Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, March 1, 2021

Fresnillo, Zacatecas: Cártel de Sinaloa Interrogate a CJNG Operative


The Cartel de Sinaloa released this video back in September of 2020. In this broadcast the interrogation of a CJNG operative reveals how they purposely murdered innocent civilians in order to heat up the Fresnillo plaza in their favor. The following is just an interrogation. 

Video translation is as follows:

Sicario : Who’s responsible for the armed attack where 10 innocent civilians died? Elderly, children and innocent civilians were killed on that day. Who’s responsible?

Captive : The ones responsible are Los Trillizos and 2 Municipal Policemen. 

Sicario : What are the nicknames for Los Trillizos?

Captive : They are El Temo, El JJ, El Gody, La Gorda...

Sicario : Who from the Municipal Police supported you guys?

Captive : Raul Salazar, El Flaco, and another guy who goes by the name Rodolfo. 

Sicario : Rodolfo what?

Captive: They call him El Pollo.

Sicario : Rodolfo aka El Pollo?

Captive : Yes. Rodolfo aka El Pollo.

Sicario : What are the patrol unit numbers?

Captive : Their patrol unit numbers are 659 and 653. 622 also. They’re State Police units. 

Sicario : Who initiated the attack?

Captive : Los Trillizos. 

Sicario : On who’s orders?

Captive : It went down on orders of señor Ricardo. 

Sicario : On orders of señor Ricardo?

Captive : Just as well señor 25 aka Manitas. 

Sicario : Manitas?

Captive : Yes. 

Sicario : Is it true that you guys said we were responsible for that dumb shit so that we the Cartel de Sinaloa couldn’t enter here?

Captive : Yes boss, they’re the ones responsible for that bullshit. 

Sicario : Sir, we’ve come here to do away with scum such as yourselves. Kidnappers, extortionists, fee collectors, and rapists of young girls. We’ve come here to do away with all that crap. How do you like that? Is there anything else that you’d like to say?

Captive : Don’t allow yourselves to be deceived by their bullshit. These guys aren’t worth a fuck. They had us all working for free, they never paid us. These guys ain’t worth a shit. It’s just that simple. 

Sicario : Tell me once again who within the government works for you guys? Who helps you guys out?

Captive : The State Police and the Municipal Police. 

Sicario : Ok then. 

Captive : And a commander from the Metropolitan Police also. He’s a dark complexion fellow. 

Sicario : What name does he go by?

Captive : El Snyder. 

Sicario : What’s his name?

Captive : Snyder. El Snyder. 

Sicario : Got it. What about the Ministerial Police?

Captive : Agent Sala, and Agent Patricio. 

Sicario : Which patrol units are they in?

Captive : They belong to the Investigative Municipal Police. 

Sicario : Where are they stationed? 

Captive : What?

Sicario : Are they stationed here in Fresnillo or are they stationed at the Zacatecas State capitol. 

Captive : They’re stationed here in Fresnillo. 

Sicario : The guys from the State Police, I need unit numbers and their nicknames. 

Captive : Their unit numbers are 653 aka Villa, 622, those are the only 2 units that I’m aware of. 

Sicario : Give me some more info on the State Police. 

Captive : Ah, commander El Chuy. 

Sicario : Chuy what?

Captive : Chuy Medina. 

Sicario : What exactly does his job entail?

Captive : That individual has a particular job. He’s a commander within the State Police. But aside from his job within the State Police he’s also doing investigative work. He gives us the heads up on where all the drug sales are located. Just as well where the armed civilians are. And all that other shit that goes with it. 

Sicario : Who else?

Captive : There’s another individual who goes by the name Charley. 

Sicario : Give me more info on this individual. 

Captive : That guy has a motorcycle shop in the Arboledas neighborhood. But it’s just a business front. In all actuality it’s a drug distribution center. And the State Police go there often to meet with them.

Baja Ca Femicides: First Place on the National Stage as Violence Rages in the State

The State of Baja California is in First Place on the National Stage in Mexico with the highest numbers of "Feminicides" or criminal murder of women in the Republic of Mexico.

38 women were reported executed or assassinated just in the first month of January, 2021 in the State; that is the number reported by the Executive Secretary of the National System of Public Security.

The data was released last Thursday for Baja CA,  a tally higher than the States of Guanajuato or Chihuahua, where the numbers were 34 and 26 respectively, making the rate the highest in the nation.

In contrast there are other states in the Republic that reported NO criminal murders of any women: Baja Ca Sur, Aguascalientes, Campeche, Tlaxcala and Yucatán.

Violence against women also is reportedly high as violence rages in the sate of Baja Ca. 148 women have reported aggressions, while 58 have made reports that had been victims of rape.

While these statistics are high they do not reflect unreported crimes or women who have disappeared.

Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas: Cartel del Golfo Operatives Mock CJNG


Sicarios from Cartel del Golfo have released a video onto social media. For this broadcast hitmen under the command of commander El Fantasma show themselves to be in Monte Escobedo. This film was made as a direct insult against their rivals CJNG. As well as to challenge them. 

Video translation is as follows:

Sicario #1: We are the absolute mob of El Fantasma. We are the absolute mob of my commander El Fantasma here in Monte Escobedo you faggots. Come and get it assholes. 

Sicario #2: You crazy fucks. 

Sicario #1: You sons of bitches.

Colombia Launches New Military Unit to Target Drug Trafficking and Armed Groups

Colombia on Friday launched a new military unit to target coca crops and cocaine production, illicit mining, and the illegal armed groups who use such activities for financial gain.

Colombia’s decision to launch the unit, known as CONAT in its Spanish initials, comes while the country is preparing to restart aerial spraying of coca crops with the herbicide glyphosate - possibly starting at the end of March - depending on the government receiving approval from the Constitutional Court.

“The unit was born to hit, repress, and break down the structures of drug trafficking and transnational threats linked to illegal mining, the trafficking of wildlife and people, and - of course - any transnational form of terrorism,” President Ivan Duque said at a military base in Tolemaida.

Colombia, considered the world’s leading producer of cocaine, suspended aerial spraying of glyphosate in 2015 following warnings by the World Health Organization that the chemical was potentially damaging to health and the environment.

The new unit, consisting of 7,000 personnel, will be deployed to zones such as the Catatumbo region on the border with Venezuela, as well as the provinces of Cauca and Putamayo, Defense Minister Diego Molano said. Colombia faces constant pressure from the United States, a major destination for cocaine, to reduce the size of crops of coca, the drug’s chief ingredient.

During 2019, coca crops covered some 154,000 hectares (over 380,000 acres) in Colombia, with a potential to produce 1,137 tonnes of cocaine, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. There are no figures available for 2020. The armed forces eradicated 130,000 hectares (321,240 acres) of coca last year, according to the government, and seized 500 tonnes of cocaine.

Drug trafficking has long fueled Colombia’s internal armed conflict, which has left more than 260,000 dead and millions displaced.

Tijuana, Baja California: Organized Crime Threatens Municipal Police


Authority figures within the Municipal Police were threatened by organized crime in Tijuana, different mantas with human remains have been found in the city this week.

Most of the messages are to launch threats against rival groups and intimidate groups of police officers from various corporations, including the high command of the municipal government.

Other slogans in the so-called narco messages are to distance themselves from crimes committed against innocent people, as has happened in the last hours where children and adolescents have been the victims.

The method of launching narco-messages accompanied by human and animal remains has become a common occurrence in the city, practically a tradition, and the authorities treat the issue as if it didn’t exist.

Manta translation is as follows:

This will be the fate of all the dirty crooks who are killing innocent civilians. We already know that you’re under the Cartel de Sinaloa payroll. This war is being fought between underworld operatives. For all the government personnel involved, we will fucking destroy you when you find yourselves at ease within your homes. We already have everyone located. Agent Santana, Agent Gómez 03, Lea 03, and Legarza. Start doing your jobs properly. Otherwise you dirty fucks will end up paying with your lives. Sincerely, The Mera Verga

Tlalpan, CDMX: Money, Cocaine, and Altars of Witchcraft

Police from Mexico City detained Olga Ramirez, mother of Óscar Andrés aka El Lunares, alleged leader of the criminal group La Unión Tepito, at an address in the Tlalpan borough.

The woman was apprehended along with José 'N', her partner after an operation in which two search warrants were executed at homes, allegedly used to store drugs, located in the Tlalpan and Cuauhtémoc boroughs.

In the property where they were detained, located in the San Andrés Totoltepec neighborhood, in Tlalpan, 23 brick packages and several bags containing cocaine were seized; two boxes with bottles of a liquid substance, apparently acetone, used to make drugs.

In addition to two scales, cash; glass containers and wooden stamps; as well as three luxury vehicles. While, in the second building located in the Obrera neighborhood, Cuauhtémoc borough, a bag with marijuana, a laptop and a cell phone equipment were secured.

Olga 'N' and José 'N', as well as the insured, were placed at the disposal of the agent of the corresponding Public Ministry, who will determine their legal situation. Meanwhile, the properties were sealed and under police custody, while the investigation files are being integrated.

On November 11, Dionisio Flores 'N', El Nicho, father of El Lunares, was arrested after the search of a property located in the Morelos neighborhood, Cuauhtémoc borough, who is identified as a logistics and financial operator of Unión Tepito, a group led by his son.

