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

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Coahuila: The Police Squadron That Became An Armed Wing For The Sinaloa Cartel

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Commander Lince, director of G.R.L. and César Antonio Perales Esparza, director of Public Security in Torreón, Coahuila

Video translation is as follows:

This is a message for all citizens and for the honest authorities of the state of Coahuila. Specifically for the inhabitants within the Comarca Lagunera region. It is no longer a surprise to anyone that security in this region has been gradually diminishing over the last few months. And the security strategy of the so-called Coahuila model is becoming obsolete. 

During the political speeches on security issues, what is happening in the municipalities that border the state of Durango has been taken out of the discourse. For some time now the narco terrorists of the Sinaloa Cartel have wanted to enter our state to use it for their criminal activities and to submerge it again in the era of insecurity that we lived years ago.

Two opposing factions of this terrorist organization are trying to make inroads in the Laguna region. On the one hand Los Cabrera of the M.Z. (Mayo Zambada) faction and on the other hand the mob of El Pollo of the Los Chapitos faction. 

On this occasion we are going to talk about the Los Cabreras M.Z. faction who have tried to establish themselves the most. But as expected, they are not doing it alone. They have managed to corrupt certain commanders and elements of municipal and state corporations in the towns of Torreon, Matamoros, Francisco I. Madero, and Viesca. Today we will talk specifically about the main traitors, promoters, of the entry of these terrorists, which are the (G.R.L.) Laguna Reaction Group of the Torreon municipal police. 

They went from being a small group of small time policemen with normal salaries to corrupt delinquents who are surrounded by luxuries that not even at 100 years of public service would be enough to cover the salaries that they are now making. This special group was supposedly created to be the first line of defense of the region against organized crime. Instead it became the new armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel, M.Z. faction. In the Laguna region under the command of the corrupt traitor Zamir Alejandro Braham Reza aka Comandante Lince. 

Who serves as director of the reaction group. As well as his sub-director Ulises Cuevas Grimaldi aka El Ántrax. Both are leaders and partners of the armed wing with a badge in service for the Sinaloa Cartel. Other members of the G.R.L. include Juan Guisa, a relative of José Guadalupe Rojas García aka El Güero Miami. He is the plaza boss in the municipality of Francisco I. Madero, Coahuila for Los Cabrera. He’s a former Zeta who has a past criminal record for robbery with the special qualification of intimidation with a firearm. 

He also happens to be the owner of the Miami Vibe bars. These bars are located on the Torreón - Matamoros highway in the 21 de Marzo neighborhood in the municipality of Matamoros, Coahuila. And on the Virginias Highway in the Las Vegas neighborhood in the municipality of Francisco I. Madero. These places are frequented by corrupt state police officers from La Laguna who get drunk and high listening to narco ballads. Where even El Güero Miami holds private parties and posadas for them. 

As head of the plaza El Güero Miami manages drug sales, thefts, and other crimes in Francisco I. Madero and other areas of La Laguna. Using the G.F.L. as his armed wing. Even the narco director Zamir aka El Lince gave him false credentials to pass off El Güero Miami as an element of the FGR (Agent of the Attorney General's Office). Being able to carry weapons, get into patrol cars, and have policemen as bodyguards. The direction of municipal public security in Torreon is vividly clear. 

As we can see in these photos where two luxury vehicles recently used by El Güero Miami appear. These vehicles are inside the Torreon municipal police yards. And which have the sticker of El Lince that refers to Zamir and the G.R.L. Trucks with a value of more than a million pesos. Investigate the names on the license plates and you will see that what we say is true. Or how can we forget that El Güero Miami under the effects of alcohol and drugs caused an accident in one of his trucks. 

Where instead of being arrested he was protected and released by the municipal police of Torreon despite the fact that he was well armed. All this on the orders of Zamir aka El Lince and Ulises aka El Ántrax. Along with the protection of Commander Castro of the Action and Reaction Police (PAR) unit. These are other corrupt elements from the G.R.L. at the service of the Sinaloa Cartel. 

Goyo Grimaldi aka El Pantera Ántrax or El Flaco is the brother of Ulises aka El Ántrax Braham Reza, nephew of Commander Lince. Carlos Alejandro López Hernández aka El Charly, Gerardo Sara aka El Negro or El Jeri, and Mario Flores Esquivel. This group of corrupt individuals maintain control of the G.R.L. using it to bring the Sinaloa Cartel into the state of Coahuila. They have enriched themselves by betraying the trust and integrity of the citizens. Thus tarnishing Coahuila's police corporations that have been the scandal of the state's political discourse.

And all apparently under the connivance of the director of municipal public security, Commissioner Cesar Perales, who coincidentally sees nothing and knows nothing. Or maybe the commissioner is also involved with crime. Coincidentally, Zamir aka El Lince and Cesar Perales were also accompanied by the commanders who went to Gomez Palacio, Durango for the presentation of the group of narco-policemen called GORI (Immediate Reaction Task Force). Criminal leaders Ernesto Herrera Neza aka El Guiño, appeared very close to each other. 

Ricardo Javier Gonzalez de Alba aka Commander Turino is who is in charge of coordinating the incursions of the Sinaloa Cartel hitmen in Coahuila under the guise of being PI agents of the Durango prosecutor's office. Or, since it is already the place of El Lince and Ulises aka El Ántrax and Juan Lince, they let Sinaloa hitmen from Gómez Palacio get into their patrol cars to kill and kidnap people in Torreon. Especially in the western sector.  

