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

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Judge Banned for 15 Years for Having Ties With Puebla Oil Thieves

 "MX" for Borderland Beat

Carlos Loranca Muñoz was a federal judge since 1992. Local media outlets say that his ascension in legal was also due to his friendship with former Puebla governor Mario Marín Torres, currently imprisoned for torture.

Mexico's Federal Judicial Council (CJF) banned Carlos Loranca Muñoz for 15 years for his ties to an oil theft (Spanish: huachicol) ring headed by Othon Muñoz Bravo ('El Cachetes'). El Cachetes is based in the state of Puebla and is one of the top gang leaders responsible for oil theft in the region.

Investigators say that Loranca Muñoz was involved in several bank irregularities between 2014 and 2016 when he was head of a tribunal court in Puebla. The judge did not report over MXN$6 million (US$288,000), for which he was dismissed without pay for 15 years. Although investigators have not established the motives, it is likely that Loranca Muñoz was bribed in exchange for favorable outcomes in court for those linked to El Cachetes's criminal network.

After an exhaustive investigation during his tenure in Puebla, investigators concluded that Loranca Muñoz provided authorities with false information about his earnings.

"It should be emphasized that the administrative investigations were carried out with absolute professionalism, always ensuring due process and the presumption of innocence," he emphasized.

In 2018, Loranca Muñoz was temporarily suspended after he was moved to a tribunal court in Chihuahua because rumors surfaced that he was a business partner with El Cachetes. Local reporters said that he owned up a gas station (named Energéticos Muñoz) in Acajete, Puebla, along with El Cachetes. 

Turf wars

Puebla is a strategic state for Mexico’s illegal fuel industry. Known as the "Red Triangle", the area is a lucrative turf for oil smugglers and is now a major battleground for the control of the oil theft business. There are several fuel pipelines that cross and intersect through Puebla. Many of them reach Veracruz, Hidalgo and the State of Mexico. The Puebla-Orizaba highway is also one of the busiest in the country for freight transportation.

In addition, violence has increased in recent years because Puebla is one of the states with the least resources invested in the fight against organized crime. While there are states that allocate between 5 and 6 percent of their year budget to this initiative, Puebla barely had a 2 percent spend in 2019; more than half of Puebla’s total spend is used to cover outstanding fees from previous years.

Puebla was one of the most peaceful states in Mexico prior to the arrival of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in early 2017. 

Sources: Milenio; La Jornada; (2): Borderland Beat archives


  1. Huachicol. Probably more money there than drugs, eh? Drugs sell low in Mexico.

  2. The State of Puebla has been in the hands of criminals since forever, before Huachicol was discovered or invented, before the Aquiles Serdan brothers were assassinated for their rebel journalism along with their associate revolurionaries before any revolutionary act took place.
    Then the state fell on the hands of
    Aximinio Avila Camacho, the PRI and Mario Marin and priista turned PANISTA rafael Moreno Valle and his wife, who turned ro CJNG for help until their escape with all their money after bombing their own helicopter
    New governor is fighting all the reactionary forces in Puebla, but he should start by investigating the corrupt contracts that left the state in debt for hundreds of years to come, maybe the million dollar light monstrosity former "governors" left behind will help him see his way clear.
    Corrupt contracts need legal remedies, lawsuits and scrapping, no settlements or fair pay or fair play.


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