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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The secrets of El Rana in the assassination of the Cardinal

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Zetatijuana article

Subject Matter: Humberto Rodriguez Banuelos, Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, Cartel Arellano Felix
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

The death of Humberto Rodríguez Bañuelos, leader of assassins of the Arellano Félix Cartel in Jalisco, diluted the possibility of knowing the historical truth of the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo. "La Rana" ensured that if there was a brave lawyer to defend him, he would tell everything he knew. In March 2001 he was presumed dead after a shooting with the Municipal Police of Tijuana; in the Forensic Medical Service, they realized that he was alive. He spent almost four months in the La Mesa prison with a false identity. He died of a heart attack in January at the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara from hypertension

Reporter: Luis Carlos Sainz
Just turned 16 years and 10 months, of the 25 that he received of a sentence handed down by a criminal judge in Guadalajara- for a double homicide, plus another important amount of time in prison for another twenty murders, among them, that of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo in 1993.

Humberto Rodríguez Bañuelos "La Rana", former commander of the Judicial Police of the State of Sinaloa and Jefe of Sicarios, first for Manuel Salcido Auzeta "El Cochiloco" and after the Arellano Félix Cartel (CAF), paid with the deterioration of his health and finally with his life, the condemnations that the tardiness of the Judicial Power was not able to decree him. A myocardial infarction had no appeal last January.

The death of "Super H", as his subordinates also knew him, in a bed of the old Civil Hospital of Guadalajara, marked the end of a black legend of the crime. That heart attack not only ended the life of the man deprived of his freedom, but with the hope of knowing the truth about the murder of Cardinal Posadas that fateful May 24, 1993 at the International Airport "Miguel Hidalgo" in the Capital of Jalisco .

Although other inmates described him as a braggart, "La Rana" confessed to technical staff of the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) Number 2 "Occidente", in Puente Grande, that although neither he nor his people had anything to do with the murder of the Cardinal, he had information and documents of "the true culprits of the murder of the Cardinal."

Rodríguez Bañuelos did not give any clues. He only assured his interlocutor that in case of getting a brave defender he would tell everything. That daring litigant never arrived, although he had some private lawyers for a very short time. The secret never revealed, went to the grave with whom for three decades was a public servant in law enforcement tasks until the late eighties, and alleged subversive of the criminal law since he jioned the Sinaloa Judicial Police.

The last years of life of "La Rana", who changed his face on more than one occasion through plastic surgery and liposuction, were painful. He was afflicted by multiple illnesses that accompanied him from Cefereso 2 in Jalisco to Cefereso 13 CPS Oaxaca, and then back to Puente Grande, where he suffered the first heart attack during the end of the year of 2017.

 Although Humberto always complained about having little luck in romances and lived in free union with at least ten women, his first love was the Police and the investigation of crimes. His school life began at age six in a government school, where he obtained good grades. He finished high school with a very good average.

In respect of his parents, he recalled that they did not have an adequate economic situation to satisfy their primary needs and provide studies to the five children. "La Rana", older than his brothers, did not continue his studies, to help his father in agricultural work and obtain income for the home. His parents were energetic, and he received the support of both.

Rodriguez left the family very young to embrace the office of judicial police, a corporation in which he obtained important promotions during his fifteen years of career to become a commander in various areas and the Deputy Attorney General of Mazatlan and Los Mochis. However, his aspirations were denied by his superiors on suspicion of his involvement in illicit activities. "I was one of the best judicial policemen, but they did not let me do my job the way I wanted to," he said to the Cefereso staff.

Although he did not continue with his studies and his parents barely knew how to read and write, Humberto was proud that all his brothers, two men and two women, were professionals, even one of them is a magistrate, he said at the time. He also wanted his sentimental partners to be educated and so he interacted with lawyers, doctors, teachers and some of the artists, which gave him an imaginary status of social acceptance. With them he procreated twelve children.

The illicit activities that were claimed to the failed public servant were related to killings of civilians and cover-up of murders of journalists, as well as protection of members of the former Guadalajara Cartel, in the faction of Juan Manuel Salcido "El Cochiloco". Later he became a sicario and formed a group to carry out the orders of his employers, among which he counted the Arellano Félix brothers, native of Culiacán and those who lived in Mazatlán.


His days of freedom ended at dawn on March 22, 2001 when - in a state of drunkenness and drugged with cocaine - he was shot by the Municipal Police of Tijuana and pursued for 15 to 20 minutes in the truck that he was driving. When he stopped to attack the agents, he was wounded in the left leg and in the head. "La Rana" was unconscious on the ground and several police officers were dead.

