Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The Drug War in the Sierra Tarahumara and the Fall of a “Robin Hood”

Monday, November 5, 2012 |

Borderland Beat
THE LAND OF NOBODY
Last week the decapitation execution of Antonio Erives Arduño,39, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in the municipality of Uruachi,  worried the villagers of the region.
At the end of March of last year,  the plaza leader had positioned himself as the “protector” of the citizens, due to the lack of response and security from the authorities of all levels of government.
“Toño”, which is how he was known, helped people with money, groceries  and other needs. He defended even those who did not want to be involved with him.  Although  he rescued teenagers that were forcibly  recruited by other criminal groups, he also enlisted some of them into his group.
For a year, Antonio Erives managed to maintain “calm” in the village, but  Saturday morning October 27th, his rival arrived, one of the leaders of the criminal group La Linea, nicknamed “El Vaquero”, to fight for the territory. The confrontation kept the inhabitants inside their homes.
According to local authorities, several people were killed, although the exact number is unknown. The confrontation lasted more than five hours.
There seems to be impunity to kill on the Sierra Tarahumara. Authorities and society blame the families, the community, saying that they’ve cultivated and produced marijuana and poppy for decades, mainly without realizing that violence has reached entire villages and manufactured thousands of anonymous victims.
The confrontations between drug traffickers are historical, the villagers say that there has always been organized criminals (armed people); and Indians and mestizos (persons of mixed race) have always cultivated drug. That excuse seems to justify permission to kill anyone, no matter the cause or how many killed, because the Sierra of Chihuahua is the “land of nobody”.
The power of Toño Erives
The last week of March and beginning of April 2011, the confrontation between the two criminal groups, Sinaloa Cartel and La linea, caused an entire town to spend the night on the mountains. They slept that week out in the open and with low temperatures. It was in Jicamorachi, of the municipality of Uruachi.
The morning of April 9th, Lidia, niece in-law of Antonio Erives, came down from one of the mountains. She was accompanied by her mother in law, several aunts and a group of children, which had ran away after some strangers (La Linea)  burned five of their properties.
Toño Erives, one of the uncles of her husband ( her husband was killed in 2009 at the age of 19), reached important positions in La Linea, branch of the Juarez Cartel. He soon started to stand out in that organization; however, the Sinaloa Cartel convinced him to unite with them and his power in the region grew immensely
“He was a noble man” said Lidia “he gave protection, helped people, lend them his trucks to go to the hospitals. He’s a man with handsome features, a nice person.”
In March  2011, El Vaquero, one of the leaders of La Linea, and former boss of Erives, arrived in Jicamorachi. There was a queen coronation ball. There was a quarrel between the group, the neighbors of the place indicated that one of them had a truck full of drugs and two men were killed.
Two days after, a commando dressed with federal police uniforms burned six houses, among these, one that belonged to the doctor of the town and several vehicles. The rebels came in to town randomly shooting. Fear drove the people, old, kids, complete families, to the mountains. Jicamorachi is nestled between several mountains.
Some families managed to escape and more than half of the 122 families of the town didn’t return, said one of the former regional commissionaires of Tepehuan. (dozens were also kidnapped). The villagers remain a whole weekend on the mountains, the distribution buses wouldn’t go up to Jicamorachi because of the risk that involved, the children became ill; the weather was cool,  that is why they decided to return home.
Almost all of the villagers that remained in the mountains and hadn’t fled  to other cities, returned, except Lidia’s family, who remain in the mountains with her aunts. The houses that the group burned belong to her family. They also burned a carpentry shop that belonged to the father of Antonio Erives. In early April, the army came and settled in the elementary school of Jicamorachi and that is how the villagers were able to return to their homes.
Frightened, Lidia came down the mountain; she wouldn’t say a word, just nodded that her desire was to stay with her mother in-laws. She refused to leave that town where she lived  during her short marriage and lived face to face with violence. They are paying the price of unlawful practices that naturalized over decades in the Sierra Tarahumara.
At that time, the young woman evaded any person that asked details of those violent events. She was proposed an offer to leave town to go with her family, but she refused, she said that her desire was not leave her mother in-law and her aunts, alone.
A week later, she left the town with her in-laws. The Single State Police offered support to leave town by helicopter. They arrived in Sonora and weeks later, Lidia decided to go with her family to one of the major cities of the state. She got a job at a department store, she seemed calmed and during her lunch hour, she agreed to talk about her life in Uruachi.
She accepted that she needed counseling. She was determined to resume her life. A few weeks later she got married and now is expecting a baby.
Click to enlarge
Wave of shooting
After the gunmen took the town of Jicamorachi against Erives in March 2011, he and his men ambushed a caravan of vehicles of an opposing group that was passing by one of the roads of the municipality. El Blanco was the leader of another group. El Vaquero managed to escape in an armored vehicle, said a teenage relative of Lidia that is also part of the group of Erives.
As revenge, days later, people under the instructions of El Vaquero, took a passenger bus, where Antonio Erives’s sister,  a councilor of Uruachi was travelling. Gunmen kidnapped her and the negotiation began: the plaza in exchange for the woman.
The agreement was to meet in a location near Gosogachi.
The councilor was taken by helicopter and given to her brother, but she had been tortured: her feet were burned. After getting her sister, “the war started”, both groups confronted the conflict  from different hills. Toño’s group won.
In that same period, another village of Uruachi, Memelichi was also taken. Through emails, the victims indicated to their acquaintances that they were not allowed to leave the village. Out of fear, the men ran to hide, but women and children were kept in the village.
After the “war”, the enemy of Erives arrived in the main town with about 70 armed people to the and began a five hour shootout. Besides Toño’s group, poorly armed policemen and “three or four young men” participated, they climbed the roofs to shoot so the rivals wouldn’t know where the shots came from, also participated.
They fired from the rooftops and killed several men. The people with whom it was possible to have telephone communications, claimed that they saw people that were wounded or killed, but the groups took the bodies, so it is unknown the exact number of those killed or wounded.
The ladies said that they saw teenagers going into their yards with big guns, terrorizing them. The villagers said that in the “war”,  apple harvesters were recruited.
The mayor, Aldo Campos Rascon, said a day later that the people were in shock; many houses were fired upon and the vehicles windows were broken. He assured that about 10 people were injured. The mayor requested permanent presence of the armed forces to try to contain the violence.
“If we don’t stop this situation, the Sierra will become a powder keg. It has turn into the population arming themselves or wanting to participate in some way or another in these groups and those more interested are the young people.”
“It’s a little bit of everything, people get tired of living like this, in fear, trying to take a stand one way or another. It is complicated and if we are not careful we will become a powder keg in a short time. People are concerned, there is mistrust,” said the mayor.
In view of that situation, suddenly, the villagers of the municipality realized that they were protected by Toño Erives and his people, who substituted for authority functions, beginning with protecting their lives to support transfers to hospitals and feeding.
Since that time, in late March and early April 2011, executions were isolated and sporadic, until last weekend, when the rival group attacked against and killed Antonio Erives, who had become the “Robin Hood” of the villagers of Uruachi. Now, they fear of how to accommodate both groups and the decisions the leaders will make.
Source: Proceso

