Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The war for Tijuana, a 20+ year conflict. PART 1

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 |

Tijuano for Borderland Beat

The Arellano Felix Brothers.
Tijuana is a complex city; it´s location makes it unique in so many ways, including organized crime. The situation in Tijuana is unlike any other city in Mexico, the murder rates are still high but people on the streets feel “safe”, drugs keep moving in all directions, but the convoys of sicarios are all but gone. The kidnapping numbers dropped drastically but still people disappear without trace, federal agents are seldom attacked by criminals and the army has returned to its headquarters.
 
Many claim they “own” the Tijuana plaza, but almost all who do so seldom set foot in Tijuana.

Whereas in other cities of Mexico people know what cartel has the true hold of things, in Tijuana many cells work without a visible head, sure the Sinaloa cartel corridos claim that Tijuana is a CDS plaza, but that´s up for debate.

To even try to understand the current cartel situation in Tijuana we got to go back a few years, in the 90´s, the all-powerful Tijuana cartel ruled the city without any obstacles, Federal government didn´t care for cartels and the local authorities had -in almost all cases- arrangements with the cartel, Sinaloa´s cartel didn´t exist as such, in fact, most Sinaloa cartel leaders were part of the Juarez cartel at the time, Mayo Zambada had people in Tijuana but they usually kept a very low profile and many of them ended up dead. 

In fact, Mayo Zambada used to work alongside the Arellano Felix brothers without issues, according to the book “El Cartel” by journalist Jesus Blancornelas, Mayo Zambada used to live in Tijuana, he paid “piso” to CAF and used to go around the city without bodyguards, however, he started being late on his payments to CAF, arguing that he had no money and sooner than later Ramon Arellano got fed up with it.

They sent a group of sicarios to kill Mayo but a discussion between the killers made them fail. Mayo got word of it and fled the city. That´s one side on the story, on Sinaloa I´m sure you´ll listen to a different one. 
 
The following is a list of the most important events in this war that has been going on for more than 20 years:

The death of  Armando Lopez aka "El Rayo de Sinaloa"

Armando Lopez was a well-known trafficker from Sinaloa, his area of influence was the Sonora desert where he used to land Cessna planes full of cocaine. Lopez was a close friend of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and was sent to Tijuana to speak with Benjamin Arellano on behalf of “El Chapo”.

When “El Rayo” arrived at Tijuana he went partying with his girlfriend, when both were drunk, they decided to crash the baptism party of one of Benjamin´s daughters, since they didn´t carry an invitation the guards at the door stopped them, this angered Lopez who started fighting with them, Ramon noticed this and without saying anything shot “El Rayo” in the head, after this he picked up the body and threw it in the back of a Pick-up truck, drove to the outskirts of Tijuana and dumped it. After the death of “El Rayo” a group of hit men travelled to Sinaloa and killed Lopez´s brothers and father, this was done in order to prevent possible retribution from Lopez´s family against Ramon.
 
Rigoberto Campos gets killed
 
Rigoberto Campos Salcido, cousin of the famed Manuel Salcido Uzeta aka “El Cochiloco” used to work in the plazas of Tijuana, Tecate, Mexicali and San Luis Rio Colorado without problems, when the Arellano Felix brothers grew in power they felt he was invading “their plaza”.

At first he was told to stop working in Tijuana but he refused to take orders from the young brothers, the Arellano´s felt they needed to send a message and dispatched a group to Mexicali where Salcido was kidnapped, his captors took him to a ranch where they ripped his arms with a thresher.

Rigoberto barely saved his life and ended up with prosthetic arms, however, he continued to visit Tijuana where his fate was sealed. In 1991 the Arellano Felix brothers got word that Salcido was betting on horse races in the outskirts of Tijuana, they knew the route he would use and set an ambush, this was the first major execution in which hundreds of bullets were fired to kill somebody in Mexico.
Grand Marquis from Rigoberto Campos after the attack.
El Cochiloco, an old debt gets settled

Manuel Salcido Uzeta aka “El Cochiloco” was the last leader of the Guadalajara cartel, the same legendary cartel formed by Miguel Angel “El Padrino” Felix Gallardo, Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca and Rafael “El Principe” Caro Quintero, Salcido used to control Jalisco and Colima, where he received large shipments of Cocaine from Pablo Escobar in Colombia. The Tijuana cartel didn´t had any intentions of owning Guadalajara in that time, they didn´t consider “El Cochiloco” as an enemy, yet.

Salcido´s mistake-like many more after him- was greed; he stole 4 tons of cocaine from a Colombian ship destined to Ensenada, Baja California. The cocaine belonged to the Cali cartel and was sent to the Arellano Felix brothers in Tijuana, only half of the original 8 tons shipment arrived at Ensenada and Ramon Arellano refused to pay the missing 4 tons to the Colombians.

At the end a deal was made, if the Colombians killed Salcido, Ramon would pay the 8 tons to the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers. On October 9th, 1991, Salcido was driving his Ramcharger SUV when a group of hit men from Colombia and Tijuana ambushed him, his body received more than 70 gunshots. From then on, the Guadalajara plaza became property of the Tijuana cartel.
Manuel Salcido´s corpse.
The Christine´s shootout

According to “El Cartel” by Jesus Blancornelas, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada was the one who betrayed the brothers, in his book, Blancornelas claims “El Mayo” invited the brothers to celebrate in the Puerto Vallarta nightclub “Christine”, Benjamin, Ramon and Francisco Javier were ready to leave the hotel room when Zambada called Benjamin and said he wouldn´t make It because he got a tip someone was trying to cross a shipment without Benjamin´s approval.

