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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

El Cartel del Mar

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Sin Embargo

Tijuana, April 15 (Zeta / SinEmbargo)
Officials, fishermen, assassins, and a criminal structure: now there is the "Cartel del Mar", an organized crime group that deals in the Totoaba Bladders on the black market.

Enrique García Sandez "El Kiki", the man shot in San Felipe , BC  by members of the Secretariat of the Navy, was not an ordinary fisherman but he was the former Profepa inspector.  The Coordination Group identified him as an element close to José Luis García Ruiz, known as "La Yegua", partner of the already detained Óscar "El Parra" Aispuro, whose capture left an empty space that several have tried to occupy in what is now called the "Cartel del Mar", but to date there is a definite leader.

In a conversation with ministerial police, "El Parra" claimed to have a hundred fishermen under his command, while the other cells barely hovered around with about ten pangas. "El Kiki" García's case will be handled by the FGR.
A kilo of totoaba bladder is worth up to $80,000 US dollars and that is why it appeals to criminals:

"I have family, I have brothers", was the response of Óscar Parra Aispuro " El Parra " or " El Tekolín ", when elements of the State Ministerial Police questioned him about his successor at the head of his organization that - according to his own words - reached the hundred fishermen and some elements dedicated to other types of activities, from armed men to those in charge of logistics.

The incident occurred on Thursday March 28 on the Gulf of Santa Clara Avenue, where Enrique Garcia Sandez " El Kiki ", 37 years old, was injured at the hands of personnel of the Secretariat of the Navy and that would eventually generate a social upheaval showing that totoaba fishing and trafficking did not suffer significant impact after the arrest of the alleged leader of the "Cartel del Mar", because the organization has a large number of assets and can continue operations without any problem.

Inspector of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) from 2008 to 2014, García Sandez, the man who was injured in San Felipe on March 28, began as a Federal official with a salary of 7,135 pesos, according to data provided in his declaration of assets and properties before the Ministry of Public Administration (SFP); when leaving, he earned just over 13,000 pesos a month.

With secondary school completed and the only experience of having worked as a gas dispatcher and security guard at the Costa Azul hotel, he became an Inspector of Profepa, but apparently he had left his post when his ties with totoaba dealers were discovered. On the day of the shootout with sailors, he was caught on the Sea Shepherd boat carrying what looked like a totoaba specimen, whose fishing has been banned since 1974.
Personnel of the Coordination Group identifies "El Kiki" as a member of the totoaba trafficking cell of José Luis García Ruiz "La Yegua", alleged partner of "El Parra", who apparently would have remained with the majority control of the plaza, although it is not the only group that reigns in the area.

The groups/cells of "El Parra" with "La Yegua" suggests that since the arrest of the first, the second took the reins as the chief lieutenant of totoaba fishing in San Felipe. However, several could take the place of "El Parra", currently imprisoned for allegedly killing a soldier in the early hours of December 31, 2017.

In a more discreet profile, "La Yegua" spends little time in the Port town of San Felipe and  prefers to take refuge in Mexicali, where members of the Coordination Group have detected that he has homes in residential areas with restricted access. Because he is not characterized by the use of firearms, "La Yegua" has gone unnoticed by the authorities.

Although members of the Coordination Group have not yet located another person with the profile of a new Jefe de Plaza with the characteristics of "El Parra", the former jefe del plaza , there are persons  that could occupy that position, including some of the relatives.

Gastón Eduardo, who worked with "El Parra"  for several years, was in charge of supplying arms and buying equipment. In fact, the only time he was arrested, on October 12, 2017, by elements of the Gendarmerie, he returned from buying several radio communications equipment; each one cost a $1000. On that occasion they confiscated weapons, drugs, a scale, money and communications equipment.

