Thursday, August 27, 2020

One of Mexico's best surgeons says: ‘I Am the Person Who Handed Over El Chapo’

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat  Thank You "006"  A VICE News Exclusive

We talked to the man who gave up information leading to the capture of Mexico's most-wanted drug lord, and who felt betrayed by the US. 

On May 1st 2014, this interesting article ran in VICE.  This relates to my M10 post of yesterday, you can read that post by using this hyperlink.

In mid-April I received a call out of El Paso, Texas, from a doctor who urgently wished to speak with me as a journalist. “I am the person who handed over El Chapo Guzmán,” the voice on the line said.

After hearing the man’s hook, he had my full attention. To protect the doctor’s identity, I will refer to him as Scalpel. He contacted me to explain that even though he had been welcomed by federal US authorities as a confidential informant — for having revealed information that lead to the capture of drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias El Chapo, and his lieutenant — his wife was now about to be deported to Mexico.


Since the Mexican authorities arrested El Chapo on February 22, I have received calls, messages, and emails from people who have helped me understand some of the motives and processes that led to the end of El Chapo’s empire. But Scalpel offered me a surreal story.

“I have never belonged to or collaborated with the cartels,” he explained, “but my sister has been married to M-10 (Mario Núñez Meza, lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel in Tijuana) for the past 13 years. This is how I started to meet them, many of the members of the Sinaloa Cartel. They would look for me to heal their bullet wounds and I would tend to them at the hospital. Thank God none of them ever died on me, and I think that this is what led to me meeting El Chapo.”

His willingness to tell his whole story in detail — to reveal his real name, documents, visas, phone numbers, and the testimony of the lawyer in charge of his case — convinced me to meet him in an El Paso office.

Scalpel began by revealing his profession: he's surgeon. Prior to last August — when he signed an agreement with the DEA as an informant — the man in front of me worked at Guernika hospital, in Ciudad Juárez, and was known as one of best surgeons in northern Mexico.

“The Sinaloa Cartel began to recommend me as a good doctor,” he told me. “A few months ago, Emma Coronel, El Chapo’s wife, contacted me on Facebook — they are very cautious of telephones and all of that. She wanted me to go to Hermosillo [in Sonora state] to work with the cartel full-time, offering me a monthly payment of 25,000 pesos [$2,000]. I make that in one week, so I said no — thank you, but no.”

But Scalpel did not let it die there. A few days later he asked for a cellphone number so that he could contact them in case he decided to accept the offer.

“This phone number belonged to Emma Coronel, and I knew that she was always with El Chapo,” he said. “I handed the number over to the DEA here in El Paso on January 15, first via text message, then I later met with them to fill out a formal report for the exchange of information.”

Even though Scalpel did not retain copies of the information he reported to the DEA, special agent Daniel Muñoz confirmed to me that he had been in charge of Scalpel’s case while he was working as an informant.

Additionally, the text messages that the doctor showed me — as well as the documents that Carlos Spector, his lawyer, provided — confirmed his relationship with the DEA.

“On January 15, (Scalpel) delivered the first piece of information toward the capture of El Chapo. On January 22 he met with the special agents in charge… and the DEA supervisor in El Paso at the DOJ headquarters,” I read in an archived report at Spector’s office.

Exactly a month after Scalpel handed over Coronel’s phone number, Mexican marines captured El Chapo, who was considered by both US and Mexican authorities to be the world’s most powerful drug lord.

According to high-level functionaries within the US government, as quoted by the Associated Press, Mexican authorities traced a cellphone from February 16 onward until successfully tracking down El Chapo at an apartment complex in Mazatlán in Sinaloa on February 22.

Although the AP reported that this cellphone belonged to one of his employees, the proof that Scalpel has provided — along with declarations made by the Minister of Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, regarding the presence of Emma Coronel during the capture — suggest an entirely different conclusion. Scalpel’s information led the authorities to El Chapo.

By the time Coronel’s phone number was handed over, Scalpel had already been collaborating with the DEA for five months.