Benjamin was angry and decided not to go out, however Ramon and Francisco Javier had already had plans for the night and went to the nightclub anyway. Ramon and “El Tigrillo” arrived at “Christine” with several Baja California state agents as bodyguards, Zambada didn´t show up, but someone from Sinaloa did, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman sent group of 50 men wearing military uniforms and bulletproof vests, when the group arrived at the nightclub they identified themselves as Federal Agents, the Tijuana cartel bodyguards identified as Baja California State Agents but were shot to dead.

Inside, a hit man from San Diego´s Barrio Logan by the name of David Barron noticed something wrong was about to happen and took the brothers to the bathroom. Barron killed some of the hit men from “El Chapo” and took their weapons, covering up for Ramon´s escape.

Francisco Javier wasn´t so lucky and was taken by Chapo´s gunmen. Ramon and Benjamin thought “El Tigrillo” was already dead, but he wasn´t, Chapo´s men told him the war wasn´t against him, nor the family but against Ramon and left him in the outskirts of Vallarta.
Christine in Puerto Vallarta.
To kill a Cardinal
 
If we were to pinpoint one single event that changed the whole course of the Tijuana cartel´s history, it´s got to be the shootout at Guadalajara´s airport in May 24th, 1993. Seeking revenge for the "Christine" shootout, the Tijuana cartel searched for Joaquin Guzman everywhere, one of their sources told them that “El Chapo” was hiding in Guadalajara and Ramon travelled there along with a group of Barrio Logan hit men.

Their search proved fruitless and they decided to go back to Tijuana, then, someone informed Ramon that “Chapo” was to take a flight and would arrive in a white Mercury Grand Marquis to the airport. Ramon quickly went there with his team and when they saw a white Grand Marquis, they started the shootout, “Chapo” wasn´t in that car, he was arriving in a green Cutlass when he heard the gunshots and run away from the scene. The passenger in the white Grand Marquis was none other than Catholic Church Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo.

Now that´s the official story, the Catholic Church believes someone set Posadas up and that the Arellano brothers had nothing to do with it, neither Chapo, that version isn´t confirmed yet, but Benjamin Arellano blamed the Mexican Government for Posada’s murder and claimed that both “Chapo” and the Tijuana cartel were framed. Anyway, this marked the beginning of the downfall for the brothers.
Posadas Ocampo´s car.
The capture of “El Chapo” in Guatemala
 
The Tijuana cartel, along with Joaquin Guzman Loera and his partner Hector Luis Palma Salazar became Mexico´s number one enemies after the death of Posadas Ocampo.

The Mexican Government needed to arrest ASAP at least one of them, “El Chapo” knew they were after him and decided to leave the country, before doing so, he ordered his lieutenants to continue with the shipments and to protect his family, then he fled to Central America, he was spotted in El Salvador but the Salvadoran Government said they didn´t had the resources to arrest him, Guzman knew of this and travelled to Guatemala were he paid 1 million USD to local authorities to protect him, instead of doing so, the Guatemalan Army arrested him and expelled him to Mexico.

This somehow took some heat away from the Tijuana cartel leaders who at the moment were hiding in places like Russia, Spain and even in the USA.
Chapo Guzman in Federal custody, circa 1993
The Bali-Hai shootout
In December 1993, the Tijuana cartel sent their “elite” group of killers, then known as “narcojuniors” to Mexico City, their mission was to gun down Amado Carrillo Fuentes aka “El Señor de los Cielos”.  

Carrillo was the leader of the Juarez cartel and boss of both Ismael Zambada and Joaquin Guzman, with “El Chapo” in jail, the brothers saw this as an opportunity to kill the man they saw as their biggest threat.

Fabian Martinez aka “El Tiburon” or “9-9”, Federico Sanchez Valdez aka “G-1”, Merardo Leon Hinojosa aka “El Abulon” or “3-3” among others arrived at the Bali-Hai restaurant, they gunned down Carrillo´s bodyguards at the door and tried to kill him but were repelled by Alcides Ramon Magaña aka “El Metro” and his team of hit men, Carrillo and his family were saved, Carrillo’s wife was wounded in the shootout, at the time, the cartels didn´t mess with each other families, this escalated the war against the Tijuana cartel.
Amado Carrillo Fuentes aka "El Señor de los Cielos"
The Bomb against “El Mayo”
 
In June 1994, Ismael Zambada was to attend a birthday party in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the party was organized by known drug dealer Luis Enrique “El Kiki” Fernandez Uriarte, who was celebrating his daughter´s 15 years of life. “El Mayo” was one of the many top drug lords invited to the party and the Tijuana cartel knew that, they thought the best way to kill him would be with C4 explosives, when the men in charge of the explosives were putting them in place, one of their cell phones rang and triggered the detonator, killing them instantly and hurting members of “Los Coyonqui” and “Los Huracanes del Norte” outside the Camino Real Hotel.

The official military report on the subject mentions that several Federal and State police commanders along with prominent politicians attended the party. Benjamin Arellano is considered the mastermind behind this attack.
Remains of the attacker´s car after the bomb explosion.
The capture of Hector “El Guero” Palma
Hector Palma Salazar aka “El Guero” was a violent man, he started his criminal career as a sicario, then became bodyguard of the famous Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, soon he was in charge of the cocaine route from Sinaloa to San Luis Rio Colorado, but he fell from Felix Gallardo´s grace and his wife and children were killed.

