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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mayhem in Nuevo Leon: 7 die

By Chris Covert

A total of three armed suspects were shot and killed in a shootout with Nuevo Leon state police agents Saturday in Montemorelos municipality, according to Mexican news accounts.

According to a post on the website of Milenio news daily, the armed group were gunned down around 2020 hrs at a hotel near the village of Bugambilias.  The suspects had been ordered to surrender, but instead opened fired on police agents with the Nuevo Leon Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones (AEI) as they attempted to detain them. 

The AEI unit involved in the shootout was an anti-kidnapping unit which had been investigating abductions in the area for several weeks.  AEI agents found that a local taxi driver was being used to transport the suspects and their victim.

The gang numbered ten total, and presumably the other seven were either not present during the shootout, or had escaped AEI agents.

Execution in San Nicolas de los Garza

In an unrelated shooting, four individuals were shot to death in an encounter with another armed group in San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon Friday night, according to a separate report posted on Milenio news daily.

The four suspects were travelling aboard a Nissan X-Terra SUV near the intersection of calles Corregidora and Hercule in Hacienda los Morales  colony, when they were intercepted by several armed suspects travelling aboard Ford Crown Victoria and Volkswagen Jetta sedans. 

A pursuit was initiated which ended minutes later when the victims in the SUV decided to dismount and make their escape on foot.  Three of the victims died at the scene while a fourth died while receiving medical attention.

According to a late report by Milenio by writers Sandra Gonzalez and Nestor Hernandez, two of the shooting victims were the sons of a Jose Santos Ornelas Almaraz, a former Secretaria Seguridad Publica (SSP) for Guadalupe municipality during the term of Cristina Diaz Salazar. 

The victims were were identified as Hector Almaraz Salvatore Daniel, 19 and Diego Huerta, 20, Serna Jesus Ivan Gonzalez, 25, and Adam Zapata Mireles, 21.

Milenio reported that Jose Santos Ornelas Almaraz had been detained by the Mexican Army in June 2009 after his name was found on a list  in Zuazua municipality of SSP and other officials, which allegedly provided protection for local criminal gangs.  The list was found at a Zuazua safe house maintained by a local cartel affiliated gang.  Jose Santos Ornelas Almaraz was  later released and apparently exonerated for the crime.

Despite that, the records found in the safe house said that several SSP officials had been paid MX $4,500 (US $314.24) every two weeks.  Two police commanders and 37 other police agents were detained and then sent to prison for their connections to organized crime.

The mayor of Guadalupe, Cristina Diaz Salazar, went on to become a deputy in both the Nuevo Leon and national Chamber of Deputies, eventually winding up as general secretary to Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).  She has served briefly as interim president of PRI just after the resignation of disgraced PRI president Humberto Moreira Valdes last December.

Coppers bust five safe houses

A total of five safe houses used by a local cartel gang were found and dismantled by Escobedo municipal and Nuevo Leon state police agents Friday.

According to a report published in Milenio news daily, Escobedo municipal police officers detained three suspects at a traffic stop near the corner of avenidas Camino Real and Las Torres in Santa Martha colony.   A police patrol had observed the three suspects travelling aboard a taxi cab which ran a red light, initiating a pursuit. 

Police at the scene also seized two pistols from the suspects, who were identified as Fernando Vela Carlos Carranza, 24, and Joseph Alexander Rosales Tovar, 18.

Information provided by the suspects led police to five different safe houses used by a local criminal group in Escobedo, San Nicolas de los Garza and El Carmen municipalities.

A safe house near the intersection of calles Campollines and Acosia in Rincón del Carmen colony had been used by the group for kidnapping.  At that location police found marijuana, explosives, Molotov cocktails, and cash.

In San Nicolas de los Garza three more safe houses were found in Paraje, San José and Balcones colonies.  In total police seized firearms, two detonators for explosives, drugs, two vehicles and a payroll for lookouts.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for

© Copyright 2012 by Chris Covert
You must obtain permission to reprint this article


  1. No matter how many they kill or arrest, no matter how much they take or find out about the cartels or they're cells the cars the money the drugs take in raids or shootouts there's an unlimited supply of everything for cartels they have unlimited money drugs politicians in their pockets police in their pockets they arent even putting a dent in the cartels organization. They have hundreds of willing people ready to sign up to join this won't end sad to say but i think deep down inside we all know that's its just escalating

  2. A little off the subject. There's a story in El Universal that links Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, former governor of Tamaulipas, with the murder of candidate for governor Torre Cantu. I'm translating the message that the U.S. Atty reportedly obtained from Antonio Pena Arguello's cell phone, one of Yarrington's associates who is now a protected witness in the U.S. The message is purportedly from either Lazcano or Trevino (Z 40). This is the most complete version I have seen in Mexican media: "Look, Mr. Tono [Pena Arguello], we're not calling because of a kidnapping but because of the money that you asked us for [to give to] a person, a politician, and because you lied to us. It's OK, don't pay; in any case we'll see where you can hide, because you know quite well that you don't have any place to hide, none of you, not Ponchito, nor Tony. All of you are involved. So, keep the money and in your next life be careful who you steal from. By the way, your brother has told us that you and Tomas Yarrington, along with [Jorge Eduardo] Costilla killed the candidate for governor, Rodolfo Torre Cantu, because he was influencing business deals, sponsorships and protection. In any case, he was murdered for no reason; his brother is still there and none of you did what you promised to do, and remember, so long as a person is alive, he can be murdered. There will be no safe place for you, so good luck, Mr. Tono. Don't be stupid and pay attention to how you steal and how you choose who to steal from, because this comes from having dealings with Costilla, Tomas and Osiel Cardenas." Pena Arguello received this message the day his brother (Ponchito) was murdered. This encouraged Mr. Pena Arguello to emigrate to the U.S. and take up a career in music.