“My sister asked me to pick up Mayito (Núnez Meza) in Chihuahua at the end of last July and asked me to bring him to Ciudad Juárez,” he explained. “As we were returning to Juarez, Mayito confessed to me that he was coming to Juarez to get the whole mess going again. He told me that he wanted to get back the territory that JL (a lieutenant of the Juárez Cartel, who according to Mexican authorities had been in charge of Ciudad Juárez) had taken from him. That’s when I told him, ‘I don’t want this city to become a mess again.’ ”

According to Scalpel, this confession, as well as Núñez Meza running him out of his own home in December 2007 so the cartel could use it as a safe house, were his reasons for turning El Chapo over to the US authorities.

In early August 2013, Scalpel called an anonymous DEA hotline in El Paso to offer information that could lead to the capture of Meza Núnez. According to his version of events, which he confirmed by showing me his stamped migration permit, the first meeting with DEA agents took place around midnight on August 18 at the Puente Libre facilities.

Scalpel told me that agents from Interpol, the FBI, and the DEA attended this meeting. “I told them that Mayito was staying at the Casa Grande Hotel,” he said. “I gave them the phone that I was carrying, and that’s how they found them — their license plate numbers and everything.”

Ten days later, on August 28, Núñez Meza was arrested by Chihuahua police agents at the Casa Grande Hotel, “thanks to information provided by a civilian and the work of intelligence agencies,” according to a press release that was published at the time.

That same day, at around 4 PM, Scalpel and four family members crossed into the US using migration form I-94 SPBP, which is given to people who are collaborating with US authorities on investigations.

According to the informant, the DEA had given them permission to cross over into Mexico once a month, and Scalpel’s wife went to Ciudad Juárez on February 20 this year to visit family members. But as she tried to re-enter El Paso six days later, border protection agents detained her for attempting to enter the country without a visa.

According to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Scalpel’s wife has been detained since then at a migrant retention center, awaiting a resolution in her case. She is currently requesting political asylum, according to the same migration center.

A DEA agent, who requested anonymity because he’s not authorized to discuss this case on record, assured me that his agency has paid Scalpel more than $50,000 over the past seven months as payment for the information he shared. Still, Scalpel is unimpressed with the treatment he has received.
“They have turned me from a protected witness into an unpaid informer,” he said. “The money they have given me has been for survival, but in no way is it the reward that they had offered for information leading to the capture of El Chapo.”

The difference between a protected witness and a confidential informant is the temporal interval involved with the information that is turned over. According to Scalpel’s lawyer, the former only reveals information once, and is eventually called into court to testify against an assumed criminal. This is why protected witnesses receive government protection, a single cash payment, and migration documents.

In the case of the latter, the informant must offer periodic information and receives payment for each bit of information revealed. These informants are typically members of the drug cartels and once they stop revealing information they are withdrawn from the program.

Scalpel said that he has learned a very valuable lesson: federal authorities like the DEA only want to squeeze you for information and then give you a big kick in the ass — right back into Mexico. They care very little about you; what they do care about is catching big fish so that they can receive their own benefits as agents.

Scalpel’s opinion might not be too far from reality. A former DEA agent, on hearing Scalpel’s story, labeled the informants as essentially “disposable.”

“If they’re revealing information to you and the DEA, they’re most likely also exchanging information with the drug traffickers,” he told me. “We cannot trust them completely, even if they’re valuable.”

'They’re just trying to shut me up, and that’s not going to happen.'

The number of informers and protected witnesses operating on both sides of the border is currently unknown. Rusty Payne, a spokesperson for the DEA in Washington, told me that he could not share this information because it is a delicate issue.

“It’s not possible to divulge, with any level of precision, just how many confidential informants the DEA uses in its routine operations and I am unaware of whether there are undocumented participants,” he said. But he added that informants “must follow very strict rules” when they choose to cooperate with the DEA.

