Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican police confirm "El Chango" Mendez-Zeta connection

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 |

BY TIM JOHNSON
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

The capture this week of Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, the alleged leader of the La Familia crime syndicate, offered a lesson on how short-lived and fickle alliances in Mexico's criminal underworld can be.

Battered by onetime underlings seeking control of his violent criminal syndicate, Mendez Vargas, whose known as "El Chango," or The Monkey, had in recent weeks fled his home turf of Michoacan state and sought help from leaders of Los Zetas, a rival cartel, officials said Wednesday.

"The final accord reached after the meeting was that Los Zetas would support him with 200 elements (fighters)," Federal Police anti-drug chief Ramon Eduardo Pequeno told reporters.

The accord marked a radical change. La Familia and Los Zetas had been at war for more than two years. Mendez Vargas had even sent La Familia gunmen to northeastern Mexico last year in a joint operation with the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels to exterminate Los Zetas.

But in Mexico, the bad blood that sparks such feuds can be forgotten as drug lords grow weaker or stronger and opportunities arise to muscle into new turf.

Federal police presented Mendez Vargas to the press early Wednesday after his transfer from Aguascalientes, the central Mexican city near where he was captured. The burly alleged capo wore a red short-sleeved shirt partially covered by what appeared to be a black bulletproof vest.

Federal Police Commissioner Facundo Rosas said Mendez Vargas' arrest marked the virtual destruction of the leadership of La Familia Michoacana.

The senior U.S. diplomat in Mexico, John Feeley, congratulated the police on the "important step" taken with the arrest.

"As Mexico's federal police and armed forces continue to improve their tactical capabilities to investigate and take down organized criminal networks and their leaders, impunity shrinks and Mexico's people become more secure," Feeley said.

A watershed moment for Mendez Vargas came on Dec. 9, when federal police shot and killed Nazario Moreno, the messianic ideological co-leader of La Familia who wrote bizarre cult-like pamphlets under the pseudonym El Chayo, "The Craziest One."

With Moreno's passing, Mendez Vargas tried to seize undisputed leadership of La Familia but two key underlings resisted, Pequeno said.

By March, those two men, Servando Gomez Martinez ("La Tuta") and Dionicio Loya Plancarte ("La Chiva"), had broken off to form their own faction, which they named Knights Templar. By May, Knights Templar followers had hung banners around Michoacan state declaring Mendez Vargas a traitor and unleashing gun battles with his crime soldiers.

By May 27, the heat on Mendez Vargas was so great that when he convoked his closest operatives to a meeting, they gathered in Las Lomas, a village in neighboring Jalisco state, Pequeno said. As the meeting broke up, federal police swooped in and arrested 40 people, including five mid-level chiefs, he added.

The meeting with the Zetas took place sometime after that. Then Mendez Vargas wended his way north to Aguascalientes. Police were vague about the circumstances of his arrest, except to deny that he'd turned himself in.

Rosas, the Federal police commissioner, said Mendez Vargas was captured in a "surgical" operation without a shot being fired. Whether someone offered a tip to his whereabouts - Knights Templar, Zetas or random but savvy civilians - is not publicly known.

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48 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

and what about Lazcano? is he dead or alive?

Anonymous said...

Now its a matter of time before the zetas take over michoacan and take templarios out of the way just like they did with la familia... suks but true.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Knights were right on top of his ass. I bet he don't mind gettin caught as much, he might survive a few more years this way

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Z turned El Chango in so they could weasel their way into all that meth and those logging rackets LFM was involved with.

porno said...

i think this benefit the KT. i dont think it help los zetas. KT seem to be holding most of the cards.

Anonymous said...

"Mendez Vargas had even sent La Familia gunmen to northeastern Mexico last year in a joint operation with the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels to exterminate Los Zetas."

No shit,La Familia sent sicarios all the way from Apatzingan Michoacan to Reynosa Tamaulipas to murder Zetas...and now they are buddies haha.
http://radiarnoticiasmichoacan.blogspot.com/2010/07/detienen-cinco-de-la-familia-que.html
http://www.laexplosiva.com/principal/index.php/2010/07/cae-celula-de-la-familia-en-tamaulipas/

Anonymous said...

Also rember that la familia was also part of Zetas years back. They used to call themselves "la Empresa". Had friction and decided to fracture and formed "La Familia Michoacana"

J said...