When La Rana regained consciousness, he assured the interviewer, he was in the Forensic Medical Service of Tijuana, apparently reported as deceased. A forensic doctor on duty found that the man who was admitted to the morgue was still alive. And then he was sent to the General Hospital, where he says he thought "I'm going to die like Colosio died!"

Before the technical staff of the Puente Grande prison, the then inmate said that if he wanted to, he would have escaped from the hospital, because he still had people "to help me." He allegedly did not have the strength to plan his escape and with the false name of Carlos Durán Montoya was referred to the Social Readaptation Center (Cereso) of La Mesa. I had never been in prison before. Almost four months was very comfortable, as he said, prison staff knew his identity, they respected him and were at his disposal, so "I'm surprised that someone tagged me with my real name."

When questioned about his change of appearance, Humberto Rodríguez said that it was not for the purpose of hiding, because in any case he would have "changed the fingerprints (sic), because if possible, it is very expensive". The goal of liposuction and sharpening the features of his face was merely aesthetic, since "I did not have much success with women".

During the little more than a hundred days in Tijuana Cereso, "La Rana" did not do school activities and accepted to have dedicated himself to consume alcohol and get high on cocaine, although eventually he used marijuana. He used to smoke four cigarettes of tobacco and drink five cola drinks a day. He also took controlled medications prescribed by the doctor and the psychiatrist at the prison.

The then accused analyzed the questions that were asked and his answers were short, without depth. He showed his displeasure at the news and the media when his identity was discovered and he was transferred to the maximum security prison. He also issued expletives when he was questioned about the treatment they gave him in the Cefereso 2 and the proceedings of the Courts.


Of the more than twenty homicides that he was charged with, they asked his opinion about the death of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo and the shooting of the Guadalajara airport 25 years ago. The inmate replied: "Neither my people, nor I, killed the Cardinal, in that I am calm with God." He pointed to former prosecutor Jorge Carpizo as one of the characters who invented the "confusion" hypothesis in which he was involved.

From the version that pointed out that the Arellano Félix intended to eliminate Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, Humberto said he had no rivalry with him or with "El Güero Palma" and that he was worried about being held in the prison institution from which Guzmán escaped as "he had bought all the staff that worked there."

Thus, the first moments in the federal prison were of distrust of the inmates, the public servants and the food and water they provided, fearing that the food was produced by inmates who wanted to poison it. He asked : "Are you people from Palma or were you people from El Chapo "?"

Once he found out that there was staff specialized in cooking, "La Rana" continued the second part of the most collaborative interview. He commented that he was "very well informed as to the dynamics that arose when 'El Chapo' Guzmán had  power over the Cefereso." He said he knew who were involved in the escape of the "Chapo", sent to the prison of the Altiplano in the State of Mexico, that "even when I do not know him personally, I know how things run in prison".

That's when he said he had "reliable information, as well as documents that implicate the true culprits of the Cardinal's murder, among other homicides, and if there was a lawyer who was not afraid, who would take my case and trust him, to him if I would express all the information I have. " This despite the fact that, he reiterated, neither he nor his people were involved.

He told his interviewer twice that it was best not to give him information. "I do not want to involve a lawyer, I do not want to answer him," the Sinoalense concluded.


In addition to the seven murders at the airport in Guadalajara in 1993, "La Rana" is accused in Jalisco of at least twenty homicides. Among other crimes, he is linked to the execution of former prosecutor Leobardo Larios Guzmán, the shooting death of two Transit Police agents, and the execution of a plastic surgeon allegedly for medical malpractice in the nineties.

Also in Sinaloa, he was alleged to have participated in the murders of three people in Mazatlan in June 1984, when he was acting as commander of the Judicial Police; the bad investigation of the murders in 1980 of the journalists Aarón Flores, editor of El Debate , and Guadalupe Ochoa, of the newspaper El Gráfico , both of Los Mochis; and the cover-up of the murder of reporter Manuel Burgueño Orduña, on February 22, 1988, when Rigoberto Rodríguez Bañuelos "El Ingeniero Wilfrido", brother of "La Rana" was implicated.

In the case of plastic surgeon Francisco Joel Rubio Robles, killed by gunfire in November 1993, the gunmen Gastón Ayala Beltrán "El Gas" and Ulises Murillo Mariscal "El Lichi", had confessed that the crime was ordered by Humberto, due to that eight years before, after performing a liposuction, "he had a scar."

Ulises, arrested in September 1993, said that when they went to Dr. Rubio's office they asked him to "accompany" them, but when the doctor objected, Gastón took out his firearm, ripped the wires from the telephone and pointed his gun at the victim and fired. Ulysses fired three more shots at the prone body. Ayala Beltrán was arrested by the military on September 3, 1995 at the restaurant Mi Gusto Es , in Mesa de Otay, in Tijuana.