Guadalupe Laija (Palma´s wife) was decapitated by a Venezuelan drug lord who also took Palma´s children and threw them alive from a bridge. All this just made the already violent Palma even worse, he became allied with “El Chapo” and ”El Mayo”, together they launched a campaign to conquer Sinaloa.

Palma Salazar´s actions were considered at the time so brutal, that even the Arellano Felix family paid for several, full center-page adds in the Excelsior newspaper complaining that both “El Chapo” and “El Guero” were the ones responsible for the violent acts in Sinaloa and accusing them of not respecting women and children in their attacks.
 
“El Guero” was a powerful foe for the Arellano Felix brothers, but luck was on their side in 1995, June 22nd to be exact. One day Palma left Ciudad Obregon on his way to the Toluca airport, at mid-air he was told that the army was waiting for him so he ordered his pilot to land in Zacatecas, the army also raided the Zacatecas airport so Palma thought about landing in Guadalajara. 

On his way he was again told that the army already arrived at the Guadalajara airport so he finally decided for Tepic´s airport but as luck would have, his Learjet ran out of fuel and crashed near the Nayarit border.
 
Palma Salazar survived the accident but was badly hurt, then Federal Police commander Apolinar Pintor Aguilera saved him and took him to Zapopan were he was finally arrested after the army raided his house.
 
With both “El Chapo” and “El Guero” in jail, and “Mayo Zambada” on the run, the Arellano Felix brothers felt they had won the war in 1995.
Hector Luis Palma Salazar aka "El Guero"
The “Scorpion Operation”
 
On March 1st, 1996, an operation code named “Alacran” (Scorpion) was conducted in Tijuana by the Federal Police and Mexican Military, 22 homes were raided in search of Tijuana Cartel members. Many of the homes were destroyed and a minimal quantity of marijuana was seized, but no important members were arrested. 

What made this operation relevant was the fact that then Federal Police commander Ernesto Ibarra Santes, was the one in charge of the operation. Ibarra Santes was in fact working for “El Mayo” Zambada and Amado Carrillo Fuentes.

Ernesto Ibarra Santes gets killed in Mexico City
 

Ernesto Ibarra Santes had just been named Federal Deputy Attorney General for the state of Baja California in August, 1996, he promised to capture the Arellano Felix brothers, and in fact, he really planned on doing so.

At the moment Ibarra Santes was seen as a good agent, but behind his “good work” in Tijuana, there was a dark story, Ibarra Santes was a friend and ally of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, according to witness testimony Ibarra Santes sold intelligence information about the Arellano Felix brothers to Amado Carrillo, he was so good at selling info on them that Amado soon made a close friendship with him. 

It was in a reunion in Agua Prieta, Sonora, where Ibarra Santes gave Amado a yellow envelope with some wiretapped phone calls from Ramon Arellano, witness accounts claim Amado offered Ibarra all the Brazilian girls in the party but Ibarra said he didn´t had any time. Ibarra left and Amado continued talking with Mexican General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro, who advised Carrillo to not mess with the Arellano Felix brothers. That was the last time Carrillo and Ibarra Santes met.
 One week after the reunion, Ibarra Santes travelled to Mexico City, the Arellano brothers knew of this trip and sent their best hit men to kill him. Alfredo Hodoyan Palacios aka “El Lobo”, Emilio Valdes Mainero and Fabian Martines Gonzalez aka “El Tiburon” followed Ibarra after he left Mexico City´s airport.

 Ibarra took two bodyguards with him and took a taxi towards his hotel. The Tijuana “Narcojuniors” caught up with him and stopped their white Cutlass in front of the taxi, Ibarra´s bodyguards did not react in time and they were all killed along with the taxi driver. Ibarra was the only one who survived the initial attack but died on his way to the hospital.
 
The same witness recalls that Amado Carrillo knew of this when he was watching the news along “El Mayo” Zambada, and some Colombian drug lords in Mexico City. Amado supposedly cried his friend´s death the whole night.
The bodyguards of Ibarra Santes had no chance.
The merger that never happened: Tijuana and Juarez

The late journalist Jesus Blancornelas narrated a series of reunions between Amado Carrillo and representatives of the Tijuana cartel, said reunions took place early in 1997. 

The reunions were made following a recommendation by Mexican General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, the idea behind was to end all confrontations between both cartels. Amado was interested in doing so, but he had only on condition, to be handed those who shot at her wife in the Bali-Hai shootout.
 
The first reunion took place in Sonora, the Arellano Felix brothers sent Manuel Aguirre Galindo aka “El Caballo” to speak with Carrillo Fuentes. At first, negotiations initially had a good course, but then Amado told Manuel his sole condition, Manuel quickly called Ramon who simply said “NO”, he wasn´t going to hand over three of his best hit men and more importantly to him, three of his friends.

Ramon then asked to speak with Amado over the cell phone but Carrillo refused. Negotiations continued anyway. Carrillo told Manuel Aguirre that he had to take a flight to Chile and he would be out of the country some time, Carrillo said he´ll call “El Caballo” when he came back, after that, “El Caballo” left on his way to Tijuana.

The call never came, but the Arellano´s knew Carrillo was back in Mexico. They knew he was to be admitted into a plastic surgery clinic to change his face and have a small liposuction. 
 
Here´s where things get murky, the following is the official account of that surgery.

