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

Monday, March 27, 2023

Caborca, Sonora: There Is No Such Thing As Organized Crime That Isn’t Sponsored

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Alfonso Durazo says organized crime has the approval of government or politicians

Video translation is as follows:

There is no such thing as organized or disorganized crime. It’s not in Caborca nor in Sonora nor in Mexico nor in this world that isn’t sponsored by a high authority or by a high politician or by a high public official.

Jalisco Advance Threatens Cotija, Jacona and Los Reyes, Strongholds of Michoacan Cartels: They Ask Authorities For Help to Defend Themselves

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) is maintaining an offensive in western Michoacan, which has put the Michoacán can cartels led by Alfonso Fernandez Magallon, alias "Poncho La Quiringua", and Luis Barragan Chavez, alias "Güicho el de Los Reyes", on alert.

Since 2022, following the breakup of the CJNG with its armed wing "Pájaros Sierra," western Michoacan has been plunged into a spiral of violence, with constant homicides and confrontations in the municipalities of Cotija, Jiquilpan, Jacona, Los Reyes and Sahuayo, and the entire strip that divides Jalisco and Michoacan.

The offensive has recently focused on Cotija, Jacona and Los Reyes, the latter a stronghold of the United Cartels and their bosses "Poncho La Quiringua" and "Güicho el de Los Reyes," who flourished under the government of Silvano Aureoles Conejo.

This, together with state operations in conjunction with the Army to pacify the area in the face of constant clashes between cartels, have made the local bosses nervous.

Villagers interviewed by the national press have acknowledged that the local cartels had barricades to protect themselves from the CJNG incursion, but these were removed by the authorities.

"The government came in and removed all the people who were fighting, because it was a war zone, and the government just left, and then the CJNG came up," said one of the residents interviewed.

This highlighted the fear that exists among Michoacan plaza bosses due to the advance of the CJNG, who are trying to pass themselves off as self-defense groups in order to maintain their control in the region.

Sedena Focuses on El Guano

Mica for
In the past three weeks, there have been a lot of attacks led by the government on El Guano, along with new intel detailing the powerful brother of El Chapo. 

Sedena focuses on El Guano, Chapo Guzmán's brother - El Sol de México
El Sol de Sinaloa

CULIACÁN. On at least two occasions, Aureliano Guzmán Loera, El Guano, has escaped operations launched by the Armed Forces in the Sierra de Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua, known as the Golden Triangle. The last time the hunt against him was reactivated was just a month ago when military elements set up a fence in the municipality of Tamazula that failed.

Since 2016, the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) has prepared a map of the areas of influence and the key men in the criminal structure led by El Guano and his nephew Iván Archivaldo, an investigation that was detonated as a result of the ambush of a military convoy that left five soldiers dead and 17 more wounded in the north of Culiacán.

According to documents hacked by the Guacamaya collective, the Army deployed a significant number of troops in the urban center of the capital in October of that year, dispersed operations in the Golden Triangle, identified the criminal structure in the service of the Guzmáns and arrested 23 people, most of whom were released due to endemic corruption in the FGR Delegation in Sinaloa.

The command of the Third Military Region asked to manage before Quirino Ordaz Coppel, who would assume the governorship on January 1, 2017, the change of all the staff of the FGR Delegation due to severe indications of complicity with crime, which revealed the way to operate to investigate organized crime in the country.

El Guano became a priority target for the Armed Forces after the capture of his brother Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán in January 2016.

From that year, Aureliano unleashed bloody revenge in the old region of Badiraguato, on the borders with Durango and Chihuahua, broke alliances, reorganized groups, armed their cells, which fought those of Alfredo Beltrán Guzmán, El Mochomito or El Dos Banderas.

Military intelligence monitored the battles of El Guano in the mountains, where he was persecuted after the capture of La Tuna by the Beltrán cells in June 2016.

On September 30 of that year, a convoy of soldiers suffered a skirmish in San José del Llano, on the way to La Tuna, where Julio Óscar Ortiz Vega, El Kevin, was injured, was being transported to Culiacán in an ambulance of the Red Cross of Badiraguato.

Upon reaching the height of the residential Espacio Barcelona, on the international road Mexico 15, the convoy was brutally attacked with bullets, resulting in five soldiers dead and 17 injured. The Sedena activated the onslaught. The Operations file in the state of Sinaloa, dated November of that year, gives an account of how the military identified all the sectors controlled by the Guzmán cells, all of them involved in one of the worst massacres against the Army.

