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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, October 4, 2013

Criminals fight for control of Tijuana

ZETA Investigaciones (9-30-2013)  By Sergio Haro

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

A double battle for the sale of drugs increased the incidence of violent homicide by 25% in Tijuana. Four groups are fighting over the principal neighborhoods in the east and central parts of the city. The dead and the murderers belong to cells led by Alfonso Lira, "El Atlante", and the remains of the criminal organizations that were formerly led by Melvin Gutierrez Quiroz and Armando "El Gordo " Villareal, lieutenants with the CAF (Cartel Arellano Felix), who are now under arrest. 
Investigations by ZETA

The 25% increase in homicides that Tijuana is experiencing is due to confrontations for control of drug sales in the city's neighborhoods. They are no longer fighting over street corners, now they shoot each other for the city's sectors and the ones who are being killed are drug distributors working larger areas.

On the Sinaloa side, with the organization of Alfonso Lira, "El Atlante",  the group "Los Pelones" is in a fight to the death with cells led by "El Seven", "El 300", "El Tio", and "El Guero". And with the Arellano Felix cartel, two individuals who used to work for currently imprisoned Melvin Gutierrez Quiroz: "El 5-8", who up to September 23, 2013, was fighting against Francisco Javier Flores Hernandez, "El Javi", who formerly worked for him and other groups as a hired assassin. He ("El Javi") was arrested last Monday after a homicide.

Those are the facts that have been compiled from information gathered by intelligence sources and from interviews of the detainees from August to September. "There have been arrests or investigations initiated with court orders issued for appearances or arrests in at least 80% of the cases. The PGR has not let up, and neither have we", claimed Alberto Capella, Secretary of Municipal Public Safety in Tijuana.

The former CAF

Secretary Capella spoke about the the conflict that encompasses the areas of the local drug corridor, the Zona Centro, (Zona) Obrera, Zona Norte and San Antonio de los Buenos.

"Individuals  working for "El Melvin" are giving information to other drug traffickers -- including the Sinaloa Cartel-- so they will kill and finish off the competition." He reiterated that the confrontation between "Javi" and "El 5-8" is the bloodiest conflict.

"We return to the same problem; a conflict between drug distributors. It's about a fight that, according to background information, started in December  of 2012, at least, but it has been getting more brutal as the murder rate between (criminal) cells increases." he explained.

Questioned about reports from intelligence groups that allege that "Atlante" cells are recruiting  assassins from the "Los Surenos" --a Mexican-American gang-- to fight against  "Los Pelones", who are based in the Logan (Heights) neighborhood in San Diego, California, the official explained:

"Our main problem right now is the relationship between United States gangs and groups from here. "El Barrio 18", "Los Surenos", and the stink of the Mexican Mafia, in addition to the constant (problem) of lovers, uncles or cousins who want to steal drugs from their relatives, and who have been selling it for some time."

Getting back to the subject of captures, he brings up the arrest of a criminal group on September 19, 2013. This group shot members of the Municipal Police intelligence unit while they were following up on some information at the El Rubi housing development. In this operation, former police officer Jose Angel Uribe Medrano was arrested and formally charged with taking part in at least two homicides. (Capella) also mentions the subsequent capture of the individual who used to be (Uribe Medrano's) immediate boss, Francisco Javier Flores Hernandez, "El Javi", who is currently under arrest while his alleged participation in at least 8 recent murders is investigated.

The struggle among the groups continues because "El Javi" had at least three criminal groups working for him, each with its own boss.

Regarding the fighting among Sinaloa Cartel people, Capella would only say: "There's some confusion; right now we do not know how strong the Sinaloa Cartel's presence is because, according to them, they are not shopkeepers, that's the message they have sent me when they send threats. So then, I assume that they are leaving the retail sale of drugs to their lieutenants -- with no controls--, in a large market that amounts to 22 million pesos a day (approximately $1.7 million)."
The Sinaloa people

In an interview with ZETA, Miguel Angel Guerrero, state coordinator for the Organized Crime Prosecutions Unit (SCDO: Subprocuraduria Contra la Delincuencia Organizada) of the Baja California Justice Department (PGJE), spoke about the conflict between gang leaders; some of them represent cells associated with the Sinaloa Cartel, others groups have surrendered to the Sinaloa group, but were previously engaged in illegal activities for the CAF.