His face looks like he;s been using crystal. This guy was burnt out, on the run from CT & the Feds, and the military, it was only a matter of time.

If La Tuta is strong enough, I can see them holding down Michoacan from Zeta's, but who knows? La Familia is about done though, either, the way I see it. Funny I was just telling someone La Familia was going to go the way of Beltran Leyva,s they just can't survive the splinter affect. Anyway, this person thinks they will still be a force, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

My guess is Zetas turned him in.

Anonymous said...

He was rescued not arrested, his time on earth was getting shorter by the minute... They need to hang these pukes right after their "perp walk"! They should do it during the picture taking, put the noose around their necks allow reporters to take pictures and then open up trap doors letting them dangle there until they are dead...

Putting them in Mexican prisons is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard, guards and inmates end up getting killed and they just continue doing the same crimes just from behind bars, causing riots and more death and descruction... When is Mexico going to WAKE UP and realize the only solution to these evil demons from hell is DEATH! The one country that DESPERATELY NEEDS THE DEATH PENALTY does not have it!

The criminal cartels themselves have set it up this way so they know they can kill as many people as they want and they dont need to worry about a DEATH PENALTY when they are WAY WAY WAY DESERVING TO HAVE THEIR LIVES TAKEN FROM THEM!

Mexico's government is Mexico's worst enemy!

Anonymous said...

If death penalty works then why do countries including us have any murders at all?

Out from 20 states leading the murder rate only 1 (Michigan) does not have death penalty.

ps. lol at the 'evil demons' coming from someone calling for death.

Anonymous said...

unforunately the demand on drugs will allways be here and the knights of templar seem like the type of guys who will stay away from the innocent and do thier bussniess. Keep cleaing the plaza Templars you guys are really something Fuck los zetas

(btw im not blaming U.S.A because the sinaloa cartel sends drugs all the way to europe and austrailla and other coutries)..

Anonymous said...

my aunt married this short guy in tijuana he was a narco very violent and aggresive he would bring drugs to usa he got cuagth his name is the devil inside he showed us guns, money, drugs food, he said the prostitues would come to the prison,, he has his own bussniess in the prison...this was like 5 years ago so prison in mexico is like heaven they dont really have to worry, they have guns women, drinks drugs

Anonymous said...

KT & CJNG vs. LFM & Z's is going to be the outcome. It might get ugly.

DC said...

@ anon 8am

it's not so much about using the death penalty as a prevention for murders...its more about punishing those who have committed atrocities / murders to the ultimate punishment...which is their life.

Also it basically rids the world of one less parasite in human form.

or would you rather have them run prison gangs and rackets from the inside while they are serving their "punishment" ?

@J

yeah you're right...el chango does look like he's been using his own supply!

Anonymous said...

CT and CDJNG would never join forces, CT's still charge civilan businesses a quota. That's a big no no in Jalisco.

Anonymous said...

@June 23-9:08AM,

Your aunt must be so proud!

Anonymous said...

la familia going the way of the beltran leyvas? what are you talking about,,that they just cant take the splinter effect? dude ur an idiot! beltran leyvas are still kicking chapos ass and in their own state. so yea dont compare la familia michiocana with the BELTRAN LEYVAS,,just like you cant compare the caballero templarios wit LOS ZETAS. THE beltran leyvas went against a powerful sinaloa cartel which still had all its leaders at the time,,then nacho died, and the familia went against th caballeros templarios.you see my point?

Anonymous said...

Mexico has been brain washed into letting these clowns screw up their country, never in a billion years would ANY shit like this do down in the USA we would kill them dead as rats in a matter of minutes, Mexico seems to play footsie with these clowns way, way to much...

It is sad to watch... Mexico has become its own worst enemy by allowing these criminals to work freely in Mexico for so long, now look at what happens... Was it worth it?

It is far, far from over, the worst is yet to come... Mexico has become its own worst enemy by treating these cartel scum bags like human beings when they should be treated just like rats that have rabies!

The killings are getting much worse now targeting pregnant women and babies, skinning people and burning them alive... Ya, Mexico doesnt need a death penalty, what was I thinking?

