Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Detainee mistakenly arrested as Loera Guzman's son

Friday, June 22, 2012 |

Some of the information provided came from Borderland Beat reporter Chivis Martinez

By Chris Covert
Rantburg.com

A man detained by a Mexican naval infantry special forces unit in Zapopan, Jalisco Wednesday was not Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar AKA El Gordo, the son of Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin Guzman Loera AKA El Chapo, but a hapless used car dealer from Guadalajara caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to various Spanish and English language news reports.

The counternarcotics operation took place in Jardines de la Patria colony where the misidentified detainee now identified as Felix Beltran Leon, a used car dealer by trade with family in Los Angeles California. 

According to a statement, Mexican marines found two rifles, two handguns, four grenades and USD $135,000 (MX $1,867,454.96) and MX $295,000 (USD $21,325.81) in cash.  Kevin Daniel Beltran Rios, 19, was also detained at the scene and identified in Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR) news release as a Sinaloa cartel operative.

An attorney for the family sent out several emails Friday to various Mexican media outlets and had released an oral statement on MVS Radio saying the detainee was not Guzman Salazar.

The attorney. Jesus Alfredo Guzman, had scheduled a news conference for 1100 hrs CDT Friday in Guadalajara, but to date the media event has not taken place.

A juicio de amparo suit has already been filed in Mexican federal court challenging the extradition of Beltran Leon to the United States.  Under Mexican jurisprudence, amparo suits must be adjudicated before prosecutors can move forward on any criminal case, even in a high profile extradition such as the putative Alfredo Guzman Salazar detention.

Juicio de amparo suits are procedural appeals meant to slow down legal procedures and to ensure an individuals' rights under the law.

Despite the amparo suit Beltran Leon will likely serve prison time for possession of illegal guns and cash.

The errors likely committed in this case are of epic proportions.  Loera Guzman himself was detained by Mexican authorities in 1993 but escaped in 2001.  That means that the Mexican Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SIEDO) the organized crime unit of the Procuraduria General de la Republica or attorney general probably had a DNA profile on Loera Guzman.  A report could have easily been prepared in advance of the marine operation that could have compared DNA profiles taken immediately following the raid.

Word on the narco blogs is that the operation was a DEA operation from the very start, which if true means the raid and subsequent news of the capture was from its basis a political operation by an American administration in deep political trouble at home trying to score cheap points by using a foreign counternarcotics operation.


For example, the administration of US president Barak Obama has been milking the 2011 assassination of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden for months using questionable leaks to reliable news outlets such as the New York Times.

The US DEA has played politics with Mexican politics and politicians in the past.  A good example is the 1998 Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles in the New York Times which smeared, among others, then Sonora governor Fabio Beltrones as having connections with organized crime.  Nearly every source in that series were unnamed or were from the DEA itself.  None of the rumors and allegations against now Senator Beltrones has ever been proved.

Most dismaying to all concerned with legal reforms about to be imposed on Mexico is Marisela Morales, Mexico's current PGR who took over that post two years ago.  Her elevation to the top legal job in Mexico has been praised by US news outlets such as the Los Angeles Times as exemplary of how far Mexico has come in jurisprudence.  SIEDO was Morales' job prior to becoming attorney general.

Far more revealing is the current US administration that is under intense pressure because of its refusal to provide Congress with documents pertaining to the failed gun running monitoring operation dubbed Fast and Furious.  That operation has allegedly cost the lives of 300 Mexican citizens and three US Federal agents from weapons illegally purchased in the US and permitted to cross the border into Mexico.

It is hard to imagine the DEA not trying to score points for its boss as well as itself by rushing a questionable bust.  It is equally hard not to imagine no fallout coming from such as sloppy attempt.

The current Mexican national administration under President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa is on the way out as its longtime political rival the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) is about to retake the Mexican presidency as well a substantial portion of the Chamber of Deputies in next week elections.

It is therefore very likely the Mexican government did nothing more than react to a set of facts provided by the US DEA.

SEMAR, Admiral Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza must be furious as a tremendous waste of his best counternarcotics forces.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
© Copyright 2012 by Chris Covert
You must obtain permission to reprint this article.

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44 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow epic fail! I'd laugh but this shit is just plain sad. You think that the US wouldn't be so retarded.....

Anonymous said...

Hahaha que bien que no fue el

Anonymous said...

lol this shit is hilarious old man chapo & the son must be laughing there ass off this sexinio is a joke the worst adminastracion ever in mexico what to expect from that drunk ass calderon

Anonymous said...

