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

Monday, April 6, 2020

Five Years Ago, the CJNG Killed 15 Policemen in One of Deadliest Single-Attack Incidents in Mexico

"MX" for Borderland Beat
The CJNG also used explosives with gasoline to attack the officers (credit: El Sur)
Exactly five years ago, on 6 April 2015, a convoy of the Jalisco State Police was ambushed by suspected members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in one of the deadliest single-attack incidents against Mexico's security forces in the ongoing drug war. The attack occurred in a mountain road in San Sebastián del Oeste, Jalisco. Fifteen policemen were killed and five were wounded; no CJNG casualties were confirmed.

According to police reports, as the police convoy reached a part of the road surrounded by mountains, the CJNG opened fire at the police units from the sides using high-caliber machine guns, grenade launchers, and explosives with gasoline. The element of surprise prevented the police from repelling the aggression. The CJNG members burned several vehicles along the highway to halt reinforcements. The attack lasted roughly 30 minutes. When government reinforcements reached the scene, the CJNG gunmen had left.

The attack also showcased the manpower and sophistication of the CJNG. The complexity of the attack showed that the CJNG had expertise in military tactics, guerrilla warfare, ambush and counter-ambush training, and in use of explosives. According to investigators, the CJNG carried out the ambush to avenge the arrests and deaths of their fallen comrades from government crackdowns.

Analysis of attack and formation
Investigators believe that the CJNG outnumbered the Jalisco State Police during the ambush. According to Luis Carlos Nájera Gutiérrez de Velasco, the Attorney General of Jalisco, the CJNG had at least 80 gunmen on their side. The Jalisco State Police had around 40. In an interview with the press, he explained the formation of the police units prior to being attacked by the CJNG.

The Jalisco State Police was traveling in 10 vehicles; each vehicle paired up with another one – a standard protocol to prevent attacks from organized crime – while crossing through the mountain road where they were ambushed. Of the 10 vehicles, only 4 were attacked. Each of those 4 vehicles had 4 officers in them, totaling 16 (out of those 16, only one survived, by faking his own death). The CJNG gunmen were hiding in the mountains' sides in a curve.
The CJNG burned several vehicles in other locations to halt police reinforcements (credit: Milenio)
The gunmen attacked from at least 12 different shooting spots from the top of the mountains. They used a number of high-caliber assault rifles and ammunition. Among them were AK-47s, AR-15s, 40 mm grenades, and M-60 machine guns, which are capable of firing over 500 shots per minute. Nájera Gutiérrez de Velasco explained that the turning point of the attack occurred when the CJNG threw explosives attached to 20 liters of gasoline from the top of the mountains. This burned 4 police vehicles. In addition, the CJNG burned several vehicles in other locations to slow down reinforcements from arriving at the scene.

Nájera Gutiérrez de Velasco admitted that one of the biggest obstacles of the investigation was understanding how the CJNG found out the exact day, time, and place the police convoy was going to pass through the area where they were ambushed. He believes that the CJNG had precise information on the police's journey, and does not discard the possibility that an outsider might have given the CJNG information on the police's arrangements, or that someone inside the police ranks was passing along information to them.

CJNG employed expert combatants
Jalisco authorities believe that the attack was planned by members of the CJNG who were experts in military tactics, ambush and counter-ambush training, and guerrilla warfare. Sophisticated attacks like the ones seen in San Sebastián del Oeste had not occurred before in Jalisco in the ongoing drug war. The attack showcased the CJNG's manpower, discipline in combat, and ability to coordinate complex attacks without experiencing any casualties.

In addition, they stated that those who planned the attack were experts in explosives, which made them think that the CJNG had members with former military or police training with experience in such combat.

Nájera Gutiérrez de Velasco told the press that investigators had evidence that the CJNG was recruiting foreign paramilitary gunmen as foot soldiers in Jalisco. They also had evidence that the CJNG was innovating its arsenal and making its own versions of the AR-15 and M16 assault rifles.