A month later, El Nicho was prosecuted for his alleged responsibility for the crimes of bribery, against health in the form of drug dealing, hypothesis of possession for commercial purposes and carrying a firearm for the exclusive use of the Army.

Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación Expands in Three States


The criminal group has expanded its operations in Michoacán, Zacatecas and Guanajuato in the last four years, as they are key points, which has increased violence in those places

In the last four years, the violent incursion of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) has increased mainly in three states: Michoacán, Zacatecas and Guanajuato.

Although the general objective would be the expansion of the criminal group to establish its routes for the transfer of drugs to the United States, in each entity the reasons why they have been present have been different and in recent years the levels of violence have increased in those places.

In Michoacán, for example, according to different sources, the offensive is due to the organization's leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, El Mencho, seeking to seize his homeland.

In Zacatecas, the geographical location and connectivity have made the state one of its objectives, since it’s the obligatory route that connects the Pacific Ocean with the main border areas in the north of the country and with the United States; But in the last decade, Zacatecas has suffered from the settlement of at least five cartels, mainly due to the commercialization of fentanyl, which has become popular on US soil and is cheaper, stronger and more lethal than cocaine and heroin.

In Guanajuato, since October 2017, their presence was more noticeable when José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, El Marro, leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL) openly declared war on them to control fuel theft in the so-called huachicol triangle. In the municipalities of Apaseo el Grande, Salamanca, León, Irapuato and Celaya.

He wants to dominate his native land

Michoacán was one of the first states in the country where the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel began its armed expansion in 2014 and, according to the inhabitants and authorities of the regions where it has attacked, everything is derived from a “whim” of its criminal leader.

Sources consulted explain that the objective of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes is to seize his native land: Aguililla.

However, it was at the end of 2019 when the CJNG offensive to enter Michoacán intensified; The first case was on August 30, 2019 in the municipality of Tepalcatepec, which cost Mencho the death of nine of his hitmen and 11 more who were injured, after the population and local police responded to the attack.

"Before the attacks we had threats by telephone, by way of messages and through emissaries that the CJNG wanted to enter, as the Knights Templar were in charge at the time," explained José Luis, a businessman living in Tierra Caliente.

The rancher reported that the residents participated to prevent the criminals from entering. On that occasion they notified the authorities of the threats and were ignored. "We didn’t understand why the Jalisco Cartel wanted to take over our towns, but now we know that it’s out of pure ego, to say that they have control of their home state and because he wants to return to retire here," he said.

On October 14, 2019, another CJNG armed criminal cells ambushed state police in Aguililla, leaving 14 officers dead and two more wounded in the town of El Aguaje, in addition to the fact that they had previously perpetrated several massacres in the municipality of Uruapan. 

During 2020, the attacks of that criminal organization didn’t stop in the Tierra Caliente region and, on the contrary, they have spread to other municipalities such as Los Reyes, Tocumbo, Tingüindín, Peribán and Zamora.

In December of last year, in just three days, CJNG cells carried out attacks in 10 different municipalities in Michoacán, most of them on the border with Jalisco.

The CJNG had a presence in Michoacán since 2014, when the self-defense groups extinguished the Los Caballeros Templarios cartel.

Oseguera spread his cells throughout different municipalities of Michoacán, especially in Tierra Caliente, Sierra and Sierra-Costa.

The split in 2018 of said cartel also caused a break between its lieutenants, who were exiled from Michoacán by the Los Viagras cartel. El Mencho's obsession to return to his land, Aguililla, made him confront the surviving armed civilian groups, which he attacked with greater intensity since 2019.

In addition, Oseguera Cervantes faces a battle with Érick Valencia Salazar, El 85, his former founding partner of the CJNG. Valencia Salazar has already snatched several municipalities in Michoacán and Jalisco, but also formed a criminal bloc with the Sierra Santana brothers, from Los Viagras.

Zacatecas, Mexico: The Battle In Zacatecas Is For It’s Northward Route


The geographical location and connectivity have made Zacatecas one of the objectives of the Cartel Jalisco Nuevo Generación (CJNG), since it’s the obligatory route that connects the Pacific Ocean with the main border areas in the north of the country as well as the United States, according to specialists.

In the last decade, Zacatecas has suffered from the settlement of at least five cartels, mainly due to the commercialization of fentanyl, a drug that has become popular in the United States and is cheaper, stronger and deadly than others.

According to the security consultant and political scientist David Saucedo Torres, for a year the alerts were turned on in Zacatecas due to the dispute between two criminal groups.

“In Zacatecas there is a presence of the Golfo, Noreste and Talibanes cartels, but for more than a year new incursions, divisions and even strategic alliances have been detected between these groups due to the entry with greater force of the Cartel de Sinaloa and Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación. However, in this area the CJNG is one more actor, it doesn’t have the troops, the weapons, or the resources to be the main generator of violence. Let's say it’s a secondary battlefront for the Cartel Jalisco ”, he explained.

