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

Friday, March 6, 2020

Two Tijuana Cartel Members Sentenced to 134 Years in Prison

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

Omar Eduardo Moreno Gutiérrez and Iván Jesús Rodríguez, two members of the Tijuana Cartel, were sentenced to 134 years and 10 months in prison by a federal judge. They were found guilty of illegal possession of firearms of exclusive-military use and aggravated kidnapping.

Both convicts were arrested in March 2006 in Tijuana by the Attorney General's Office of Baja California. Four kidnapping victims were rescued from the house they were hiding in.

The sentence breakdown is as follows: the judge gave the two men 2 years and 6 months for the firearms charges, and 25 years for each of the four kidnapping victims, totaling 100 years. The judge also added another kidnapping charge of a fifth victim, and handed over a 32 years and 4 month sentence to each of the convicts.

Lengthy sentences in Mexico
For many years, lengthy sentences -- including life imprisonment -- were considered cruel and unusual punishment in Mexico. Mexico's penal code was influenced by the Catholic belief that anyone could be redeemed. As such, lengthy sentences were inconsistent with rehabilitation. 

During the 20th century, the maximum sentence Mexican courts would hand over was 60 years, which was considered extremely rare. Judges usually contemplated around 25 years. But as violence and kidnappings engulfed Mexico's daily life, Mexicans' views changed and legislators were pressured to make changes.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that "life imprisonment" was no longer cruel or unusual punishment and left it up to the states to decide. There is still no provision for life imprisonment in federal jurisdiction.

In 2008, after the kidnapping and murder of 14 year-old Fernando Martí, President Felipe Calderon was inundated with calls asking him to pass a law permitting Mexican courts to allow "consecutive sentences", or essentially an accumulation of sentences that can lead to de facto life imprisonment.

This amendment essentially permits "virtual life" for convicts without having to change the law at a federal level to permit life imprisonment. 

News article(s)El InformadorLa JornadaProcesoEl Universal
Book reference(s): BerlatskySmitSmit and AppletonKreß


  1. They won't make it to 134. What happened thier bribe money ran out?

  2. Tijuana Cartel get the letter of the law thrown at them, which is good. But other cartels that bribe the government get only a few days in jail, and most of the time case tossed out.

    1. These guys were just low level idiots that talked too much but really didnt say anything so they threw the boys k at them

    2. 9:56 when you get the chicharra and the cattle probe up the ass, and the tehuacanazos con chile piquin up the nose, you are going to fess up, and you will plead guilty to the worst crimes just to be left alone by the detectives and police investigating your ass.

  3. Typical example of low-life criminals who cannot afford an expensive lawyer getting a hefty sentence. Now the politicians can bassoon out: look we are tough on crime!!!

    Meanwhile any mass-murderer with access to DTO-style cash would be out on an amparo.

  4. Concurrently served sentences run at the same time. Consecutively served sentences run one after another, or "stacked". If going to prison,
    the offender wants concurrent sentences on multiple offenses. This article says the opposite.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I've fixed the sentence. The book sources say "concurrent sentences" and use it as "consecutively", which you're right about.

    2. Why are terms of sentence far exceeding one's own life , handed out . It's never made sense to me . Hearing 5 life sentences etc baffles me . From Australia , life here is 25 years from what l remember. But occasionally for crimes so heinous the sentence will be " For the term of his natural life or never to be released " . Just curious

    3. Anon 3:50 AM.: Great question. I'm no legal expert, but I'll give you my two cents. People are often handed multiple life sentences because they are facing multiple crimes which can lead to life imprisonment even if judged separately.

      Example: A criminal murdered a someone (crime 1) while heading a criminal enterprise (crime 2) that smuggled multi-ton shipments of cocaine (crime 3). Assuming each of these three crimes carry life imprisonment even if judged separately, that person could be handed three life sentences in court. If the criminal is found guilty and the jury/judge wants to hand over the maximum penalty for EACH of the three crimes, they can give him three life sentences.

      Each crime has several criteria (or level) that increase the penalty if the jury/judge believe that they were met. That's how El Chapo got life imprisonment plus 30 years.

      Hope this makes sense.

  5. 134 years well I hope to live 200 years.

  6. That's probably half of what they deserve.


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