Bullshit, the Mexican government needs to accept responsibility for this blunder, as well. They are always keen to blame everything on the DEA. While the DEA are no saints, the Mexican government is not immune from responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree!! This was not a ONe man mistake! U.S. & Mx and all the agencies involved are to bLame! Such an embarassingly major fuck up! Everybody is just so invoLved in the politics of the game their vision gets blurred & they lose sight of what they are trying to accomplish here! As for the man being an innocent USED car dealer at the wrong place at the wrong time...bullshit!! All thay $$ and weapons he had in his possession are no joke. gawd all this war on drugs b.s. makes me sick!! Blahhh

Anonymous said...

Yeah, all the "used car dealers" I know carry around grenades, AK's and 150k in cash.

Anonymous said...

Ok he aint el chapos son but who is he? Nearly 200k in cash 2 rifles 2 pistols and 4 grenades!!! Cmon what kind of used car dealer is that? To be armed with grenades? I think that he aint alfredo but he is a son of chapo. El chapo has been around a while and he could have children that are kept secret who knows? This guy el gordo looks kind of like el chapo.

Anonymous said...

DNA iis awesome but don't forget to check fingerprints. Chapo's son has an arrest, detention and subsequent escape. His data should be readily available within the very agencies involved in this arrest. I don't even want to speculate on a switcheroo for a bribe.

Anonymous said...

Chris Covert there's a great deal of speculation in your article and very little sources to back it up (except for other narco blogs) - is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Anonymous said...

I have yet to meet a used car salesman with two rifles, two handguns, four grenades and $135,000. My gut says that there is more to this. But as far as Chapo, the legend only grows.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing my ass off!!! They knew what they were doing. They were sent to arrest Chapo's son and on the way there, they decided to pick up this dude and say that was him. This happens all the time, innocent people are arrested, and tagged as other people and criminals. They messed with the wrong family, they weren't scared to come out and expose this. I applaud them.

Anonymous said...

something does not add up. If this were a mistake, and in the middle is a US citizen, fighting. to not be deported to his own country.... something does not make sense. Especially when most people agree that in Mex it will be more difficult to get justice ....

Anonymous said...

Chapo paid them to let him go and make people believe it was mistaken

Anonymous said...

It might not be chapo son but for me is still a big bust he had a lot money,guns and grenades plus a lot of IDs with him. he was up to no good I bet he knows some top playas

Anonymous said...

Where did Chivis get her information?

Anonymous said...

every time the catch someone they always say with help from us inteligence .gabachos always wana take credit but when shit lik this happens they act like they had nothin to do with it.fuckin cowards

Anonymous said...

OH SHIT HERE WE GO.BLAME THE US?GREAT STORY BADANOV.
DREDGING SHIT UP FROM THE 90s,IN ORDER TO PROVE A POINT."WORD ON THE BLOGS,SAYS IT WAS DEA"?
SO YOU ALWAYS TAKE THEM AS GOSPEL?HYSTERICAL ANTI US BULLSHIT,AND IF IT WAS THE DEA,SO WHAT?THEY ARE TRYING TO ARREST DANGEROUS DUDES,YE,SOMETHING DOES NOT ADD UP.

Anonymous said...

Why has this story turned into an anti US rant?
"Word on the blogs it was DEA,and if it was"?
Can you believe that statement?Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Its almost to much a mystery to speculate the real scenario. In any case he and his families information is out there for all the extortion racketts to begin demanding weekly payments.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other posts, used car dealer in Mexico with $300k in cash, grenedes and rifles..??
Even if he is not Chapo's son, dude is a narco.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. When the story first broke out comments left on the Mexican newspaper's website, Eldebate.com.mx, many people immediately left comments stating this was not Chapo's son. Too funny. With the presidential election so close it show how desperate the PAN political party in Mexico is desperate to keep power and how desperate the US is too keep them there. Their lady candidate is a joke and unfit to lead a nation.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah blah.... both parties at fault. Not to mention, a set-up on chubby boy. You can not agree such a lost looking kid would be stacked and armed. If you do, well then I'm superman.

Anonymous said...

What about the claimed confessions that he managed properties for Chapo and was intimately familiar with the drug running operations? What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Hey this dude is not innocent so don't feel too sorry for him. And of course he will claim the money and the guns and the grenades were planted.

Like I said, a lot of Mexicans are making a lot of money from crime. Regular, ordinary, everyday-type people. Where did his mother get the money to hire a high-powered law firm - not one lawyer, a law firm?

I don't know how they id anyone in Mexico. Everybody uses five names and three nicknames.

Chivis said...

@7:57AM

I will be happy to answer your question, for which post? my last? it really is easy to see my sources-in text and at bottom.

tell me which one

Anonymous said...

