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

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Irving Eduardo Solano Vera, alias "El Gato", Arrested (Updated)

On Wednesday, February 17, 2021 it was announced that Irving Eduardo Solano Vera, aliases “El Gato” and “El Profe”, described as head of plaza for the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) in Morelos, had been arrested by members of Sedena and the FGR before dawn during an operation that took place on Matías Romero street in the colonia of Santa Rosa of the city of Cuautla, Morelos.

Irving Eduardo Solano Vera was born in Cuautla and is a former police officer, having joined the Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Morelos (PGJEM) on July 27, 2000, specifically the Homicide Investigation Group, up until he quit on November 18, 2003, only to rejoin on January 8, 2005.  At some point during his time as a police officer he became acquainted with Salvador Pintado Vázquez, a member of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, who invited him to join the organization.

At the beginning of his criminal career “El Gato” was sent to the southwest part of Morelos to work under Manuel Alejandro Briones Rodríguez, alias “El Chaparrito”.  Following the December 2009 death of Arturo Beltrán Leyva, alias “'El Barbas”, leader of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, the organization began to fracture and “El Gato” chose to work for the splinter cartel led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie”.

“El Gato” was arrested on July 11, 2010 by the now defunct Policía Federal along with José Luis Solano Morales, alias “El Rengo”.  At that time the then 29 year old “El Gato” was described as a high ranking operator for the cartel lead by “La Barbie”, who had placed great trust in him.  He was in charge of hitmen, training new cartel members, purchasing weapons, selling drugs on a retail level and trafficking in both the states of Morelos and Guerrero, as well as coordinating security logistics for shipments along with Gonzalo Mena Pardino, alias “El Cabezas”.

His time in prison apparently lasted less than five years. On July 19, 2015 the recent arrest of two kidnappers in Cuautla was reported and it was divulged to police that “El Gato” was with them, but had managed to escape. Furthermore, it was stated that this kidnapping gang, made up of former police officers, was operating in affiliation with Guerreros Unidos, a cartel that had emerged from the remnants of the cartel that “La Barbie” had led up until his own arrest on August 30, 2010.

In time, “El Gato” would become identified with a criminal group known as Comando Tlahuica” which worked under Guerreros Unidos. What is unclear is if Comando Tlahuica was the name of the previously mentioned kidnapping gang or if it evolved from said group. 

At some point “Comando Tlahuica”, along with Guerreros Unidos, became affiliated with the CJNG, which sought to expand into Morelos through alliances with a number of small organization.  “El Gato” and “Comando Tlahuica” would also go on to become an enemy of Los Rojos, led by Santiago Mazarí Hernández, alias “El Carrete” and he was specifically listed on messages signed by “El Carrete” under his other alias El Señor de los Caballos” in July 2019.

Leadership of the CJNG in Morelos would eventually be held by Isidro Raymundo Castro, alias “El Ray”, apparently a former member of Guerreros Unidos.  “El Ray” would in turn be arrested on May 7, 2019 but it was reported that he continued to lead from prison up until October 30, when he was killed by fellow prisoners in the Atlacholoaya jail.

Thereafter, “El Gato” is reported to have become the leader of the CJNG in Morelos, with an individual named Fernando as his second in command. Following the arrest of “El Gato”, Fernando was himself captured around 8:00 AM on February 18 at a home on 20 de Noviembre street in the colonia Lázaro Cárdenas of the municipality of Temixco, which borders Cuernavaca. 


  1. Now in prison, his adversaries will got rid of him, that what they paid for, worse he used to be a cuico.

  2. Great post Iztli. Nice background on “Gato”s criminal career. Do we know if “Gato” is a former GU member like “Ray”? GU was a splinter group from Barbie’s old organization as I remember. Crazy that all these guys, “Gato”, “Ray” and “Carrete/Senor de los Caballos” all used to work for La Barbie. No other guero American will ever reach the levels of Mexican drug trafficking that Barbie got to.

    1. I appreciate you asking this question; this is an aspect that crossed my mind but in my haste to finish up the article I did not fully explore it. Based upon further research, I have rewritten that section along with a bit at the end regarding the arrest of his second in command.

    2. Crazy how they work for CJNG NOW

    3. Guero American yeah. But other gringos have reached higher. Like Juan Garcia Abrego.

  3. He will be OUT soon, you know how justice works in 🇲🇽.. If you HAVE MONEY and are part of a CARTEL, you will get RELEASED. Only the poor stay in PRISON or EVEN get blamed for a crime they NEVER comited

  4. What about el gato from blo?

    1. He’s lives in Monterrey. All the high profile kidnappings in the area go through him... he has a lot of business connections

  5. Van a poner al gato bocagatas en cuatro patas con las veinte uñas enterradas en el cemento.
    11:41 el Carrete no sale del bote todavia, su predecesor salio muerto...


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