Supporting Gastón Eduardo, one of the sources consulted by ZETA located an individual named Alejandro Tamborillo, close to his brother, and Álvaro Jesús Ramos Sillas, known as "El Varito", alleged leader of a small armed cell made up of his cousins ​​and Diego Aarón de la Fuente Sillas, Carlos Adrián Romero Bastidas, Julio Barraza Romero, who at the time was under the command of "El Parra". This cell was captured on November 17, 2017 by municipal and ministerial elements, after perpetrating a "robbery" to the detriment of a rival fisherman. After a few months he regained his freedom along with all his accomplices. 
José Luis García Ruiz, "La Yegua" - Enrique García Sandez, "El Kiki" - Misael Ayón - Álvaro Ramos Sillas, "El Varito". Photo: Special, Zeta

In the same group another of the relatives of "El Parra": Carlos Misael Ayón Montes is identified, whom state elements located as a result of multiple searches conducted in search of their leader; in the obtained images he is observed carrying heavy weapons.

If the business was left with the family, the intervention would probably be extended to his sister Alicia and her sentimental partner named Ángel Iván Soberanes, known as "El Chucho", one of the closest of "El Parra". Alicia directed the webpage "Victims of Insecurity in San Felipe", whose main activity, they say in the place, is to discredit the police intervention against people in their group. 

Through this webpage the video where the sailors injured Kiki García Sandez went viral.

As the Video went viral fisherman quickly gathered at the Profepa facilities, ie building and boat yard, at the marina San Felipe. After a short standoff with the Mexican Marines dressed in riot gear  they proceeded to set ablaze the Profepa facilities, the Profepa patrol vessels and their own confiscated pangas and equipment. As the inferno raged fishermen broke down the fences and began trying to recover their own pangas by any means possible, including by hand, literally.

Other lesser characters only identified as "El Negro" Sosa, "El Jeweler" or " El Valenzuela", have maintained their activities on a regular basis, without being overshadowed by "El Parra", because their operations were lower in quantity.

In addition, there is intervention by unidentified rival criminal groups from the Gulf of Santa Clara and Bahia de los Angeles, who have not been placed on a criminal organization list, but who, according to "El Parra", have been trying to take over the protected area for some time.

In fact, there have been some murders in areas south of San Felipe, related to struggles between illegal fishermen.

The Navy has confirmed the shot against the fisherman of Baja California, but says it was "accidental".
                The Midnight Mexicans, ie poachers, pirates, traffickers, drug runners, you name it.

To say of "El Parra" himself in a conversation with ministerial agents, the persecution against him originated as a result of a lawsuit with his former father-in-law Octavio Ascolani, a prominent businessman from the Puerto San Felipe who has repeatedly campaigned for the preservation of the totoaba in coordination with institutions such as the Autonomous University of Baja California.

"El Parra" had a relationship with Monica, Ascolani's stepdaughter, with whom he had three children. According to the alleged leader of the group of trafficking of  the "crop", it would be the entrepreneur businessman who taught him about business and the endemic fish until he stopped working with him in 2014.

Octavio Ascolani has been proposing strategies to the Federal and local governments for years to allow the sport fishing of this specimen, since its recovery had been substantial in the last ten years, which could allow the release of Norma 059 -according to an interview for ZETA in 2015-, which has prevailed since 1974 and restricts fishing.

In the information obtained by Zeta "El Parra" Aispuro  related to the businessman's friends to find the totoaba market, thus beginning an organization dedicated to the fishing , ie poaching, and sale of this endemic species valuable bladders on a large scale.

With the family break, a search would be launched against "El Parra", who by that time already had a hundred fishermen, in addition to financing other groups to buy their own pangas and undertake illegal activities.

In said conversation he commented that his presence in poaching was inconvenient for the intentions of Ascolani and his partners Pat Buttler, Jorge Limón and Rafael Navarro, who promote the sport fishing of the species.

Ascolani maintained a rapprochement with police and military forces, in addition to the local government itself, to demand the arrest of "El Parra", which generated the reinforcement of the intervention of state agents and the specific attention of Colonel Nolasco, who followed their tracks.

