. I am not justifying anything but until you have lived in these peoples shoes don't judge them. One is quick to proclaim and judge before taking a step back and actually knowing the situation. In Mexico the rich is rich and the poor is poor. Not alot of options for these people. It's sad but before you have actually lived there or visited you might not have a clue. There are people who still really struggle even to feed their kids and I know there are plenty of countries with the same problem but what would you do? That is the question?

Anonymous said...

Who is the LFM aligned with? Are the Z's still active in that area?

LH

Anonymous said...

@12:20 pm
I travel to Jalisco several times a year which has many poor people also. Everyone there hates LFM because of the fact they kill innocents and try to tax people who can barely make a living such as those making leather sandals which they sell for about 7 us dollars. Do you think that this cartel helps the poor? People in michoacan support them for the simple fact that they are brainwashed into thinking that if they pay up they will be protected from los zetas. In Jalisco they have an unsuccessful cell trying to operate called la resistencia. Guess what in southern region of Jalisco no one has to pay or support LFM or the zetas

Anonymous said...

@2:31PM
So who's side would you take? La Familia or the Zetas? Which is the lesser of the evil. I for one was not saying that they weren't common criminals. If I had to chose I would side with La Familia in order to keep the scum of the Z's away. I don't see it as help but I bet if you ask people in Michoacan they might say they do. Brianwashed or not, they would side with la FM. Every cartel is into taxing people. I just came back from Mexico last week. And have traveled from Chihuahua, Sonora, Zacatecas, Nuevo Leon, Coahulia, Colima, DF and been to Jalisco as well and everywhere I go the people say the same thing. No one cartel is better than the other. One may proclaim to help their people but some make things worse. For some people this is all they have. There are still spots where some cartels operate thru other members don't tax people or extort the innocent but it's fair game for being mistaken, caught in crossfire or extorted by thugs. Last time I travelled there I didn't really see or feel any violence but you felt that insecurtiy of being there. Like something was in the air. It's how the people told me, " El Diablo anda suelto " and no one knows how or when the violence or evil will be contained. I am not siding with any cartel, I just knoow how people feel there. Most of the people who have little and support the cartels are not justifying their actions but they have no choice. The rich empresarios well those expose and care less for the poor and sometimes just as bad as being named a criminal.

Anonymous said...

@3:18 pm
I hate the zetas as much as I do LFM. For your information LFM was created by los zetas to combat the sinaloa cartel in michoacan and Jalisco. Then lfm grew and rebelled against the zetas. They are both the same scum and operate the same by extorting and kidnapping for as little as 500 pesos. Money is money to both these cartels. I can tell you for a fact that no one pays extortion fees to any cartel or group in southern Jalisco. There is an unknown group that is exterminating any zeta or LFM member that steps into the zone trying to extort and kidnap anyone or take their marijuana exporting business. I know of several businesses who get letters from this unknown organization asking them to let them know if anyone is trying to tax them so that they can take care of them. This is the reason LFM attacks the southern region of Jalisco so much killing innocents in revenge for them not being able to take over and extort and kidnap out citizens. If you read spanish check out the article "Identifican Los occisos de tecalitlan". LFM showed up throwing grenades at innocent people causing mayhem, the people who protect this region successfully ended up killing 5 members of the LFM's hit team which were dressed in black tatical attire. The people that control this region want the local businesses and honest people to operate freely with out fear of lfm or zetas.

Anonymous said...

@4:48
The Familia Michoacana was formed way before the Zetas even existed back to the 1980's. At one time they were allied with the CDG and used as a armed ally in Michoacan. But they were never formed by the Zetas. They might have trained with them and acted as a formal group back when the Zetas were just an armed group of asssasins and not a full on group of scum they are now. So your facts are a little distorted. And they did rebell but that was when they split with CDG and started acting really shady and wanted their territory. La gente de Michoacan have always been gente movida y gente de accion. That is why all the cartels at one time or another have wanted to ally with them because en la sierra de Michoacan se da mucho yerba y se produce mucho crystal and serves as a good distribution route for polvo blanco de centro y sur America. La fama la tiene los narcos de Michoacan de siempre ser gente rebelde y pocas pulgas. Hot headed and taking shit from no one. So it was only time for them to not let any one group take their state like CDG, CDS, Z's or Beltranes....I don't know about Jalisco I know good people from there and I sure that region is still controlled by Chapos people allied with gente pesada de Jalisco..Puro tapatio rebelde tambien. I agree with you they shouldn't extort innoccent folks who have little to start with. It's wrong and there are " decent " narcos and I say that con un doble sentido who still act on the " ethical " code and strictly do business. It's the rest of the full on scum and true thugs that rely on extorting, kidnapping and killing people. Gente movida don't want and deal with violence unless necassary.

Anonymous said...

true, that.
from here it sometimes seems that somebody didn't wanna play nice back home, or maybe his favors are being bought by those on the other side of Mexico, so knowing who and where in Michoacan is why they are interested in him.
I don't see so much about the activities of certain others, but there has been a lot of their enemies taken out lately, no?
the Family has rules, trying to keep their own from using. better than those who hide behind and use the chicos to do their bad.

Jerry said...

THERE YOU GO AGAIN! The zeta's and the LFM are not football teams.When you Mexicans realize that you may start to get rid of them.I'm a gringo but i just don't see how i could favor one over the other.But if you insist,i'll take the Zetas by a touchdown.

Anonymous said...

@Jerry the Gringo....
No one is favoring either or....They both are detrimental to society in Mexico...I was just saying that LFM if on a food chain of scum they wouldn't be as low as the Zetas. I don't know where you claim anyone here is favoring the Zetas. Because it's like " El Barbie " said not even their own mothers like them.....

Anonymous said...

@Jerry the idiot
Go back and read carefully what they said...maybe you will see that they both said THEY ARE BOTH DETRIMENTAL to everyone..maybe you should read first instead of opening your mouth with a bunch of BS...cuz it sure does stink haha...

Anonymous said...

He isnt dead , Its a hoax to throw off the government

Anonymous said...

Fuck them all hope the all die

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