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

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Guanajuato, Mexico: The Narco Histories of Guanajuato

Four horror stories about the penetration of the narco in the land of musician José Alfredo

Negotiate with the narcos
At the beginning of January, a former PAN candidate for mayor of a municipality in the southeastern part of the state, known for her honesty, but also for her combativeness and the strong defense of her ideas, requested an urgent meeting with a high-ranking official of her state manager committee.

One of her relatives began to receive messages and threats of extortion, apparently issued by a cell from the Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima.

Aware that her case was not the only one in that municipality, but without experience on the way in which she should proceed, she asked for advice from her party and specifically from a person who has previous positions in security curricula within government areas of the state.

The party leader told her that he would put her in touch with the appropriate people who would attend to her case within the State Attorney General's Office.

So it was. The next day a senior official of the Regional Prosecutor's Office established communication via telephone. He listened attentively to the information about the threats that the family of the former PAN candidate received, and asked several questions about the play of the events.

After a pause and a long silence, he told the people subject to extortion: "I am going to give you advice, the only thing that can be done in this case, is that you reach an agreement with the criminals."

Then he hung up the phone.

Contrary to the response and recommendation of the Office of the Prosecutor, the former blue and white candidate spoke again with her party leader to tell her the facts. The response of the blue state leader was even more surprising. Nervous and scared, he said: It's not politician Zamarripa's fault, that instruction doesn't come from him!

Knowing that the Prosecutor's Office would not intervene to deal with her case, the ex-candidate spoke with her relatives to give them the bad news: they would not receive an ounce of help from the authorities responsible for the administration of justice. The PAN leadership would not intervene, as it has as a priority to cover up and excuse the errors of the Prosecutor.

For a month now, the relatives of the former candidate have been paying the floor right to their extortionists. It was that or lose your life.

Notification from the Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima to business owners to establish contact in order to start paying floor fees. Image of a report by Televisa News.

The Narco Builders 
In several municipalities of the state, criminal imposed tithing is still in force in the processes of assigning public works projects. In order for a builder to win a contract to build a public plaza, a park or pave a street with municipal resources, he must pay a bribe of 10% of the total contract amount.

The truth is that the tithe is only in name, because in many occasions, in some municipalities, builders must pay 15% and up to 20%. This practice is carried out by municipalities governed by all political parties, which obviously causes works to be carried out with defects, because to maintain their profit margins, builders acquire low quality materials or incur what the State Superior Audit euphemistically calls "Volumes of work paid, but not executed".

Simply put, a municipality can pay to pave a 500-meter street, but it will receive paving of 400 meters or less.

The scandal about the alleged collection of bribes by Luis Alberto Villarreal to municipalities in the country to give them resources for the realization of work projects (the case of Celaya was documented in the media), when he served as coordinator of a fraction of the PAN political party in the federal congress. It didn’t change things.

There were no more controls, nor was a formal investigation opened on these facts. Everything was in a proverbial backpack fire. But in recent years an unexpected ally emerged for many builders beaten by the voracity and ambition of mayors: The Narcos.

When the Michoacan cartels financed the PRD campaigns in municipalities bordering the state of Guanajuato, they began to win several municipal presidencies. In exchange for that invaluable financial support, the cartels obtained control in exchange for three areas of the allied municipal governments: the police leaderships, the construction management and the organization of the annual fairs.

A builder in the region shouldn’t talk to the mayor to get construction contracts. He had to speak directly with the head of the plaza cartel. Surprisingly, the collection of the bribe fell again to 10%, which meant an authentic oxygen tank for many entrepreneurs in the industry.

In addition, when the cartels dedicated to the theft of fuel from the PEMEX pipelines displaced the Michoacános  and took over the state’s southeastern side, they offered diesel to construction builders at a very low cost. For builders, fuel is one of the main inputs to keep their machines working.

In addition, pipes or fuel cylinders could be acquired without threats. Each builder could choose the huachicolero of his choosing. And again the collection of the bribe remained at the modest 10%, lower than the bribe of almost double the mayors elected by popular vote.

In sum, builders benefited from two things: fuel at a good price and more sensible cartels that lowered the commission fee for the allocation of contracts. Therefore, there are many builders who prefer the “soft hand” of the narcos, to the “hard hand” and greediness of professional politicians.