On July 5th, Amado Carrillo arrived at Mexico City where he was admitted in a plastic surgery clinic, the surgery lasted more than 8 hrs, everything seemed to be OK, but on the early hours of the next day he woke up with major pain, a sedative was injected to him which caused a massive heart attack.
 
Just like with almost all deaths of high ranking criminals, Amado´s death is full of conspiracy theories, some claim he really died in an accident, other´s claim he was killed either by Colombian´s or by the Tijuana cartel, some others claim Amado retired and fooled the DEA. Either way, Amado was gone and the Tijuana cartel had lost another enemy, maybe the most powerful enemy they ever faced.
Alleged corpse of Amado Carrillo.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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161 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Superb Article. Keep them coming

Anonymous said...

Puro CDS todavia rifando Los viejos

Anonymous said...

Fucking great stories! Thanks for your work!

Anonymous said...

Excellent Article!! Content like this puts BB head and shoulders above the rest of internet Narco journalism.

Anonymous said...

Tijuano excellent post lots of cool info... Have you been hearing.anything about cd juarez? I live in juarez and according to local news so far this month as of today there's been 36 executions and beaheadings have started up again...

Anonymous said...

Arriva ELCAFMX!!!!...

Si no lo sabian EL CHAPUTO y EL MIADO siempre le tubieron miedo al CAF.

Arriva EL COLORES!!!!!.....

Muerte al CDS!...Donde estan Los Antrax?..Jajajaja

Anonymous said...

great read tijuano!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful article!

Anonymous said...

good read

Anonymous said...

Good effen read, remember moody of the stories, but not in detail...

gente de tijuana said...

good job tijuano one thing or two were incorrect by mr blanconelas one el caf executed palmas wife and recorded palmas kids thrown from a bridge the bosses of caf knew palmas wife was a whore so they set her up and even worst before she was decapited they forced here to empty almost 3 million dollars from and account and she was raped by 68 gunmen second cardenal assasenation el chapo was responsible for that he spread the rumor on what car he was in he set up el caf and cardenal thats how smart and cruel chapo is el cardenal was chapo pastor and even the arrest was set up so all the bad press goes to el caf and third el caf does control tijuana baja norte full control if they didnt cds and other cartels wouldnt pay derecho de piso believe it or not el caf is alot bigger but they okay with laying low cause you actually make more money that way and with out firing a shot but yes they will settle scores with the people that dont pay or switched sides

Anonymous said...

Ahh no the suspense was getting so good. Great read thank you

Anonymous said...

Mexican federal government is just plain crazy. Things are going to stay like that for years to come....

Anonymous said...

wow im memorized with all the vital information Ive just read

Anonymous said...

wow wow wow love it. great read. keep up the excellent work

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article, I would really like to see read one that gets to the very core of narco history, what started it all from the very begininng

Chingoblng said...

Great Article, enjoyed it, I am eager to read the next part of the story.

Tijuano said...

This is the first part of the story, I still don´t know if there will be 2.3 or 4 parts since I´m still working on them.

Initially I was going to do a recap of the Ingeniero/Teo war since it´s been 5 years from the CAF split(April 26th, 2008) but I figured it would be better if I tried to show the big picture with this article.

I´m hoping to post the 2nd part by this weekend.

Tijuano said...

@May 22, 2013 at 5:03 AM

Actually I haven´t heard much from Juarez, how do you see the work Leyzaola is doing? Last thing that hit the news on this side of the country was that Juarez was getting real quiet.

Do people still mention JL in Juarez? Have you heard anything about Cesar Carrillo Leyva?

Anonymous said...

Go Tijuano! It's your biggest fan man you deserve your props you always post interesting stories and your writing style is like straight forward reporting but you always go really in-depth and give very detailed accounts. The work you do focusing on Tijuana and the role it plays with the cartels is the best... Really great post, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

very nice

Anonymous said...

This kind of articles are reason i visit here. So many thanks, Mr. Tijuano!

Anonymous said...

Tijuano,

First off, great article!!!! Good to know all the bad blood and history of how it was back then!!

In your post you mentioned:
Initially I was going to do a recap of the Ingeniero/Teo war since it´s been 5 years from the CAF split(April 26th, 2008)

I might be speaking for myself on this but I would love to learn about Indeniero/Teo war as articles like this give BB readers that might not know the long history of how cartels split and came to power. One again great read as I love to read about the history of the cartels and the players!

Anonymous said...

Too down.

Anonymous said...

Great story!! A inge/teo one would be awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Chalino Sanchez knew all these guys...

en un carro gran marquiz, iba rigoberto campos, en otro sus guarda espaldas, que lo iban escoltando...

Anonymous said...

if (CAF controls the TJ Plaza)
/* then */ who controls the Mexicali Plaza;
else who controls the TJ Plaza;

Anonymous said...

and in the end el chapo reigns supreme

Anonymous said...

Good stuff! Looking foward for part 2

Havana Pura said...

Good going here Tijuana. I'm looking forward to more.

Anonymous said...

1:36 am. Couldn't agree more. Yet another brilliant history lesson. Bravo BB. It definitely is a small world though,back in the day whenever we stayed at El Tapatio,we would go to Chtistine's. Knowing what I do now, we were blessed nothing crazy happened to us! Can't wait for part two. Thanks again. Peace,Texas Grandma.

Anonymous said...

Im from l.a and often travel across the border to both t.j and sometimes mexicali..Ive heard that caf is in control but never seen them around, while every club I go to its cds providing party supplies in the bathroom. Im pretty sure cds pays caf a piso, but thats to keep things calm..they are much bigger powerful then caf..