Everyone knows that both El Guiño and Commander Turino are even friends with the plaza chief Edgar Ortiz aka El Limones who clearly appears in Sedena intelligence files. But it seems that the special command of La Laguna pretends not to see these same characters. They are the ones who met months ago at the vip of the State fair in Torreon. Present were Commander Zamir Braham aka El Lince, Héctor Flores aka El Jaguar, and Ernesto Herrera aka El Guiño. 

Edgar Ortiz aka El Limones and his cousin Lalo are two career criminals. They believed that the next Governor to assume power, Manolo Jimenez, was going to take power away from them. All this while drinking beers and listening to narco ballads like this one dedicated to the late Jose Eduardo Bocanegra Yanez aka El Vago or Ranchero. There are too many links between them all to be just coincidence. And speaking of narco ballads, how can we miss the multiple narco ballads that Comandante Zamir aka El Lince, Ulises aka El Ántrax, and brother El Pantera Ántrax have. 

This makes it more than clear what kind of criminals they really are. And that they hide under the badge of policemen. Like this narco ballad that is dedicated to Zamir aka El Lince and that is sung by the same narco band called Banda Callejera. Who composed the aforementioned narco ballad to the deceased criminal nicknamed El Guano. And they also have a narco ballad dedicated to Ulises Cuéllar aka El Ántrax.  And others for El Pantera. Or this other narco ballad called El Lince sung by another group of drug addicts called Masd1.

Who coincidentally sing to the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel in Gomez Palacios, Durango. Like this narco ballad dedicated to Edgar Ortiz aka El Limones. Or this one dedicated to Masael Armando aka El Muñeco. But these criminals also like to listen to all the narco ballads of their boss Ismael Zambada Garcia aka El Mayo. Whose narco ballads they ask for in all the bars and parties they go to where they like to be greeted. To show off to other people who are the bad boys in the region. 

But it’s understandable since there is solid evidence of how the G.R.L. is the new armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel MZ to make inroads in the state of Coahuila. That is why months ago they found these drug packages after a search in the south of Torreon. They were marked with the acronym MZ. And others had a cauldron with the name Coahuila on the bottom. Everyone recognized that skull immediately. The same skull used by the G.R.L. elements to identify themselves along with the drawing of El Lince. The same skull that Samir aka El Lince has tattooed on his chest. 

And the same skull that Ulises aka El Ántrax shows off everywhere since he claims to be an Anthrax member from Sinaloa. A clear example of how they have stopped doing monthly confidence and control exams in the region of La Laguna. Since no decent police department in the country would accept in their ranks a daydreamer who brings narco propaganda, who spends his time listening to narco ballads, and who uses the name of a criminal group as a nickname. 

But with this you should already know where all the luxuries that the members of the G.R.L. live with come from. With salaries that don’t exceed twenty thousand pesos a month, they have enough money to buy luxurious vehicles, houses, jewelry, record narco ballads, and even plastic surgeries. In addition Ulises aka El Ántrax paid his entire gender transition series to his other brother who calls herself Sara Cuéllar Grimaldi. He confirms in this audio where he said he paid more than 60 thousand pesos for a breast augmentation. 

He also spends his time squandering and bragging about the money that his brother El Ántrax gives him. Another person who loves to show off the luxurious bad boy lifestyle of the G.R.L. and the Sinaloa Cartel is the sentimental partner of Ulises aka El Ántrax named Lizbeth Ramírez Fabiola Martínez. She is a worker at the ISSSTE (Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers or Civil Service Social Security and Services Institute). But who curiously lives in a luxury neighborhood and shows off eccentricities that El Ántrax gives her. 

Or likewise the niece of Samir aka El Lince and sister of the element Zeth Braham called Lilith Braham Hinojosa. She’s an escort who sleeps with goons. And serve as a direct link between El Lince and the criminals. Who boasts with weapons, luxuries, and trips to Durango and Culiacan in her social networks. That is why Commander Zamir has managed to sustain his life of luxury and eccentricities. To the point that it has allowed him to open the bar known as El Patrón bar located on Corregidora Street # 310.

And recently the nightclub Alana Social Room located on Morelos Avenue #73. Where even in its inauguration they gave away a car. Both bars are located in the city of Torreon. He opened them through his front man, Jesús Iván Ayala, who was a simple amateur soccer player. And from one day to the next he became a wealthy businessman in the bar business thanks to Comandante Zamir, the G.R.L. and the Sinaloa Cartel. Where they can launder money quietly. 

Their incompetence and corruption has not only cost the lives of innocent civilians. But also the lives of other policemen. As in the case of Giovani Hasiel Coronado Cortez aka El Menona. He was an element of the P.C.C. (Coahuila Civil Police) in Saltillo. He was sent as a rookie to the security filter in the town of Hidalgo after the CDN (Cartel del Noreste) attacks last June. Where, as you should know, he lost his life.  But what nobody ever said is that he was not killed by the bullets of the CDN hit men. 

But due to the bullets of elements from the G.R.L. and agents from the Torreon prosecutor's office that they demonstrated according to training. They went to hinder and provoke this tragedy in Hidalgo. Instead of going to work in the region of La Laguna. Which is the one assigned to them and which as you can see has more problems than Hidalgo. At least in Hidalgo they do deal with crime. Unlike in Torreon. The G.R.L. had no business being in Hidalgo, but of course they can't touch their bosses in Durango. 

That's why they went to Hidalgo and that was all recorded in a video by Ulises Cuellar aka El Anthrax of the G.R.L. where you can see his companions shooting at El Menona. Along with irregularities after irregularities where the G.R.L. and the security strategy of La Laguna have been overturned. Everything is full of irregularities, legalities and lies. The security of Coahuila is hanging by a thread. And now everything is in the hands of the next governor Manolo Jimenez. 

