Translated by un vato for Borderland BeatA "diagnostic" (sic) report prepared by the coordinators of the Secure Laguna Operation (Operativo Laguna Segura) details the modus operandi of the criminal group led by Daniel Garcia Avila in the Lagunera Region, and the way the Cabreras -- Chapo Guzman's allies in the area -- have been driving them into a corner with the suspected complicity of the local police agencies. When questioned about this matter, the Durango State Prosecutor, Sonia Yadira de la Garza, asserted that it's "impossible."
MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso).-- An analysis prepared by the coordinators of the Secure Laguna Operation (OLS: Operativo Laguna Segura), provided to Proceso by a military commander who asked that his name not be used, holds that Chapo's people have concentrated on creating a security perimeter around the cities of Gomez Palacio and Lerdo to prevent Daniel Garcia Avila's, "El Danny", people from getting outside the "fence" and "contaminating" the rest of Durango.
And, even as his organization -- which at other times controlled the sale of drugs, robberies, kidnappings, vehicle theft and murders in Gomez Palacio, Lerdo and Torreon-- was forced to retreat, El Danny was complaining because, he says, the police agencies are purging the territory so the Sinaloa Cartel can take over the area.
Interviewed on this matter, Sonia Yadira de la Garza, Attorney General of the State of Durango, asserts: It's "impossible" that the police agencies that are participating in OLS are supporting Guzman Loera's people. Nevertheless, she admits that El Danny, originally from Gomez Palacio, exercised control over the municipal police agencies and the local prison in Gomez Palacio, which closed its doors this past December 20 (2012).
--How do you describe the situation that exists in La Laguna de Durango? --she's asked.
--Compared to the situation that existed a year ago, or to 2010, when inmates would leave the jail at night to murder people, the situation has improved. What has taken place in the Lagunera region of Durango, more than attacks on the citizenry or on businessmen, is the rivalry between groups, especially the attacks against personnel in the Attorney General's office and the Federal Police.
De la Garza explains that on December 17, with support from federal agents, members of the Army and the State Police, 163 inmates were transferred from the Gomez Palacio Corrections Facility (Cereso). 137 of them were inmates convicted of federal crimes and 26 had been convicted under state law. The first group was incarcerated in the Guadalupe Victoria and Sonora prisons; the second group went into the Durango Cereso 1 prison.
The following day, some of the prison guards didn't show up to work, leading relatives of some of the transferred inmates to stage a protest; a prison guard and a civilian set fire to two State Police vehicles and a truck loaded with materials in the parking lot of the prison.
The inmates, in turn, staged a riot to escape and, they said, avoid being sent to another prison. They took several guards hostage and, in the fighting, killed nine of them. Sixteen inmates were also killed. The authorities decided to close down the prison and transfer the rest of the inmates to other prisons.
Purges and riots
Several of the transferred inmates provided the authorities more elements of proof on the suspected participation of municipal police agencies and the commanders of those agencies. This is why, says Prosecutor De la Garza, the uniformed officers were disarmed and were sent for training to the military installations in El Salto Pueblo Nuevo.
Subsequently "arrest orders were issued against 155 of them. On Tuesday, the 22nd, 64 were issued orders of preventative incarceration (arraigo); the rest were released.
--Were they working for the criminal organization known as "Los Dannys"?
--That's a criminal group led by two individuals who operate in the Lagunera region, in Lerdo as well as in Gomez Palacio, as in a part of Torreon. One of them is Daniel Garcia Avila, who is called 'El Danny"; the other one is Arturo Bardales Diaz, "El Alfa". The police who have been arrested say they belong to the Pacific Cartel. That's how we have it documented in the criminal investigation.
According to these documents, almost 30 inmates belonging to the Los Dannys group operated inside the Gomez Palacio prison. They controlled the sale of liquor and drugs, and the night excursions by sicarios to kill and extort (outside the jail). One of the leaders was a brother of El Danny, nicknamed "El Junior", and his nephews Gabriel and Jacobo Ovalle Zuniga, who, after leaving the prison, continued to exert control from outside.
"We are aware that El Danny and El Alfa led a small gang of criminals that operated in the region between 2007 and 2008. As their power grew, their actions got more violent. During that period, they were active in the Torreon neighborhoods of La Duranguena and La Polvareda. However, they began to challenge the Zetas for the city. That's what triggered the violence."
--To what extent have the Zetas been pushed out of Torreon?
--Federal authorities have made important gains, to the extent of making them retreat to Matamoros. The real advance, I don't know; that's the responsibility of the Coahuila authorities.
--It's said that the Cabreras, from the Sinaloa Cartel, who control the rest of the state of Durango, do not like Los Dannys.
--That's what they have let us, the authorities, know through different messages.
--In these messages, do they also accuse authorities of protecting the Cabreras while attacking them (the Dannys)?
--Yes, but it would be incredible that those Cabrera men could control even the military. The work that is being conducted in La Laguna is a joint effort. It would be almost impossible to control all of the authorities.
With respect to the possibility that Los Dannys will not position themselves in the rest of Durango, the prosecutor points out: "The important thing is for no criminal group to operate in the state. We work jointly so that this will not happen." Although she admits that after 2010, when the Nunez's get out of Durango, the Cabreras remained.
"We make arrests for drug dealing on a daily basis. With the work we've been doing, these types of crimes will decrease. In Lerdo and Gomez Palacio more than 100 locations have been identified where that group maintains a presence."