Anonymous said...

good history info

Anonymous said...

after reading this article, i did a google search of some of the players in these stories and came across a story, on the pulitzer webpage no less. I haven't read it, but it should be good considering where i found it. here's the link and i hope you all enjoy reading it.
http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6138

Anonymous said...

Chalino use o be a hitman from the CDS so yeshe knows all these guys there are pics of him with Macho Prieto and many othes before he was killed.

Anonymous said...

Badass post bro
Love the detail, keep it up

Anonymous said...

Great read!!!!

Anonymous said...

Damnnn Cochiloco looks like a boiled goat head
Awsome story Tijuano
Oldschool

Anonymous said...

FINALLY A STORY THAT IS LONGER THAN A COUPLE PARAGRAPHS
Thanks for your time

Anonymous said...

Las Adelitas Tijuna best bar in town

Anonymous said...

Borderlandbeat we need a map of gangs in USA. do it

Anonymous said...

Wow these guys are very impressive the history and wars get me drawn to this kind of stuff! It's crazy how they start so small and end up where there is no limits :o
But sadly/deserving the way there lives end

Anonymous said...

Tijuano soy el que escribio de juarez el leyzaola hase unos jales pero bien chuequos gacho! Later te hago email mas info..... Yo lo que se que vuelve la matazon aqui en juarez y estamos preocupados..... Vete al link canal 44 cd juarez pa que veas que sigue la guerra. De leyva.carrillo nunca lo eh oido. Tas a today maquina mi tijuano.

Anonymous said...

Great read BB its truely amazing to read the history of the game in Mexico and it blows my mind the amount of drugs and billions of dollars involved
Vegas Guy

Anonymous said...

Tijuano soy el de juarez...... No haven't heard anything about jl, just that the linea still jada a fight to attend.

Anonymous said...

Good article!! The funny thing is that Los Tucanes de Tijuana, actually have corridos for most if not all the guys you listed individually. And I gotta say, that pic of El Cochiloco with his head blown apart, damnnnn, he got fucked up!!!!

Echo 2

Anonymous said...

TO BE CONTINUED!!!! WTF!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Anonymous said...

A fukin bad ass story and info!!!!! Can't waite for the 2nd half.....keep it coming.......

Chivis said...

Tijuano,
This outstanding article is one of the best original posts I have ever seen on BB!
Paz, Chivis

Anonymous said...

Caf was and is the baddest cartel!!! They learning frome ther past mistakes. .....

Anonymous said...

Tijuano great post!!! cant wait for part 2-4 if it does go that long. also when u write about teo/engineer fight can u talk about karlita del tercel who was teos gf that got killed

Anonymous said...

Fierro compa todavia riffando putos

-Puro CDS Saludos de Navolato

Anonymous said...

well written....thanks

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Mayor of Tijuana? Hank Rhon? He was with the CAF!!!! hw owned caliente sports booking.

Anonymous said...

That's crazy they took on everyone.....ramon had some balls!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great article Tijuano, Borderland Beat
Who better to relate the narco wars than somebody who has lived the history in perhaps what is the most important/more lucrative plaza in México: Tijuana. From this story of the Narco Wars I have come to this conclusion: these cartel wars are personal. These guys have gone to great lengths to kill each other. I imagine if Benjamin A.F. had suceeded in carrying out his terrorist attack against MZ, that would have been it for CAF. He almost took out federal, state, and govt. officials in his attempt on Mayo's life. The wrath of México's govt. would have been unleashed on him.

Tijuana's location on the border next to California also plays a role in it's importance. California happens to be the 5th or 4th economy in the world without the rest of the U.S.

What role has a businessman and ex-mayor like Jorge Hank Rohn, if any, played in the preminence of the Cartel de Tijuana. I understand he dominates the gambling industry in Tijuana and México,and is a known trafficer of exotic animal; furthermore, his dad enriched himself through his federal government post by awarding himself federal governtment contracts.

J said...

loved the article, eager to read your analysis of Teo/Inge....

Anonymous said...

Inge is learning frome his uncles!!!!

Anonymous said...

in 1981 Ramon Arellano was caught in Downey CA with 10 kilos of cocaine. He posted a $10,000 bail and left to Mexico. I grew up with some of his nephews and cousins around the Downey area. alot of them moved to Riverside CA.

Anonymous said...

Aqui seguimos rifando
Puro C.A.F
Arriba Tijuana

Anonymous said...

I love it how you try to make el Chapo and el mayo seem weak but the real truth is they OWN tj! They are moving more product through Baja than the Arellano-Felix brothers ever did. Just stating the facts.

Anonymous said...

Lol...That puto is on the run!...Fuck CHAPUTO!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent. This is why I check this blog at least four times a day.

I love these raw tales that are so over the top, that they must be true.

~Spectator~

Anonymous said...

Puto please!! No mames no eres de califas. Si fueras you wouldn't be saying such stupid shit. STFU.. asap we all know who ia strong where. Cds in arizona maybe.. Aqui el Los noma los arellano mandan. Puro paisa.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Bbeat. Narco history 101. The murder of Colosio also brought alot of heat to CAF. They got blamed for that, who knows what the truth is.

Anonymous said...

Part 2 will be introducing gulf cartel n los Zetas.

Anonymous said...

One of the best articles I've read. Keep them coming

Anonymous said...

Chalino was never a hit man.. where did u get that from?? And where is the proof of pictures with macho you talk about??

Anonymous said...