We hope he will take action on the matter. That he cleans out the police corporations of the La Laguna region. And make changes in the command structure. As well as apply more filters when it comes to accepting and appointing people within the police force. You are the last hope. Otherwise this situation will worsen until it becomes a Zacatecas 2.0. More details of these issues will be leaked. We are more the good guys. There will be no pact or corruption that we can’t see. Pay attention to this. It’s one thing if they want to do things independently. And another that they want to do it under the banner of criminals by letting these terrorists in. Remember that a world is watching us. We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.

* The territory comprising the Comarca Lagunera has 1,754,142 inhabitants according to INEGI's 2020 population census figures. This represents approximately 1.39% of the country's total population (126,014,024). This region is historically and geographically integrated by 21 municipalities: 6 from the state of Coahuila, which concentrate about 61% of the population (1,064,038 inhabitants); and 15 from the state of Durango, concentrating the remaining 39% (690,104 inhabitants).

Torreón, Coahuila 

Matamoros, Coahuila 

The Virginias community and roadway just north of the town of Francisco I. Madero, Coahuila

Viesca, Coahuila 

The Las Vegas neighborhood northeast of the town of Francisco I. Madero, Coahuila 

El Patron Bar  Infobae  Factor Coahuila  Comarca Lagunera Wiki  

Monday, November 27, 2023

Pueblos Unidos In Jalisco Asked "Señor Mencho" And "Señor Tulipan" For Help

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

Sources: Jalisco Rojo & Prensa Jalisco Telegram Channels 

The following picture of a flyer was shared on Telegram channels Jalisco Rojo and Prensa Jalisco of the inhabitants of TAPALPA, SAN GABRIEL, TUXCUECA, ATEJAMAC, FERREIRA, JUANACATALAN, ATACCO, and AMACUECA, all municipalities of Jalisco. The inhabitants came together to ask Jalisco New Generation Cartel or CJNG leader Señor Mencho and a high-ranking member known as Señor Tulipan to remove from his position an underling of theirs known as Carlos alias CR and his people. 

Señor Mencho & Señor Tulipan

Nemesio Ruben Oseguera-Cervantes AKA"Mencho"

Unfortunately, I do not know if Señor Tulipan is an individual who has been described for years as a close friend and top secretary of Mr. Mencho with the name César Macías Ureña "EL 5" "El Tuli. 

Señor Tulipan?

Pueblos Unidos Letter: 



Carlos "El CR":


Highly likely, the above letter is referring to the recent CJNG lieutenant Juan Carlos Pizano Ornelas, "EL CR" famous Tapalpa Plaza chief captured Saturday morning,  November 25, 2023. El CR is accused of being the alleged mastermind of the murder of cavalry colonel José Isidro Grimaldo Muñoz.

Markitos Toys Reappears And Talks About His Relationship With 'NINI'; 'We Were Friends, Neither I Was His Employee Nor He Was Mine,' He Says.

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from RIODOCE 

The Culichi influencer known on social networks as Markitos Toys spoke about his relationship with Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas, El Nini, arrested last Wednesday in Colinas de la Rivera, north of Culiacán.

Through his Instagram account, Markitos Toys pointed out that he is indeed a friend of Nini, head of security for Los Chapitos, but that they never had a working relationship as has been said following Perez Salas' arrest.

In a story on the social network Markitos reappeared crying, and with an apparent injury to his forehead, where he asked those who have been linking him to illegalities to look for evidence.

"Howdy plebada, good afternoon, I have days without uploading anything. They have talked a lot about me, let them look for evidence. I only had a friendship with my friend and a friendship is worth more than everything", he pointed out in reference to Nini, "we were friends, neither I was his employee nor he mine", he added.

He added that he is not ashamed to upload such stories crying, "if someday you see this story my friend, I miss you".

He also questioned his followers: "Don't you have any friends? You don't decide what a friend works on, even your own parents don't decide. Friendship is very independent of anything. I am not ashamed to upload something crying, you know where I live, where to find me, I don't owe anything to anyone".

He added that "if it is a crime that I was his friend, then I pay for it, it doesn't matter. He was a great friend of mine, he still is".

He clarified that he is not afraid of anything, in reference to the fact that he could be prosecuted for any crime, "I am not afraid of anything, because we do the right things, not because I have friends with power, I am not...".

Source: RIODOCE 

In Guerrero, Children Take Up Arms Against La Familia Michoacana

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

In some municipalities of Guerrero, criminals attack the population almost every day with explosives launched by drones.

Minors use firearms to defend themselves from La Familia Michoacana

Two 12-year-old boys carry a pair of .22 caliber rifles in their hands, along with seven other 18-year-olds who took up arms to support their parents against La Familia Michoacana and defend their community, Acatlan del Rio, in the municipality of Heliodoro Castillo, Guerrero.

In this place, which MILENIO visited, men aged 12 and older carry guns to defend themselves from drug violence.

The situation in Guerrero
Interview with minor

-How old are you?
I am 12.

-What do you want to tell the government?

That they send us support, that they don't forget about us, about here, about Acatlán.

-Are you afraid?


"Alan", as he asked to be called, can barely carry the rifle, his short stature and thinness do not allow him to hold the weapon, but he knows that if necessary he has to use it to defend his mother and sisters.

Minors take up arms against organized crime

In February 2023, La Familia Michoacana made incursions into this mountainous area of Guerrero, which is difficult to access and can only be reached by dirt roads. It is located 128 kilometers from Chilpancingo, a journey by vehicle that takes more than 7 hours due to the terrible road conditions.