Of the 401 violent deaths in Tijuana thus far in 2013, there had been 39 murders in the month of September as of the 26th day of the month, which led to the PGJE to admit that there had been a 25% increase in the commission of this offense.

Guerrero was asked what was the reason for the spike in the numbers (of murders), and how did this blood bath involve Alfonso Lira, who was mentioned repeatedly in police reports in recent months.

The government official talked about the conflict to regain the drug sales areas that "El Atlante's" group already controlled, and how the alleged criminal already feels identified and cornered by the authorities, neglecting control, in addition to which the cells are falling apart.

With respect to Alfonso Lira's accomplices, direct subordinates or cell bosses, the PGJE has identified "El Seven", "El 300", "El Guero" and "El Tio", an alias formerly used by Jose Lorenzo Porfirio Cervantes Martinez, brother in law of "El Atlante", who was arrested on August 12, 2013, by State Preventive Police. 

Miguel Angel Guerrero confirmed that these are aliases that have been mentioned often in recent statements.

"Relying on recent investigations by intelligence groups, (we) were able to put a face and a name on "El Atlante", because at first it was assumed that there were two individuals, two brothers, in a family business," he explained....continues next page

"Since we put a face to "El Atlante", he started to cover himself, he disappeared from the city and, as a consequence, conflicts have begun among the cells that were under him. As for the homicides, the persons arrested tell us that the dead person was with the "Pelones". The persons arrested were working for "Atlante's" people and received orders from "El 300" or "El Tio", who are associated in the Eastern Zone, and others in the Central Zone who say they're "El Atlante's" people, but they get orders." 

Florido Industrial Park Murder

-- Some intelligence information is claiming that there's a schism among these groups and that they are trying to form groups independent of Lira. What truth is there in this?

"The facts obtained from interviews are that they are still under the control of 'El Atlante', one 'El 300' and 'El Tio' in the Eastern Zone, and 'El Seven' in the Central Zone of Tijuana corridor."

With respect to the murders in the Colonias Libertad and Postal, which are atypical areas that had not been included in the confrontations, Guerrero explained: "What we know so far in the investigations is that everything points to executions of people from the Northern Zone."

-- The people from the Northern Zone are committing murders?

"Yes, (they are killing) people trying to come into La Libertad, La Postal and Del Rio (neighborhoods)."

Because the most violent conflict is between Alfonse Lira people and "Los Pelones", the SCDO coordinator is questioned about the second group, and, although he did not identify bosses, he explained:

"'Los Pelones' are a branch of what was left from (the group led by) Armando 'El Gordo' Villareal, who managed --criminally-- Mesa de Otay from Los Modulos, Libertad and Zona del Rio. Generally, they are former convicts and people deported from the U.S., with contacts in the Logan "Barrio", which was a part of the CAF.  We all know that's how they worked." 

With respect to the recruitment of Mexican-American deported criminals, Guerrero asserted that it's a fact, but he explained that there are also two other phenomena that have been reported by immigrant support organizations. A considerable number of deportees have been provided medical care by government organizations after they were beaten or shot, in some cases because they have been asked to join and they refused. In other cases, they were "contracted" to commit crimes, and were promised money or drugs. After they commit the crime, the only thing they get is a beating and they are dumped somewhere along the border."

-- According to intelligence reports from active police (agencies), (retail drug) sellers are no longer killing each other, they are not fighting over street corners; is the fight then between wholesalers/distributors who are fighting over entire zones? he was asked regarding the change in the profiles of the murdered persons.  