Possible motives and reactions
The police suspected that the attack was a retaliation for the 23 March death of CJNG regional boss Heriberto Acevedo Cárdenas ("El Gringo"). In addition, they stated that the attack was also provoked by the arrest of 15 suspected CJNG members following an assassination attempt against Francisco Alejandro Solorio Aréchiga, Jalisco's security commissioner, on 30 March.

That same month, on 19 March, the CJNG ambushed and killed 5 National Gendarmerie officers in a shootout in Ocotlan, Jalisco. At that time, it was one of the deadliest incidents against security forces in Mexico, and the first and deadliest against the National Gendarmerie, the newest police force in Mexico.

Heriberto Acevedo Cárdenas, "El Gringo" (credit: Milenio)
Two days after the ambush, the United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the CJNG under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act ("Kingpin Act") for its involvement in international drug smuggling operations.

The sanction was a joint investigation conducted by the Treasury and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Los Angeles as part of a larger effort with their Mexican counterparts to sanction drug trafficking groups in Mexico. The sanction extended to El Mencho, his brother-in-law Abigael González Valencia, and Los Cuinis.

As part of the sanction, all the U.S.-based assets and/or assets in control of U.S. individuals on behalf of El Mencho, González Valencia, the CJNG, and Los Cuinis, were frozen in the U.S. In addition, the act prohibited U.S. citizens from engaging in business activities with them.

Kingpin Act designation against the CJNG and its leaders two days after the ambush (credit: OFAC)
According to the OFAC's announcement, the CJNG was one of Mexico's rapidly growing criminal groups. Through their "use of violence and corruption", they said, the CJNG was able to consolidate itself as one of Mexico's leading drug trafficking organizations.

The Mexican government arrested multiple suspects who masterminded or were directly involved in the attacks. Among them was Julio Acevedo Cárdenas, a relative of El Gringo. Over the course of 2015 and well into 2018, violent incidents between the CJNG and the national police continued. But El Mencho, the top leader of the CJNG, continues to remain at large.

Note: This post includes excerpts from the Wikipedia page of the 2015 San Sebastián del Oeste ambush, which was published by "MX" in August 2017. It includes over 110 sources gathered by "MX" in both Spanish and English.


  1. unprovoked attack
    and what did they prove?
    only that cjng are cowards and borderline terroroists

  2. Kill all cartel sicarios. No exceptions, on the spot. I hope they all die of Covid19.

    1. This should be already taking place. Cartel safe houses ...blown up! Cartel farms or training locations...blown up! Mexico should (but won't) start a systematic take down of each cartel.

  3. Fast forward 5 years ahead and the snitchaloas got their asses handed to them by La Lineas up in Madera the other day

    1. @2:47 That happens all the time

    2. The pom-pom waving and constant cheering for cartel scum is getting really old. Most of the comments on this site are from people either cheering for or against one group or another. These are not sports teams or athletes. They are low-life, meth'd up, drug addicted rapists and murderers and people come on here to brag about which group they think is better. Seems like people in mexico are either A). too stupid to tell the difference between right & wrong or B). just flat out don't care. Is there any other explanation as to why anyone would cheer or defend such criminals??????????

  4. 6 years to the date with Mencho's kids apprehended & counting. A failed drug war not! If all those government/ municipal officials comply and not assist.

  5. If you go to the Wikipedia page for this event, you will find the following....

    “ On 11 April, Jalisco authorities told the press that investigators concluded that the prime suspect in the ambush was one of El Gringo's family members, who ordered the attack as a retaliation for his death. According to government reports, this suspect was arrested on 19 June 2012 by the Mexican Army for allegedly being involved in organized crime and drug trafficking in Michoacán.[107] El Gringo's family member was then transferred to the PGR installations in Apatzingán, Michoacán.[108] On 21 June, an armed commando stormed the installations, subdued an officer from the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI), ordered him to open the prison cells, and rescued El Gringo's relative and another man. The two men were Julio Acevedo Cárdenas and Joel Contreras Cárdenas.[n][109] Before taking off, the gunmen killed the AFI officer. When the PGR found out about the incident, they issued a national alert at the country's border exit stations to prevent them from leaving Mexico.[110]”

    1. Yes, I wrote the Wikipedia page back in August 2017. I added a note on the bottom of this publication that it included excerpts from the Wikipedia article. Please consult the Wikipedia's history page if you'd like.