Since then, criminals have been attacking the population almost every day with explosives dropped from drones; at least twenty houses have been affected, their roofs have been destroyed and some have structural damage.

On the bloodiest days, members of La Familia Michoacana drop up to 25 bombs, while the villagers have no choice but to hide under concrete roofs, the problem is that most of the houses are made of tin.

"That's how they dropped a bomb here in my house. But there is something about those bombs because in addition to exploding they also make fire, here in my house there was a blaze, we were burning and I can't run because I don't have a foot," said a woman who asked that her identity not be revealed for fear of reprisals.

This situation has provoked the exodus of the inhabitants of Acatlán del Río, some opted to flee to the United States, others took refuge with relatives in Chilpancingo and Acapulco.

The few who dared to stay did so only to defend what they had built for years with the effort of their work and to prevent their animals from being killed or stolen, their houses from being looted or their vehicles from being taken.

The hitmen of La Familia Michoacana hide in a hill in front of the village; the community and the criminals are only divided by the water of the El Caracol dam, every day, from 10:00 am, the hitmen start shooting in the air as if they were called to mass, from that moment the tension is in the air, because the villagers know that it is the prelude to the drone attacks.

Families struggle to protect each other 

Acatlán del Río lives mainly from fishing thanks to the El Caracol hydroelectric plant, but today the fishermen cannot work because as soon as they set foot in the water they are attacked with bullets from the hill across the street; MILENIO was able to confirm this.

Schools without classes; they have already lost one class

The problem is worsening in Acatlán del Río, because the children and young people have already missed the last school year and there is concern that they will miss the current one.

"Since about 15 days ago the bomb fell and damaged the roof of the elementary school and since that day, well actually since before, since all this started, the teachers did not want to teach. I don't know exactly what day, but since February the children stopped having classes: the high school and elementary school children, they all asked to change, they didn't want to be here anymore", said a woman.

Today the school looks abandoned, with damages in the walls and ceilings, due to the explosions of the projectiles launched from drones, in the patio where there should have been children playing, today there are splinters of the explosive devices.

The facades are full of gunshots

"The rooms are abandoned, no authority has been present, neither state, municipal nor federal," denounced another inhabitant.

The health center has been closed for two years because the doctors also fled the violence.

When MILENIO went to Acatlán del Río, the community had already been without electricity for 9 days, after armed men damaged a transformer that had just been repaired by the Federal Electricity Commission.

Food is becoming scarce as the days go by, and no company wants to stop there, as they fear that their employees may be the target of an attack.

Acatlán del Río is not the only town that lives under the yoke of La Familia Michoacana, at least 10 towns in the municipality of Heliodoro Castillo suffer the same situation, among them La Lagunita, El Querengue, Texocotla, El Corral Grande, Santa María and Tichapa.

A 90-year-old man, a farmer by profession, originally from Lagunita, said that two months ago, the 25 families living in his community fled because of threats from organized crime. He recalled that on that day, before sunrise, they boarded a boat and left, abandoning everything.

Another woman also said that people are fleeing from the bombs: "if they don't send us government, they should send us weapons and everything we need to defend ourselves," she said.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Military Personnel Were Attacked In Tapalpa With Anti-Aircraft Weapons During The Operation That Led To The Capture Of 'El CR'.

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from EL OCCIDENTAL 

The proximity of the military triggered a confrontation

"EL CR" 

Elizabeth Ibal | El Occidental

The military that participated in the operation to capture Juan Carlos Pizano Ornelas, alias "El CR," was attacked with high-powered weapons considered anti-aircraft. The criminals tried to prevent the arrest of the regional leader of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation, and even set up roadblocks, but they were unable to stop him.

He was arrested this Saturday morning in an operation deployed by land and air, in the Magical Town of Tapalpa, by elements of the Mexican Army who arrived from Mexico City.

The officers went to the intersection of Violeta and Tulipán, in the Lomas del Poleo neighborhood, as there were reports that "El CR" was at that location.

The proximity of the military unleashed a confrontation in which presumed members of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation fired at the helicopter gunships with anti-aircraft weapons.


The reaction of the military forces was immediate and they repelled the attack. A video posted on social networks shows the moment when the officers fired from one of the helicopter gunships, while residents took refuge in the surrounding area.

Three vehicles were left with gunshots, a Razer, a red pick-up truck, and a black pick-up truck, which had a Barret-type anti-aircraft firearm.

The subjects escaped. Up to now, only the National Registry of Arrests has information about the capture of "El CR", who was accused by the Mexican Army of being the alleged responsible for the disappearance of Colonel José Isidro Grimaldo Muñoz.

Juan Carlos is also the alleged regional leader of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation in Tapalpa, who is already at the disposal of the Special Prosecutor's Office for the Investigation of Organized Crime for the crime of organized crime and those that may result, according to what was informed by sources from the Attorney General's Office.



Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua: Jesús Antonio aka Fat Flow Linked To Kidnapping Of 9 People

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Jesús Antonio aka Fat Flow

The State Prosecutor's Office informed that rapper Fat Flow, originally from Ciudad Juarez, was indicted along with his accomplice for the kidnapping of 9 people.

During the initial hearing the judge of control determined the binding to process against Jesús Antonio M. M. M., and Omar M. P., for the kidnapping of 9 people. and Omar M. P., for the crime of aggravated kidnapping.

According to the investigation file, the accused deprived 9 people of their freedom in a house in the Pradera de los Oasis neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez.

Both subjects were arrested on November 23 at a home in the same neighborhood, where two firearms were confiscated, a 9 mm, with 12 rounds, as well as a 45 caliber weapon, with two rounds, a blue-green Ford Explorer, and two cell phones.