"It does coincide a little with information we already have, including a homicide over the weekend in the (Colonia) Felipe Velazquez, where one person died and another was wounded and died at the General Hospital. In fact, we already have information that the dead person, a young man in his twenties, was the one who controlled distribution of crystal in the the Sanchez Taboada and Felipe Velazquez (neighborhoods). So then, we are saying that it's no longer the street corner vendor, but rather the suppliers responsible for distribution in those areas who are getting killed," concluded the state official. (by Sergio Haro)

Municipal and state police officers disagree on the facts.
Originally, it was disclosed that (Ramon Hernandez Cruz) was involved in seven recent homicides in the Western Zone in Mexicali, although the office of the State Attorney General (PGJE) stated-- based on evidence  from the scene-- that there was evidence that he had taken part in only two murders and one assault.

We are talking about Ramon Hernandez Cruz, arrested Tuesday morning, September 24, 2013, in the Colonia Virreyes in Mexicali by agents with the Municipal Public Safety (agency). The PGJE stated that ministerial agents also played a part.

In the initial report, the municipal authorities stated that three firearms were confiscated from Hernandez; a .22 cal. semi-automatic pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40 cal. Glock. In addition, he was linked with the murder of a military person a year ago.

Abel Galvan, the state deputy prosecutor with the Organized Crime (unit), disclosed that neither the .22 caliber pistol nor the 12-gauge shotgun were functional, which is why only the .40 caliber Glock was sent to the lab for analysis, which is how it was determined that it was involved in at least three crimes.

One was the assault on March 26, 2013 --File No. NUC 0202/2013/12758-- against Felizardo Valencia Ceballos, who was wounded in the incident that took place in Colonia Huertas. In another, incident in September 12, 2012, night watchman Alvaro Guzman Sanchez was murdered in Colonia Progreso, the presumed motive being the theft of his car. In the third one, on September 21, Ricardo Urias Carrillo was shot to death in Colonia Palmeras. Investigators believe that robbery was the motive.

According to Galvan, the PGJE has enough material to prosecute and obtain a conviction against Hernandez Cruz, at least in the murder of Alvaro Guzman. Evidence is being gathered in the other cases.

"I want to emphasize that at this time we have no evidence to determine whether this person was involved with the murder of a military person, nor whether the weapon is involved, as was reported before," the official explained.  


  1. I have a lot of friends in Tijuana. All Mexican citizens. I have been to Tijuana to party with them. In a party at the shop one night, after hours there were about 30 of us watching a Mexico soccer game. There were little baggies of cocaine being past around like beers or cigarettes. Out of the 30 people partying only two did not partake in the drug. One being me. The price of the drug is less in Mexico then in the USA, but it is amazing how many people use. There is still a huge profit to made in Mexico. Just like in Chihuahua, there is no shortage of drugs. They are sold all over the streets here too. They also force some businesses to sell them under threat of death.

  2. as long as I can go to peanuts and beer safely!

  3. Now u can honestly say chapos people are getting killed left and right...

  4. Wat the hell is going on over their

  5. Let there be no doubt that Chapo Guzman and CDS have a presence, and control of parts of the city, in Tijuana. CDS is not the strongest cartel in Mexico for nothing. Alonso Lira and the Pelones are continuing the war the bloodthirsty El Teo started in wresting control of TJ from the FSO. Although the murder rates are tamed compared to the Teo time period, CDS continues to gain ground in TJ inorder to establish the most important reason for wanting control in TJ: control of the lucrative drug trafficking corridors to U.S.A. and California markets -- not to control the retail sales in la Juana. Your talking about the 1st and 4th economies of the world respectively. More money means more soldiers, more weapons, more product -- Chapo/CDS have the most.

  6. I predict alot of homicides in october

  7. Caro Quintero taking over

  8. The violence in t.j. still doesn't stop me from having a good time there :)

  9. i have a relatives in tijuana, my relatives said, there are so many drug seller and halcones in tijuana even some vendors selling drugs and the same halcones they are working in CDS, police, navy and soldiers are the protectors of this men, there are so many safe houses and luxury house from subdivision where the CDS hit squads stay together ready to response anytime, i think CDS still controlling the tijuana

    1. Agreed its a matter of time cds takes over

  10. Appears that cells are restructuring as new alliances are formed and old CAF associates make their last stand? .. interesting read nonetheless.

