Monday, January 22, 2018

Sicarios, bodyguards are the new drug trafficking Capos

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Noreste article

Subject Matter: Narco trafficking people
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required


Reporter: Infobae
Every time a drug capo falls in Mexico, there appears another: less known but more violent. We are not talking only about blood ties of the largest narco trafficking cartels, there have been sicarios who  rise through the ranks of their organizations and today head some of the 120 criminal groups that operate in the country.

This is the script of the film that Mexicans have seen since the Federal Government undertook the "wrong strategy of decapitation" of criminal gangs, says Martin Barron, a researcher at the Institute for Criminal Studies.

If at the start of the 21st Century there were seven large cartels in Mexico linked to drug trafficking, there are now approximately 130 groups, he says. "The authorities claim that there are nine large organizations, but they forget all the factions in the different States".

These factions are very violent, compact criminal gangs that control their territories of influence under fire, under the orders of leaders without the base or control capacity that the big capos once had. On the contrary, they are groups that operate in very specific areas, with a light structure and high capacity to multiply.




From these have emerged a new generation of drug trafficking leaders, responsible for the crisis of violence that Mexico is going through. It was predictable, says Barron. "When making someone a prisoner, or depriving a leader of their lives, there is an imbalance in the internal organization of the criminal group and climate of violence in the ensuing struggle."

The bodyguard who became a capo

As an example of this new generation of leaders who trained as bodyguards or sicarios of the big cartels was the so-called Commandante Toro, a regional chief of the Cartel del Golfo who was first bodyguard of Jose Rodriguez Sanchez, known as El Gafe and who the authorities pointed out, after his arrest, as " the main generator of violence" in the area that goes from Matamoros to Rio Bravo in Tamaulipas.


Commandante Toro was Juan Manuel Loza Salinas, ex bodyguard who took his place at the head of the faction of the Cartel del Golfo in Reynosa, Tamaulipas. "With him came a reign of terror and violence unseen", wrote journalist Hector de Mauleon at the time, after authorities shot him in April of last year, during an operation to arrest him.

When reporting his death, authorities indicated him as "one of the main generators of violence in the State". One more of those that operate in the country.

Those who return

The government of Enrique Pena Nieto has arrested 108 of the 122 priority objectives of organized crime. During the six years of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, who was responsible for launching the war on drug trafficking, 25 more were apprehended.

In the list of 14 targets that are still wanted by the PGR, there are well known names such as Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, who has been in charge of the Sinaloa cartel since the arrest of El Chapo Guzman. But there are others that are relatively unknown, even if they are alive or dead.

Among them are Juan Pablo Ledezma, whom they call JL and who operates for the Juarez cartel. This individual is credited with most of the murders in Ciudad Juarez, he was Jefe of sicarios for Vincente Carrillo Fuentes, El Viceroy. After the arrest of El Viceroy, Ledezma took control of the organization that the faces the Sinaloa cartel in the Juarez/Sinaloa/Durango border. Although his name remains on the list of the most wanted and the PGR has a reward of 15 million pesos for him, nobody knows if he is alive or not.


Currently the Juarez cartel belong to Juan Pablo Gijarro Fragoza, identified as El Monico or El H1. This man, who gained fame by promoting his criminal activity through facebook, and climbed through the ranks as Jefe of sicarios for La Linea. According to the authorities, he is responsible for a good number of murders committed in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, and escalated in his organization to become plaza boss of Chihuahua, responsible for supplying and collecting drugs and money from drug dealers.



They are joined by other little known characters in the drug trafficking fraternity on the border that are not part of the PGR list. One of them is Jesus Salas Aguayo, "El Chuyin", who they identify as the leader of the Nuevo Cartel de Juarez, in the municipality of Ahumada and other regions of Chihuahua.


The surviving Zetas

In the south of the country, the most wanted man is Maxiley Barahona, known as El Contador or Z-19 of the Los Zetas cartel. He was the Lieutenant of Miguel Angel Trevino, El Z-40, one of the main leaders of this group, arrested in Nuevo Leon in 2015. He climbed through the ranks as recruiter of sicarios for Los Zetas. The authorities point him out as responsible for homicides and kidnappings, and for detonating fragmentation grenades in the offices of the General Attorneys office of the State of Chiapas, one of its control areas along with Tabasco and Veracruz. For reports that lead to his capture the PGR are offering 10 million pesos.


For Los Zetas and operating in the north is Sergio Basurto Pena, know as El Grande or Z-2. He grew up in command of this organization also as Lieutenant of Trevino and in charge of controlling the so called "narco tiendas" in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. According to the authorities, this State was under his command and therefore he is linked as responsible for the murders in the region.

In recent years, he has tried to extend his groups to Tabasco and for him there is a PGR reward of 10 million pesos.


Guerrero, the school of assassins

In Guerrero, one of the most violent States in Mexico, a name stands out: Johnny Hurtado Olascoaga, know by the nicknames of "El Senor Pescado", "El Pez", "El Mojarro". This man is one of the surviving leaders of La Familia Michoacana and he is attributed to much of the violence in the southern part of the State known as Tierra Caliente de Guerrero, which he disputes with "Los Tequileros".

He is accused of more than 20 homicides, extortion's and kidnappings. His leadership grew as Jefe of sicarios for La Familia Michoacana, sent to Guerrero by his boss, Jose Chavez Magana, El Pony.


In charge of Los Rojos, the criminal group that was born under the orders of the Beltran Leyva cartel, there is an elusive and dangerous character. His name is Zenen Nava Sanchez, he is known as "El Chaparro" and he has managed to get rid of the operations of the Federal forces to stop him.

This man leads the fight against Los Ardillos through the municipalities of Chilapa and Chilpancingo, which connect the  Central region with the mountains of Guerrero and are fundamental in the drug routes. According to the authorities, Zenen Nava Sanchez operates kidnapping and extortion in the region, and is responsible for the introduction of drugs into Chipancingo prison.


El Chaparro is the nephew of Jesus Nava Romero "El Rojo", who was the Lieutenant of Alfredo Beltran Leyva and because of him the criminal organization carries the name "Los Rojos". His right hand man is Candido Nava Milan, El Japo" and under his orders operates a cell of sicarios called "Los Jefes", controlled by two young people whose names are only known as : Johnathan, identified as "La Nina" and Jesus who they call "El Lobo". (Otis: El Lobos name is Jesus Garcia Catalan).

They are at the forefront of the confrontation over control of the plaza of Chilpancingo  with the cartel de sur and are already emerging as the future capos of the area, for the power they have gained by leadership.

El Japo
El Lobo