Even without convictions for the majority of their homicides, the prolonged imprisonment - almost 17 years - wreaked havoc on the health of an obese subject, with poor nutrition and subjected to stress. With old wounds of bullet impacts in various parts of his body. Loss of sight and hypertension with asthmatic spasms.

A "La Rana" ended up liking  painting and the music, although he could not learn to play the guitar or the accordion that both seduced him. The exercise was not given for asthma and orthopedic problems that almost prostrated him in a wheelchair during his last three or four years of life. The bullet in the thigh of the left leg meant he walked with a cane.

In November 2015, authorities of the Cefereso Number 2 "Occidente" transferred him to the Cefereso # 13 in Oaxaca, where Rodríguez's health worsened, getting his return to Puente Grande in mid-2017, where on December 29 he suffered an acute heart attack due to myocarditis.

"La Rana" was transferred to the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara, where he was interned more than fifteen days. In this course, relatives of the defendant promoted a demand for guarantees before the Fourth District Judge of Amparo in Criminal Matters, complaining about the deficient medical attention that was offered in the prison.

Finally, in the first days of the second half of January 2018, another heart attack ended the patient's life in the Coronary Care Unit of the old hospital.


Federal Social Readaptation Center number 2 "Puente Grande", El Salto, Jalisco.

Start number 0838 / PG / 01


Alias: "El Rana"

Place of birth: La Cruz de Elota, Sinaloa

Date of birth: December 27, 1953

Mexican nationality

Marital status: Unmarried

Age: 47 years (in 2001)

Schooling: Third grade of secondary

Catholic religion

Occupation: Trucker

Provenance: CERESO Tijuana, BC

Offense (s): Qualified homicide, attempted homicide, possession of prohibited weapon, property damage

Sentence: Processed

Address: Jardines de la Mesa 2043, Colonia La Mesa, Tijuana, BC

Size of trousers: 34

Shirt: 40

Right foot length: 27

Decadectilar formula: Right hand: V-4443 3-2334. Left hand: V-3442 3-x234

Puente Grande, El Salto, Jal., July 10, 2001

25 years of impunity

Eleven suspects await, sentence for the murder of Cardinal Posadas

A quarter of a century after the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo and six other people in the Guadalajara air terminal, there is not a single condemned convict for the events, although to date eleven suspects continue to be held criminally.

In the Fifth Criminal Court, where the case is currently stuck, it is argued that the defense of those involved has extended the matter for more than two decades, although it should be noted that in May 2006 judgment was issued and on appeal the cancellation of the same and the restitution of the procedure was ordered. Only two acquittals were respected.

After the death of Humberto Rodríguez Bañuelos, alleged leader of the criminal group that claimed to assassinate Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, on the afternoon of May 24, 1993, at the "Miguel Hidalgo" International Airport, municipality of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco, they only continue the alleged hitmen are:

Ulises Murillo Mariscal "El Lichi"; Rodrigo Villegas Bon "El Roque"; Gastón Ayala Beltrán "El Gas"; Santiago Nieblas Rivera "El Chapito"; Juan Enrique Vascones Hernández "El Puma"; and Jorge Isaías Mar Hernández "Ingeniero Mayo".

Manuel Alberto Rodríguez Rivera list "El Tahúr" or "Kamayeca"; Edgar Eduardo Mariscal Rábago "El Negro"; Álvaro Osorio Osuna "The Nahual"; Alfredo Araujo Ávila "El Popeye"; and José Antonio Malcom Fararoni "El Tiroloco".

In addition to the volume of the file approaching one hundred volumes, the defendants are distributed in various state and federal prisons, mainly in Jalisco and Oaxaca.

The sentence annulled in 2006  contemplated sentences of up to 283 years six months of prison and of 273 years six months of prison for Ulises Murillo and Rodrigo Villegas, respectively, among the most important the illegal detentions of some of the accused, the lack of signatures in various proceedings, the lack of relief of diligence (confrontations and evidence) offered in time and form by the parties, and the state of defenselessness in which some of the accused were held in prisons far from Jalisco .

The reinstatement procedure validated the arrests of all those involved and, in their desperation to be sentenced, some of them requested the separation of the case, that is, that they be given a final decision separately and not be delayed justice by the pending appeals or proceedings of others  co-defendants.

In the Fifth Criminal Court, they hope that this year they will be sentenced in this well known case.