For this reason, the judge determined 12 months of preventive detention for the subjects, while next November 28 will be the hearing to decide whether or not to prosecute them.

It should be noted that Jesús Antonio M.M. is a rapper from Juarez, and is considered to be an alleged member of the criminal group La Empresa. Eight months ago, the rapper released a song that was published on the Youtube platform, in which he can be seen carrying a firearm, drinking alcoholic beverages and consuming substances that are harmful to health.

Praderas De Los Oasis neighborhood
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua

Tiempo  App1e gsm  Borderland Beat Archives

The Whole Truth About The Death Flights | Special Investigation

"Sol Prendido"for Borderland Beat

The Secretary of Defense authorized the State operation to assassinate hundreds of guerrillas and then throw them into the sea.

More than 20 years ago, on orders from President Vicente Fox, the Mexican Army began an investigation into crimes committed by the State during the Dirty War years.

The unusual happened: the Army investigated itself and two Mexican generals sat on the benches of the accused. They were accused of murder and drug trafficking. The death flights were part of that file. Documents and testimonies were collected.

But time passed and the Army locked the investigation under every possible key. It buried it for two decades. Fábrica de Periodismo has had access to the essential part of it.

The hitherto unknown truth is that the operation to assassinate and throw the bodies of hundreds of dissidents into the sea was authorized by the highest military commander: Secretary General Hermenegildo Cuenca Díaz.

There is also documentary evidence of what was the atrocious modus operandi of the execution and how many funeral flights left Military Air Base #7, based in Pie de la Cuesta, Guerrero. Here we tell you about those dark hours in Mexico.

* * *

They give him two blank sheets of paper and then he begins to draw. A line here, a line there. He writes a few words. Margarito Monroy Candia is already 67 years old, but the decades that have passed since the events he is being asked about occurred have not had much impact on his memory.

A military and aviation mechanic, Margarito Monroy begins to draw pictures and letters that try to give shape to the scenario that was well engraved in those years: the facilities of Military Air Base #7, in Pie de la Cuesta, Guerrero.

One of the lines leads to a point in a rectangle and in small letters Margarito Monroy writes: "Puerta por donde sacaban a los detenidos" (Door through which the detainees were taken out).

From that door, which looks more like a squashed fly, a hesitant line starts, representing the way to another point enclosed in a circle, crossed with another diagonal line, with the following description: "Lugar de ejecución" (Place of execution).

There are no more details, but there are those three words: "Place of execution".

Near that point, Margarito draws a cargo truck seen from a bird's eye view and then the shape of an airplane with another diagonal line pointing to it and describing: "Arava Mat. 2004".

This is the mental sketch that Margarito Monroy has not forgotten since those years at the end of the 1970s when superior orders were, as they still are today, unquestionable and were only obeyed.

The sketches he has just handed over to the military prosecutors show the places where the tortures and extrajudicial executions took place, the modus operandi used before he and a couple of Mexican Air Force pilots started the engines of the Arava plane and flew into the Pacific Ocean to throw the bodies of women and men executed minutes before into the sea.

Once the sketches were finalized, this process was concluded. Retired Captain Margarito Monroy Candia has just told investigators about the preparations and execution of the death flights. And he has done so in great detail.

It is time to take off

Margarito Monroy Candia was commissioned at the air base in two different periods of his military career. The first time in 1958 and 1959. It was a long time before he returned to Guerrero towards the end of 1974, when the counterinsurgency strategy of the Mexican State entered its cruellest stage.

Monroy Candia witnessed one of the darkest periods of the federal government's offensive against dissident political movements and armed organizations. Then President Luis Echeverría Álvarez and his Secretary of National Defense, General Hermenegildo Cuenca Díaz, were driven by one mission: "to defend our democracy from any internal aggression". The ghosts of communism haunted their minds.

That is why, as a privileged witness of what happened at the air base, the mechanic came to answer the questions of the public prosecutors.

It was June 20, 2001 and, unusually, a year before, an investigation had begun to clarify the crimes committed by the military high command in charge of putting an end to the guerrilla groups that had emerged in the country after the student massacre of 1968.

To begin with, the mechanic, who was assigned to the Santa Lucia air base in the state of Mexico, said that from the beginning they were clearly informed of the tasks they would perform as of September 1974, when he was commissioned to the Pie de la Cuesta air base: "Our job was to transport the guerrillas that were detained and killed by the personnel under General Quiros Hermosillo to be dumped in the sea".

And although on paper the authority of the air base rested with the commander of the air base and the commander of the military zone, those who in reality made and unmade anything were Generals Francisco Quirós Hermosillo and Arturo Acosta Chaparro and, in second place, Major Francisco Javier Barquín, in addition to the military police personnel under the command of the three of them.

Both generals directed the operations of the White Brigade, the group of security forces whose sole objective was to eliminate at all costs the guerrilla outbreaks that were emerging in the country and, in particular, in Guerrero.

Margarito Monroy had the rank of second lieutenant at the time and was part of a crew composed of pilot Captain David Gonzalez Gomez and co-pilot Lieutenant Jorge Violante Fonseca. The three belonged to the 308th Air Squadron, based in Santa Lucia, and were responsible for flying an Arava aircraft, registration 204, manufactured in Israel, a country from which several units had just been purchased.

In early September 1974, Margarito Monroy and the pilots were informed the same day that their mission was about to begin. It was a special occasion. Since it was the first flight, both generals were present, as well as a second lieutenant and another element of the Army.

It was September 6, 1974, according to the flight logs in Fábrica de Periodismo's possession, almost at dawn, between 6:00 and 6:50 in the morning.