The agency also recognized in a practical budgeting guide that is would be beneficial for foreign informants to remain inside the US for the duration of the investigation, to further assist or to act as witnesses.

Scalpel is still in El Paso with his children, awaiting approval of his wife’s status of political asylum. The last time I spoke with him he sounded enthusiastic about the prospect of this happening and told us that he had applied for a work visa.

He also told us that the DEA supervisor had somehow found out about our conversation and requested that he no longer speak with us. But Scalpel stated, “They’re just trying to shut me up, and that’s not going to happen.”

“I hope this serves as a lesson for people looking to reveal information to the DEA,” the surgeon concluded. “It’s not quite as rosy-colored as they paint it from the beginning.”

Editor's note: The personal information given by "Scalpel" is confirmed to be factual; the informant has given express permission for the publication of the events which he narrated, with the exclusion of his real name — due to privacy concerns. "Scalpel" assures us that the members of the Sinaloa Cartel, who he has reported to the DEA, are aware of his status as a government informant, and that the publication of said information does not represent an assumed foreseeable risk to his person.

80 comments:

  1. Now that we know who is sister was married to it shouldn’t be to hard to find him

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it's part of a disinformation campaign to divert attention from the real culprit.

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    2. You might have a good point there.
      With so much corruption it will be hard to ever know the real truth anymore.

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    3. The cartel knew who gave him up right away but i think M10 already left Sinaloa cartel by the time he was arrested.

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  2. You do know you are putting this guy in danger if true! Its easy for the cartels to find who he is if they connect all the dots and hints you are giving here! First of and most ovbious is by saying how his sister was married to el m10 and he was a surgeon that will probably will give his identity away if someone in the cds wants him dead, specially if he is not in protective custody

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    1. Yes, that's what I don't get either. Changing the name does not make much of a difference as all the other information (already, who his sister was married to) makes him 100% identifyable.

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  3. Con el tiempo este doctor aparece muerto cuando menos espere. Y todo por chiva.
    - Sol Prendido

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. y tu crees que ande vivito

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    2. Vivimos en esa época donde se graban el final de los dedos. Esta de moda eso. Y más si era un dedo cercano. Ya si sigue vivo sería de pura chiripada. Todo preocupado y estresada. - Sol Prendido

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  4. The Almighty rich Sinaloa cartel offering a surgeon 2,000 a month lmfao 😂💀😂💀😂🤣🤣🤣😂🤣😂

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    1. Also stealing homes to use as safe houses lol

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    2. And he makes that in a week. Wow what a bunch of cheap fucks. I could only imagine how brainwashed their sicarios have to be to work for them lmao i heard they pay the same or less then the juarez cartel and them being international smugglers. 😂 son unos pinches codos esos weyes

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    3. Chapos faction of the cartel has always been seen as cheap when it comes to paying people they utilize.

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    4. Amazon pays their employees shit as well and makes them piss in cups to not waste time on bath room breaks. does that make bezos broke?

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    5. Except in Amazon you're not in the line of fire as a sicario risking your life for $250 measly dollars a week. Always excuses with the fanatics

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    6. Meanwhile Chapos family lives like kings...thats how it is. Cjng plaza bosses look like complete bums when they are caught its all the same in every cartel. La Mera Verga ur a clown homie 🤡

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    7. Haha. Ur a tool. Amazon gives their employees insurance and they sleep well at night. These clowns kill you for pennies. If they offer a respected Dr. 2K a month, A DOCTOR! These p3ndejos are making $500 a month.My tia makes more selling tacos on the street. 🤡 🤡 🤡

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    8. 12:01 this is a surgeon not a low level contractor, he would be equivalent to a corporate executive which amazon pays 6 figures, benefits, ect lol cds is a joke

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    9. People qorking for CDS are fucken morrons. Who the hell lives off of 2 thousand pesos a month? This being a doctor also by the way?
      You can't get any stupider than that!

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    10. 2 000.00 and his life, a very good deal, peisos or dollahs?