Although he denied having links with the police and the military, he said that on one occasion he asked for the support, ie protection  of Commander Roa of the Federal Police to intervene with  some people who were roaming about his the house - they were agents of the Special Prosecutor's Office in Organized Crime Investigation- ; He also indicated that he bought a vehicle from a head of the Federal Police with the last name Heredia.
The price of a swimming bladder unit ranges between $4,000 and 8,000 US dollars, depending on the weight and if it was extracted from a female, which caused an exponential growth of the mafia groups poaching and trafficking them. The "buches" found an attractive market in China, for which they are crossed to Calexico, Ca then on to Los Angeles; but there is also a route through San Pedro Mártir Mountains to get to Tijuana, where they also fetch a good price. 

However, it is recognized that there is a product that can be sold for domestic consumption, such as Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, where they managed to take heaps for sale for amounts of up to $ 10,000.

Deputy Attorney Fernando Ramírez Amador said that because they are federal officials, the assault against "El Kiki" Sandez will be investigated by the Attorney General's Office (FGR), as well as prosecuting those involved.

Although there are no presumed fully identified perpetrators, the proceedings by the Attorney General's Office of the State will reach a certain point, and then deliver it to the federal authorities that will take over the case.

Regarding the complaints, the official indicated that six have been filed between fishermen and the Marines and vice versa, of which he acknowledged, some will remain in the common jurisdiction, specifically in which mariners are affected, as the damage of vehicles of their property.

To conclude, Ramírez Amador said that up to now there are no elements to establish that this is an accidental event and the members of the Sea Shepherd vessel have not been asked for the full video where the poachers are shown to escape from the authorities. Given the characteristics of the incident, they will wait for the FGR to prosecute the case, since they will have a greater capacity for completion.

Regarding Enrique "El Kiki" García Sandez, personnel of the Armada Navy of Mexico offered to pay for his doctors attention to the injury, who remains under special care due to the injury caused by firearm in the head.
NOTE: to see my previous posts on this subject use the search engine in the upper left.


  1. Man oh man whats next? Cartel delos burritos. Mexico needs to be reseted.

  2. UNBELIEVABLE .Just when one thought what else can these criminals do to disintegrate what little dignity Mexico has left.
    A cartel dedicated to an endangerment of a species for its bladder. Mexico has engaged in the lucrative poaching business. As if drugs were not enough.

    Nothing is sacred nor off limits anymore.

  3. Should it surprise anyone?
    Entire species are being slaughtered by criminal organizations globally at alarming levels. Mexico's disregard for life rather money has become new means for exploitation.

  4. Son gente del cartel de Sinaloa. El cartel los apoyan en sus operaciones y con su respaldo. El mar de Cortez y Pacífico es oro para el cartel que opera en sus mares para traficar droga y pescados que tiene una red al nivel mundial. Sus oficinas es en el mar para tratar con clientes y donde asen sus transacciones.

  5. Sink the pinchis pangas chingadadre, and leave the "fishermen" an empty gallon Milk jug to float to the shore.
    For humanity you could sink the Yatches on the shore and advise them que aL que agarren con buches lo van a hacer Cagada, pa que llenen.

  6. God Speed and hope to read more from you for many more years to come.

  7. Man Mexico has so much criminal element

  8. Incorrecto. El Jefe de ese Cartel es Leonel Leon Ochoa. Es hombre mas buscando de B.C.

  9. Ya salio el pinche peine, family fight between bizness commercial fishermen and the forces of tourism fishing...
    Burn the Fishermen Union building and Sink all the motherfacking pangas ALV, ban tourism for 10 years, let them live of their mother bladder's ass.

  10. You are all missing the point. Yes this Mexican uneducated bast*rds fish for an endangered species.

    But what kind of sick f*ucker is paying 80 thousand dollars a kilo, for killing this creature? that's the real question.

    I think he who finances this actions is the real kingpin, and the one missing link, the real cause to held accountable for this crimes (and we should apply this rule, to drugs prostitution rings, etc.)


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