They were drinking coffee, according to the mechanic's account to the military prosecutors, until General Quirós Hermosillo said: "Well, I think it's time to take off; before the day catches us".

While he was getting the aircraft ready to make the first flight, Margarito explained, he heard a gunshot and was surprised. "At first I was frightened, but then I reacted and, as I was on a ladder preparing the plane, I looked over and saw that about 30 or 40 meters away some people had an individual seated and then someone approached him from behind and shot him in the back of the head; then they took him away, while others were carrying another person and did the same thing, seated him and shot him in the back of the head".

The executions had a rhythm, they were not left to chance. One execution after another and then another and so on until they ran out of people in custody. "The shootings occurred with the interval in which they removed the person they killed and (while) they took another one to do the same to him. The place was outside in the open air and in the following executions even the bullets buzzed when they left the face of the executed and went towards the sea".

The plane was about to take off. On the floor of the plane "there were eight dead people, dressed in civilian clothes. They were humble civilians, townspeople. All of them had blood on their heads. The mechanic did not know at that moment if they were the people that minutes before had been executed. He was surprised and tried to tell him something, but the captain stopped him: "This is going to be our job".

Margarito, according to what he told during the interrogation, was nervous about what had just happened. Generals Acosta Chaparro and Quirós Hermosillo were present, as well as two other elements, all dressed in civilian clothes, and when the first one realized that the mechanic "was not happy and that because of his nerves he was smoking a lot, he said to him, annoyed: "You’re such a coward!

"It was my turn to notice on the first occasion when General Quirós Hermosillo shot several people. I remember well because my general was wearing a white shirt and after the executions I saw him with his shirt stained with blood. That's why I called him El Verdugo (The Executioner) and the pistol they used to kill people, an Uzi 9 millimeter, I called it La espada vengadora (The Avenging Sword), which as far as I know they had brought from Israel".

* * *

The unusual Sedena investigation

There is no known history of an investigation by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) into the illegal actions of its own commanders during the so-called Dirty War against political dissidence, whether armed or peaceful, in Mexico.

The investigation of the so-called "flights of death", which took place between 1974 and 1981, was unusual and extraordinary.

Carried out for aggravated homicide against Major General Francisco Quiros Hermosillo, Brigadier General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro and Major Francisco Javier Barquin Alonso, the investigation folder SC/034/2000/IV/IE-BIS is contained in 32 volumes with 4,352 pages.

In charge of the First Investigating Agency of the Military Public Prosecutor's Office, the cover page of the investigation makes its objective explicit: "Due to the events that occurred in the 1970s in the state of Guerrero related to the guerrilla movement that took place on those dates and in which military personnel were involved".

Some of the letters with which the summons were communicated to pilots, mechanics and other military personnel who were assigned to the Military Air Base #7 of Pie de la Cuesta were signed by General Clemente Gerardo Vega García, then Secretary of National Defense.

In order to integrate the investigation, more than a dozen witnesses of the executions and direct operators of the flights were interrogated, the air base and its facilities in Pie de la Cuesta were thoroughly inspected, the ministerial inspection of the Arava plane, registration number 3005 (it had previously had the registration numbers 2004 and 2005) was carried out, and the flight logs were recovered.

Everything is contained in the 32 volumes of the investigation that began on July 10, 2000 and concluded on September 16, 2002.

Fábrica de Periodismo had access to volume II, integrated by more than 240 pages in which the central elements of the investigation are included: testimonies, inspection visits, expert reports and flight logs.

Sex in exchange for life; they were killed anyway

After the first flight, after that first dawn, the flights continued for many months and years, with a certain regularity. The criminal protocol was repeated and the people in the hands of the military police, blindfolded and tied at the wrists, passed by the stool, were shot in the back of the head and taken to the plane with plastic wrapped around their heads to try to stop the blood from dripping.

On one occasion, when they were about to throw bodies on the usual course, a boat was sighted in the ocean and from then on it was decided to fly more than an hour out to sea and since, in addition, it was said that corpses had appeared on the coast of Oaxaca, someone ordered the bodies to be put in ixtle sacks - "like scouring pads, the kind used for coconut copra"- and stones were placed inside them to prevent them from floating.

The flights to throw suspected guerrillas into the sea took place at dawn, said Margarito Monroy Candia. To facilitate the launches, the mechanic himself removed, on instructions from above, a right side door from the Arava plane, which remained on the runway at Pie de la Cuesta.

Sometimes he was also asked to dismount the door in mid-flight, for which he was provided with ropes from which the door was fastened, which facilitated the operation.

Eventually, "Major Barquín obtained a tarpaulin to place on the floor to prevent the blood that came out of the bodies from seeping into the base of the plane, because in the heat it gave off an unbearable stench". The tarpaulin was washed and replaced on each flight. But this did not even remove the penetrating smell of blood.

The testimonies gathered coincide in that the people detained and later murdered belonged to the September 23rd Communist League and other guerrilla organizations in Guerrero and throughout the country, but not exclusively.

"There were all kinds, people from the town, from the city, of good economic situation, engineers, doctors, graduates, of all kinds". Some were transferred from Mexico City.

The victims were not only civilians, but also members of the Army who for unspoken reasons had decided not to carry out their counterinsurgency tasks.

Margarito Monroy recalled in his testimony that he sometimes saw military personnel being detained and executed. "It was said that they had gone over to the side of the September 23 League; they were chiefs, officers and troop personnel, but I did not learn their names; I remember the case of a paratrooper who had switched sides, was arrested and said that he already knew that we were going to kill him, which in fact happened.