      Delete
    11. @106
      My tia makes more than 2k a week selling a little more than tacos de lengua

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    12. 12:58 Yeah; Chapo’s family behave like CEOs in corporate America - disgusting!

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  5. Damn this is some good stuff.. 💪

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A surgeon dropped the ball on Emma

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  6. Nice going DEA your operations success depended on the info this guy gave y’all now he is stuck in limbo, bravo.

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    Replies
    1. The DEA are a bunch of clowns that would never pay a reward if their life depended on it. They are not loyal even to eachother. They had no chance at catching Chapo for years and years until Chapo himself slipped beyond belief the last time he was popped.

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    2. If DEA did their job you won't need informants.

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  7. Sinaloa cartel offering $2000 a month to a surgeon lol imagine what little their sicarios make, also stealing homes to use as safe houses, they’re a joke

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    Replies
    1. Thats what cartels do if their in a jam they probably needed something quick. Look at Pablo he was worth billions at times but was still fleecing low level guys in his own org when money got tight.

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  8. damn he snitched on himself... he will be dead sooner than later.

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  9. Watch out, someone will took him down

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    Replies
    1. No they won't WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU 😂 🐀 ZAMBADA VINCENTE DIDN'T DIE

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  10. This guy would be a dead man if sent back as would be any family members, he doesn’t seem completely innocent, he only ratted because he was pissed about getting kicked out of his which is understandable.

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  11. To protect the doctor’s identity, I will refer to him as Scalpel.
    But his sister has been married to M-10 (Mario Núñez Meza, lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel in Tijuana) for the past 13 years
    -wow

    M”

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    Replies
    1. Its a 6 year old article. If he isn't dead than I don't think Chapo's kids are going to waste too much time trying to kill him. I think they have other stuff to worry about. Whats done is done.

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    2. do you know if he is alive?

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    3. Is M10s wife still alive?

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    4. Chivis, I believe a lot of this 6 year old story is bunk. Chapo was being tracked years before by spyware technology, the U.S. even went as far as buying the South American technology company Chapo was using to encrypt his devices and moved it to Europe. They didn't need this so called "doctor".

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    5. Fuck yeah were doing a cook out tonight to celebrate his story coming out in borderland beat even sicario 006 Is coming through with his crew

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    6. Tes M10 wife si still Alice and she si un Durango

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  12. Cartel no matter where u at they kill u and ur family

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  13. Se la jalaron con lo que le querían pagar al doc Jajajaja

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  14. Awesome article. Great job, guys!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a great way to recycle a post from
    2014

    ReplyDelete
  16. IF THAT`S TRUE, HE IS A CRAZY DEAD MAN, NARCO SATANICS CHAPOS,. CJNG, ZTAS, CDG, CDN ( ALL THE SAME "STUFF") NEVER FORGIVE, HERE ON IN HELL

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  17. Don’t you think Chapos wife is going to remember the Doctor and Ivan is going to react on it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean Sean Penn and De Castillo still alive!

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  18. He will shut up once he gets paid 😂. Todo por dinero $$$ 🐀

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  19. M10 was not in the Tijuana plaza, he was Chiuas and Durango.

    great story, and there is no real one person who gave up Chapo Guzman, it was years and years of informants, surveillance, and collaborations between FBI, DEA, HSI, even NSA and CIA contributed intel and assistance.

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    Replies
    1. No actually you are wrong. Years and years of nothing but "close calls" that would still be going on today most likely if it wasnt for Chapos disastrous meetings with Sean Penn and Kate C. This guy led them directly to Chapo and he was apprehended just like the two actors. The DEA and FBI got nowhere for over a decade give me a break.

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    2. @12:09 years of what? they followed the Hollywood idiots from the airport directly to him and were hot on his trail after. It wasnt as sexy as you make it sound.

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  20. This guy wants the US government to treat him like a celebrity? How about Scalpel snitched on Chapo for Mexico? Damn I'm tired of all these people with their hand out expecting the US to give them shit. Do your life without begging for $.