  3. Maybe the AEI will stop these kidnappings of innocent civilians

  4. @ 1:38pm... NICE catch! Great stuff! If you are interested, we can put your translation up on the mainboard (you can also put it up in the forum).


  5. Mr. Covert your translation is wrong in regards to the issue in Montemorelos. There is no village by the name of Bugambilias in that town. The shooting took place at a hotel named Bugambilias that's located on 206 Av. Capitan Alonso de Leon km - Montemorelos - Mexico.

    Sad to read about it though...only decent hotel in Montemorelos. But then all of that region is under caos (Montemorelos, General Teran, Linares, Allende.

  6. Much more professional title Chris. Thanks. When I hear about an anti-kidnapping unit in Mexico, my antenna goes up. Historically, they are more involved than the kidnappers, and do a lot more of them. Usually, small players get greedy or break out on their own and the crew nails them for getting greedy. Don't immediately think that a kidnapping ring was shut down. That State Police anti-kidnapping group more than likely has strong ties to the Zetas in Nuevo Leon.

    I will never forget my first experience with the State Police in 2005 in Juarez. They were well dressed, nice looking, with female officers that looked like models (10s), all plain clothes officers. They all had 3 pagers and 3 cellphones each. They were having lunch at one of the highest priced steak houses in Juarez. We knew better than to make any kind of eye contact with them but damn the women were so hot. When we left, a well dressed sicario in western clothes was getting out of his pickup. He noticed us (two gringos) leaving the restaurant where his bosses were eating and he got concerned and upset. He was in his late 30s with a long grey brown pony tail and steely blue grey eyes that could cut through steel. I found out that day how strong and connected the State Police were that day. My good poker buddy there was well connected with the Juarez Cartel then and had I not been able to call him to speak for me, things would not have turned out good for us.

    Don't always conclude that the involved officers are operating as stewards of the community. That is very doubtful.

  7. Well 666 just turn Mexico over to the criminals,I guess extortion,kidnapping,robbery,murder,just take a little getting used to, Hell why fight it,is that it.

  8. Several people named above who were executed this weekend were members of a popular local Monterrey rap group called "Mente en Blanco." Here's a link (in Spanish):

    Also, take a look at Adan Zapata Mirales ' facebook page to see how popular he was.

  9. June 3, 2012 8:36 PM What you don't seem to understand is no one is fighting it. All of Mexico is run by criminals whether it's politicians or the law - it just depends which cartel is paying them. Mexican society is a narco society corrupt from top to bottom.

  10. A few corrections: The victims were Adan Zapata Mireles, Jesus Serna Gonzalez, and the brothers Diego Salvatore and Hector Daniel Almaraz Huerta. These last two victims were the sons of former Guadalupe municipal police commander Jose Santos Almaraz Huerta. It is not clear that the former police chief was exonerated after he was jailed on accusations of being on the Zetas' payroll. The Proceso article states that he was imprisoned but released via an "amparo", which is a sort of all-purpose appeal peculiar to Mexican jurisprudence. An "amparo" is similar to a protective order in American jurisprudence in which a court stops the state from taking further action against the petitioner. The sins of the fathers are visited upon their sons.

  11. Mexico needs to have tanks and helicopters and as many ground troops as possible rolling through all of the narco strong holds shooting them on site! Why does Mexico refuse to do the right thing for its people? Oh ya, the government and military is full of corruption and they are working with the narcos, I forgot for a minute... My bad...

  12. Wait, what?

    "AEI agents found that a local taxi driver was being used to transport the suspects and their victim."

    So now these cartels have such impunity in some places that they can grab their kidnapping victim, hail a cab and be on their merry way.


  13. June 3, 2012 1:38 PM
    "A little off the subject. There's a story in El Universal that links Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, former governor of Tamaulipas, with the murder of candidate for governor Torre Cantu"
    Thats what im talkin about bro,good stuff.
    Thanks for the translation hermano,that clears some shit up right there.It shows how deep some of this shit runs,and how connected it all is.
    Saludos man.

  14. I am very sad about the news of this young talented hip hop artist had to die so young....R.I.P. Adan Zapata and DJ jesus

  15. i am very happy this is in english since i am from San Jose, California and Mente En Blanco has alot of fans over here. just very sad he had to leave this world so early n young RIP Adan Zapata and DJ Jesus

  16. @2:27 PM It's AEI that's doing the kidnappings. They only "solve" one after they get the ransom and when they can pin it on somebody else.

    @8:36 PM 666 is right. Mexico was turned over to criminals a long time ago.

  17. Yyy doesnt the u.s help mexico get rid of the zetas we have a good
    army that could look for them so yy camt we help the. I lost my dad by the zetas ad dont want to lose another family member so us yy dont u help

  18. Puro Norte Lado 14 ..R.I.P adan zapata

  19. DEP Adan,Srath,Tito,Diego y djesus respetos ::norte 14::


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