Friday, March 13, 2020

A short backstory of the CJNG's arrival in South America

"MX" for Borderland Beat
Passports of the Italian and three Mexican nationals working for the CJNG/Cuinis in Argentina

Mexican drug lord Gerardo González Valencia did not choose a good time to settle with his family in Argentina. He arrived in 2009, a year after three pharmaceutical businessmen, Sebastián Forza, Damián Ferrón, and Leopoldo Bina, were kidnapped and killed in an apparent ephedrine dispute that shocked Argentina.

Through its local partners, the Sinaloa Cartel reportedly smuggled 50 tons of that drug's chemical precursor to Argentina between 2004 and 2008. In those four years, the Sinaloa Cartel made approximately US$105 million.

However, their gains were cut short after former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner launched an anti-crime and drug campaign following the triple murder. Consequently, it was difficult for any Mexican citizen who had a luxurious lifestyle to go unnoticed in Argentina.

Arrival of the CJNG in Argentina
The presence in Argentina of the González Valencia clan, relatives of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes ("El Mencho"), was uncovered on March 10, 2009, when three emissaries of Gerardo were involved in a car accident in Puerto Madero. The three Mexicans threatened the police officers who arrived at the scene when they asked them for the vehicle's paperwork. Gerardo's envoys told them they would be dead if this incident had occurred in Mexico.

The police did not press charges but took note of their license plates before they left. Upon further investigation, they discovered that the vehicle was owned by Marcelo Arias, an Argentinian strawperson who worked for Gerardo. As published by Borderland Beat, Arias met Gerardo and others when he was a taxi driver in Buenos Aires. The three Mexicans were living in Torres Le Parc Puerto Madero, an expensive apartment tower in Buenos Aires.

Arias was a strawperson for Gerardo and agreed to add his legal address to Círculo Internacional S.A., one of the entities controlled by the CJNG in Argentina. Interestingly, the police discovered that the three Mexicans who had threatened them were part of the company too. An additional Meixcan national was who was not with them that day was also identified as a shareholder. Their names were Francisco Marzio Medina González, Julio César Alegre Ortega, Pedro Merced Medina Lizárraga and Rodrigo Lepe Uribe. Gerardo himself formally joined the company as a director on June 17, 2011.

Investigation begins in Argentina
With this information, judge Néstor Barral and prosecutor Sebastián Basso opened a formal investigation against Gerardo and the CJNG in Argentina. One of the first things they did was send an inquiry to Mexico's Attorney General's Office to see if Gerardo and the other Mexicans had outstanding charges in Mexico. However, Mexican authorities told them they had never heard of them.

While El Mencho continued to rise in the worldwide drug trade, his brother-in-law Gerardo opened a convenience store in Buenos Aires. The store was known as "Corner". In addition to Arias, Gerardo hired Argentine national Óscar Calvete and the Italian national Giuliano Gasparotto, who would later go on to manage his boutique hotel Hotelito Desconocido in Jalisco, Mexico. Argentine officials confirmed that Gerardo invested US$1.8 million in the convenience store.

Back in Mexico, authorities uncovered information about Gerardo and his criminal group in 2014. In a courtroom in Zapopan, Jalisco, a lady identified as María Teresa was sentenced to 15 years for organized crime involvement. She was a former police officer from Ciudad Guzmán. In her court files, the judges identified Gerardo a boss of Los Cuinis, the money laundering branch of the cartel. But by the time Argentine officials received such information, Gerardo had fled to Uruguay.

Relocation to Uruguay and capture
In Uruguay, however, Gerardo's situation wasn't any better. After living a few years in anonymity, Judge Adriana de Los Santos issued a warrant for his capture. He was wanted for money laundering activities in Montevideo and Punta del Este.

Gerardo managed several properties there through an offshore company discovered through the Panama Papers. Captured in 2016, he was imprisoned in one of Uruguay's top-security facilities.

Ongoing trial
While Gerardo awaits his extradition to the United States, Argentine authorities are fighting with Uruguay to see who gets to keep his assets. In the U.S., several properties and members of the CJNG are sanctioned under the Kingpin Act. This sanction freezes all their U.S.-based assets and prohibits U.S. citizens/companies from engaging in business activities with them.

Judge Barral will send the Argentines who helped Los Cuinis to trial in the next few days. They hope that Mexican authorities help them find the four Mexican nationals for whom they issued an arrest warrant. They haven't been seen in Argentina since then.