No doubt if mayo and Chapo wouldn't of used paid of military they would of been done a long time ago.. and CAF would be top dogs... I'm just a reader not a cartel fan.. so u nuthuggers calm the fuck down.. just saying the truth..the arellanos had balls .. specially Ramon

Anonymous said...

You did a good job on this article, can't take credit from you..

Anonymous said...

No its pretty fucked up still around whole chihuhua but the Juarez cartel now has like half chihuhua under control according to the dea this past trimester of 2013

Anonymous said...

Stop asking about the stupid u.s. gangs map you moron

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing the comment about the u.s gang map you are a moron quit asking this is a drug war blog not some lil street gang blog idiot ..so quit asking you dumb ass

Anonymous said...

Y sigue la balacera!

Anonymous said...

True dat!

Anonymous said...

this shit is dope yall should do this with every other cartel too

Anonymous said...

Yea dumb ass this is a narco blog not gang

Anonymous said...

hahaha the pic you're talking about aint even macho jajaja get your info straight. Far as i know chalino was only a bajador and was taken down by a guy that he stole a big load from Attn P@RR@ND3RO

Anonymous said...

Your not from Cali dumbfuck if you knew whats up you would know CDs has a strong prescence in California you Get all your info from Internet websites. Fucking jackass wants to act like he knows something.

Anonymous said...

Ready for part 2

Anonymous said...

Los arrellanos paid a venezueleon playboy to romance palmas wife, he then took her to sf and pulled the 3 million from accounts and yes they did throw the kids off a bridge and sent guero his wifes head in a box

Anonymous said...

Pero todavia esta vivo puto y no muerto como un perrrro


602

Anonymous said...

Plans to do a history of the other cartels?

Good work

Anonymous said...

Saludos a todos disfrutando mi droga reportando yo el chapo guzman desde bogota arriba la coca

Anonymous said...

Cochiloco got it bad.. lol.. I'm guessing it was a closed casket

Anonymous said...

great article

Tijuano said...

@May 22, 2013 at 5:09 PM:

No nuthugging here, just facts, Chapo and Mayo weren´t as powerful in the period of time this article covers.

At the time they were simply mid level narcos under the leadership of Amado Carrillo.

Tijuano said...

This truely took some time, finding information of the drug war before the Calderon administration is difficult, especially since the Federal Government tried to hide all narco killings in the 90´s. The murders and cartel wars have been going on for decades in Mexico but they didn´t receive much attention before.

@Havana, Chivis and J:

Thanks, I´ll try to finish the other part(s) as soon as possible and then I´ll gather all the info I can on the conflict between Teo and Inge.

Anonymous said...

So does El CAF still control Guadalajara or who?

Anonymous said...

Fuck no puro Hong Kong hahaha neta

Anonymous said...

that's cause mayo and Chapo were weak around the time the arellanos were strong period... they were not even top players yet.. so learn how to read and look up the narco history before you get on the cds nuts.. los aretes were top dogs..

Anonymous said...

Fabian martinez aka el Tiburon was a bad mothafucka.. he was young .. he committed suicided when he was about to be capturedby cops..

Anonymous said...

Good post.. but not original..

Anonymous said...

Where fuck face, cuz everywhere in so-cal CDS is the main supplier and calling the shots. So please cagado, tell us where caf is running shit?

Anonymous said...

thank you for this great article, this is top notch journalism, please keep it coming tijuano.

Anonymous said...

CAF MUERE

Anonymous said...

So true CDS is capable of taking TJ and might in due time TJ was huge in the 1990s not no more sorry to all those cheering on TJ its only the truth.

Anonymous said...

But ramon gone

Anonymous said...

They weren't as powerful then. This is history. Can you really not tell the difference between past & present?

Diablo Gato said...

This was gripping. Its like I was watching a Movie. Great work Gentlemen. Eagerly awaiting Part 2. Am sure 10-15 years from today we shall be provided with the nitty-gritty of the core thrashings of their normal day-to-day activity. It would be great to have an insight into the unique internal dynamics of the Narco Leadership Business models.

Anonymous said...

Live like kings, die like dogs. Well not even dogs die like this. What a shitty life

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Borderlandbeat we need a map of gangs in USA. do it
May 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM "

Use google, there you can find whole forums about gans in USA and all over the world. Why you rant this same question again and again here?

Chivis said...

To the person sending multiple requests for gang maps-and countless comments regarding EME on various posts, if they come across when I am moderating they will be deleted. you have sent dozens in a few days, give a rest, why not write an article and post on forum?

To the grammar police, same goes for you. Lets see you teach yourself Spanish then write an article and post on a Mexican blog. See how well you do, I am positive the results will be much inferior to Tijuano's effort..

Paz, Chivis

Anonymous said...

Ramon was as crazy as they get. Personally going to Mazatlan to kill Chapo...lol wow. That was a dumb move though, Chapos police killed him right when he got there.

Chingoblng said...

@chivis, the more and more traffic that comes thru here, the more likely some of them will be dumbasses lol

Anonymous said...

You have to remember that these guys planted deep roots in Tijuana and that's a big reason why it's hard for others to move in. They had everyone on the payroll from the local level to the state and federal level. They lived and socialized among the elite of the city and in time befriended and bought themselves a lot of power. A lot of these people are old school and still loyal to the family. Judges, lawyers, politicians etc... Most of you kids might think that if something isn't said in a corrido that it's probably not true, but in reality most of these corridos are far from real. Great job on the article, Tijuano. I, myself am intrigued with the history of this city and I can tell you did your research. Keep it up. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Damn caf is hard!!!!!

