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

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Notable Figures: Caborca Cartel, Los Gigio, Los Olivas, La Plaza

"HEARST" and "MX" for Borderland Beat

Notable Figures articles try to focus on contemporary cartel operators that have had major relevance within the last five years. 

REGION: Caborca 

DESCRIPTION: The state of Sonora is a strategic location for drug trafficking given its proximity to the US state of Arizona. Caborca municipality in specific has a growing mining industry that cartels in the area are fighting to control. Criminal groups are known to tax mining companies, extort workers, and illegally extract minerals from these lands. (Source)

GROUP: Caborca Cartel

OTHER NAMES: Sonora Cartel

DESCRIPTION: The Caborca Cartel, also known as the Sonora Cartel, is a criminal group based in the northern state of Sonora and reportedly led by infamous drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero. The cartel is made up of several members of the Caro Quintero clan.

Caro Quintero is the overall figurehead of the organization, although in reality the Caborca Cartel is not a vertically integrated organization. Over the years, the organization absorbed local crime cells and operates more like an ecosystem of different factions with respective plaza bosses.

Federal sources say that the Caborca Cartel has an alliance with a Sinaloa Cartel faction headed by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and is fighting against Los Chapitos, a Sinaloa Cartel faction headed by the children of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Authorities say that Caro Quintero has taken advantage of the internal disputes in the Sinaloa Cartel to establish a foothold in Caborca, a Sonoran municipality that borders Pima County, Arizona, United States. (SourceSourceSource)

POSITION: Leader in Name

ALIAS: Don Rafa 

NAME: Rafael Caro Quintero

OTHER ALIASES: El Charral, El Grenas, Narco de Narcos (Source)

STATUS: Active

PROFILE: Rafael Caro Quintero was born on October 3, 1952 in La Noria, Sinaloa. He was one of the three co-founders of one of Mexico’s most powerful cartels of the late 1970s and 1980s, the Guadalajara Cartel along with Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, alias “Don Neto”. Caro Quintero was famously indicted for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of US DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena and two American tourist in 1985, for the homicides committed in 1984 and 1985. With the aid of the now defunct Mexican federal police, Caro Quintero was able to flee Mexico but he was later arrested in Costa Rica and extradited back to Mexico where he was sentenced to serve 40 years in jail. 

In 2013, after Caro Quintero had served 28 years of his 40 year sentence, a Jalisco State court ruled Caro Quintero should be released on the basis that he had been improperly tried in a federal court for a crime that should have been treated as a state offense. The administration of US President Barack Obama released a statement saying they were “deeply concerned” by Caro Quintero’s release. