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

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Mexican Military Detains 4 Burros Transporting 400 Kilos of Marijuana

Yaqui for Borderland Beat 

                             Old School Transportation Technique Minus Humans

San Quintín Baja Ca Jan 28, 2021:

Four donkeys were intercepted by elements of the Mexican Army after they were found carrying 400 kilograms of marijuana on their backs, which were confiscated and made available to the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) in Ensenada.

The animals were found in the vicinity of the "Arroyo Fusiques" in the El Rosario Delegation, where the military from the 67th Infantry Battalion carried out a surveillance tour, as well as reconnaissance of the area, since it has been detected as a transit area of suspected criminals.

Each burro carried 46 packages of marijuana made with cinnamon-colored adhesive tape on its back, giving a total weight of 400 kilos and with an approximate market value of 649,920 Mexican Pesos. The bricks were wrapped in the usual canela tape. The beasts of burden appeared to be abandoned with their cargo.

Both the animals and the drug were made available to the FGR, where the case is already being investigated in order to determine its origin and find those responsible; authorities viewed this seizure as a significant blow to the organized crime economy.

It is in my humble opinion that although we can only see three animals in this photo , they are Mules not burros.

Source: AFN/TJ

Body of Missing LA, Ca Fire Fighter Found Burned near Tijuana, Baja Ca, Mexico

Yaqui for Borderland Beat

LAFD firefighter and paramedic Francisco Aguilar, who went missing in August 2020 in Baja, CA

Thanks to the Commenter for the lead on this story.

Published by the LA Times as well as many other sources both US and Mexican in November. 

Francisco Aguilar, the 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department who went missing in Mexico in August, was killed in Rosarito by kidnappers, Mexican authorities said Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities in Baja California said two people have been arrested in connection with his death, a couple they identified only as Fanny and Santos.

According to the Fiscalia General del Estado de Baja California, Aguilar met with the woman, Fanny, on Aug. 20 for a sexual encounter in Rosarito. She identified herself to him as "Monserrat". Instead, she and Santos attempted to kidnap him, officials said.

“Things didn’t turn out like they thought they would,” Hiram Sanchez Zamora, an official with the Fiscalia General del Estado de Baja California, said during a Wednesday media briefing in Mexico.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Another American Ex-Pat Missing in Baja, Ca

Yaqui for Borderland Beat

              Mary Ann Humfreville didn't appear for a breakfast meeting on December 17, 2020.

The Baja California woman has been missing for 42 days. The Bahía de los Ángeles resident was last heard from December 16, 2020

Originally Published on Friday, December 25, 2020  Baja Nomad Forum

Authorities in Baja California have been unable to determine what happened to a Bahía de los Ángeles woman who has been missing since December 17.

There has been no contact with Mary Ann Humfreville, 74, since she spoke by phone with her son on December 16.

On the following day she didn’t turn up for a breakfast meeting. Friends later found her home empty apart from a dog and a cat inside the house. Also missing was her red 1998 Ford F-150 pickup bearing California plates.

Ex-Convict Killed Outside of a Supermarket in Nuevo León Was a Major Local Zetas Drug Dealer

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

The drug dealer was killed while he was parked outside of the supermarket in northern Monterrey

When he was parked in his truck outside a supermarket, a man was attacked by gunmen and died minutes later at a nearby hospital in Monterrey, Nuevo León. The deceased as Alberto Ernesto Lazarin Balderas, 30, who had at least six gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

According to witnesses, a lone gunman surprised the victim when he was inside his truck and shot him several times. The assassin then got into another car where an accomplice was waiting for him. They escaped from the scene and are currently at large. 

Members of the Nuevo Leon Civil Force arrived at the scene of the attack and immediately cordoned the area. Investigators say that the gunman used a .40 caliber firearm to kill Lazarin. Although an official motive has not been established, investigators say that the evidence points to a drug-related murder since Lazarin was a drug dealer in northern Monterrey

Three Police Officers and One Bystander Killed in Cartel Ambush in Nuevo Casas Grande, Chihuahua

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

The police officers were attacked while driving in this white pick-up truck. All of the perpetrators are at large.

Members of the municipal police force in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, were ambushed by at least eight cartel hitmen in the heart of city's downtown. At least four police officers were killed in the attack. Investigators say the intended target of the attack was Julio Cesar Ramirez Valdez, the local police chief. He survived the attack with minor injuries.

The attack was carried out at around 10:00 a.m. after the police officers left a restaurant located between Benito Juarez and Del Prado streets in downtown Nuevo Casas Grandes. The officers killed were Pedro Perez Rascon, Maria Muro Montoya, and Juan Lagunas Rojo. The civilian killed was Larisa Beltran; she was caught in the crossfire while leaving a nearby gym.

The Cartel Project: The brutal murder of Veracruz Journalist Regina Martínez

 Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat Thank You Gus

The following is an article written by Dana Priest for The Washington Post regarding the murder of journalist Regina Martinez.  The brutal murder of Regina occurred in Veracruz is the murder and “disappeared” hub of Mexico and the most dangerous place for journalists in the world…. The story of Martínez’s death and her work is the first of a five-part series, “The Cartel Project,” which involved 60 journalists from 25 media outlets. It is being published by Forbidden Stories and its partners beginning today…Chivis

XALAPA, Mexico — Regina Martínez’s death was brutal. Someone broke in through the metal door from her beloved garden patio, the tiny patch of tranquility that kept her from moving from her modest cinder-block home to a safer location.

The intruder probably surprised her in the bathroom, from behind, investigators believe. At barely 5 feet tall and 100 pounds, she scratched and struggled to fight off her attacker, leaving skin under her fingernails. The assailant broke her jaw with brass knuckles, then wrapped a rag around her neck, squeezing the life out of the region’s best hope for accountability and justice.

In articles for the national investigative weekly Proceso, Martínez, who was killed at age 48, told her readers that two successive governors in her home state of Veracruz looted the treasury and allowed cartels to operate freely with the help of local and state police. She sought to prove the traffickers and their accomplices had executed hundreds of people: Teenage dealers and entire families. Farmers and politicians. Even young women who attended their sex parties.

Martínez was one of the very few reporters who dared to refuse bribes or to ignore cartel threats aimed at censoring the news. Her articles had an outsize impact.

“What the local press did not want to publish was published through Regina Martínez,” said Jorge Carrasco, Proceso’s editor in chief.

Suspect in the Jalisco Ex-Governor Murder Probe Is Released From Prison

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

Maria del Rocio (left) was released from prison earlier this week. She says authorities are trying to frame her for the ex-governor's (right) murder. 

Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, the former governor of Jalisco, was murdered on 18 December 2020. He was shot in the back inside a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta in one of the highest-profile political killings in Mexico in recent memory.

The investigation points that the employees of the bar where Sandoval was killed "manipulated" the crime scene by cleaning up the blood and evidence left behind to cover-up the assassins. The public relations manager of the bar, Maria del Rocio "D", was released from prison earlier this week. State authorities believed she was responsible for managing the employees who cleaned up the crime scene, but Maria del Rocio says she is being framed.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Woman From Morelos Was Kidnapped and Murdered After Family Pays Her Ransom

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

After killing her, the abductors left her body inside the trunk of her car

The lifeless body a woman who was found this week was identified as Gloria Renteria Vargas (aged 54), a resident of Cuernavaca, Morelos. She had been kidnapped the day before. Her body was abandoned inside the trunk of her car.

Investigators say that Gloria was kidnapped and that those responsible demanded a considerable sum of money from the family to release her. The family called several of Gloria's siblings that live in the U.S. to help collect the money. They were able to gather up to MXN$350,000 (close to US$17,000) by the end of the day.

Chihuahua Police Officers Implicated in the Kidnapping and Murder of a Couple in Ciudad Juárez

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

The couple was forcibly taken from a home by Chihuahua State Police officers, investigators say

Five members of the Chihuahua State Police are under investigation for their possible involvement in a forced disappearance and double murder.

The victims, Fátima Guadalupe López (aged 18) and Irving Adolfo Zaragoza Ruiz (aged 27), were were kidnapped by police officers on December 27 and found dead on January 14 in Ciudad Juárez. According to investigators, the police officers beat the two to death in a revenge attack for the murder of one of the police officer's siblings. 

"This unfortunate incident revolves around the fact that one of the victims (Irving) had participated in the murder of the brother of one of the policemen. That is where the motive originates", Chihuahua's Attorney General confirmed.

Six People Were Killed Outside a Carwash in Guerrero

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

State officials arriving at the crime scene shortly after the attack

At least six people were killed by gunfire yesterday afternoon at a carwash facility in Iguala, Guerrero. Armed individuals arrived at the area and opened fire at these individuals. State authorities located five corpses just outside of the establishment, while the sixth victim was located on De Rueda Street, two blocks from the attack. 

The six victims were transferred to the facilities of the Forensic Medical Service as unknown persons. Authorities have not provided information on those allegedly responsible for the attack by press time. The carwash is located across the street from a house where a young man was killed last Monday. 

Local media reports stated that the attack was masterminded by Moises Brito Bautista ('Bandame'), a high-ranking boss of La Bandera, the newly adopted name of the Guerreros Unidos gang. They blamed his sicario Pablo Sandoval Carreto ('La Novia') for physically carrying out the attack.

Hell in Tamaulipas: Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas and CDN, the deadly dispute for the border

 Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat Infobae 

Embedded in the history of violence in Mexico, are the two names of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas,  criminal groups continuously locked in an insane territorial struggle, that has been written in blood and fire .

The cruelty of these two criminal organizations have as one of its reference points the “Frontera Chica", where 19 charred bodies were found last weekend.

For more than two decades, especially between 2000 and 2012, Tamaulipas (in northeastern Mexico adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico) has continually suffered the effects of criminal brutality. On April 6, 2001, the capture of Gilberto García Mena, operator of the Gulf Cartel, marked the emergence of the dispute with the criminal group Los Zetas, as well as new confrontations with groups from the Sinaloa Cartel and that of the Juárez Cartel.

However, it was until the beginning of the war against narco (2006), waged by then-President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) that hell ignited. The cartel of the last letter - created by deserter soldiers from the Army - applied the tactic of the propagation of civil terror.

Alfredo Castillo, the man who imprisoned Dr Mireles, is barred from public office for 10 years

 Chivis Martinez Reforma and Telesure

Note: Who is Alfredo Castillo?

He was sent to Michoacán by EPN to “stabilize security” during the autodefensas movement, which in reality amounted to breaking up the movement and imprisoning its leaders.  Dr. Mireles the leader of the Sur Autodefensas was imprisoned for 3 years where he was tortured.  Dr. Mireles recently died from Covid-19.

After his stint as security commissioner in Michoacán, President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) appointed Alfredo Castillo as chairman of CONADE, an institution in which he was accused of irregularities, due to omissions in his asset declarations, Alfredo Castillo, the former chairman of Mexico's National Commission for Physical Culture and Sports (CONADE), is banned from holding public office by the Public Administration Ministry (SFP).

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Family Massacre Leaves 5 Dead in Guanajuato

 "BBFollower" for Borderland Beat

Neighbors gather near the crime scene while the police investigates the incident

Five members of a family were killed and two more injured on Saturday night by armed men who broke into their home in Leon, Guanajuato. One of the fatal victims was an eleven-year-old girl, a woman and three men. The injured were a minor under 14 and another underaged girl.

The massacre occurred around 7:00 p.m. that night in a house located between Chayote and San Ignacio streets. Neighbors asked for support from the 911 Emergency Service when they heard several shots inside the house.

They reported that at least two subjects entered the building and seconds later fled aboard a red vehicle. Police and paramedics came to aid the injured and found that five of them had died. The injured minors were taken by an ambulance to the nearest hospital.

Two Properties Belonging to the Quintero Families Shot Up

 By Buggs for Borderland Beat

Two properties belonging to Rafael Caro Quintero's family were shot up at last week in Caborca, Sonora.

The first property located at the foot of 9th street between Quiroz avenues and 6 de Abrilear, was blasted with large caliber gunfire and they tried to knock down an electric gate, which was damaged but prevented the entrance to the residence.

Authorities activated a huge operation to secure the place but a few minutes later, it was reported again that armed men were shooting at the property in a rural area located between Caborca ​​and Pitiquito.

Authorities found a man on the ground faced down that had been killed by gunfire and according to witnesses, he was killed when he tried to flee on foot.

Another man in an adjacent residence managed to survive the attack when he was injured by gunfire.

Authorities are continuing the investigation, so they say.

Just last week, in another incident that could be related, Mexican authorities confiscated 557 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $26.7 million dollars that were stamped with Gucci, Lacoste and Playboy logos from a pickup truck in Mexico City.

The massive shipment was discovered after police responded to an accident involving a pickup truck that had flipped over.

The seizure of the cocaine and the arrest of two alleged operators of Ismael El Mayo Zambada, has pointed to the presence of Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico City, as well as the operations of Rafael Caro Quintero. Mayo Zambada has operated in Mexico city for a long time, an area that includes the International airport, an important hub for drug trafficking coming out of South America.  This type of operation requires planning and corrupting officials at high levels and, not many have the means and ability to sustain such operations.