Anonymous said...

chivis-I noticed the EME comments also. Nice going having the reporters backs.

BTW when is the Trevino sentencing?

Anonymous said...

CDS controls Mexicali

Anonymous said...

Nope CDS Had control of it n the whole state of Jalisco but in the past 3 years CJNG took control

Anonymous said...

Chapo u lucky ramon is gone!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thats being a coward ...commiting suicide.thats not a bad mf thats a punk.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chivis,

what do you think about that telenovela, "El Senor De Los Cielos"? I've been watching it and, not knowing the history from those days, have a hard time distinguishing fiction from common knowledge. Maybe if you or one of your web moderators has the time, they could do a recap of weekly events on the novela and let us know what really happened and what was artistic license for the sake of the novelas popularity. If you all don't have the time, that's cool. i appreciative all you do already.

Un Sun Zues(Tzu)Michcoacano

Anonymous said...

But the arellanos paid of the goverment too so i guess mayo and chapo where the better chess players.

Anonymous said...

gente de tijuana get off el caf's nuts, its no secret that CDS has been controlling TJ for the last couple of years already, you live in a fantasy world if you think CAF is bigger & stronger than ever.LMFAO wow

Anonymous said...

If thers any more info on ramon arellano very interesting guy????

Anonymous said...

I recommend everyone whos interested inthe past narco scene to watch tijuana druglords documentary. It talks about a little more then the article explains. I don't agree 100% with the article. First el chapo wasn't under the juarez cartel or under orders from Amado Carrillo fuentes chapo has always been in the sinaloa cartel he's one of the founders of it along with el guero palma he lead the cartel in the 80's and 90's. People seem here seem to think el chapo was weaker then the caf in the early 90's but if they watch tijuana druglords documentary the actual arrellano brothers thought chapo was more powerful better connected to cocaine since he was linked to Pablo Escobar. In that since chapo didn't think much of the arrellano brothers thats why he sent the hitmen to the puerto vallarta club to kill the brothers if the hit would have been successful that would have ended the arellano felix brothers. How they survived and responded and went to kill chapo but we all know in the process they kill the cardinal of the guadalajara. After all when the smoked clear the ones in really came out on top are el chapo and el mayo since the rest are currently in jail or dead.

Anonymous said...

Great article, Mr. Tijuano. Looking forward to the next one.

Anonymous said...

May 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM
"chivis, the more and more traffic that comes thru here, the more likely some of them will be dumbasses lol"
And the more likely to have suckholes and pricks who say"lol"

Anonymous said...

Awesome Read Tijuano. Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I believe Guadalajara is neutral at the moment

Anonymous said...

I got chapo on the payroll and pena nieto is a bitch ill let el loco put it in his butt. I'm a ruthless killer.

Anonymous said...

The only part caf control is parts of Tj caf control in Jalisco k pendejo

Anonymous said...

El Ingie I mean el Albanil will never control TJ like the Arellanos Brothers did! Chapo and Mayo rule Mexico !

Anonymous said...

Chivis you and the rest of your writers do an amazing job keep up the good work. Love your stories verry interesting.

Anonymous said...

If you think chapo and mayo will own tj you don't see the truth behind betrayals, joy can only last so long based on that, especially a cartel like CAF will never die there's more brains behind Inge and all his cousins for Decades

Anonymous said...

Muerete puto!

Anonymous said...

Im the one who originally commented..im a mothafuckin sureno from here in los, and I said cds runs everything that I know of, but that on here I often here caf is still doing thangs..my parents both live in tijuas and Im there atleast 2 weekends a month..caf is weak, and thats a fact.ive been in the jails over there and cds even runs that..

Anonymous said...

Can't stop reading!!! Can't wait for the rest.... it's like watching an action movie!!! Too bad it all was real.

Anonymous said...

Same difference to me they all losers whether they narcos or the u.s street gangs who sell their dope here none of them no good greedy pieces of shit

Anonymous said...

So the AFO new Palmas wife was a whore. Lol

Anonymous said...

Felix gallardo split up the plazas at the famous meeting by the beach, chapo, afo and everybody else who was at the meeting each got their peace of the pie or plaza, orders were given to pay a tax if u did anything in anothers plaza, some like rigoberto campos ignored it and thus his murder, another one who ignored it was mayo thus the hatred by afo and the begining of many deaths. Intresting note amado carrillo wasnt at the meeting becuz he wasnt in juarez yet, he was in ojinaga tutoring under pablo acosta whom he later betrayed.some guy was asking about the telenovela senor de los cielos,da only thing acurate is the betrayals and the corruption the rest is fiction,in other words its just a novela.

Anonymous said...

May 24, 2013 at 12:49 AM
"both live in tijuas and Im there atleast 2 weekends a month..caf is weak, and thats a fact.ive been in the jails over there and cds even runs that"
This is what i want to read,street niccas who know the score and go to TJ,have parents,been in jug there,so who the fuck is gonna know whats up,him or me,or you?Preach on brother,im listenin.

Anonymous said...

tijuana was safer and businesses where thriving when the arellanos controled tijuana and thats a fact

Tijuas said...