True that my friend

Anonymous said...

"What about the claimed confessions that he managed properties for Chapo and was intimately familiar with the drug running operations? What a joke."

This is the type of idiotic 'Information' you get when you torture someone, they tell you whatever you want to hear to make it stop.

Anonymous said...

Why not they should arrest his ass and his entire family.

Anonymous said...

If the PRI wins corruption will escalte. High rankin officials will get their cut and turn the other way. Thats why Mexico is where it is now. Years of PRI running the country and now we expect for the PAN to fix all this in one term? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Well hopefully they make another mistake and hand him over to el chapo isidro instead of chapo guzman.. That would make headlines..

Anonymous said...

Hey bro why is it so important for you that this guy has to be Chapo's son??

badanov said...

US federal law enforcement routinely plants stories in the press using gullible and reliable reporters.

My second exwife was a police reporter and people at the copshop routinely fed her information, spurious as it turned out, off the record during a grand jury -- a serious crime in Oklahoma. Cops regard the press as little more than an extension of their own investigatory needs.

The sheer speed at which this story appeared in local media leads me to believe that DEA provided PGR with the inforamation and distributed an embargoed story to reliable US press outlets, once the bust was undertaken.

The Obama adinistration has shown that it is perfectly willing to endanger US intel operations abroad, and the the lives thereof, just to make the boss look good, and the DEA, judging by its past, is no different.

What's a few dead Mexicans to the election of Barak Obama as president, right? Nothing, right?

RIGHT??

Look at the latest press release by ther DEA concerning the detainee. The DEA will not even provide a source within its own group to confirm the story. Can't even break the habit of going off the record.

Speculation or not, I stand by the story.

Anonymous said...

the mexican govermint
is a joke

Anonymous said...

The whole incident stinks. One big problem is you cannot believe anything anybody says in this story. Since Mexican cops and military routinely use torture to obtain confessions, and are not above planting weapons and drugs to justify arrests, it doesn't mean anything that the suspect may have confessed or that they supposedly found weapons, drugs and money on him. That's the price Mexican law enforcement pays for the methods they use.

Anonymous said...

The thing about trying to say this is a tempest in a teapot invented for political spin by the U.S. is, in the U.S. media (at least that I've seen) it's been reported basically as "Meh. More Mexico drug lord stuff. Who's on 'Dancing with Stars?'"

In other words, even IF Obama himself called Calderon and said "Doood!" and set the whole thing up, it's not, and never would have, getting any real reaction here. Not.A.Headline.

~Chimera

Anonymous said...

"Can I take it for a test drive"?
"No problemo, just throw the grenades and rifles in the back seat".
"Oh, and could you leave me your license" ?

Anonymous said...

Who says they weren't planted by the navy/Feds. It is common practice for this to happen in big cases to pump up the charges and get the ability to immediately hold suspect for these charges.

How many pictures on this own blog with weapons posed.

The problem here is the screwed up big time. The caught the wrong guy and possibly planted evidence. They did all this not knowing they had the wrong guy.

Look the guy the we're looking for dad is worth over a billion dollars.

Anonymous said...

@ June 23, 2012 5:21 PM

Just like they did with "El Arabe" hahaha chapo isidro couldn't stop crying to malova "A LLORAR AL PANTEON" se la pelaron con esta!!!!

Anonymous said...

You really think the Obama administration or the DEA wre trying to score points by making a false arrest ? get serious dude lol ...this is obviously another screw up by inept Mexican security forces..as to your point about 'leaks' to the media ? All GOV'T DO THIS ...where's the news in your statement ?..this whole article is just silly ...

Anonymous said...

U.S. Intelligence? hasnt that been proven wrong time and time again?

Baggy said...

Thankyou anon @ June 23, 2012 10:53 PM <-- dont know if my times showup diff to everyone elses?

Anonymous said...
The whole incident stinks <-- and everything else... saved me typing it out but just had to say agree 100%

Anonymous said...

The guy is an operative of el gordo, the DEA fed the Intel.the mex gov. Agencies decided against pursuing the Mark. Instead picking up some third tier operator for el.Gordo, also the Familia isn't so.innocent, like somebody said how they get the money for a lawyer firm, this was a direct response to the DEA that they won't go after JAGL familia, everybody else maybe so, not the Familia. And the DEA had el GORDO direct location the mexican gov. Fucked this.on purpose.......

Atte. El Patrick Swayze

Anonymous said...

I think the mexicans didn't want to arrest the real son but they had to act on the info. So they arrested the wrong El Gordo - oops sorry - the DEA gave us bad intel. Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Who are u

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