Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat Material from El Sudcaliforniano, Colectivo Pericue,
BCS Noticias and Zeta Tijuana
On Wednesday, Nov 23 the citizens of San Jose del Cabo, BCS awoke to the sound of gunfire and large weapons fire beginning at approximately 3:30 am. Loud explosions could be heard which turned out to be from machine guns and grenade launchers with M32A1 50 ammunition.
When it was over the toll stood at 8 dead, including 2 minors and a mother and child felled by explosive gunfire that hit their home. The initial report said 6 dead, however, 2 others died in a simultaneous attack nearby. The attacks appear to have been a premeditated, coordinated attack carried out by factions of rival drug cartels, which included a decoy incident that took the local security forces out of town by 35 kilometers. Security Forces responding to the Emergency Response Network chased a vehicle north on the road to Mireflores, which was shooting at them with a Cuerno de Chivo (AK47) and subsequently arrived at a scene with a vehicle engulfed in flames which had a plastic mannequin in the drivers seat.
Meanwhile, back in the town of San Jose del Cabo, gunmen fired what were apparently large automatic guns , (Cuernos de Chivos or AR15’s) and pummeled a two two story houses with 50 caliber mortars fired from grenade launchers as was ascertained later in the El Zacatel neighborhood. The two houses were known as drug trafficking locations.
While Security Forces tried to respond to the first incident where several people died and severalothers were wounded ( they also subsequently died of their wounds); another house was attacked by a different armed commando also using grenade launchers. One subject attempted to flee in Cadillac parked outside the house but he was ultimately overtaken, killed by gunmen and his body was dumped and later found along side the tourist corridor at kilometer 17.5 between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas near a place known as El Tule. The body had several gunshot wounds. Back at the house another body was located inside.
Meanwhile, a white 2015 Nissan Pathfinder was being chased and fired upon by automatic weapons by other gunmen resulting in the execution of the driver of the vehicle. This occurred in the Monte Real residential neighborhood.
Security Forces were slow and late in responding due to that fact that most had gone out of town on the emergency decoy incident. It was nearly 45 minutes after the attacks began, and still dark at 4:15 am before, police and military units initiated a response . It was reported that all the gunmen wore tactical gear , at least three vehicles were witnessed, one a white Jeep Cherokee, a Dodge Charger and another dark vehicle.
Later in the day, two of the vehicles were found abandoned in Arroyo El Tule, the white Cherokee and the other vehicle being a black Chevy Camaro; two dead men were also found with the cars.
The response being slow enabled all gunmen to escape causing great consternation and confusion in the neighborhood where the citizens awoke to the sounds and smell of gunfire. This has been the bloodiest incident in the history of the Municipality and all indications suggest it is due to the ongoing war in the entire state of Baja California Sur between rival cartel factions, particularly in the State Capital of La Paz, Los Cabos and the all-important plaza in the Municipality of Comondu;
Ciudad Constitution and Puerto San Carlos.
Some reports indicate that at least 20 people have been murdered in the Los Cabos region in the past two weeks.
The Municipality of Comondu also reports the bloodiest months in its history. On Oct 27, 4 men were killed in a gun battle in El Centro of Cuidad Constitution. That incident was part of the ongoing turf war between three factions of the Sinaloa Cartel (Los Damasos) and CTNG and CJNG. Many involved in this infighting keep changing alliances.
Witnesses and reports say armed men were shooting repeatedly on different occasions with high caliber weapons which could be heard all over the city. The attack was directed at a black Mitsubishi car with the four young men inside.
This incident followed the August 31 Auto Zone store attack on the highway between Cuidad Constitution and Cuidad Insurgentes which detonated the war. In that event two vehicles were shot up and Rafael “El Murcielago” Arroyo Acosta was executed; he is the presumed hitman that executed Miguel Angel Vega Ramirez “ El Gordo Vega”, leader of one of the cells. Several others were also wounded and fled the scene, including an ex municipal policeman who is currently the head of the “ Los Cheyos” cell. All three cells were represented in this incident.
Two weeks ago a La Paz businessman had six of his taco restaurants burned to the ground, one in the El Centro Plaza of La Paz, assumedly for refusing to pay “ piso” or “ mordida” ( taxes to the cartels).
The ambush of the Military at the end of Sept in which 6 soldiers lost their lives near Culiacan, Sinaloa brought the fight to the front and center between the Army and cells of the Sinaloa Cartel, particularly “Los Damasos”, who were presumably in charge of the logistics of the military ambush.
According to the words of a member of the Coordinated Group of Public Security in BCS:
“Our view is that there has not been a deal reached by the leaders of the drug trafficking groups and that it has reached a boiling point, we are looking at the tip of the iceberg”.
At the close of this translation I checked the Colectivo Pericue for any breaking details on the attack in San Jose del Cabo. Nothing revealing as far as an investigation goes.
However: The journalists arrived at their office this morning at 7:30 am today to find a “ Narco Manta” hung on the Rosarito Bridge with a message directed at them, their publication, the Governor and The “ Delgada”, ( unspecified names) which included direct death threats for their coverage of the recent out of control spiral of violence in what was once one of the more secure tourist destinations in Mexico.
Text of the threatening manta:
“Senor Governor and Senora Delgada: All that is happening in Los Cabos is the fault of Attorney Manriquez and The Commanders of the State, the COE. The Willard Brothers that sold him the Plaza of San Jose ( EL Babay) He is worried that we know very well that it is he, (El Babay) that brought on all this violence. Abraham Cervantes Escarraga “El MataNinos”. Publish the truth Colectivo Pericue and keep your distance. We are not kids because we kill journalists”.
The Publication went on to say that they have no deals or agreements with any organization, criminal or law enforcement to cover or take part in any manner “the violent events that are so destructive to our society not only in Los Cabos but in La Paz, Ciudad Constitution, Vizcaino and Guerrero Negro.
“We reiterate our promise to continue to bring information to the citizens on all topics of general interest, always with a sincere and profound hope that this wave of violence will come to an end and stop affecting innocent people, such as occurred on Wednesday, especially with the death of minors. Colectivo Pericue has always cooperated to the full extent with law enforcement; we will remain at the complete disposition of any and all authorities in charge of any type of investigation”.