In the northwest sector of the city was Los Güeros Ranas, commanded by Luis Alfonso Murillo Acosta, killed in February 2018 in the Loma de Rodriguera; then in the area of Valle Alto there was Teodoro Millán Rojo, with the group of Los Teo; on the side of Los Angeles were LosDavidsillos, in charge of the Aguaruto prison.

Los Rinos in the area of Chapultepec and Tierra Blanca, Los Chimalis in the south of the city, as well as Los Ninis, led by Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas and finally Los Ántrax, at that time commanded by Eliseo Imperial, Cheyo Ántrax, in the eastern part of the capital.

Of the leaders identified at that time, in addition to El Güero Ranas, Francisco Zazueta Rosales, Pancho Chimal, was also killed in April 2017, a month after escaping from prison, and Jesús Rodríguez Dueñas, El Rino, who died of Covid-19 in September 2020.

La Sedena identified the Guzmáns as the masterminds of the ambush, and Pancho Chimal, Güero Ranas, Teo and Cabo, as the material culprits, also positioned El Caballo as the logistical coordinator of said aggression against the military.

The day after the attack, the Army deployed almost 400 elements in the urban area and arrested 17 people in a first wave, seized weapons, grenades, houses, and 52 vehicles.

The Sedena report warns that among the detainees, the FGR released Jorge, El 90, Cristian Fernando, Wilfrido, and Armando, Sponge Bob Square Pants. They also released Cristian, El 300, El Oso, and El Buitre, those arrested by the Navy.

Regarding the releases "for lack of elements," the commanders reported endemic corruption in the FGR Delegation. The tab says "Involment of authorities."

"SEIDO staff has detected signs of involvement of officials of the PGR Delegation in Culiacán."

The modus operandi of this symbiosis was to return drugs insured by the military to the criminals, "simulating their destruction with other similar substances."

They also found that the staff refused to carry out investigations under the excuse of fearing reprisals, in addition, agents of the FGR leaked information from judicial processes to the lawyers, who advanced with key data with which they managed to free their clients.

"Close affective relationship between defense lawyers and the personnel of the Federal Investigative Police (they shake hands and hug each other)", and thanks to these friendships, the criminals had facilities and evidence for the judges to rule in their favor.

Caborca, Sonora: Four Young Men Found Dead In A Well Identified

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

On the morning of March 24, 2023, relatives of the victims went to the offices of the Attorney General's Office of the State of Sonora, based in Caborca, Sonora, to identify the four bodies that were found yesterday inside a well.

It was unofficially revealed that the victims were Juan Carlos Camarillo Juarez, Hector Alejandro Prieto Camarillo, Julian Isaac Miranda Mange and Francisco German Rivera Leon.

They were reported missing since last Wednesday morning, March 22, and were last seen in the vicinity of the Asuncion River. The authorities initiated a search operation with the unfortunate results described above.

Our deepest condolences to family and friends, Rest in Peace.

El Sol de Caborca

Cancún, Quintana Roo: Natanael Cano Suffers An Armed Attack

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Natanael Cano celebrated his birthday last weekend in Cancun, Quintana Roo.

In the last hours it was reported that Natanael Cano almost didn’t reach his 22nd birthday after suffering an alleged attack when he was celebrating his birthday early on the beaches of Cancun.

According to journalist Nelssie Carrillo, the author of corridos tumbados had a fierce fight with a businessman last weekend when he was celebrating his birthday in the company of singer Dan Sanchez.
According to the information, the Sonoran was inside a night club with his friend when he started to have problems with a businessman who was in the establishment, who like Natanel, had bodyguards.

After the heated argument, the interpreter of the "AMG" single left the place, but when he was driving through the hotel zone, along Kukulcan Boulevard, he became the victim of an alleged chase.

Unofficially it is said that the singer's car ended up with considerable exterior damage on Kabah Avenue. It had two flat tires and several bullet impacts in the driver's window.  

Fortunately, Natanael Cano was able to get out of his car unharmed.  So far the incident is being investigated by the authorities.

Natanael claims that his birthday party was ruined

Some videos circulated in social networks of the moment in which the Sonora native was celebrating his birthday in the nightclub. Hours later he published that his celebration was ruined.

"They ruined my birthday for something I didn't even do. Oh well", Natanel Cano wrote next to some laughing emojis and later, he published another photo in which he apologizes to the citizens of Cancun.