Anonymous said...

the knight templars are gay! if ZETAS really wanted they would take their territory like nothing,,but they are more interested in matamoros, tamaulipas. just saying. and they are going after it, we will see what happens

Anonymous said...

the beltran leyva cartel has splintered into three cartels,,obviously the real boss hector was gonna look for allies which would love to help them out like the carillo fuentes and arellano felix and zetas.,,all for what? so they can take on chapos cartel and allies. when arturo was around the beltran leyva cartel was more powerful then the sinaloa cartel, now with the help of its allies it is going back to normal. just watch,why dont you think they havent caught hector yet?

Anonymous said...

hector beltran leyva doesnt like to talk he likes to act. why do you think nacho died so quickly after he kidnapped hector wife? just saying.nacho never really went after the beltran leyvas until his son died in puerto vallarta {beltran leyva turf},and then he thought it was them who killed him but its unknown if they did or not.

Anonymous said...

I thought CT didn't charge quota. Isn't that one of the many reasons why LFM split up. La Tuta and Chango Mendez never got along they both had a different ideology. I believe civilians shouldnt have to pay anything

J said...

I think the comparison is accurate, if you put aside personal biases and feelings, that some posters seem to have. Not insulting anyone, just what I think I see.

Beltran Leyva's are still fighting Chapo, sure, they hold some territory in Northern Sinaloa right? Well, I guess that's something. They have lost Acapulco, and probably Guerreo, they maintain control in Cuernavaca, Morelos, or no? I don't really know. for the most part, they have a a mountain in Sonora, and as far as I know, no real territory besides that. And their people, from what I read have been folded into the Zeta's, or gone elsewhere. There is no alliance between Beltran Leyva's and Tijuana, based on ANY evidence or reports.

So, yes, La Familia lost a leader, and the split, like Beltran Leyva's after Arturo Beltran, then you had Barbie & Hector, which is like La Tuta and Chango, then Barbie was arrested, just like Mendez, leaving one splinter group.


Now, do CT have enough resources and people to hold their territory, and climb back to power? It will be tough, with Zeta's coming for Michoacan, and losing a lot of people, we will see.

Anonymous said...

What is CT? Cartel de Tijuana?

Anonymous said...

J STOP YOUR A COMPLETE IDIOT IF YOU DONT KNO WHAT YOURE TALKING ABOUT DONT POST IT. IM FROM SINALOA.beltran leyva dont only control guasave,los mochis,mazatlan but they also have a huge presence in sinaloa de leyva, and operate in the states of nayarit and sonora.and they also have a presence in southern and central mexico.with zetas as there allies they are able to operate from alot of more states.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha if stuff like this happened in USA I think it would have a bigger impact on the ppl because fear has always runned the lives of Americans. It takes fucking balls to do the things Mexicans do. Mexicans might get smoked trying to make a living but Americans die on drug overdoses now what? A human can always get use to anything except not eating. Remember that

Anonymous said...

I understand what your sayin J,the beltran leyvas have been very low key ever since hector took leadership of the cartel, very little is known about him.But are you a reporter on BB? because you saying there is no reports about an alliance between the beltran leyvas and tijuana cartel sound like you<re not aware of what is posted on your own website BB.theres been numerous reports about the two new major faction,its even on this website.one of the factions is cartel juarez,tijuana cartel,beltran leyva cartel and zetas and the other one is sinaloa cartel,cartel del golfo,and what used to be la familia michiocana,now that they separated im not too sure.

Anonymous said...

J is the new rise mackeveli and smurf

Anonymous said...

they also do not have a mountain in sonora. if you dont know who FRANSISCO HERNANDEZ GARCIA,ill tell you he is one of the biggest lugarteniente for the beltran leyva up in sonora,just like isdro flores meza is in sinaloa and juan pablo osuna el 100 and samuel lizarraga el tortillero in mazatlan,and el chico in tepic Nayarit.

J said...

I forgot about Dos Mil, he runs Hermosillo right? Maybe I don't give the Beltrans enough credit, we'll see. I don't see why people have to get so aggravated. You are from Sinaloa, so you have additional insight, it also appears you have a bias.

The alliance is true, just not as it concerns Tijuana, who are, as documented in agreement with Sinaloa.

Buela said...