In April of last year, the CJNG raised an alert in the municipality of Valparaíso, where a convoy of several vehicles with their initials burst into town showing their weapons and announcing their arrival in Zacatecan territory, according to inhabitants.

Arturo López Bazán, Secretary of Public Security of Zacatecas, assures that the CJNG maintains a fight for the territory with the Sinaloa Cartel and has been advancing so much that their disputes already occur in the municipalities at the center of the entity.

Both the CJNG and the Sinaloa Cartel have sought to strengthen themselves with other groups that operate in the area. According to police intelligence reports, the Cartel Jalisco allegedly made a pact with the Gulf Cartel, while the Cartel de Sinaloa is in alliance with the Cartel del Noreste and a faction of Los Talibanes.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Nayarit, Mexico: CJNG Reinforcements Head Toward Zacatecas


Sicarios for El Jardinero (Audias Flores Silva) have released a video onto social media. In this broadcast a convoy of trucks full of heavily armed sicarios are descending down a mountain range road listening to narco ballads. These narco corridos are the preferred choice of music for hitmen on their warpath. Their path of travel is said to be Nayarit towards Zacatecas.

Sicario #1: You fucking pigs. Here we come down this mountain range. 

Sicario #2: Long live Nayarit! Absolute 4 letters (CJNG) motherfuckers! We are the absolute mob of El Jardinero!

Hidalgo, Michoacán: Los Correa Crime Family Confronted by Authorities


In a confrontation with State Police, Ministerial Police, and soldiers of the National Guard, in which a helicopter gunship was used, 3 individuals were detained. They are alleged members of the cartels Los Correa and Familia Michoacana. In this operation a soldier was wounded.

The events took place around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, when elements of the Michoacán Police and military personnel carried out patrols in the Los Azufres community, in the municipality of Hidalgo.

When they were passing through a dirt road in the wooded area, the authorities were attacked with gunfire by armed civilians, sparking a confrontation.

Given the intensity of the confrontation, the support of a helicopter gunship was requested, which made its appearance minutes later, and put an end to the shooting.

As a result of the shooting, a soldier was wounded, and three men were arrested.

Likewise, 4 long guns and 8 vehicles were seized, one of which was labeled with the number 100,  nickname of Medardo Hernández Vera, also known as "Lalo Mantecas", leader of the Familia Michoacana.

The wounded man was immediately helped and transferred to a hospital, while the detainees and the seized vehicles were placed at the disposal of the corresponding authority.

Acapulco, Guerrero: Violent Mexican Drug Cartels Documentary

Former Member of CDN

By Buggs for Borderland Beat
Source: Social Media

From the Archives

"I got out of the CDN because they don't pay you, they used to beat you with a 2x4 board (tablean) for anything," a cartel member confesses to the hell he lived while being part of the criminal organization.

A while ago, a video (at the bottom) of an alleged former member of the Cártel del Noreste (CDN) and the Los Zetas Cartel was released on social media networks where he confesses to why he left these drug trafficking groups. This video gives a glimpse of how low level members of these cartels are treated, while risking their lives. The life span of a cartel operative is short lived. This video happened a while back, but is good to be reminded of the reality of what is meant to work for the Mexican cartels, no glory, no wealth or respect involved.

It is very rare to see people that have left a criminal organization in Mexico talk about their experience, which is never good. To talk is to sign your own death warrant, and it can be brutal. The fear of torture, dismemberment and decapitation while alive, will instill fear on anyone who might dare to consider talking about their experience with the cartel.

In the video there is a silhouette of a man with his face hidden and he says the following: “I got out of the Cártel del Noreste because they pay you very little, for anything they would yell profanities at you, they scold you and at the end, they only pay half the amount of money that they are supposed to pay you.”

He takes the opportunity to give advice to those who are thinking of joining the roles in organized crime: “Never mess with Los Zetas or the Cártel del Noreste, they don't keep their promises, they live by stealing, raping, they don't pay you, they don't give you money, food, they just mistreat you.”

 "This is a testimony of an ex-Zeta, this shit goes down in Monterrey, Nuevo León all day, and well, they only bring in people like fuck, they do not pay them, they do not feed them and the truth with these fuckers, nobody here likes Los Zetas and the Cártel del Noreste, nobody likes them,” he confesses in the video of just over 50 seconds.

According to social networks, this man was operating for a criminal boss identified as Héctor Raúl alias “El Tory” Luna Luna, arrested in June of 2010 and known for being behind the attack with grenades in 2008 against the United States Consulate in the municipality of Monterrey, in the state of Nuevo León in Mexico.