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    Replies
    1. The US was offering a 5 million reward for el Chapo.

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    2. They are promising the money for intel, you deliver intel and you should get the money.
      Anything else is communism!

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  21. Wait, what? Who you trying to protect his identity but you have his face on front? Huh huh???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats not him, thats M10

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    2. The man that's pictured is "M10", "El Mayito o Mingo" Mario Nuñez Meza. The Doctor is his brother in law/cuñado

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  22. I thought Meza was the head of Juarez plaza for CDS not Tijuana..is that a typo or was he boss of TJ at one point also? Also didnt he eventually go against Chapo and was swiftly apprehended not long after that?

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    Replies
    1. Correct, first he was warring in Juarez for CDS as "Los M" and when he lost CDS support in Durango against "Los Cabrera" he along with brother Amado "El Flaco", still a fugitive, switched back to CDJ.

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    2. Los emes m10 people were causing to much desmadre in durango. They started to kidnap people for ransom, a big no no for the Sinaloa Cartel, so the cartel paid los Cabrera from vascogil dgo to take em out of the plaza which they succeeded. To this day durango belongs to los Cabrera.

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    3. He was boss in Durango not Chihuahua.

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  23. # Scalpel snitched !

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  24. This Doc better hide under a rock or something 🤦‍♂️😂

    ReplyDelete
  25. They kicked him out of his own home so they could "use it as a safehouse" would make any real man fk them all damn the consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd turn in Chapo myself if he paid me two thousand pesos a month.
    What fuckin desperate asses anybody that works for this cartel must be?

    ReplyDelete
  27. ICE did the same thing with Johnny Sutton overseeing, got info from they’re informants and allowed people to get killed in where???....... Juarez!!! They had all the LTs from Sinaloa in El Paso crossing freely giving info with there govt issued visas

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  28. Sean Penn got paid by the DEA

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  29. CDS is so ghetto. No wonder Medellin and Cali look down on them. No honour because most of their people snitch porque no hay dinero.

    Dona Chivis where can I buy that fresh Chapo Sean Penn dress shirt? I have a wedding to go to soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Medellin and Cali are extinct and or dead there guy, more like CDS looking down on them now 🤣 🤣 how long has the bosses of CDS been around compared to Pablo and the Rodriguez bro's or Ochoas or Pacho. Foh 5:59pm

      Delete
  30. It is 2020! Why don't you care about your readers and contributors? Let all cops and narcos know exactly who is posting and reading what because you can't encrypt it! Love your very informative articles otherwise. You are an asset to the community but whose side are you really on? Reporters are suppose to protect their sources. Soon to be publish on Vice Motherboard about how you are a possible Honeypot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6:17 you are sure an anonymous asshole, felicia, Baaay!!!

      Delete
  31. His brother “el M11” is still in charge of los M’s in Durango .

    ReplyDelete
  32. A surgeon doesn't make more than $2000 a week in Mexico. If he's lucky, maybe 20,000 pesos or less a month. He is full of shit.

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    Replies
    1. there are two systems. in the private system which is world class and the best of the best doctors, they are paid 4 or 5 times more than public system IMSS etc.

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    2. Chivis I don't buy the details of this story from 2014. If the doctor really made that much then the part of where Emma Coronel Trying to bribe him would've been more than enough to arrest her when she entered the country again and multiple times since chapos arrest on participating in a criminal enterprise and went hard at her like they did other CDS members if he really was a CI. This story has been proven to be false as well by other news organizations

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  33. Sicario 006 is even in the given credit for throwing he’s few cents. Maybe he got the 20 million 💲

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  34. Sinaloa lowballs good doctors. $2k a month? What a joke. That wouldn't get you a doctor's front desk receptionist in the USA.
    Cartels need to come in with $400k US a year and you get a competent surgeon and nurse on call 24/7 with a clean facility.
    Unimpressive cheapskates are these Sinaloans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mencho pays that and he also makes hospitals! He aint cheap like cds, thats why so many sicarios have switched sides

      Delete

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