In the words of a builder consulted by this author:
“Since the narcos handle public works, the municipalities are doing better. We build more work. When we finish a street, afterwards we get the next one. The narcos are business people, the politicians are just a few fucking assholes. ”

Some of the local deputies who voted in favor of Carlos Zamarripa's appointment as State Attorney General have been direct victims of organized crime. Due to pressure from the Government Palace, they support the Prosecutor.

The Trucks of the Deputies
Recently, several local and federal deputies have suffered the theft of their vehicles. They are usually late model trucks, fully equipped since legislators usually acquire luxury versions.

With the blood of an Apache Indian , organized crime groups dedicated to vehicle theft have targeted Guanajuato deputies. Sometimes they have stolen their trucks when they were parked, but on others they have removed the occupants at gunpoint.

Unfortunately, the deputies Saraí Nuñez (twice), Paola Yáñez and Paulo Bañuelos have gone through this situation. Two other deputies also lived through this experience, but managed to prevent the information from reaching the media.

On the social media networks circulate many videos of the theft of trucks that citizens have endured suffering away from politics. Entrepreneurs, housewives and even operational workers of the Ministry of Social and Human Development have been stripped of their vehicles.

Although the Prosecutor's Office shows us in these days of the “other data” report, it a fact that the theft of vehicles has exploded in the entity.

In Guanajuato car theft has been historically linked to the sale of auto parts. Vehicles are stolen and then sold as spare parts in chop shops and even in authorized stores. In León, Irapuato, Celaya and Salamanca everyone knows the colonies, streets and areas of the city where stolen auto parts are sold.

When someone suffers the theft of their vehicle, or when the vehicles are "alone" they take away the tires or the battery, there is no lack of cynical, but realistic advice from someone in the nearby circle that says: "Go to such a street, there you can buy the auto parts that they stole. "

But the volume of stolen vehicles, models and even the modus operandi of video thefts recorded throughout the state allows us to infer something different.

Cars are being stolen to sell them with altered serial numbers in other states of the country, perhaps even abroad. In many cases the thefts are commissioned. Complete lots of vehicles of certain brands, models and even colors are requested.

The massacres that occurred in several “junkyards” linked to the CJNG and the CSRL suggest that the two drug trafficking groups that dispute control of the entity participate in such a lucrative business.

The assailants have achieved an admirable skill.

In a few seconds, armed gunmen descend from their vehicles, assault  drivers of recent model trucks, leave them on foot on a street or road and flee without being disturbed by municipal police.

Let's not even talk about State or Federal Forces. But there are subtle differences with the car thieves that operated a few years ago. Car thieves "from before" stripped their victims of their cell phones and their wallets.

The latter, to make the assault more lucrative, and to prevent the victim from reporting the theft immediately. This gave valuable minutes for the assailants to take the stolen vehicles to the houses and warehouses where they would protect the loot, to evade the search protocols.

When people stripped of their vehicles got to a phone to report the robbery to the police, the checkpoints and closing of roads no longer helped to locate the stolen cars

But recent truck thefts are different. These thefts occur with a characteristic modus operandi. The assailants don’t take away or disable the victims cell phones.

This can only be due to the fact that they already have an agreement with the sector police for a response time of more than 15 minutes after the complaint is called in, which is for example the response time that the Celaya police have in the calls for help.

It helps a lot that a high percentage of video recording cameras of the expensive Project Shield are not in operation or have been intentionally deactivated on main boulevards and avenues of the industrial corridor cities.

The support that many local legislators still show towards Carlos Zamarripa, the State Attorney General, is twice surprising. It will be difficult for the deputies to seek reelection with the accusation on the back of having been those who voted in favor of his appointment as Prosecutor.

The counter-campaign logic is relentless and impeccable: 1) If the poor results in the fight against insecurity are largely due to the poor performance of Zamarripa, and 2) If local deputies maintain their support for the Attorney General, then 3) As You can not say goodbye to Zamarripa, the bill can be passed of to the deputies.

But what is most surprising is that the local deputies, despite having received tangible damage to their heritage and after receiving the scare of their lives (having been directed to some of them by the narco) continue to abide by the Government Palace line of “total support for the Prosecutor”.

In this, as in many cases, the problem of many political actors in Guanajuato is no longer tripping over the same stone, but falling in love with the stone.

Transit directions
Cuerámaro is a municipality under the control of the CJNG. This domain dates from the times when Moy Cortés was the municipal president and remains up to date, under the new municipal administration of the also PAN politician Ana Bueno.

The truth is that the members of the CJNG never asked permission to enter. They only arrived in the area, executed some local narco pusher, cleaned the area of ​​the competition and established a headquarters.