Let us remember that the Cártel del Noreste (CDN) is led by Juan Gerardo Treviño Chávez, “El Huevo Treviño” and is considered the most violent criminal organization in the country of Mexico, and has a strong presence in the municipalities of Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Mier and Nueva Guerrero. CDN pretty much has a presence in most of the state of Tamaulipas as well as in the states of Nuevo León and Coahuila.

Aguaje de la Tuna, Baja California: Cartel de Sinaloa Operatives Set 2 Kids on Fire


Video translation is as follows:

2 children ages 3 and 8 were kidnapped, killed, and set on fire as revenge

by drug traffickers who tried to collect a debt that their drug dealing father had. The Baja California Attorney General's Office reported. The Prosecutor's Office detailed in a press conference that they had captured a couple of individuals allegedly responsible for the children’s homicides whose bodies were found in January in the Aguaje de la Tuna neighborhood. 

The main Prosecutor of the state of Baja California, Hiram Sánchez Zamora, said that during the initial hearing an accusation was made and the defendants were linked to the process under the precautionary measure of official preventive prison.

The two criminals arrested in complicity with four other subjects kidnapped and later murdered the children in retaliation for a drug debt of half a million pesos. According to the research, the subjects kidnapped the children in a home located on Diente de León street in the Villegas neighborhood.

Later they took the bodies and set them on fire in Guillermo Prieto street in the neighborhood of Agua de la Tuna, Sánchez Taboada Delegation, and then fled from the crime scene. The Prosecutor's Office explained that the forensic analysis carried out on the children's bodies show that the cause of death is burns in the lower and upper respiratory airways and head contusions.

It was elements of the State Investigation Security Guard who detained the two criminals and later imprisoned them for the crimes of qualified homicide. The State Attorney General's Office continues with the investigation and intelligence work in order to capture the rest of those responsible, who are already fully identified, the authority said after a statement.

It should be noted that local media’s assert that the detainees are members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Emma Coronel had her Mexican bank accounts frozen since 2015; she has been living on cash

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, does not have access to the Mexican financial system since 2015.

That year, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) blocked her personal bank accounts, of her known relatives, and companies under her name when they detected that they had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel's laundering network. Coronel has been living in cash for over 5 years.

The head of the UIF, Santiago Nieto, confirmed to reporters this week that Coronel has not been permitted in the financial system since then. The UIF clarified that they have not issued any formal charges against her but did confirm that there are investigations underway.

These anti-money laundering actions are part of an initiative from the UIF to combat drug cartel financials. The UIF believes that such actions will disrupt the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel and limit its ability to pay its members and bribe government officials.

In 2019, the UIF froze nearly MXN$1 billion (US$41 million) in assets from various drug cartels in Mexico. At least 330 bank accounts owned or controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel were frozen last year. Many of them were owned by Coronel. 

Sources: Milenio; Borderland Beat archives

Elkin Lopez, Trafficker Linked to Sinaloa Cartel & Failed Venezuelan Coup Attempt to be Extradited to U.S. from Colombia on Drug Charges

The Colombian government on Wednesday approved the extradition to the United States of a drug trafficker who is linked to Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's cartel and who is also accused by the Venezuelan government of playing a role in a plot to overthrown its president.

Elkin López, is known as 'La Silla' and 'Doble Ruedas' - meaning 'The Chair' and 'Double Wheels'. He is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair as a result of having survived an assassination attempt in 2018. He allegedly conspired to produce cocaine and ship and distribute it to the U.S., according to the Eastern District of Texas. 

Venezuelan officials have also accused López of loaning out his farm on Colombia's Caribbean coast to a group that was attempting to overthrow their president in May 2020. The failed plot - dubbed Operation Gideon - involved Venezuelan military deserters being trained by dissidents and an American security firm, Silvercorp USA, headed by ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau. The extradition to the US is on the drugs charges alone, and unrelated to the Venezuelan allegations. 

López turned himself in to Colombian authorities in December 2019 after he showed up at a clinic seeking medical treatment for an ailment in his kidneys. The United States filed a petition for his extradition after he was placed under house arrest in May 2020. Colombian newspaper El Heraldo reported that López maintained close working ties with El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel. 

Colombia's Ministry of Justice revealed that López shipped drugs to other countries and enriched himself by charging other cartels to use his smuggling routes. In October 2020, authorities seized López's assets, valued at $2.6 million, alleging he obtained the fortune from his criminal activities. A member of a drug trafficking ring that operated out the Caribbean coastal city of Barranquilla and that was busted in February 2020 confessed to authorities that under López's blessing, the organization was able to ship at least 500 kilos of cocaine on a monthly basis to the Sinaloa Cartel. The gang made up to $2 million from each shipment and paid López a commission fee that ranged from 5% to 20%. 