In the first one, she points out, the gang operates in the neighborhoods that are in back of and in front of the regional attorney general's offices; in the second location, they have established themselves in "San Pancho's little hill" or " the hill with the monument to Pancho Villa", and in the Colonia Lazaro Cardenas.
On he Torreon side, they operate in La Polvareda and La Duranguena,where they retreated when they were harassed by the Durango law enforcement agencies.
The OLS diagnosticThe criminal diagnostic (analysis) provided by the OLS military commander points out that, "until 2010, La Laguna de Coahuila was controlled by 'Los Zetas,' while Gomez Palacio and Lerdo were under the control of El Danny, who was at that time identified with the Sinaloa Cartel. When Margarita Rojas Rodriguez was the warden (of the Cereso), (El Danny) maintained control over the Cereso 2 (prison) in Gomez Palacio.
"Also, on instructions from this person, an armed group of inmates would go out from the prison at night to carry out executions, using official vehicles and weapons assigned to prison guards. And when the warden was arrested, he retained control of the prison."
According to the document, after the arrest of Sergio Villarreal Barragan, "El Grande", in September, 2010, there was a vacuum in La Laguna, which facilitated El Danny's move to Torreon, where he gradually took control, even though he belonged to a local gang.
In a short time, El Danny controlled everything: drug sales, extortion, protection rackets, auto theft, kidnappings, but above all, he took control over the Gomez Palacio and Lerdo police agencies.
According to the OLS, the leader of the Cartel in Gomez Palacio and Lerdo is led by El Danny, who is also known as "El Tio" (the Uncle). Directly under him are Gabriel Zuniga Ovalle, El Delta and El Alfa.
El Delta in turn has under his command Jacobo Ovalle Zuniga, "El Rambo": Oscar Centeno Vela, "El Negro" or "El Grillo"; Marco Antonio Ordonez Jaramillo, "El Taliban"; Ignacio Quinonez Ramirez, "El Nacho", and Carlos Alejandro Chaires Marrufo, "El Mow."
El Alfa, originally from Lerdo, has Luis Horacio Graciano Espino, "El Chivo"; Jesus Eduardo Ale Chavero, "El Guero Blas"; Rafael Graciano Espino, "El Cabezon"; and another man they call "La Cuita."
The document obtained by Proceso mentions various points for drug sales in Gomez Palacio: one is located in Abastos Blvd and Rebollo Acosta Street, in front of the Central de Abasto (Supply Center). It's a shop with a sign on the front that reads "brakes, tune-ups and suspension" in red paint. It has two entrances, the front entrance is off of Rebollo Acosta (Street) and the other is in the back.
The owner's name is Luis and he's a friend of Rafael Graciano Espino, who drives a beige Stratus. According to the report, the business manufactures trailers that are used to transport drugs, weapons and money.
The gang sometimes uses the facilities at the Gomez Palacio fairgrounds. They organize meetings there and secure their vehicles. The Municipal Police provides them with protection, says the diagnostic report. Gunmen (sicarios) who work for El Danny sometimes gather in a seafood place located on the corner of Jose Rebollo and Periferico, especially when it involves decisions to take action against some police agency.
In Lerdo, El Danny's home is located in Gladiolas Street. The house has an electronic gate and is painted white on front. On that same street, he has a hamburger stand and a grocery store.
In addition, according to the report, he's got a business on Guadalupe Victoria Boulevard where he takes stolen vehicles to be dismantled.
"In Lerdo, there are several points where cocaine and capsules are sold. One is on Argentina Street, near Francisco I. Madero Blvd; another is on East Aldama, corner of Juan E. Garcia...At the same time, El Danny has two distribution points on Violeta and Alcatraz Streets that his brothers control," reads the document.
"...In the Colonia San Fernando, in front of Nuevo Leon Street -- on a corner --, there is a house with two gates: one yellow and the other one red. It's property of Arturo Bardales Diaz, "El Alfa", the Lerdo plaza boss. This place is used (by members of the gang) as a safe house; that's where they take the people they kidnap."
It also points out that El Chiquis, one of El Danny's collaborators, has a yard at the entrance to Lerdo, about where the company called Cibisa is located. (El Chiquis) is light skinned, cuts his hair military style and rides a black Yamaha motorcycle. He's in charge of El Guarache, Alvaro Obregon, San Carlos, Centauro, Villa Juarez, Las Cuevas and Las Piedras neighborhoods.
In Torreon, one of the locations for the sale of rock, marijuana and pills -- products that the gang controls --is located on the corner known as La Rinco, in Colonia Industria. At the spot where a virgin is located, "you stop and the drug pushers approach all by themselves", the document points out.
Another one is on Gustavo A. Madero and 7th Street, in Colonia La Polvareda; drug pushers usually hide out in that area when there's a police operation. El Rambo uses this place occasionally to pay off gunmen, who get between 4,000 and 5,000 pesos (approximately $315 to $390) every week.
A third location is in the same neighborhood, on Second St., between Centeno and Fourth; another one in La Esperanza, where a sicario known as "El Joaquin" or "El Pompas", close to "El Rambo", operates, and another (person) known as "El Pato", who pushes drugs on Durango St. and Escuadron 201.
The OLS analysis includes the Torreon sales locations; one in Colonia La Victoria and another in (Colonia) Luis Echeverria, on Eulalio Gutierrez Street. (The report) also gives the location of a house where El Danny occasionally takes cover.