They didn’t ask permission to establish themselves, although neither authority denied them or prevented them from accessing. They exercise a rather soft domain, overshadowed by sporadic clashes with CSRL cells sent to the area to perform rearguard actions.

However, at the beginning of the current municipal administration, CJNG members felt their specific strength and weight. On a road trip they intercepted the person who was to occupy the position of Municipal Transit Director of the new government.

He was ordered to decline the offer and to resign, because that position could only be filled by someone he trusted, who was outside his team and he clearly was not in that condition. That same day he presented his early resignation to the position he still hadn’t assumed.

For a moment it was thought that the position would remain vacant for a long time because the CJNG exercised a virtual (and real) veto power over the person who would occupy the ownership of the Transit Directorate.

Unexpectedly, a person raised her hand to take up the challenge. She was the only one who requested the opportunity and despite not having the necessary experience and training, she kept the job. This is often the case in many municipalities.

But her background isn’t really the problem. To date, nobody has asked the key question.

If the first designated transit director was threatened by the CJNG to submit his resignation and the second applicant to fill the position performs her duties quietly, how is it that those of the CJNG have not come to visit her? Did you forget? Did the plaza stop being important? Is there no longer a CJNG presence in Cuerámaro?

Neither the state or municipal authorities have reviewed the case. Surely they never will, but if the first traffic director was fired by the CJNG because he was not trusted, then the current one is?

Something similar happened in the municipality of Apaseo el Alto, but with a radically different outcome. Santos Alonso Cerritos Hernández, municipal traffic director was murdered the same day he took office.

He took protest at 10 in the morning. At 6 pm he was already dead. He was killed by two hit men while eating in a restaurant at the municipal seat.

The next two traffic directors in Apaseo el Alto resigned due to pressure from organized crime groups. The cartels don’t want to have someone who hinders them and is not in tune with them as a transit director. To achieve this, they send lethal and forceful messages.

In theory, state government has filters for recruitment and selection of managers. But despite this, in several municipalities of the state the cartels have placed related traffic directors.

Inexplicably, they all pass the control and confidence exams, without any problems. In Cuerámaro the narcos found a formula that satisfied them. In Apaseo it was not the case and they continue to exert pressure.

If the official policy is to close our eyes, the only alternative we have left to counter it is to start opening the memories. It won't be easy, but you have to try.

Sol Prendido Borderland Beat   Source


  1. Why are you call it floor fees when in reality is extortion fees. ? It is confusing.

  2. Spot on Sol! I'm not a fanboy of any cartel but I've heard from plenty of locals in the south & west area of GTO that for the most part the Jaliscos are "cleaning up the area." Cueramaro is still under control of CJNG, gaining a better foothold in the municipalities of Irapuato, Valle de Santiago, and Salamanca east. No cartel should be above the law! In those municipalities for example the shallow graves found in the Yostiro area a while back were all known drug addict thieves, rapists and kidnappers. In many states like GTO where different cartels are vying for control, the situation seems to be "pick your poison!" All cartels are corrupt & deadly but are some less than others? Durango for example has been mostly under control by the Sinaloa cartel and you really don't hear of the death & destruction that plagues Guanajuato.


    1. The governor of Durango is not as corrupt as guanajuato's governor Sinhue and his state PG Zamarripa...

  3. Corrupt, more corrupt, most corrupt.
    Which is the narcos and which is the established mexican political elite???

  4. Amlo plan to punish politicians opponents. He doesn't care about the Narcos. To me things r worse

  5. God Bless innocent people of Mexico

  6. State Government headed by Sinhue is all dicks longer than the long arm of the Law, from PAN PARTY, they have been trying to extort AMLO for mor money to fight crime, by privatizing all of it every year.
    Sinhue has been reported here for n the comments time and again, these are Anti-AMLO Cartel.

  7. Wow Just blows the mind

    Then here in Arizona
    Our Governor does business with Mayor of Sonara and Everyone tells me NOT TO WORRY our Gov D. Is clean ha ha lol Ha ha
    No way is he clean nor her

    Now someone tell me how Clean sweet Honest loyal good for the people,
    Your Mexican President is

    1. 10:41 AMLO has not been using the military or the police to disappear other mexicans, he has not been taking kickbacks or stealing money for.himsepf or his friends either, he is also trying to clean public officers corruption with great success...
      Check the inernet for a lot of AMLO LOVING NEWS, and You Tube too.


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