López was also accused by Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez of loaning his farm to a group of mercenaries who were being trained by ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau in a failed coup to remove President Nicolás Maduro in May 2020. Rodríguez said that on May 1, two boats set off from a farm owned by López off Colombia's Caribbean coastal department of La Guajira that borders with Venezuela. López is said to be a family member of Marta González, wife of former general Cliver Alcalá, who fled the regime three years ago, and turned himself in to Colombian authorities in March 2020 before he was extradited to the United States.

Alcalá, the Venezuelan government claims, also worked with Goudreau to put together the botched plot. Goudreau, 43, a former U.S. Army paratrooper and head of a private-security company, Silvercorp USA, identified himself last year as the ringleader of the failed  Operation Gideon. Goudreau hatched the plot with a rebellious former Venezuelan Army General, Cliver Alcalá, to secretly train dozens of Venezuelan military deserters in secret camps in Colombia to carry out a swift operation against Maduro. He claims he was hired last year by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, something the U.S.-backed Venezuelan lawmaker has denied.  

The failed military incursion, which aimed to capture socialist leader Maduro, resulted in the detention in Venezuela of two of his former special forces colleagues: Airan Berry, 41, and Luke Denman, 34. Berry allegedly told a Venezuela interrogator on video that the plotters had met with López on several occasions. Eleven Venezuelans were also arrested as President Maduro revealed that they had knowledge of the raid plans after infiltrating the group in Colombia and were waiting to capture them. 

The attack was foiled as the group attempted to enter Venezuela on fishing boats. Locals alerted authorities and they were subsequently arrested. Six men were killed and almost all 47 of the others involved were captured. Goudreau, who was coordinating the operation, was stuck in Florida after a boat he had intended to use to get him to Venezuela broke down and coronavirus travel restrictions left him stranded. In a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone, Goudreau said he believes the plot had a good chance of being successful but blames everyone from double agents to the DEA and the FBI, for scuppering his plans. 

'Had we succeeded, you really think that the Guaidó administration would have said, 'That's not us, we want nothing to do with this'? Do you think that Donald Trump would have said, 'That wasn't us'? Every motherf***** that I talked to would have said, 'That was us! U.S.A., baby!' They would have taken credit for all of it. And if you say it's not true, you're pretty naive.'

Although the Trump administration used sanctions and support for political opponents in an attempt to pressure Maduro to step down, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said there was no 'direct' U.S. involvement in the attempted coup.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Mexico, a Country of Massacres

 By Buggs for Borderland Beat

Eleven killed and two wounded was the toll of an attack perpetrated by heavily armed individuals in a gathering that took place at the intersections of Avenida Pemex and 5 de Mayo in the La Jauja neighborhood in Tonalá Jalisco.

Recently there has been a large presence of organized crime in the area and elements of the National Guard that arrive after the massacre have been patrolling the region without much success.

The role of the Government of Mexico to combat organized crime has been questioned, because instead of confronting them, they release the plaza bosses.

The political strategy "hugs instead of bullets" has caused an increase of executions to over 600 massacres in 2020. 2021 again began with massacres; the first was registered in León and the second in Celaya, Guanajuato. Mexico experienced an average of one massacre (groups of people killed) per week during 2021.

Later, in Veracruz, 12 bodies were found, in Tamaulipas the bodies of more than ten burned migrants were found.

In Chihuahua, a confrontation between the La Linea Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel left three beheaded, for a total of five dead.

To add to the stories of terror is the massacre that occurred this afternoon in the La Jauja de Tonalá neighborhood in Jalisco, where an armed group attacked ten people who apparently were engaged in the business of construction and right around  the corner, the body of a child that had been shot.

Police recovered over 70 spent casings, apparently the victims were sitting on the sidewalk drinking some beer after work when two trucks full of armed sicarios arrived and opened fire.

Throughout the country, there have been numerous massacres in the last two months, the National Guard has shown that it has the appropriate equipment to take on organized crime, but they have failed to stop the massacres.

A Sicario of the GN captured in Madera

They captured "El R-3" of "Gente Nueva del Jaguar" in Madera, Chihuahua.

As part of the strategic operations deployed in the western area of the state, elements of the State Public Security Secretariat captured R-3 in possession of an AR-15 rifle in the city of Madera.

In the police operation carried out by the authorities, Edgar “N”, alias “El R3”, was arrested, who was driving a 2007 GMC Sierra line, 2007 model and had in his possession a .223 caliber firearm with at least 30 rounds.

R-3 admitted that he belongs to a criminal group that operates in the region and surrounding towns known as "Gente de Encinas" under the control of "La Gente Nueva del Jaguar."

He was turned over to the Public Ministry of the Attorney General's Office.

Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas: Cártel del Golfo Video Confrontation Aftermath

Video translation is as follows:

On Friday night, a strong shootout was reported between alleged members of the Cartel del Golfo and the Cartel del Noreste in the municipality of Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas.

