Saturday, December 28, 2019

'El Guerrero', the Zetas founder who wore a grenade necklace

Mx for Borderland Beat

Luis Alberto Guerrero Reyes ("El Guerrero") was no ordinary outlaw. He wore a grenade around his neck. When his bullet-ridden body was found inside a vehicle in Matamoros on 10 May 2004, authorities took over eight hours to remove and defuse it. Guerrero Reyes was killed by unknown assailants as he left a discotheque in Matamoros; his bodyguard Leonardo García González, a former Matamoros police officer, was also killed trying to defend him. Officials stated that Garcia was holding another grenade because he intended to use it against the attackers. But Matamoros residents woke up to a Mother's Day marred by a sadder story: among the dead were three teenage girls: Perla Lourdes García Torres, Rosa Isela Purata Cárdenas and Nancy López González, who were with the two men inside the discotheque.
Early life and background

Guerrero Reyes joined the Mexican Army on 1 March 1987 as an infantry soldier of the 70th Infantry Battalion in the Mexican state of Puebla. From 11 April to 17 June 1989, he enrolled as a paratrooper in the Parachute Rifle Brigade (BFP). When Guerrero Reyes joined the BFP, it was one of the elite branches of the military along with Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE). In the BFP, he became a specialist in explosives, martial arts and grenade launchers.

Adept in combat, Guerrero Reyes was promoted twice and reportedly received military and counter-drug training in the United States. As a military officer, he was also assigned to work temporarily in the National Counter-Narcotics Institute (INCD), where he met other military members whom he would later work with in organized crime. Enticed by what the underworld had to offer, he deserted from the military on 4 January 1999.

Organized crime
Guerrero Reyes then joined the Gulf Cartel and became a member of the cartel's newly-created paramilitary group, known as Los Zetas, which was largely composed of ex-commandos. He was hired to work for the cartel boss Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, and was assigned under Zetas leader Arturo Guzmán Decena ("Z-1"). He went by the code names "Z-5" and "Z12-HK44".

According to the testimony of Agustín Hernández Martínez, a close associate of Cardenas Guillen who later became a protected witness under the code name "Rafael", Guerrero Reyes was also an instructor for new Zetas recruits. Under the instruction of Guzman Decena, Guerrero Reyes and former Army lieutenant Carlos Hau Castañeda led Los Zetas's first training course at a farm known as Punta Selva in Matamoros. He was also suspected of being involved in two massive prisons breaks in Matamoros and Apatzingán, where several Gulf/Zetas members were rescued.

Known for his arrogance and violent behavior, Guerrero Reyes had an arrest warrant issued for his suspected involvement in multiple killings from 12 February to 10 March 2003. He was suspected of killing his girlfriend Erica Edith González, who was found dead in the rural community of La Venada along with two other people, and of his wife Jovanna Lizbeth Melchor Ceballos, who was killed with another man. Guerrero Reyes was also a main suspect in the murder of kingpin Edelio López Falcón ("El Yeyo"). 


López Falcón was a former member of the Gulf Cartel, but left to join a rival criminal group after he encountered differences with the cartel after Gilberto García Mena ("El June") was arrested in 2001. Several within the cartel blamed López Falcón for his arrest. Cárdenas Guillén reportedly commissioned Guerrero Reyes and others, including Zetas members Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar ("El Mamito"), Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano ("El Lazca") and/or Óscar Guerrero Silva ("El Winniepooh"), to execute him. López Falcón was killed inside a restaurant on 6 May.

Shootout and death

Guerrero Reyes was a regular in strip clubs and night clubs in Matamoros for several years. But on 10 May 2004, he was killed by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting in Matamoros. The attack occurred before dawn near the Wild West discotheque while Guerrero Reyes was inside a silver Jeep Liberty.

Near the crime scene, the police arrested Jose Jesus Quintanilla (aged 19). He was driving a white Ford Mustang that authorities suspected was used by the shooters as a getaway vehicle. A police officer identified Quintanilla as a local customs broker. It was later revealed that Guerrero Reyes was killed by four unidentified hitmen who carried out the attack in a white taxi.

The motive behind the attack was not revealed, and state police chief Arturo Pedroza Aguirre said it was too early to determine if a drug cartel was involved. However, Mexican investigators not authorized to speak with the press stated that it was organized crime-related. U.S. and Mexican authorities did not confirm if the attack was carried out by the Gulf Cartel or conducted by a rival gang, which had sprung up in high numbers after the arrest of Cardenas Guillen. The killers were never arrested. To this day, Perla Lourdes' stepmother still holds a Mother's Day basket given to her by her stepdaughter the day before the teenager was killed in the shootout.