You're right J..look at my new post on forum..out the mouth of Chango himself..LFM is DONE! an introspective from the chango man

Anonymous said...

yeah you dont give beltrans enough credit,J, its kinda transparent,clear that your favoritism lies with the sinaloa cartel,im just saying,icould be wrong.i am not gonna be fake i do favor the beltran leyvas since they know how to operate,they dont betray,and they dont go around starting wars.they have reorganized and are no where near extinction,chapos has years sending federales,sicarios,militares in on the beltran leyva plazas but he just cant,and wont.

J said...

It generally seems the facts and evidence shows Sinaloa being stronger,and I have had a disdain for the Beltran Leyva's since the whole El Ponchis incident. If they are such great guys and businessmen, what was El Negro Radilla's whole reign of terror in Morelos about?

Anonymous said...

el negro radilla is an idiot,who felt that he had enough power to operate by himself but when the beltran leyva found out thats when all that viloence started because they were gonna kill that fool,and el negro kept on saying that everything he was doing was on behalf of the beltran leyvas which is a lie. haha but yea thats fools gone already.

Hakki said...

Idd i smell sinaloa haters here. sinaloa are much more powerful then beltran leyvas. the beltrans dont control Mazlatan wtf, they are getting their ass kicked in guererro and sinoala. The only true enemy who is a wrath to el chapo are the zetas. And wtf the beltrans are not good guys, they are skinning corpes etc, they are maybe even worse then zetas.

But el chapo's men are no gods, they still dont full control ciduad juarez because la linea are smarter then they look.

Anonymous said...

to hakki,,,'the only true enemy who is a wrath to el chapo are the zetas,' in case you didnt know beltran leyva and zetas operate mutually,one helps each other and vise versa.and you also said that they are getting their ass kicked in guerrero and sinaloa,i am not sure about guerrero,and i kinda doubt it,,but definately not in sinaloa. alfredo beltran leyva was before the man in charge of sinaloa,and hector his brother of sonora back when they were part of the sinaloa cartel.also beltran leyvas do control mazatlan by samuel lizarraga el tortillero nephew of santiago lizarraga ibarra who was killed by marines there sicarios are called limpia mazatleca chapo has been trying to take it away from them but hasnt been able to,and el pariente o el panchito operates in culiacan,, chapo flores chuy,and nacho gonzales in guasave,most likely guamuchil,and i wouldnt doubt sinaloa de leyva,vainilla.so yea you should get better informed.sinaloa cartel does not control sinaloa.they do control some areas tho mainly culiacan.

Anonymous said...

the reason why there is zetas in sinaloa,nayarit is because they are there to support beltran leyvas.so yea now you guys know,the beltran leyva would never fold under los zetas,if they didnt fold under sinaloa cartel they are not gunna fold under any other cartel.

Anonymous said...

chapo is never gonna get ciudad juarez,especially with zetas,cbl,HELPING THEM OUT.

Anonymous said...

J wrote "it generally seems the facts and evidence shows sinaloa being stronger", what facts and what evidence? i have yet to see some.yeah arturo beltran leyva died,not because of el chapo or sinaloa,because la barbie betrayed him.ALL the evidence facts blah blah come from the media which ultimately is controlled i hope by the mexican goverment,and then by chapo since he paid felipe calderons way in, when the federation was still alive.Also the media puts him as the most powerful just because he escaped out of prison with the financial help of arturo beltran.Also he's the one that called a truce with the beltran leyva when arturo was around.All im saying is that chapo is big but the beltran leyva are as big if not bigger.

J said...

These are my points:

Who controls more territory? Controls, not has a foot in the door, or is fighting for.

Who controls more plazas that have access to the US?

We are only assuming that the Beltrans can have access to plazas controlled by the Zeta's, or maybe Juarez, but we know Sinaloa is passing lots of product thru Sonora, and Baja California. And when is the last time a large Beltran Leyva shipment was confiscated? Who is documented to be moving major drug shipment in Australia, and Europe? Sinaloa. This is not because I like Chapo, or Sinaloa, it's just the way I see things, and frankly, does it matter who helped Chapo escape, or what happened years ago? Not really. I think the Beltran's as a major drug cartel are pretty much washed. If you want to take the point, that since they joined with Zeta's they are still a large cartel, then you can have it, but I think it's a pretty small victory.

