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

Monday, March 8, 2021

Five Criminal Groups Operate in Puebla

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat (formerly "MX")

The state of Puebla is about a 2 hour drive from Mexico City; there is a strong presence of huachicol (oil theft) activities 

Lantia Intelligence, a research group based in Mexico City, released a publication confirming that there are four major criminal groups and one local gang operating in the state of Puebla.

The criminal groups are the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS), the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), the Zetas Nueva Sangre faction, the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), and an oil theft gang once headed by Omar Garcia Tellez ('El Loco').

Their investigators made these conclusions after researching newspapers and magazines of national and local circulation in Mexico, and by studying social media activity (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) in Puebla.

The consulting firm indicated that given the multiple arrests of its leaders, Los Zetas does not exist as such but has 12 remnant factions. Zetas Sangre Nueva is one of them and operates in Puebla, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz.

According to the report, the BLO also operates in the Puebla. After the arrest of Marcos Arturo Beltrán Leyva ('El Barbas'), the criminal group fragmented into 10 factions. These factions operate in 10 states across Mexico. The BLO operates through their local faction Los Rojos, which also has presence in Mexico City, State of Mexico, Guerrero, and Morelos.

According to their data, the criminal group with the largest presence in Puebla is the CJNG. This criminal group also has presence in almost all states in Mexico and has alliances with the following groups:

• Tijuana Cartel and/or Arellano Felix Organization, and its Tijuana-based faction, the Tijuana New Generation Cartel (CTNG)

• La Fuerza Anti-Union Tepito in Mexico City and the State of Mexico

• Several factions of the Cartel del Poniente and/or La Laguna in Coahuila

• Los Talibanes in Aguascalientes, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Zacatecas.

In Puebla, the CJNG faction is headed by Omar Jonathan Lopez ('El Negro).

Lantia Intellience said that the CJNG operates like a "white collar cartel" for its ability to corrupt high-ranking government officials and businesspeople.

Borderland Beat analysis 

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. 

Source: La Jornada; Lantia Intelligence; Borderland Beat archives


  1. Don’t count Los Tellez out just because “Loco” was arrested. His brother, Juan “Atalaya” Garcia Tellez is now in charge of Los Tellez. This group has deep connections with politicos in the Puebla/Hidalgo/Tlaxcala border area and is allied with CJNG. Sangre Nueva Zeta (Bukanas’ group) has the eastern half of Puebla, Los Tellez have the western half.

    1. Most of these huachicol group were also Zetas back in the day. People forget Puebla was a Zetas bastion in the late 2000s because it was very peaceful. Z-1 was also born there.


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