SourceMilenio (published 12 March 2020)

Further reading: For more information on the case, please visit Gerardo González Valencia's Wikipedia page, which was published by "MX" in March 2017. It includes over 90 sources in both Spanish and English.

10 comments:

  1. Those three Cuinis workers forgot Bert Cooper’s famous line that “a man is whatever room he is in” when they threatened those cops. Pure hubris.

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    1. The fudge is that stupid quote supposed to mean? No offense

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    2. It evokes a belief that a man is who he says he is. These men forgot who they were pretending to be. They paid the consequences.

      Delete
  2. 🇲🇽 would be good if they had a president like the woman in Argentina, 🇲🇽 presidents lately lack BALLS and integrity.. They sell out and are only presidents to see how much money they can STEAL from the Mexican Treasury..

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    1. Mafiosa Christina the former presidenta de argentina also got arrested and imprisoned for corruption, by pimping drug trafficking president Macri.
      Electing the wives of former presidentes has not been good for argentina.

      Delete
  3. No not in Argentina, dam...hanging out with my brother in puerto Iguazú near the falls was great watching soccer drinking beers never saw any drugs... going over to foz do Iguazú for the nightlife in Brasil you could obviously see the drug activity in the clubs... dam the girls there are amazing...crossing over the Paraná we were sometimes checked by military when entering Brasil ... Brazil was where you felt uneasy and foz was where you had to be careful... operation condor was no joke but I always felt safer in Argentina... I’m sure it has all changed now... RIP Michael

    GC

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  4. @GC: Good post but low on details. ... left us hanging on lots of points. Post again if you have time about the drug, crime, girls, scenes. Do you think thing will get better or worse in the region with respect to crime and drugs?
    Mexico-Watcher

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    1. @ Mexico watcher: I guess the history of Argentina could be seen as complicated and it is not my home country. Mix of people from Italiana and Spanish decent but with strong ties to Great Britain. The country is generally more safer than her neighboring countries. My brother died there in a car crash ten years ago so I haven’t been back. When I was there in the city of puerto Iguazú, the European influence was quite evident as seen by the numbers of Irish English and German people. Of course the mix of Italia and Spanish as well. That’s where the girls got there good looks, to me anyway... Buenos Aires was just a big city to me but seemed safe and friendly.
      Crossing over to Brasil near los tres frontiers and into Paraguay the feeling of safety quickly vanished.
      In Paraguay, the capital of counterfeiting, I literally got the sense that I could buy a kidney a baby or whatever you get the point.... we were told to stay away from the girls in Brasil because at the time Brasil had a HIV rate comparable to Countries in Africa....
      Operation cóndor covert operations and trying to fight communism led to thousands of disappearances deaths and torture. Including from what i was told by the locals dropping people into the Atlantic And pacífica oceans from planes and helicopters.... I guess everyone has a story about it but all of that was way before I born.... the Argentines were very welcoming and warm people when I was there... it’s a big country so I’m sure you can find all types....
      In general the Cold War was fought in the latin America countries and lives were lost and everyone points fingers at the other side...
      When I was in Argentina the Argentines were quick to say Brasil was the place you were most likely to get robbed or murdered.... maybe Brasil said the same....

      GC

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  5. While all the Operation Condor murdering was going on, the nazi rat line fugitives were still peddling German pharma amphetamines, torture, kidnapping and disappearances on which they trained the LatinAmerican banana republics military and police, even mexican generals trained in SOA helped Pinochet.
    In Argemtina Uruguay, Paraguay, bolivia, guatemala, all over there was crime, while in Mexico shit kept more quiet until salinas unleashed the politics of neoliberal narco-capitalist oligarchy by getting to the presidency through murder, Carlos Ahumada Kurtz and futbol stars and hoes from Argentina took over a lot of crime in mexico way before the cuinis started using long leg pants.
    It would be interesting to know how the cuinis got into the business of murdering argentinian pharmaceutical businessmen and what their "business" in pharmaceuticals, one of klaus Barbie business lines.
    Argentina exported crime and corruption to mexico for a long time, like chile along with singers and musicians and actors...
    --carlos ahumada kurtz cost AMLO his presidency when he recorded PRD members taking money from him, in cahoots with salinas and televisa and now imprisoned Rosario Robles Berlanga who had sold her ass to salinas but bought ahumada for fun with hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts from mexican government, argentinian ahumada has been a business partner with miguel angel osorio chong, (linias aereas de pachuca), carlos hank rohn, and other luminaries of corruption even selling mexican Uranium to the chinese, may have received part of his pay in precursors, but nobody investigates his precious ass.

    ReplyDelete

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