Anonymous said...

all im saying is that you and many others may be on chapos nuts but the truth is that your narco idol is soon gonna go down he is publicly too exposed and its only a matter of time.He could try to hide now but its too late.as for what territories he controls is unknown,mexicali yeah its chapo,nogales yea its beltran,and specially in sonora chapos territory is unknown.Also for you to bring large shipments to this is irrelevant we dont know how much each is passing.and about the other countries they find or think that a sinaloan is operating there automatically they think hes from the sinaloa cartel but beltran leyvas are also from sinaloa. just saying just because beltrans dont like the spotlight doesnt mean they are weak.but we.will wait and see.mayo or chapo one of them is next to fall of course el azul is not gonna fall anytime soon but just wait. you.ll see.despues di que te dijo un pendejo.

Anonymous said...

Most,if not all your points J are inacuarate,distorted or somewhat exaggerated.yea if they find someone operating in another country and he is from sinaloa immediately the say hes from the sinaloa cartel,in case you didnt the beltran leyvas are also from sinaloa.Also chapos territories are not clear,stable,most are in dispute, specially in sonora,so yea just because Beltrans dont like spotlight like chapo doesnt mean theyre weak. chapo or mayo one of them is next to fall.el azul definately isnt but chapo or mayo soon are.remember that j.

hakki said...

@Anonymous 3:31 PM

I cant understand your post well dude, but as i said give sources or this shit never happend. just rumors, sinaloa cartel is the strongest cartel. the beltrans are not a wrath because zetas are very good in recruiting people and they are keeping sending lowlifes. beltrans are just a bunch of idiots who skins people. Mazlatan is sinaloa cartel... my cousin lives there only el chapo's men. so give sources and get better informed.

Anonymous said...

Hakki Your a liar because if your cousin really lived there he would know thats beltran leyva territory.Also for you to say that the beltran leyvas are the ones skinning people is kinda stupid since there is no way to be certain.How do you know its not barbies faction?..Trying to intimidate Hector beltran.And if zetas keep on sending lowlifes why hasnt the almighty sinaloa cartel been able to kill them and take over sinaloa? EXACTLY CAUSE THEY CANT.pura limpia mazatleca.

Anonymous said...

ooh and by the way hakki,i dont know if you heard about that one zeta who used to be part of the mexican army, edgar huerta molina "el wache", who was supposibly one of the men responsible for the 72 immigrants killed in san fernando,in the video where he declares what hes been doing with the zetas and the places he's been,he CLEARLY mentions,that then they were sent to MAZATLAN to support the beltran leyvas,then they left.I im not sure if its on this website.But yea if cartel de sinaloa controls mazatlan im pretty sure they wouldnt allow a convoy of zetas to enter,and leave.SO yea just in case you didnt hear about it,or werent aware.

Hakki said...

I am not going to reply before u give sources otherwise UR the biggest liar on earth. there is,there we're banners left signed by people who works for beltran leyva cartel.

For the last time give sources please about Mazlatan. nope he didnt mention anything, just give some damm proof.

Anonymous said...

MILENIO
MAZATLÁN, Sinaloa.- La madrugada de hoy fue colocada una "narcomanta" en uno de los barandales que se ubican afuera de la discoteca Las Herraduras, en Mazatlán, donde fueron asesinadas seis personas y una más resultó herida, el sábado pasado.

De acuerdo a los testigos de este hecho, fue en los primeros minutos de este martes cuando se encontró esta manta y se reportó a la policía, informó Milenio. La manta fue colocada en el barandal donde quedó muerto el taxista que habían levantado los agresores de este hecho.

En el mensaje escrito en mayúsculas se expresa lo siguiente. "Este terreno es de Beltrán Leyva y Hertiberto Lazcano y sus zetas Mazatlán ya tiene dueño puto y a todos los que apoyen al chapo y al mayo les van a partir su madre todos. "Z" "Z" "Z". (sic).THERE YOU GO HAKKI A WRITTEN NARCOMANTA BY ZETAS AND BELTRAN LEYVA.HOPEFULLY YOU SPEAK SPANISH SO YOU COULD SEE WITH YOUR OWN EYES WHAT THAT SAYS,"THIS PLAZA IS BELTRAN LEYVA AND HERIBERTO LASCANO Y LOS ZETAS,THIS IN MAZATLAN,WHOEVER SUPPORTS CHAPO AND MAYOS PEOPLE WILL DIE."

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