  11. residente de tijuanaOctober 5, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    this report is very very incompetent but its not on you vato ill give you my reasons one it said that there under el atlante ad hes so powerful the other is saying there fighting each other and worst of all there saying caf members are giving up info that is not even close to the truth i live here remember the eastern part of tijuana was rented to el teo know it rented to few cells of cds and there loosing controll of there cells and im sure chapo didnt want his and also to say that caf members are running to cds that is not even close to the truth the only members that ran to cds 35% belont to 60dd el teo and muletas the current members are still with caf and its gotten bigger it is also said they raised the rent on cds so this was expected cds is so unorganized right know by the time there done fighting each other cause remember no caf member has been killed only one cell will remain independent and thats okay as long as they pay rent also remember theres already reports that el melvin is going to be released with el pato and popeye and also 60 other members also theres someone running melvin crew so that my reason oh one more thing the names of caf that keep popping up for el caf is nides and meseis and tb and verde and theres another one i cannot repeat but it sounds like ciro or zero and they controll a huge army loyal to el caf and it stretches all over tijuana and san diego and los angeles

  12. Chapo is losing turf all over mexico

  13. Residente de tijuana sounds better than this report

  14. The Sinaloa cartel is the strongest for a reason

    1. Tijuana esta en Culiacan pendejete!...

  15. Replies
    1. El CDS (Cartel Del Los Snitches) is falling!....

  16. Estamos al 100 con el Señor 300.

    1. Muerete puto!!!!....Tijuas es Arellano!...

    2. Pendejo tijuana va ser de chapo fernando es mierda .

    3. Nunca va aser estupido!...CAF!

  17. residente de tijuanaOctober 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    10:43 am gracias primo but its the truth you know something else besides just living here you here everything in the bars the main thing i hear is that reporters are responsible for the murders not el caf or cds when they post uneducated post like tijuana the main entry port has no boss well everyone tries to take over but by the time they realize that tijuana baja norte ya tiene dueno and its el caf people are killed but in reality they just want to be low key and keep making money and growing and violence always last resort caue for 17 years they made enough noise to last for decades and yes i have grown up with caf members and they look relax and still loyal to the family but thanks for the comment

  18. Thank you R.D.T 4 the info. I honestly think cheepo will eventually fail @ conquering any plaza I still don't think he owns Juarez 2 many people sayN otherwise but let's see how it all it ends. I'm getN tired of some of these SKAALEE WAGS sayN this N that about cheepo being la Verga

  19. Becuse Sinaloans are Snitches Thats why They strong federal Policía
    army.and gobierno love el Chapo
    de sinaloa but beltranes la Lina
    mugreZ golfos. all Have to work harder
    becuse They dont rely on the feds
    like chapos Sinaloa why do you think
    Obama wants chapó ALIVE.
    not dead someone from chapos
    clan is a snitch.
    p.s. all narcos Snitches or not deserve to die.-al Quds

  20. The problem here is the people from "El Atlante" are invading the retail areas of "Los Pelones". "El Atlante" was a hitman for "Teo", then he aligned himself with "El Aquiles" and now wants to form his own cell, "Los Pelones" have been active in retail sales for a long time, their work areas ranged from Otay to Playas de Tijuana, they are(were?) part of CAF, their group is one of the biggest retail sellers in TJ, Like the article mentions, they were at some time part of Amado Villarreal´s crew, they even race at the Baja 1000 off road race.

    This fights are escalating, they are killing distributors right now, instead of the street vendor as they did in past months, yesterday another 2 men(presumed to be part of "Los Pelones" were shot death in broad daylight with ak-47´s, a 5 year old boy survive the attack unharmed. Today a woman was wounded in a car to car shootout in the "Zona Norte"(Biggest drug market in TJ).

    The truth is nobody wants to mention what is going on, but the violence is escalating, we had murders everyday, but now they are making the attacks in daylight as before, if no pact is done between cell leaders, this could end up in a situation similar to that of "Teo"/"Inge".