ES TODO TIJUANO… La historia detras de la mafia mexicana" era el trafico de drogas exclusivamente! Y los que morian eran, por ajustes de cuentas! Los narcotraficantes evolucinaron, sus systemas mas perversos, por la avaricia y poder y alardensias, idiotas" asesinos violadores rateros drogadictos,
AHORA RESULTA QUE LOS PARASITOS DESQUISIADOS SON DISQUE CARTEL DE MIERDA! QUE NO SE QUE! OSEA QUE YA SE HICIERON CORPORACION LOS HIJOS DE PUTA! MUERTOSS DE HAMBRE. NO SE OCUPA MATAR PA SER HOMBRE" NI VALER POR EL DINERO". EL BUEN EJEMPLO DE PADRE AY QUE AGARRAR Y HEREDARLO! POR QUE EL VALOR DE LOS PADRES
NO DEBES PISOTARLO!

Chivis said...

chingobling...ain't that the truth? @5:30 is proof of that...

@TZU...honestly I have not watched any of it, I may later after I hear some feedback

Anonymous said...

Do u know a narco bitch who isn't? A 18 year old marries a almost 60 year old out of love? Jaja no mames. Palmas wife got what she had coming. Some dumb whores do it for the money . Others for the rush just like a sicario in the end they get what God thinks they deserve. And if narcos are successful its not because they are smart' , its because of greed and corruption of cops, politicos, onBOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER.

Anonymous said...

FYI, The day when EL COLORES killed stupid ass Rayo for interrupting his family party. Do you guys know who was there??...La Momia Zambada was their and witnessed the killing of Rayo. La Momia didn't do shit!....

Anonymous said...

everyone! is in title to their opinion this article speaks about the 80's and 90's arellano clan... the real truth is that is 2013 and caf is no longer in the map of cartels...2 criminal groups operate in Tijuana FSO and CDS with 30 cells... CDS pays fees to FSO to operate in Tijuana. and also a big% of all drugs cross from that border... in 2007 FSO dismantle what was left of the CAF to regroup he started by executing el cholo Jorge briseno 2nd in command at that time after that when to war with el teo 2nd in command at that time.. FSO is really on the low down it uses state and federal officer for there hits and kidnaps you really don't know much about them all that is know about them is there so call leader fernado sanchez arellano .

Anonymous said...

Damn CAF was the Zetas of their time in terms of having balls to go to war with CDJ which was the CDS of that time.

Anonymous said...

You went to the drunk tank one night in TJ and now youre an expert? Stfu idiot.

Anonymous said...

El Chapo and Mayo were subordinate of Amado Carrillo fuentes, mayo was a rancher who took care of amados horses and grew trustworthy.even Arturo Beltran starte off as a sicario for amado later a bodyguard and eventually liutenant and plaza boss of Monterey,nuevo leon.

Anonymous said...

Could some one make the connection between the Herrera family(Alfonzo Herrera Killed in Juarez)with Amado Carrillo.

El cachanilla said...

@5:10
Y Que putass tiene que ver! Los Arrellanos corrian el negocio familiar". Con huevos y hamon" digo d RAMON" EL QUE SE PASABA DE VERGAS" DON RAMON SE IVA PERSONALMENTE" A RESOLVER EL PROBLEMA! NO COMPARES LAS MASETAS COBARDES MATAN GENTE INOCENTE POR NEGOCIO, NO OFENDAS " EL NOBRE DE DON RAMON ARRELLANO!

Anonymous said...

Actually he was going after Mayo.. and the crooked cops got him first

Anonymous said...

Mejor no ofendan el nombre de don ramon del chavo!

Anonymous said...

You'reva hypocrite. you'll post you're comment and you're friends talking shit, but you won't post others...

Anonymous said...

Seriously this article is badass.. can't wait till part 2

Anonymous said...

no doubt Tijuana has a lot of heart, theyr no pushovers

Anonymous said...

If any of u all read in spanish i recomendé these 2 books;los señores del narco and if u have time oziel:confesiones de un capo.

Anonymous said...

You don't know shit

Tijuano said...

@May 26, 2013 at 1:47 AM:

I´ve got my doubts about Anabel Hernandez and "Los Señores del Narco" but I would HIGHLY recommend "El Cartel" by Jesus Blancornelas to all those who can read spanish. Actually all the books by Mr. Blancornelas are full of great info.

Anonymous said...

Alright its on my reading list,see what all the fuzz is about el cartel.

Anonymous said...

@May 27, 2013 at 4:31 AM
"El Cartel: Los Arellano Felix: La Mafia Mas Poderosa en la Historia de America Latina"

this is the full title?

Anonymous said...

Um it might be time to start covering the gangs in us as their connections to the cartels grows

Tijuano said...

@May 28, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Yep, that´s the one.

Anonymous said...

Part 2!!!! Thanks for the insight!!

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah will soon control Tijuana again people call me el proof u will hear me again from Tijuana CAF

Anonymous said...

IF YA LIKED THIS STORY,WATCH THE MOVIE,TRAFFIC..ITS BASED ON THE CARILLO/ARELLANO WAR..BAD AZZ MOVIE!!
TRAFFIC..

Anonymous said...

Tijuano: another reason why Colores killed Rayo Lopez was because he "kidnapped" his sister Enedina and had his way with her before dumping her back on the family without marrying her...you know how the old timey men in the ranchos used to do...well Colores was a hothead so that gave him the more reasons to what Rayo and his brother Tino and the other brother Ismael Lopez Esparza at the Culiacan malecon in Jan 93. Great article btw.

Anonymous said...

"Ramon was as crazy as they get. Personally going to Mazatlan to kill Chapo...lol wow. That was a dumb move though, Chapos police killed him right when he got there."

yea dumb move for a smart ass like Ramon

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