When they were women -very few by the way-, Monroy Candia narrates, "the military police personnel under the orders of Major Barquín went so far that, despite knowing that they were going to be executed, they offered them that if they had sex with them, when they arrived in Guerrero they would release them and, if necessary, their husbands if they were also imprisoned. Sometimes the women accepted, but never, as far as I saw, were they released".

People were arriving at the air base who were not going to make it out alive. They were not going to be detained nor were they going to be prosecuted. If they entered it, it was almost certain that their final destination would be the sea.

They arrived and were taken to a small building where they were held temporarily. Margarito Monroy described it to prosecutors as follows: "It was located inside the air base, attached to a small roof, in front of the offices of the base commanding general, which was about four or five meters wide by about 15 meters deep.

"They called it a bungalow and at the back there was a small office and a small living room; further inside, some bathrooms and showers; and at the back, a small cellar about one meter wide by seven meters deep, where the detainees were put".

Sometimes they would interrogate them for a while, for which they would take them to the bathroom or the small office and keep them in those places for several days.

As far as I know," said Margarito, "all the detainees were tied and blindfolded and then they were deprived of life. As the small room was close to the beach, they were taken out that way and about 20 meters away was the little bench where they were executed.

"I know from the comments of the personnel who helped in the executions that they deceived the detainees, telling them that they were going to let them go, that they were just going to take a photograph, but instead they sat them on the bench and shot them with an Uzi pistol. Just like that.

Although the detainees were often taken to the air base by military police in civilian clothes in private cars of different models, there were also other routes for the prelude to a tragic end.

"We would bring detainees (to Mexico City) and by coincidence we would take other detainees from here to be executed there, in Guerrero; although it was not often, it did happen on about six occasions, even taking women and even married couples to be executed there. I knew this because later, when we would take them to the sea, I would see them already dead or I would see when they were killed.

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Death flight bonus

On September 6, 1974, the first death flight on record was made, according to the aircraft logs to which Fábrica de Periodismo has had access.

A few days earlier, administrative arrangements were being made to support the work that was about to begin. Given the nature of the commissions, the proceedings were not left in the hands of just any military officer.

The documents that would leave a trace over time were authorized and signed by the two highest officials of the Mexican Army at the time: the Secretary of National Defense and the commander of the Mexican Air Force.

On August 28, 1974, barely a week after the beginning of the cycle of death flights, General Secretary Hermenegildo Cuenca Díaz placed his signature in black ink above the place where his name appeared and a brief legend: "APPROVED".

The operation to throw the bodies of those who were extrajudicially executed into the sea had the knowledge and authorization of the highest Mexican military leadership and the participation of the crews involved was compensated with a bonus.

The letter, a copy of which was given to 24 commanders and heads of different areas of the Army, was sent by Wing General Roberto Salido Beltran, commander of the Mexican Air Force.

In the document, he requested that a couple of crews be stationed as of that date at Military Air Base #7, based in Pie de la Cuesta, in order to perform "ARAVA aircraft relays".

He informed General Cuenca Diaz that the crews "were highly qualified in this kind of flight material", and that in view of the need for "operations currently performed by Arava aircraft in the jurisdiction of the 27th. Military Zone", with headquarters precisely in Pie de la Cuesta, he requests that he be authorized to issue "instructions so that the crews would be paid their normal salary and a bonus".

And it also discloses the members of the crews:


Capt. David Carlos González Gómez

Capt. Roberto Bernardo Huicochea Alonso

Sub Lt. Margarito Monroy Candia


Capt. Angel Salazar Trejo

Capt. Edgar Javier Sarabia Alanís

Sub Lt. Juan Manuel Diaz Osorio

Eventually, there would be replacements of pilots and co-pilots, but these crews started operations.

"You would see weird, very delicate things."

One of the pilots who later joined the tasks at Pie de la Cuesta was Lieutenant Colonel Apolinar Ceballos Espinoza, who testified in 2001 before the agents of the military public prosecutor's office who were investigating the facts.

When he was commissioned in February 1979 as part of the crew of the Aravá, the "transfers", as they called the flights to throw people into the sea, had already been carried out for more than four years. Those who had been there for a while, like Captain Jorge Violante Fonseca, saw things with a certain normality.

Apolinar Ceballos told how, when he had just been assigned to the Pie de la Cuesta air base, Captain Violante, the Arava's chief pilot, congratulated him on his appointment.

He informed him that at Pie de la Cuesta "there was a 50 percent bonus" and that "we were going to be on a very delicate commission ordered by the superiority".

For this reason, he gave Ceballos some advice: "That I should only limit myself to obey orders, that I was going to see strange things; that I should not ask questions, since with time I would understand and he would explain it to me, reiterating that they were very delicate things and that what I saw or heard I should not discuss it with anyone, not even with my family, due to the sensitivity of the mission, but that as military men we had to comply with the mission; that we were going to fly the ship and he would be in charge of qualifying me in the plane, since I was beginning my training as co-pilot."

He also told Apolinar that he no longer had to report to Squadron 208, based in Santa Lucia, but that he was to report to him every day and then only on Mondays and Fridays, or when he was required to fly the aircraft.

On the first occasion that they flew to Pie de la Cuesta, there were several people in civilian clothes, but Apolinar realized that they were military because of what they were talking about. And, in fact, he later confirmed that they belonged to the Military Police and the Military Judicial Police.

He recalled that once El Amistad, as they called the mechanic Monroy Candia, "told me that if I didn't want to get in trouble, not to try to know what was going on and not to go to the bumbum; he was referring to a palapa that was on the beach".