Villagrán, Guanajuato: Four Men Killed In Near Simultaneous Armed Attacks

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Three nearly simultaneous attacks took the lives of four men in the community of Mexicanos in the municipality of Villagrán.

Authorities are already investigating the possible relationship between the events.

It was shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Saturday night when the first attack was reported on Lazaro Cardenas Boulevard at the corner of the railroad.

A dead man with multiple gunshot wounds was found at the site.

At another point on Aldama street, the bodies of two men were found with various gunshot wounds.

A fourth man was found on 16 de Septiembre street, also with gunshot wounds after falling victim to an armed attack.

All streets were cordoned off by municipal authorities and then the Public Prosecutor's Office was notified for further investigation.

For the moment the motive of the murders are being investigated to determine any possible relationship.

The victims were taken to the Forensic Medical Service for the autopsy.


Sunday, March 26, 2023

CJNG Threatens Employees of Marco Flores, from Banda Jerez

"HEARST" and "Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat 

Marco Antonio Flores, the singer-turned-politician who once played private gigs for Zetas cartel figure El Lazca, announced that he would be closing his hotel in Zacatecas because the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) has been threatening his employees.

Warning: Some graphic images below this point.

Marco & Banda Jerez

In the late 1980s, a local music teacher named Perfecto Flores created a band in the town of Jerez, Zacatecas, which was made up of his music students. Later on his son, a singer named Marco Antonio Flores, began performing with the group. In 2000, the band became more formalized and took on the name “La No. 1 Banda Jerez with Marco A. Flores”, often shortened to just “Banda Jerez”. 

Forensic Experts Recreate Kidnapping of U.S. Citizen in Matamoros

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Forensic experts from the Tamaulipas Prosecutor's Office reconstructed the moment in which armed civilians shot the foreigners and then loaded them into a van.

Specialists from the Attorney General's Office of the State of Tamaulipas (FGJT) conducted a forensic investigation in the area where four Americans were attacked by alleged members of the Gulf Cartel on March 3 in the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, resulting in the death of two of them: Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard.

Three weeks after the incident, which occurred on Lauro Villar and Primera streets in the border municipality, officials of the FGJT, agents of the National Guard, State Police and the Secretariat of the Navy blocked the streets surrounding the sector to prevent the passage of motorists and pedestrians.

After the closure of the roads, forensic experts were present to recreate, with the support of personnel, every moment of the episode where the group of North Americans who had entered Mexico through the "Ignacio Zaragoza" International Bridge that connects the Matamoros territory with the city of Brownsville, Texas, in the United States, were shot at.

The experts used five units to stage the attack and gather every piece of information to continue with the investigations that began last Tuesday, when Latavia Washington McGee and Eric James Williams were found alive, as were the bodies of their two remaining friends, in a wooden house in the Tecolote community.

At least four times, the authorities reconstructed a scene similar to the one that could be observed in a video that was recorded and spread in social networks and that shows the moment in which armed civilians shot at the foreigners to then put them in a white GMC Sierra pickup truck and transfer them to different points of the town until leaving them in the rural sector.

In the recreation, men followed a pickup truck similar to the one used by the Americans and when they destabilized them, they got out of the unit and were shot at, then placed in a pickup truck.

For this case, in which there was also pressure from the U.S. government, the bodies of the U.S. citizens were repatriated and six people were arrested, who have already been indicted and handed over by the same criminal organization.

In addition, at least two clinics and a Civil Protection ambulance were seized for being related to the crime.

However, to date, no further information has been provided on the security crisis that has strained relations between the Mexican and U.S. governments.

The commercial exchange between the regions of South Texas and the Tamaulipas city has not suffered any damage, according to a border businessmen report, who assure that families continue to visit businesses, clinics and various activity centers.

Oscar Martinez Torres, president of the Union of Merchants and Businessmen of the Northeast (Ucen), assured that despite the violence alerts in certain Mexican regions, U.S. citizens close to Matamoros continue to pass through the border city because they know the conditions that exist and the areas where they can transit.

Aristegui Noticias

CJNG Members in Texas Planned to Assassinate DEA Agent in 2020

 “Socalj” for Borderland Beat

In May 2020, Manuel García Gómez and Jorge Humberto Velazco, who were processing liquid methamphetamine from Mexico in drug laboratories in Texas, were arrested. The group, under the direction of Jose Valdovinos Jimenez, a plaza boss who goes by “La Roca,” laundered many of the drug profits through a Dallas clothing store named Yoli's Western Wear to the sum of $10 million. The operation had been going for at least five years and was sending the drug money back to Mexico in thousands of small remittance transactions.