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36 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

ROBIN HOOD WAS PROBABLY "ROBBING THE HOOD"...I LIKE TO READ THESE STORIES BECAUSE THEY ARE SOO STUPID."HE WOULD LEND HIS TRUCK SO PEOPLE CAN GO TO THE HOSPITAL"LOL. WHAT A JOKE THIS LOOSER WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY PEOPLES LIVES.EITHER INDERECTLY OR DIRECTLY, HIS DRUGS AND KILLINGS WILL STILL AFFECT PEOPLES LIVES FOR A LONG LONG TIME.

Anonymous said...

There is no god!

Anonymous said...

All bullshit propaganda all this scumm dto are all the same. only dumb or people that dont know any better will think them as heroes or robin hoods.

Anonymous said...

well well well.....its come around full circle to bite chapo on the bum.

"lito"brito said...

faakkk...straight out of a movie...a desperate bad movie

Anonymous said...

La lines slowly trying to creep up and take back territory sinaloa better stop em but in the midst of this war its the people stuck in the middle that suffer, good vs evil the government can only do so much the only way to take out a cartel is with another cartel the government cannot be at at every single battle so thats why you have people to fend for themselves it can take hours or days before the government comes in after complaints of on going violence and by then the damage is done ,may god bless the people of this village and all of mexico may peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

Send the U.S. Marines and Predator drones to help protect the Mexican people screw Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

Good aricle.. props!

Anonymous said...

La linea is making a strong comeback.. Chapo better watch out , everyone is out to get his ass

Anonymous said...

La linea still around causing havoc,well i guess chapo attacked them first,wot goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

im tired of everyone putting sinaloa as the good guys. before them everything was calm they destroyed mexico. keep it up juarez and beltranes

Anonymous said...

Pretty good story, its sad that the young kids with no education and no jobs play the role of pawns in this whole mess. That vaquro dude and tonio should have had a quick draw duel like in the old west, thats seems fair enough

Anonymous said...

Cool read Chivis! Any pics of Tono, El Vaquero, or El Blanco? So seems like CDS lost the plaza to La Linea, but how long will that last?

Anonymous said...

I hope the people of Chihuas take their land back. Pinches malandros, " la tierra es de la quien la trabaja " not them. Sick and tired of seeing people being stepped on. La gente has to stand up already, pinche gobierno isn't helping much for the cause either.

Anonymous said...