Despite the warning, he was won over by the desire to know. "At a time when I was at the base, I got curious, I went to see and I realized that the palapa was about four or five meters wide by the same length and there was a kind of trunk, like a bench to sit on; Without being told, that made me imagine that that was where they killed the people we were going to dump, although there were no traces of blood or anything like that, later I found out that the personnel on the ground when we went on the flights to drop corpses cleaned everything; even after we arrived they washed the canvas and the floor of the plane well, stained by the blood that came out of the bodies".

Upgrades, rewards for making the flights

Only three months after the death flights began, during which it made at least 10 "transfers" to the sea, the first crew of the Arava, registration 204, was rewarded with a promotion by direct agreement of General Secretary Hermenegildo Cuenca Diaz.

The high military leadership then argued that the promotion was linked to the tasks that Captain Gonzalez Gomez, Lieutenant Violante Fonseca and Second Lieutenant Monroy Candia performed at the Pie de la Cuesta air base.

Roberto Salido Beltran, commander of the Mexican Air Force, signed official letter 209, dated December 5, 1974, in which he made explicit the reasons why, with the authorization of the Secretary of Defense, they were promoted to the next higher rank, with the consequent increase in salaries, benefits and allowances:

"For the exceptionally meritorious acts they have performed during military activities against criminals in the state of Guerrero, according to the investigations and the corresponding opinion."

That was the reason and for the military high command, headed by the General Secretary of National Defense, it was more than enough.

A copy of this document was also copied to at least 24 headquarters, departments and commanders of the Ministry of National Defense, among them Hermenegildo Cuenca's private secretary, the director general of Military Justice and the head of the Presidential General Staff.

The "photo of remembrance" and the shot in the back of the head

Two tiny figures barely occupy a small space at the bottom left of the sheet. One of them, seated, and in the back another standing with his right hand pointing to his head. Seen in profile, the drawings look more like Egyptian hieroglyphs.

In just these two figures in profile, drawings without volume, it is summarized what would be the last moment of life of the dozens of murdered with a shot in the back of the head to then, already lifeless and bagged in sacks, be taken to the belly of the Arava, which in these traces appears, according to the indications of the plan, 50 meters away from the representation of the human figures.

At 50 meters, following the indications, is also the bungalow. Some hesitant lines meander: "the beach". And in the background all the rest of the buildings: the control tower, the sleeping area, the military command offices.

These are the traces of the mason sub-lieutenant Epifanio Sanchez, of the Air Force Combat Engineer Battalion, who on June 22, 2001, before the Military Public Prosecutor's Office, tells the story of his life at the base of Pie de la Cuesta, where he arrived in October 1973.

He recalls that Military Police personnel operating in civilian clothes, with long hair, mustaches and beards, entered the base on board private cars of different colors and makes, "introducing into them people who were supposed to be guerrillas"; they were blindfolded and tied by the hands and were taken to the bungalow facilities, guarded by the Military Police itself.

It was Epifanio's job to guard the base at night. That is why he was awake and attentive.

"Between one and three o'clock in the morning gunshots were heard with a very muffled sound, as if a silencer was being used, coming from about 50 meters from the bungalow... Some two or three hours later, between three-thirty and four in the morning, a plowed (sic) plane would leave with lights off, the runway being illuminated with artificial balls (sic) made with diesel, tow and canister. By this means the araba plane was guided to take off and land. One hour after leaving, it arrived at the facilities, not knowing its activity".

In spite of that, he did not report the gunfire for one reason: "We were ordered not to say anything, not to see anything, not to know anything, not to hear anything".

However, he tells those who interrogated him that he heard from elements of the Military Police that "the presumed guerrillas were previously seated on a bench fifty meters from the bungalow and they told them that they were going to take a souvenir photo and then they shot them with a gun at the nape of the neck".

Subsequently, "they would put them under the mattress and put stones in them and they were transferred to the araba plane that was parked (sic) on the platform about 50 meters away, and they would put them in the araba on top of the canvas and then they would throw them out to sea about an hour away and this form of execution was common".

Miguel Barrón Alemán, a retired bricklayer second lieutenant, also witnessed what his colleague Epifanio told. Both were summoned to testify on the same day. And given that they performed the same surveillance tasks and occupied the same work spaces, he also realized that they brought blindfolded and bound people to the bungalow.

"They would keep them sometimes for one to two days," until between two and three in the morning they would take them about 50 meters away. "As it was dark, I could only see the silhouettes of the person who was leading another, who was blindfolded, and who was carrying them by the arm, subduing them".

Miguel Barrón could see the scene from a distance because he slept on the second floor of the base and looked through the blinds. From there he could make out what was happening:

"They would sit her in a chair and at those moments they would turn on a tape recorder at full volume with music and wait for the sea wave to fall so that it would make noise and then a slight detonation would be heard."

But it wasn't just one gunshot on those nights. "Seven to eight people were led to the chair and seven to eight gunshots were also heard."

To those nights, Miguel's testimony closes, the military under the command of Major Barquín referred when they said in code that "there was going to be a party" so as not to say in all its letters that they were going to execute the detainees.

* * *

"It was an open secret"

Margarito Monroy's appearance before the military prosecutors comes to an end. The questions have been answered and the captain of Military Justice Ángel Rosas Gómez says: "There being no more questions to ask, the floor is given to the person appearing in case he has anything else to add".

And Margarito has something to add: "I just want to say that the gunshots, executions and the transfer of the corpses to the sea to throw them away, it was an open secret, everyone knew about it: the commander of the zone, the commander of the Military Air Base of Pie de la Cuesta and the personnel that worked there".

Military Air Base #7
Pie de la Cuesta, Guerrero

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