According to a police report, the two men ages 21 and 27 accelerated their vehicle when they noticed the presence of police in attempt to suddenly change direction. The vehicle overturned bringing attention of the police to inspect the vehicle were they found the drugs along with two handguns guns, one gold plated.

On another note, a journalist stated that Caro Quintero identifies in part with the Sinaloa cartel, but this seizure links more toward that of El Mayo. This might indicate that both might be working together, but that has not been totally confirmed. Obviously, this does not fare well for whoever might have been directing this operation.

Televisa News reported that the drugs in fact belong to Rafael Caro-Quintero, a drug lord wanted by the US authorities for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena.

The lives of Caro-Quintero and Camarena are portrayed in the Netflix series, "Narcos Mexico."

Source: Ariete, Televisa and other unnamed sources.

Gulf Cartel Faction Operator Linked to El Vaquero Arrested in Mexico City

"MX" for Borderland Beat  

Lesly Valencia (age 27)

Lesly Valencia, a high-ranking member of Los Ciclones, a Gulf Cartel faction, was arrested in Mexico City a few days ago. According to investigators, she is linked to Evaristo Cruz Sanchez (El Vaquero), a Gulf Cartel faction boss who is wanted by U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Valencia was born in Michoacán but operated out of Cuauhtémoc borough in Mexico City. She was arrested by the Mexican Army and the Mexico City police. At the moment of her arrested she was in possession of narcotics and US$280,000.

It should be noted that this arrest is unusual because the Gulf Cartel has a stronger presence in northern Mexico, specifically in Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and San Luis Potosí. In the past decade, the Gulf Cartel has suffered serious blows by security forces and rival drug cartels.

The Fiestas of Santa Inés

 By Buggs for Borderlandbeat
Source: Sonora Informativo

Year after year, every January 21, the fiestas of Santa Inés are celebrated in the town of Chínipas, Chihuahua, where a parade is held as a celebration of that day. Likewise, day by day, like in this type of celebration, brings out the main leaders of the criminal cell "Los Salazar."

Civilian men on horseback with guns, heavily armed sicarios walking on the public sidewalks providing armed escort to these plaza bosses and rubbing shoulders with the police authorities who are supposed to enforce the rule of law but rather they turn their head the other away.

This is the terrifying reality that the people who live in this community face every day, a life of intimidation by "Los Salazar."

Tired of the abuses, the residents are demanding from the Chihuahua authorities to take some legal action against this impunity as well as to investigate the so-called public servants in this region who are under the command of "Los Salazar."

The first day of 2021 the same community of this town left a message in the town of Chínipas, a stretch of road known as Las Tunas, where they express how tired they are of these criminal groups. This was the message:


They are referring to the criminal organization "Los Salazar" and how tired they are of the abuses and intimidation through violence that these criminals carry out against the communities in the region.

In the meantime, Salomé Ramos is showing an interest in being re-elected as the mayor of Chínipas, to continue making millions of pesos in contracts with the state government that further strengthen this criminal enterprise.

La Barbie's Father-in-Law Claims Not to Be Rich and Gets a Sentence Review in the US

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

Édgar Valdez Villarreal, 'La Barbie' (left); Carlos Montemayor González (right)

After being sentenced in 2019, Carlos Montemayor Gonzalez, a senior member of the Beltran Leyva Cartel and father-in-law of Edgar Valdez Villarreal (La Barbie), managed to appeal his sentence after he assured that he is not as rich as his son-in-law. He said he does not have the money the U.S. government intends to seize from him.

Montemayor, also called El Licenciado or El Narcocharro, was a key cartel player when he started a criminal enterprise with his son-in-law La Barbie. Montemayor was also linked to the disappearance of 20 tourists in southern Mexico in September 2010.

In February 2011, he was extradited to the United States to face trial at the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Montemayor built a trucking company that he used to smuggle cocaine for the cartel.

Mexico Continues to Pursue Case Against Judge Linked to the CJNG

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

Isidro Avelar Gutiérrez 

A Mexican court rejected ending the case against Isidro Avelar Gutiérrez, a federal judge and public servant who the U.S. government accuses of having ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). He is suspected of receiving bribes in exchange for favorable court rulings to senior CJNG members.

Before the resolution, Avelar Gutiérrez filed a motion and obtained a definitive suspension that only allows Mexico’s Attorney General's Office (FGR) to present evidence against him during the intermediate hearing.

According to court records, Avelar Gutiérrez had a hearing in December 2020 at the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 (“Altiplano”) where his defense argued that the evidence against him were insufficient.