La Linea has always had a very strong presence in Chiuas. Most people think that because they dont have a lot of corridos and are a smaller group, that chapo and calderon were gonna wipe them out instantly, and to this date La Linea still holds control of the chiuas/juarez plaza.

Anonymous said...

great post chivis. I saw you were ill yesterday. I can tell when you are not feeling well because things seem to come to a halt. get better amigo.

Anonymous said...

Como dice el dicho, PERRO QUE LADRA NO MUERDE.. all of those Sinaloa corridos all they did was "pump" people up.. that's why CDS is so popular .. but people like La Linea and Beltrans don't need corridos there actions speak for themselves.. la linea and Beltrans are gonna take Sinaloa from Chapo and Mayo in the next year ...

Anonymous said...

"HE WOULD LEND HIS TRUCK SO PEOPLE CAN GO TO THE HOSPITAL"LOL.
Don't forget the other one to,he was handsome?Fuck has that got to with it?All these clowns are the same except now he lost his fat head?Fuck him and the truck he was ridin in.Good story tho,nothing wrong with the story.

Anonymous said...

Nice propaganda article. We need more info on what's going on in the sierra madre between sonora and chihuahua. Lots of activity between la linea and the local sonoran capos up in the mountains.

Anonymous said...

surprised they didnt make a video of him getting decapitated since he was a boss in that area

Anonymous said...

La Linea and Beltrans also have corridos too, the fact that nobody want to listen them is other thing.

If Juarez and BL where unable to defeat Sinaloa when they were on they prime, its obiously they cant do it now, be realistic they cant fight fire vs fire agains Sinaloa, the only way they can do a little damage is using they political influence or division within Sinaloa, thing i dont think will happen soon.

Anonymous said...

Funda del chapo

Anonymous said...

Funda Beltran

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing this out. In the past 20 years, not one day goes by that I do not think of my brother. He was on his way home when a guy on meth.ran over him and killed him. He was 19 years old. Since then the meth.problem in the US is ougjt of control. I pray for all the victims im Mexico as well as all people who've been victims of these monsters. There's a place in Hell for each of them. Great job BB.

Anonymous said...

They reason why la linea & beltran havent decapitated chapo & mayo yet, is because chapo & mayo are currently hiding behind calderon & the federales.

Anonymous said...

once calderon is out prepare for a beltran leyva, zetas, la linea comeback for chapo

Anonymous said...

Agree.. Sinaloa is strong cause they have the money.. but in a war the Beltrans and la linea will take them out in a heartbeat... That's how Sinaloa keeps calderon to protect him and his fellows snitchloas..

Chivis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@10:46.
You are dumb after el aguila comes out there will be no BLO, ZETAS, LINEA clicked up and that's a fact he will join his cousin el chapo. El aguila always knew that chapo never put him up with the marines but botas miadas was hard headed that he betrayed them but it was all an excuse from botas miadas. Once aguila is out zetas nd carillos are done. Att. P@RR@ND3RO

Anonymous said...

Like I said before and ill say it again beltran is weak only person keeping them afloat is Chapo Isidro either than him beltran is hurting la linea made their presence known but that wont last long you still have tonos people there will see how long that lasts.

Anonymous said...

Of. Course Beltran are weak because they only have Chapo Isidro in Northern Sinaloa haha your and idiot,what about el 14 in Mazatlan? El Morral in Culiacan? H2 in the state of Nayarit and his niece el H9 and comandante 80,also the comandoes of el.Guero Morales,not to Mention el Macaco the badest leader of sicarios for Chapo Isidro also the Gonzales brothers the Vegas brothers,el 05 in Acapulco theres way more el Tigre ,Comando bravo,los rojos in Guerrero. There far from being weak in Sinaloa there already in Culiacan and Chapos ppl havent been able to enter Guasave,the only way is mixed with military and federal officers. Yeah get your facts straight

Anonymous said...

All these chaputo cheerleaders shaking in their skirts, cause they know that once calderon is out so is their idol chaputo

Anonymous said...

Hahaha you are one dumbass for real, let me give it to you slowly. Chapo has been in power for over 30 years do the math idiot that's 5 presidents and he still going hard with or without calderon..peña already aligned with chapo for you info and before you say that I'm a cheerleader your fkn wrong I just know what's going on
Attn.P@RR@ND3RO

Anonymous said...

hahahaha.... this pedorro or parrandero guy whatever he calls himself is a real idiot... all the cartels were in power before calderon took office, but now that everybody found out that chaputo is a backstabbing snitchass bitch, he ran to hide behind daddy calderon.

Anonymous said...

Watch out everybody we got a comedian in here!! Ok fluffy ill let you bark if it makes you happy all I kno C.D.S and chapo are here to stay. Attn. P@RR@ND3RO

Anonymous said...

Good article. You are very brave to report on this situation, I tip my hat to you...

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