  1. Can Benjamin Arellano Felix read these articles?

  2. The Archdiocese of Guadalajara has investigated and exculpated the Arellanuses and El Chapo Guzman of which el Chapo and Benjamin Arellano still refuse to talk.
    Their conclusions were that:
    --Carlos Salinas de Gortari,
    --his Procurador de Justicia Dr (PhD law) Jorge Carpizo McGregor an homosexual,
    --judicial federal police commander Rodolfo León Aragon aka "El Chino León" (just elected mayor of Salinas Cruz Oaxaca)
    --and other Judicial Federal Police agents were the ones that killed archbishop with 14 stray bullets confusing him with el chapo, half as tall as posada ocampo, also shot and killed his driver with 10 more stray bullets and shot their car 150 more times with more than 150 stray bullets...
    There are reports in the news and videos...
    El Benjamin and El chapo still refuse to talk...

  3. Crime does not pay.

    1. Not a surprise he died of a heart attack.. He looks like porky the pig.

    2. 7:15 well, thanks to la Virgen de Guadalupe and Co.
      CARLOS SALINAS DE GORTARI and his buddies have done pretty butty good thanks to their crimes...hundreds of billions of dollars for their retirement coots, chalets, mansions and shit

  4. Thanks BB for the article. In Mexico, the murder of the Cardinal will always be a mystery because you just don’t know who is telling the truth there. I’m sure all their suspects arrested received a severe torture like our US gangsters who were arrested did. Mexican investigators always get a confession.

    The truth about the murder of the Cardinal we already know. We prosecuted the US gangsters involved in the US because the government of Mexico dropped the ball and released all but two of the gangsters that were turned over to them by US law enforcement via deportation, expulsion and extradition. In the chaos at the airport that day, we know the players who were there - an enforcement group from Tijuana and one from Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

    La Rana must have become somewhat religious in jail and wanted anybody who would listen to him to believe he had nothing to do with the murder of the Cardinal. Maybe he thought it would somehow get back to God, but God knows the truth and Rana is riding the express elevator to hell. His gang from Los Mochis was arrested prosecuted and received long sentences.

    Rana did have an issue with Chapo. He picked the side of his masters, the Arellano Brothers, after the war with Chapo escalated with the Christine Disco event where Chapo tried to kill the Arellano contingent that was partying in the club.

    Rana was the head of enforcement for the Arellanos in 1993. He had many of his men from Sinaloa patrolling Tijuana to protect the brothers and led assassination crews to attempt to kill Chapo all over Mexico. David Barron led the US gangsters. There were pictures of Chapo in all of their safehouses and a well-known reward of “2 million US dollars and a ranch” for the person to kill him. They had a spirited briefing the day before the trip to Guadalajara where Ramon Arellano inspired his enforcers to eliminate Chapo from the world and take over his drug routes. According to the many witnesses who have testified in the federal grand jury, if the Guadalajara mission were successful, they would become the lead cartel in Mexico. With the death of Rana, the world is a safer place.

    1. Rana was always a liar, that was his way of life. Good liars end up believing their lies. That Tijuana enforcement group had not slept for days trying to follow false Chapo leads. That is why they all shot indiscriminately in spite of the training they had from firmet Israel Intelligence officials

    2. 10:47 who fails to kill a target and kills someone else "by accident" with about 200 stray bullets?
      And that is the bullets recovered from car and bodies.

  5. Shit...tell that to el abuelo..he seems to be doing good for himself...for the time being lol

  6. In the book Narcoland, it was written that the govt killed the Cardinal because of a list he had of corrupt govt officials. Anyone know anything of this?

  7. I have not read Narcoland but strongly disagree with that reasoning. As stated above, the Arellano-Felix Brothers gave the order to kill Chapo and had information he would be in Guadalajara. Ramon and Benjamin sent enforcement groups from Los Mochis and Tijuana to Guadalajara where for almost 2 weeks they sought out Chapo. As they were calling the operation off and directing the Tijuana enforcers to return to Tijuana, they received information Chapo may be at the airport in a White Gran Marquis. Members of both enforcement groups unloaded on the Gran Marquis with the Cardinal and his driver. We have testimony from many in the AFO from grunts to leaders about the Cardinal Murder. Hopefully this lends some clarification.

    1. This is where prolly chapo got his foot in with the goverment... how the afo enforcers gonna spend 2 weeks scowering and out of nowhere they get an exact location? It sounds staged to where the real assassination was the cardinal mixed up in this rival

    2. Ok thanks man!

    3. IF El Chapo was the target/intended victim...
      Why was he imprisoned? How did the Arellanuses "know" El Chapo was getting into the airport grounds instead of parking where everybody parks their cars on the parking lots?
      As the Arellanuses people was leaving because they saw the area was flooded by federal police the cardinal got his ass all shot up by the federales whose boss PhD Jorge Carpizo McGregor had arranged to have El Chapo and the Arellanuses at the same time in the airport, Carlos Salinas de Gortari ordered the job, Carpizo was one of his girlfriends like Miguel de la Madrid and Francisco Ruiz Massieu.

  8. Killing old people, children, and priests. You "people" suck.


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