Just a few days after the arrest of the CJNG members, the DEA agent responsible for their arrest appeared to testify before the court. He was identified simply as "TH." It was because of his testimony that the judge denied Manuel García bail. He and Velazco were then held at the Johnson County Detention Center. The DEA agent first testified against Jorge and would again in the trial against Manuel. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Mayo Zambada Gunmen Take A Dirt Nap

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Sometime at the beginning of this month several CJNG gunmen ambushed a few Cartel de Sinaloa hitmen. What follows is the bloody aftermath of a perfectly executed assault against their adversaries. The fallen Mayo Zambada operatives that are laying dead on the rocky and barren ground are few in numbers.  

At this time it is believed that the CDS hitmen stood their ground and defended their positions until the very end. But inevitably the undermanned hitman cell was overcome by a force greater in numbers. The numerous voices heard throughout this broadcast substantiate this theory. 

Video translation is as follows:

Sicario #1: What happened you cowards? You fucking faggot ass Mayo Zambada gunmen. 

Sicario #2: Hey dumb ass I’m going towards the left here. 

Sicario #3: Ah. Ok, I see you now. 

Sicario #1 kicks a dead Mayo Zambada gunman in his face: You dumbass. 

Sicario #2: Are we going to cut off an arm or what?

Sicario #1 moves towards another dead male on the ground: Ha! He got shot right in his face. 

CDN Denounces CDG El Primito in Mexico City

"HEARST" and "Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Cartel de Noreste (CDN) denounced Gulf Cartel - Metros' leader El Primito in two banners placed in a highly visible and highly public area of Mexico City. 

Quick Review

Cartel de Noreste, the Zetas splinter group, has been fighting against the Gulf Cartel - Metros faction for control la Frontera Chica, the northwestern region of Tamaulipas which borders the US. This region is made up of the municipalities of Guerrero, Mier, Miguel Aleman, Camargo and Diaz Ordaz, as seen on the map below. 

DEA Tracks Suspect for 20-Kilo Fentanyl Bust

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

An Ohio woman was arrested for allegedly transporting a massive cache of fentanyl from the Grand Rapids area to metro Detroit.

An Ohio woman was arrested for allegedly transporting a massive cache of fentanyl from the Grand Rapids area to metro Detroit.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said investigators tracked the delivery of 20 kilograms of fentanyl, which is around 44 pounds, after developing intelligence during an ongoing investigation in Kent County.

On Wednesday, suspects believed to have connections to a Mexican cartel sent the woman to deliver to the Detroit area, according to the DEA news release.

Police from federal, state and local agencies stopped the vehicle in metro Detroit and seized approximately 20 kilograms of fentanyl and one firearm.

The woman from Ohio was taken into custody, but agents are not releasing her name due to the ongoing investigation. They also declined to share details about the Grand Rapids connection.

The DEA believes the fentanyl was made in Mexico. Drug cartels in Mexico, using chemicals mainly from China, are responsible for most fentanyl being trafficked in the United States, according to the DEA.

“The precursors (chemicals) are coming in from China mostly,” said Orville Greene, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Detroit field office. “From China, they go into Mexico, and in Mexico the precursors are processed into the finished product, powder or pill form, and then smuggled across the southwest border … Then, it gets shot out across the country from California, but also from Texas, Arizona, all along the western and southwest border.”

Greene, talking to News 8 by Zoom Friday morning, said the drugs are then transported via major highways throughout the United States, including interstates 94 and 75.

On March 7, Michigan State Police seized four kilos of fentanyl after a traffic stop on I-94 near Paw Paw.


Friday, March 24, 2023

Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas: Cartel del Golfo 15 Truck Convoy Overpowers State Authorities

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Video translation is as follows:

Armed men subdued members of the State Guard in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas. The assailants ambushed the agents in order to free four subjects who had been detained on the Francisco I. Madero Avenue. 

When they were outnumbered, the detainees were released. No gunfire or injuries were reported. So far the state authorities have not given details of what happened.

DEA Points to Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG As Main US Threats

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Drug agency sees criminal organizations affecting health through fentanyl trafficking

CJNG. Women and men, captured in training work

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Friday identified the Mexican Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) as the main threats "to health and communities" in US territory.

