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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Throwback Series: 'El Alvin', the Zetas Founder Whose Death Was Fabricated

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat (formerly "MX")

Summary: This is a profile of Raúl Alberto Trejo Benavides (“El Alvin”), one of the early members of Los Zetas. This information includes excerpts from his Wikipedia page, which Morogris created on 28 September 2019. 

In May 2002, the Gulf Cartel launched an operative to kidnap and kill Dionisio Román García Sánchez ("El Chacho"), a former state police officer and head of a Nuevo Laredo-based smuggling group known as Los Chachos. El Chacho was at his home in Monterrey, and they had only a few hours to act before he moved to another location. Over twenty members of Los Zetas formed a commando; Raul Alberto Trejo Benavides (“El Alvin”), one of the most prolific gunmen in the group, followed suit.

During the attack against El Chacho, rival gangster Juvenal Sánchez Torres ("El Juve") was killed, and Los Zetas successfully abducted El Chacho from his home along with three of his alleged henchmen. El Chacho was found dead later that day in Río Bravo, Tamaulipas. El Alvin, however, was wounded by El Chacho’s associates. His injuries were not life threatening, but he died after failing to receive medical attention. His comrades took his corpse from Monterrey to Matamoros, and abandoned it inside a hotel room.


A native of Villahermosa, Tabasco, El Alvin joined the Mexican Army on 3 May 1991, and later formed part of the Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE), the army’s elite squadron. During his tenure, El Alvin reportedly received military and counter-drug training in the United States. He deserted from the Mexican Armed Forces on 16 March 1999.

El Alvin then joined the Gulf Cartel, a criminal group based in Tamaulipas, and formed part of their newly created paramilitary group known as Los Zetas, which was mostly composed of ex-commandos. He was hired by the kingpin Osiel Cárdenas Guillén and was given the nickname "El Alvin". In Los Zetas, El Alvin also used the code names "Z-6" and/or "Z-9". El Alvin was close to the Zetas founder Arturo Guzmán Decena (" Z1, Z-1"), who trusted in his combat abilities.

Death cover-up

After learning that El Alvin was killed in Dionisio Roman Garcia Sanchez (alias El Chacho's) kidnapping, his boss Z-1 threatened Osiel Cardenas Guillen. Z-1 reportedly did not support the idea of having El Chacho killed. "Either you fix this problem of [El Chacho] and El Alvin or we will turn you in to the Army," Z-1 told him. Osiel took the threat seriously and reportedly commissioned his lawyer Galo Gaspar Pérez Canales to help him fabricate El Alvin’s death in the press as a suicide. Several journalists helped the Gulf Cartel fabricate a story. Osiel also received the support of the Tamaulipas State Police chief stationed in Matamoros, Plácido de Jesús Martínez Gutierréz.

El Alvin's body was found at 3:00 p.m. on 13 May 2002 by one of the hotel's staff members after the room's checkout time expired and was up for housekeeping. His corpse was laid on the bed, fully dressed and holding a gun in his hand to indicate that he had committed suicide. When local authorities arrived at the scene, they discovered that the corpse had two identification cards: a Tamaulipas university ID and a state driver's license. Both were under the name of Ramón Esparza Torres.

El Bravo newspaper in Matamoros released a report stating that the man had committed suicide; the story stated that he was a professor and that he had killed himself for sentimental reasons. The article was published in the police section and became a widely-circulated story in Matamoros. His body was then sent to a local funeral home where a wake was held. Several organized crime members were in attendance. Los Zetas helped arrange his corpse's transfer to Tabasco, his home state.

Z-1 v. Osiel

Osiel grew angry at Z-1 for the death threats he received. He reportedly spoke to Los Zetas members Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano and Omar Lormendez Pitalua (alias "El Pita") about plan to eliminate him. In November 2002, after learning that Z-1 was at his girlfriend's house in Matamoros, Osiel reportedly called on the Mexican Army to arrest him. Z-1 confronted the soldiers upon their arrival and was killed by gunfire.

