Sunday, October 14, 2012
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
|Not wanting a repeat embarrassment as in the Lazcano killing, Torres' body is|
being fully guarded at the Sinaloa medical examiners office (el pais)
He confronts the Army in the Valle de San Lorenzo
For Manuel Torres, "Manuelon", "El Ondeado" or "El M1", the insomnia ended. In the early dawn on Saturday, October 12, 2012, he died during a confrontation with Army special forces.
They hunted him down like the wildcat that he was. Spotlighted at night on a road close to Oso Viejo, Quila, he wasn't able to get away this time like he did so many other times when, by blood and fire, he was able to flee to hide in his dens and his hills.
According to the first versions of the facts, some gathered by reporters who arrived at dawn to the Valle de San Lorenzo and some communicated unofficially by the military itself, Manuel Torres, accompanied by a strong group of bodyguards, met up with federal forces and tried to evade them. But they had him surrounded. For several days, special forces, supported by the 9th Military Zone, had seeded personnel throughout the area. At dawn that day, a contingent of soldiers came in through Tacuichamona headed towards Oso Viejo, and a similar force came down from Quila, forming an impassable pincers, even though Torres knew the terrain like the palm of his hand.
The moment they clashed, Manuel Torres got down off the vehicle he was riding and tried to flee through the hills. But he was hit by gunshots. He fell right there.
They took two .38 Super pistols and seven unfired .22 cartridges from him. The Attorney General, Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez, revealed that (Torres) had on him $9,980 dollars and 23,500 pesos, plus portions of a white powder, apparently cocaine.
Although official reports do not mention detainees, RioDoce sources assure (the journal) that there were many.
Black death card
Sinaloa had never know such a bloodthirsty drug trafficking operator. They're in all the gangs; his brother Javier Torres, in prison in the United States, where he's serving a sentence for drug trafficking, also confronted the Mexican Army, and in that incident a soldier died. Then, his own bosses gave him up and he was extradited.
Javier Torres was one of Ismael Zambada Garcia, "El Mayo's," top lieutenants. And, although Manuel Torres never attained the same standing in the structure, he was a key player in the organization after the war broke out in the Sinaloa cartel.
Manuel Torres took on the job of confronting, with blood and knife, the new enemies of Zambada and Joaquin Guzman: the Beltran Leyva brothers.
Hundreds of deaths are attributed to commandos led by Manuel Torres, who rightly earned the pseudonym of "El Ondeado" because of his lack of emotional stability.
He didn't discriminate. It was all about taking care of the plaza for the one who had always owned it, and he acted without any consideration. Thus, police from all agencies fell, and even some military personnel who dared invade his territory, losses that the Army never reported.
From the start of the war in 2008, the Torres (brothers) were the target of attacks from their new enemies, largely by means of a group called "Los Charritos," linked to the Araujo family, whose principal pillar of support was Gonzalo, "El Chalo" Araujo.
On April 4, with hostilities barely begun, young Joel Torres Jimenez, son of "El JT," was attacked outside a pool hall located in the Colonia Guadalupe Victoria. He was 19 years old, and he survived.
A few weeks later, April 18, another Torres, this one the son of Manuel, Atanasio Torres Acosta, "El Tachio", was murdered. This happened right beside the buildings of the Health Ministry, in the Montebello residential district.
Police located one of the vehicles apparently used by the gunmen. A red Tsuru [Mexico's version of the Nissan Sentra.-- un vato], where they found AK 47 rifles with a message: "From your compadre and his Z nephews. So you will remember, Manuel Torres."
"El M1" went crazy with the death of his son, whose wake was held in one of his houses in the valley. That same night and the next day while they were keeping vigil over Atanasio's body, Manuel Torres was taking his revenge on young men that his gunmen were picking up and taking to his home for him to torture.
Nothing stopped him. All over the city, headless corpses started to appear, mutilated, with messages alluding to Tachio's murder. No death, no limit, could contain his thirst for vengeance until his death, Saturday at dawn.
The cartels were at war, but he was fighting his own war in the name of the affront he had suffered.
At the place where his son was murdered, they started throwing decapitated bodies, one of them that of Barcelo Villagran, who had been the commander of the Ministerial Police and chief of the Centauro Group. They amputated both legs, decapitated him and cut open his back with a knife while he was still alive.
Manuel Torres Felix was not even in the files of the PGR, much less in those of the State Department of Justice, when, on June 1, 2011, Barack Obama designated him, along with Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza, "El Macho Prieto," as drug traffickers subject to the Kingpin Statute. This law targets drug trafficking bosses ("kingpins"), allowing the North American Government to freeze foreigners' bank accounts and businesses.
In Sinaloa, the Justice Department has in its files an old conviction on Manuel Torres, "since snakes walked upright" (very old, indeed), for carrying a firearm. But nothing else.
The bee sting
Manuel Torres died a natural death. On the run since President Calderon began his war, he did not rest. He lived in the hills, in the valleys and rarely came down to the city. He mistrusted even his shadow. He would go two, three nights without sleep, always alert.
Two weeks ago, a bee swarm attacked him and he had to be transferred to Culiacan, where they were barely able to save his life after hundreds of bees stung him. It wasn't his turn to live. He had one fate: El que a cuchillo mata, a cuchillo muere. Live by the sword, die by the sword.