    Sinaloa´s people(Atlante, Aquiles, Rana, etc.) are running things from outside Baja, that is giving them problems since the lower rank members don´t really feel an obligation to follow their commands, there was a meeting with Mayo(reported by ZETA) in Sinaloa were he told his lieutenants to retrieve the command of their people, he didn't want them fighting each other but apparently it didn't work out.

    1. You summarized it very well thanks

  21. CDS is overrated. How can they be "winning" when it has been proven that half the state of Sinaloa is up for grabs. Crooked cops doing their dirty work is not a smart strategy coming from chapu the "chess player". Only a matter of time before it blows up in his face and the guys putting in work decide to keep all the hard earned $ and territory. If you don't think its possible ask Osiel how that movie ends. As for TJ, Juarez, Laredo too much "old" money laying around to get on all fours and shout out "take it"!

    1. Amen brother.....border cities should fight off this chaputo snitch trust me sinaloa without a border is sinaloa with no power.Tijuana juarezz,laredo,3 fronteras onde los chaputos maman verga

  22. residente de tijuanaOctober 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    when its all over people will see how smart and powerful el caf is remember call is still getting paid and making there own moves and also el caf is restructured its a tcking time bomb whats about to happen and melvin and 60 other member are about to come out

  23. El caf is weak there not even street level trafficking

  24. residente de tijuanaOctober 7, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    if caf is weak why are you scared to enter in here as an anonymous if caf is weak i enter here cause i dont want problems with caf and alot of people know me and i was born and raised here whats youre excuse just come out the closet caf is power and tell melvin when he gets out how weak caf is pls i wanna be there hey tijuano como estas i hear tht el gallo likes you as a reporter and youre honesty el gallo is a long time friend and he commands over 75 members thats why it ticks me off when they post that caf is surrending to cds how is that when theres no structure there

    1. Ok we know you live there so of course you're going to be in favor of TJ even if TJ has hundreds of members you have to admit chapo has thousands amongst territories he controls Tj is a small fry in comparison to CDS look at the map dont even tryto compare INGE to CHAPO thats a no brainer. I know cause you live there you're loyalty is towards TJ and nothing wrong with that but you have to admit if chapo wants he can take over Tj .

  25. Tijuana sigue haciendo Arellano putos!!!..La Bandera de Ramon sigue rifando en La Baja!...El Chaputo y El Miado nunca van a entrar ala Baja!...


    1. Look at the map you idiot and tell me how big Tijuana is vs the territories controlled by el chapo and los zetas if chapo and mayo wanted Tijuana they can take it. If Tijuana is so big and bad and control Tijuana why dont they put an end to this violence even if you say its not caused by TJ its still happening in TJ streets so wheres the control that TJ has in their own streets .

    2. Oye puto tu's ancianos El CHAPUTO y EL MIADO tienen años tratando de invadir Tijuas pero no puedes los estupidos, por que sus cellulas valen verga y se estan matando entre ellos por envidia!...

      No importa que tus chiles se crean grande, por que padecen de disiplina los muerto de hambre cocos del Pata Cortas!...

      Puro Arellano Activo!!!!!!!

  26. there's no l in cds you didn't even make sense why you mad because the jefes of the tijuana cartel have Sangre sinaloense they will always run the show weather if it's el Inge or la madrina or Los beltranes Carrillos it doesn't matter because they still have Sinaloa blood running thru there vanes and you can't shake that.

  27. Viva ramon putos!!!!

    1. Do you mean don ramon arellano felix?the one a low level ex-paletero policia killed in sinaloa?the one rotting in hell now? Arriba de que?grow up boy

    2. Why is it that when Ramon would go to sinaloa your big bad ass bosses would jump in there plains and leave.

  28. Everyone is "winning". Theyre all making money thru tj. There's templarios, cds, caf, zetas in tj. And they all make money. Ifbthey were losing money they would get out of this business. Theyrr all making money so they're all winning. Period.

  29. @October 8, 2013 at 2:46 AM:

    You've got a great point there!, That´s the difference from other plazas, everyone is making money(at least the top level guys), no need to fight right now.

    PS. No zetas in TJ, but great point nonetheless.



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