      All info published there is under public domain so I'm happy to be able to share it here too. It includes over 110 sources.

      Hope you enjoyed it!

  6. In El Aguaje they killed 13 or 14 and who knows how many Viagras that they had with them. CJNG is one of the few criminal organizations that has shown they can fight and win against the Mexican Government but that they will win a War I doubt it but they have won a few battles. Marro just released an audio where he is ranting about the municipal government of Celaya looks lik CJNG has almost cleared Celaya they might have half of the area under their control. The Mexican Army just took 2 armored pick up trucks from the Viagras right now the viagras have blocked roads and burned vehicles in Pinzandaro Buenavista and the surrounding communites. On their social Media pages they are saying the Military took 2 old ladies captive.

  7. They aint nothing with out The goverment if The Zetas where GAFE and wipe out this guys stand no chance, plus they have no loyalty their loyalty is with The money, so mencho really has no one

    1. Most Zeta trained sicarios were from Michoacán so miss me with that bs.

  8. This is why Humans deserve well eternal HELL, I bet that after this coward massacre, the "80" cjnj´s went to cook fajitas drink "beer" and listen to "el komander" calibre 50, and other alterado music to celebrate" .last but not least, why many young people in Mejico wants to be "sicario"?
    abrazos no balazos
    Att. Terror_watcher

    1. 8:48 like Colombia, mexican troublemakers going by the book of "wars on drugs" because someone up there wants to keep making money, colombians narco presidente uribe did billions off it, and he had many Mexican compas like fox, FECAL, and EPN.

    2. Corridos are not as popular in Jalisco, we prefer banda music like Julián Álvarez and singers like that. When they go to CD Guzman to perform the place is packed to the max, corrido artist do show up but it’s not as popular.

  9. 80 guys with AKs and AR15s up on a hill ambushing some unsuspecting cops has nothing to do with being experts in military manuevers, weapons and tactics. What a joke of an article praising their military prowess. Those cops were sitting ducks.

    1. well the ambush seems to have been well planned since it happened in a mountain curve and the cjng apparently burned vehicles in other locations to stop reinforcements... then used gasoline with explosives from multiple locations, not to mention their own altered versions of machine guns. that is a good ambush, unlike others seen in the past imo.

    2. Whenever an ambushing is happening and police and military really want to catch them, would be to get the Blackhawks on the air and locate the convoy of bad hombres and machine gun them, end of the story.

    3. The man who sold SLP to the CDS, Manelich Castilla Craviotto, (According to Hector de Mauleon/NEXUS) head of the gendarmerie Nacional, vs Enrique francisco Galindo ceballos, a zeta from birth, EPN's director of the policia federal craviotto ousted from SSP state of SLP...
      --Craviotto replaced ceballos as director of the policia federal after the Tanhuato crime of state, but he can't talk about ceballos crimes.
      Must have done a deal

    4. At 7:28 it's called guerrilla warfare

    5. 10:33 guerrillas are not supposed to be state governmemt puppets posing as smart guerrillas with insider info and support.
      There were about 30 policia federal killed in Michoacan where the radios of the murderers said to shoot at the black dressed federales, not at the "aguacates" (green fatigues dressed mexican military with the judiciales)
      You can still see the video and hear the radios on YouTube, I think the CT killed them.

  10. Say doc what a double whammy, just last year CJNG ambushed 14 officers of Michoacan, which got killed.

  11. El Menso's days are numbered. If he's smart he's hiding. First the kids, then they dismantled his financial support, and now it's his turn. Once the US locks eyes on you, your days are numbered.

  12. Five years ago the snitchaloa boot lickers said that Mencho will falls month later 😂


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