The armed attack is said to have occurred in the main streets of the city. But at the moment the balance of the confrontation and the way in which the events occurred is unknown.

However, a video recorded by the hitmen of the Cartel del Golfo is already circulating on social networks. In this broadcast they assert that they made their rivals run away. In addition, they show the vehicles that their enemies left abandoned in their escape.

Video # 1 translation is as follows:

Sicario #1: We are the fucking absolute Cartel del Golfo.

Sicario #2: I see lights over there. 

Sicario #3: Hey! There are lights coming this way. 

Video #2 translation is as follows:

Sicario #1: Come on. Nothings gonna happen. Let’s just take them off their vehicle. For fucks sake I’m already standing on the ground here. 

Sicario #2: You guys get the fuck off and kill these fucks already. 

Sicario #1: Bring me an incendiary grenade, bring me an incendiary grenade to just burn it the fuck up already. 

Sicario #3: We’re just going to burn it the fuck up already. 

Sicario #4: Let’s go, let’s go!

DEA Supervisor Sold Semi-Automatic Rifles to Sinaloa Cartel Associates

Agents spying on Sinaloa Cartel associates traced two of their high-powered, semi-automatic assault rifles to a surprising source — a supervisor with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Joseph Michael Gill, tasked with rooting out traffickers amid America’s deadliest drug crisis, likely helped arm them during some of his 645 sales transactions on, according to court records. The veteran lawman — previously trusted to lead a team of about a dozen agents — even advertised on Gunbroker and Backpage websites using his government-issued phone number. 

In a rare interview in February, Gill talked to The Courier Journal about the scandal and his ensuing 2018 resignation from the DEA, halting his 15-year career. Gill insists he did nothing wrong and said his case highlights a collision of overzealous regulators and ambiguous gun laws. The prosecutor says Gill knowingly evolved into a prolific gunrunner and his crimes are more indicative of how Americans, driven by greed, help arm dangerous criminals in the U.S. and cartels across the border.

"Cartels need firearms to support their business," said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix. "When they find people that are either willing to flagrantly violate the law or skirt the law or not practice due diligence, that is enabling the cartels to be armed and to have a destructive impact both in Mexico and the U.S."

At least 70% of weapons seized in Mexico — including many guns used by cartels in massacres — were made in or came through America, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Some officials in Mexico and agents in the U.S. suspect the actual percentage is much higher. But Gill contends his case was "very political and not fair. If I wasn’t a DEA agent, I would never have been targeted the way that I was."

"The 645 items that I bought or sold were mostly firearm parts and accessories, not all firearms," he said of his sales that took place from 2000 to 2016. "I was always changing out holsters, sights, optics, tactical gear."

Gill pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to one count of dealing in firearms without a license involving the sale of the two assault rifles — guns that originated in Kentucky — to the cartel associates and a third Mexican-bound rifle. He now insists he sold the three guns legally and only pleaded guilty because defending himself at trial could have cost more than $200,000. Phillip N. Smith Jr., who prosecuted Gill, characterized the amount of evidence as strong.

"It wasn't political," said Smith, who is now in private practice. "He broke the law. It's a serious crime. That’s one of the ways bad guys who aren’t supposed to get guns to get a hold of them, by getting them from people who don’t play by the rules — like Mr. Gill." Gill admitted to selling an assault rifle to a young man July 27, 2016, and, the next day, selling the same type of gun to Mauricio Balvastro, who identified himself to Gill as the young man's "associate." Both are alleged drug traffickers and associates of the Sinaloa Cartel, Brown told The Courier Journal. The men bought Colt M4LE rifles, which fire high-velocity rounds that can rip through police officers' protective vests.

It's a type of gun used by many SWAT teams and U.S. soldiers. Gill said he didn't know the men were suspected drug traffickers and he did all that is legally required, checking the buyers' drivers' licenses and verifying they were of legal age and lived in his home state of Arizona.

Both buyers paid $1,000 for guns Gill bought online the month before for $632. That's a 60% markup and a red flag. It's commonly known by police — and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives warn about it on its website — that buyers who are willing to overpay might not be allowed to buy guns or don't want to create a paper trail.

Brown called Gill's crimes "disturbing." Balvastro "was involved in the importation of a significant quantity of narcotics and distribution of those across the border and then to the East Coast, particularly the Philadelphia-Baltimore region." Border agents confiscated one of the assault rifles Gill sold to the alleged drug traffickers in the small border town of Nogales, Arizona, according to court records. It was on its way to the burgeoning city of Nogales in Mexico, territory long controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel.