Note: This post includes excerpts from the Wikipedia article of Luis Alberto Guerrero Reyes ("El Guerrero", The Warrior), which I created on 27 December 2019.

Sources and notes

Wikipedia article is under free domain
* Multiple sources, 
see here for more details

28 comments:

  1. I think that cdn are bringing the zetas name back to the high standards these guys had it the original zetas were bad ass lazca Mamito etc if they was still in charge zetas would never have split but I still think cdn has a good structure and a lot of resources to probably along with cjng become the biggest cartel in Mexico long live the zetas and trevinos

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    1. 9:37 "You", think?
      picking up the zetas fallen standards presages their fall, just because they allow el bronco and cabeza de cagadas de vacas to make some coin will not save their asses forever, even the original zetas who really had elite.military training did not escape the consequences of becoming criminals "who deserted" just to help the generales and the Mexican military and federal police some face saving while stealing the drug trafficking business from the real elite criminals and drug traffickers left behind by the mexican and the US governments associated in it through their CIA and DFS after they ran out of commuistas guerrillas to fight.
      Deserting their alma maters, in name at least, to save the institutions good name is not a new trick since the stone age, neither is getting killed by your own associates or by the descendants or heirs of your victims, even Arturo Guzman Decena did not escape his own friends that threw him to the wolves naked, drunk and drugged out...
      --The SOA GRADUATED KAIBILES did their best with the zetas anyway, but in the times of general Rafael Macedo de la Concha, the MOSSAD participated eagerly too, with "retired and deserted and rogue instructors", if you believe them.

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    2. So using child sicarios from “el tropa del infierno” put out like canon fodder is what the zetas were like in its glory days???? Inform yourself buddy.

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    3. CDN has children for SICARIOS, originally zetas had MILITARY guys tontos

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    4. 6:05 that’s exactly what I said. 9:37 seems to think that cdn is now becoming how the original los zetas were . My point being they are nowhere near how the original los z were when they were the armed wing of CDG. Cdn uses children regularly in their convoys and their front line. Some can’t even properly fit into their helmets they are so young. Original Z used to hand pick their guys from the military and polices forces.

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    5. It’s called a sarcastic question 2:05

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  2. Excellent and interesting read! Thank you!!

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  3. If I was a narco I’d wear a suicide vest. Why allow yourself to get captured and dismembered. Screw that. I’d rather blow myself up.

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    1. 10:37 "El Guerrero" was wearing his designers' grenade collar,
      but he got killed like a dog, shot by fire from a drive by.

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  4. Where was he from? Guerrero?

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    1. Hi there. There is no public info about his DOB/POB. But he was stationed in Puebla in his teens. So likely there or nearby.

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    2. Most likely from southern mexico.

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    3. He has BALLS he's probably michoacan those guys are pretty tough

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  5. Wearing a live grenade around ones neck is typically an excellent indicator of both character and class.

    I wore one outside of my Izod shirt every time I was invited as a guest to my current country club and you'd be amazed at how quickly my application was approved!

    What normally took months happened in only a week.

    Keep it classy!

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  6. Excellent work MX. You have a way of telling the story which few have.

    Thank you
    Mica

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  7. What an amateur wearing a grenade necklace!
    Every Gente Nueva Special Forces has a Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM) pack .We go out with a BANG!!

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    Replies
    1. Y'all go out like bitches 😁 all those guns and you surrender like chapo and el flaco de gn. Lol

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    2. Y'all go out like bitches 😁 all those guns and you surrender like chapo and el flaco de gn. Lol

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    3. Hehe, look at Juarez your GN sicarios levantado by Linea and Gob like Chickens!

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    4. SADM LOL. I’ll have to hand it to you Sicario006... you know some obscure military lingo.

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  8. And just like cowards they killed El Yeyo from behind...

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  9. For all its violence how come there are no shootings in mexican churches?

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  10. What kind of an idiot wears a grenade around his neck??

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  11. So was he an Infantry OFFICER or an Infantry soldier?
    There's a difference.

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    Replies
    1. HUGE DIFERENCE 8:34

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    2. I've fixed his Wikipedia page. Thank you for pointing this out. I'm not very familiar with military rank terminology but I will keep this in mind for future reference.

      Delete

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