In a report on the agency's foreign operations, the DEA recalled that in September last year it created a unit dedicated exclusively to pursuing and dismantling the efforts of these two "transnational" organizations to traffic "fentanyl and methamphetamines" into the US.

The kidnapping of four Americans and the murder of two of them in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas in early March has reignited the debate in the US about Mexican cartels.

A group of Republican legislators called for drug trafficking organizations to be classified as terrorist groups, a measure that the State Department does not rule out and which has been harshly criticized by the Mexican government.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard even traveled to Washington on March 13 to meet with the country's consuls in the U.S. and launch a communication strategy to refute the proposal of the congressmen of the opposition party.

The US State Department has listed organizations such as the Islamic State (IS), Hamas and the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) as foreign terrorist groups.

El Heraldo de Chihuahua

Dinner at La Leche | Chapter 2 Disco

Mica for 
Previous Chapters 1

Initially, the plan for Chapter 2 was to introduce the restaurant La Leche. But after reading the comments, this audience wants the full unabridged version with a bit of history. Thanks for being patient readers.  

Dinner at La Leche
The kidnapping of Los Chapitos 
in Puerto Vallarta

Chapter 2 | Disco

Puerto Vallarta was once a peaceful holiday destination for cartel members and their families, protected by an unwritten rule prohibiting violence. In 1992, the Cartel de Sinola and Tijuana Cartel, also known as AFO, held a summit in Puerto Vallarta to negotiate and avoid war. However, this meeting is pure fiction and far from the truth.

As a cartel researcher, I was fascinated by this story, but I recently discovered that the truth differed from what I had initially believed. In reality, the Arellano family had visited Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Benjamín's birthday and escape the heat from PGR and the military, who were under the control of El Mayo and El Chapo. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera was widely regarded as Mexico's most influential drug lord then.

Benjamín and Eduardo

Before the nightclub shooting, the Arellanos had been in Puerto Vallarta for a week under the protection of General Adolfo Mondragon Aguirre who took Benjamín and his wife to a brand new hotel, which is now Sheraton PV, Ramón stayed at the Fiesta Americana, and Eduardo had a home in the marina where they went fishing several times during the week.

General Adolfo Mondragon Aguirre

General Mondragon's role in providing intelligence on the Arellano family to their rivals, including Guzman, Zambada, and Salazar, played a crucial part in the infamous ambush that took place in Puerto Vallarta. Guzman, who was known for his strategic mind and cunning tactics, saw an opportunity to eliminate his competition and gain power and control over the drug trade in the region.


Guzman's decision to ambush the Arellanos in Puerto Vallarta was a bold move that resulted in a decade-long war marked by unprecedented levels of violence. The incident at Christine's Discotheque, where six people lost their lives, including innocent bystanders, was just one of many violent clashes that occurred during this period.


The mistaking of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo for Guzman would happen 5 months later at the Guadalajara Airport by AFO assassins was another tragic event that occurred during the conflict, highlighting the extent of the violence and chaos that had engulfed the region.

Christine Disco 1992

Christine's Discotheque was one of the most popular nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta at the time, frequented by wealthy cartel members and tourists. Ramón's choice to stay at the Fiesta Americana hotel, which was located next to the club, was likely a strategic decision, as it provided him with easy access to the nightclub and its patrons.


On the night of the ambush, Javier and Ramón Arellano were the targets, as Benjamín decided against attending the birthday celebration and stayed at the hotel instead. The attackers, disguised as police officers, stormed the club and opened fire on the guards and the crowd of 300 people. The chaos and confusion that followed resulted in six fatalities, including innocent bystanders.

Javier was abducted by Chapo's men but was later released, while Ramón managed to escape through the ceiling vent. The entire incident was a testament to Guzman's cunning and strategic thinking, as well as the intense rivalry and violence that characterized the Mexican drug trade during this period.

The former location of Christine’s Disco

Understanding the history behind the ambush and the broader conflict that ensued provides valuable context for the Chapitos Kidnapping story. As the brothers drove to celebrate Ivan's birthday, passing by the same iconic building that once housed Christine's Discotheque, they were likely unaware of the violent history that had taken place there.

The prime location of Christine Disco

The next chapter will focus on the restaurant, and I look forward to delving deeper into this fascinating and complex story. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

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