After Z-1's death, Osiel granted more freedom and concessions to Los Zetas; he allowed several of them to be part of his inner security circle and granted others permission to coordinate marijuana and cocaine operations in Nuevo Laredo and Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas, two corridors previously under the Gulf Cartel's control.

Sources and notes
* Wikipedia article is under free domain
* Multiple sources, see here for more details
* Image is owned by the Mexican government


  1. Z1 went against his patron Osiel ?
    No mames guey

    1. 5:34 could have, specially if El Lazca and the trevinas planted the idea in Osiel's mind, with the idea of divide and conquer,
      and the zetas conquered...

  2. Wow, Osiel was dirty!! Lazcano had something to do with his own comrade death?

  3. Long live los zetas and long live z40 we miss you come back and take over Mexico

    1. Low-key I miss them too. I wanted them to take over Sinaloa.

  4. No offense but how do we know any of this is true?

  5. Where is Juan Miguel?????????

  6. El z1 threathened oziel? Right there thats when you know this story is bullshit. A deserter mexican army asshole threatening a man like oziel is suicide period. Never wld of happened. Also el z9 died in reynosa. One the original zetas that arayed with cdg.

  7. Interesting read! I've always wondered what really happened between Chacho and Osiel. Juve had quite a reputation. I wouldn't be surprised if he began shooting as soon as he saw the Zetas arrive, possibly mortally wounding Alvin himself, getting killed in the process.

    The most common theory that is probably out there is that either Chacho killed or messed up a Zeta member and it was Z1 that wanted revenge and bloodshed.

    But another version that I've heard is that Chacho was the biggest threat Osiel had and was equally ruthless. When Chacho sided with Arturo Beltran, Osiel had to get Chachos permission to use the Laredo border. Until one day Chacho double crossed him and took his merchandise, infuriating Osiel. Chacho wanted to go to war. Osiel sent in the Zetas and before it got ugly, someone turned Chacho in (some say it was Arturo himself to avoid bloodshed) and of course they took Chacho away and brutally killed him. In return, Arturo placed Barbie and El Sol to work for the Federation under the Zetas supervision in Laredo, replacing Chacho.

    Osiel agreed but after his arrest, Barbie and El Sol fought the Laredo plaza, along with Chapo, Valencias and Eloy Trevino, the last of Chachos lieutenants. Eloy fought in the front lines but got arrested along with Valencia soon after. Barbie and El Sol fought back but as we all know Zetas won. Barbie didnt actually come on the spotlight to a lot of people until the infamous video. By then he was already in Acapulco and El Sol had been killed.

    Anyway if someone knows more feel free to correct or add in! That's only what I've put together from different articles, so...

    1. That is pretty accurate.Barbie gave them a good war though.Killed alot of cops on zetas payroll.He went and fought them when they were at their strongest.Takes balls to even fight the nuevo laredo plaza even if you lose.

  8. Sounds like Osiel bit off more than he could chew when he formed the Z

  9. Golfos v. Sinaloas, who's the bigger snitch?

  10. I don't get it , if he already dead what's the use of fabricating his death, its not like the guy had life insurance.

  11. I knew Z1 was not caught and killed by the Mexican army like a normal cocaine addicted mariguano undergoing an overdose, Lieutenant Arturo Guzman Decena would not be that stupid, but he sure was a dumbass who trusted el Lazca, Osiel and the trevinas. Wonder who was the military zone commander in Tamaulipas when Z1 was killed by the Mexican army?

    1. the 2 joto brothers Trevinas were nobodys in the Zetas/Gulf cartel back in late 2002 when Z1 was killed, they had no power. They were simply "tienderos" (drug sellers) in Nuevo Laredo at the time who probably shined Lazanos boots

    2. Commander of the Guardia Nacional Luis Cresencio Sandoval was commander Of the military zone when the zetas had the Piedras Negras prison to do their carniasadas and Pozole and burn people in 55 gal drums and they would get out to murder enemies any time they wanted.


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