Smith, then an assistant U.S. attorney, urged a federal judge to send Gill to prison for 18 months for selling "large numbers of firearms to whoever would purchase them — without conducting any background checks and while ignoring red flags," according to a 14-page motion filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

In court motions, the prosecutor pointed to several text messages by Gill to potential buyers, whom he sometimes met in mall parking lots, offering to sell assault rifles and more: "If you want another one of the colt m4’s (sic) let me know. I still have one left. I also have some handguns and a Remington 870 police shotgun." Gill's attorney, Jason Lamm, successfully lobbied for leniency, arguing in his motion that Gill committed a regulatory offense, "not an act of moral turpitude." He pointed to his client's accomplishments, including a DEA Exceptional Performance Award for toppling drug rings and pill mills a decade ago in and around Miami.

Lamm argued that Gill, now a convicted felon, is "being labeled a virtual pariah and an outcast from his brethren" in law enforcement, so a sentence of probation "still leaves the defendant with an ostensible Scarlet Letter for the rest of his life."

In 2019, the judge opted for leniency, ordering Gill to remain on home detention for six months, perform 500 hours of community service and remain on probation for five years.

Culiacán, Sinaloa: Military Seizure of Narcotics and Firearms

Video translation is as follows:

During a routine security patrol, a mixed urban operations force, made up of military personnel and State Police, managed to locate and seize an alleged laboratory. In addition to the seizure of a vehicle and 2 rifles in a rural area of ​​Culiacán.

This result came about when elements of the Secretary of National Defense and the State Preventive Police carried out surveillance tours in the vicinity of the towns of La Pitahayita and Aqua Blanca.

Armed civilians aboard a red Dodge Ram sped away and later fled on foot into the bush. Because of this, the soldiers deployed a reconnaissance operation in the area. And it was then that they located said truck and discovered that it was armored.

After inspecting it, they found inside 2 long weapons for the exclusive use of the army. Around 20 magazines, and dozens of boxes with thousands of rounds of ammunition pertaining to different calibers. Also the truck had a report of theft in the state of Sonora.

The inside of the cab had a strong chemical odor. Upon inspection they also found various items and utensils presumably for the manufacture of synthetic drugs, such as oil drums and sacks of chemical substances. Just as well other tools used in laboratories.

All the aforementioned was made available to the Attorney General of the Republic. So, that they can carry out the corresponding investigations as indicated by law. In addition to determining the type and weight of the chemicals found.

On the Front Line of Mexico’s Forever War Against the Cartels

"Parro" for Borderland Beat

By Keegan Hamilton from VICE News

“You’ve found the heart of the mafia,” one cartel member in the state of Michoacán told us. “If I were you, I wouldn’t have come here.”

AGUILILLA, Michoacán — The cartel checkpoint doesn’t look like much, just a few logs strewn across the two-lane highway. Two guys in camo and body armor, carrying automatic rifles, step out onto the pavement and gesture for us to stop.

We’ve been expecting this roadblock. The sun is setting, and at night the two groups battling for control of Michoacán’s Tierra Caliente region turn the main thoroughfare that connects the municipal capitals of Aguililla and Apatzingán into a no-man’s land. We didn’t plan to be here, and we’re not sure which cartel is stopping us.

One of the two gunmen walks up to our car. Up close we can see his tattooed forearms, and he starts asking questions. We explain that we’re journalists filming a documentary, and he sounds skeptical as he relays our story to his commander through the walkie-talkie strapped to his bulletproof vest.

“Listen, I have a guy or some guys here — who are you again?”


“Some reporters.” There’s a pause, and the radio chirps. We can hear his boss ask: “Are they making a movie?”

“Affirmative, affirmative.”

He steps out of earshot to receive orders. We’re in disputed territory; laying claim on one side is the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG for its initials in Spanish. The group has risen to national dominance in Mexico on a wave of bloodshed, with some of the most brutal fighting concentrated here along the western edge of Michoacán. The birthplace of CJNG founder Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, aka El Mencho, is a hamlet just half an hour up the road. 


Mencho's forces invaded Michoacán in 2019, ambushing and killing 14 state police officers and leaving a note that accused the cops of serving rival cartels. The CJNG’s enemies are a motley assortment of local gangs that have divvied up the Tierra Caliente into small fiefdoms. After years of internecine feuding, in the last 18 months these groups formed a loose alliance known as the United Cartels, banding together to beat back the Jalisco incursion. The fighting has involved explosive drones, armored “monster” trucks, and ultra-brutal killings on both sides.

We had set out that day planning to meet contacts from CJNG, but they failed to show up at the rendezvous and stopped responding to our messages. We were left flying blind as we traversed the highway back across the front lines. At the checkpoint, we suspect based on our location that we’re talking to the United Cartels. A well-known United Cartels leader had spoken to us earlier on our trip, so we gamble and mention his name to the gunmen.

Please click the hyperlink to view the full story at VICE News.