Monday, February 11, 2019

Jalisco/Tlajomulco de Zúñiga: Armed Confrontation Leaves Several Criminals Dead

 Oaxaqueño for Borderland Beat

On Friday afternoon at around 14:00 hrs, a shooting between agents of the State Attorney General’s Office of Jalisco and criminals took place. The encounter happened at the intersection Boulevard Colón and Calle De las Américas in the municipality of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, located some 15 kilometers south of Guadalajara’s center. The balance of the skirmish; five criminals were killed and four other people (three thugs and one uninvolved passer-by) were wounded. No casualties were reported among the security forces. Reportedly, the shootout erupted when the agents noticed and subsequently approached/confronted the armed men riding in two trucks, a Mazda CX5 and a Toyota Hilux.

Oaxaqueño Analysis:

It remains unclear to which criminal group the deceased and wounded belong. However, it should be noted that just hours before this incident, security forces managed to arrest Jesús Ricardo Patrón Sánchez, alias “El H3” or “El Diabólico”, in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga (unfortunately, reports have not specified where exactly in the municipality). According to reports, “El H3” (who should not be confused with Michoacán’s formerly infamous criminal group with the same name (H3/La Tercera Hermanda) was a local plaza boss for the Beltrán Leyva Organization, which is obviously not existing with this name anymore. More precisely, “El H3” was plaza boss for Los Mazatlecos in
Tepic (State of Nayarit), situated about 185 kilometers northwest of Guadalajara. Los Mazatlecos is one if not the most prominent and strongest of all the criminal groups which have emerged some years ago from the Beltrán Leyva Organization. The brother of “El H3”, Juan Francisco Patrón Sánchez aka “El H2”, was shot dead by security forces in February 2017 alongside several of his sicarios in the course of a massive security operation in Tepic. “El H2” was Nayarit plaza boss and considered one of the most important lieutenants working under Los Mazatlecos leader Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, alias “El Chapo Isidro”.

Given that Friday’s shooting took place shortly after the arrest of “El H3”, as well as potentially geographically near (for sure in the same municipality), it is possible that the killed criminals were belonging to the entourage of “El H3”. However, this is pure speculation. As a side note, another open question up for speculation is what the reason for the presence of “El H3” in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga was exactly about, given that his home base is in Nayarit.

Nonetheless, considering that Tlajomulco de Zúñiga is one of the contested areas between CJNG and its splinter group the Nueva Plaza Cartel, which has a known presence there, the deceased criminals’ affiliation to one of the two groups would be highly credible as well.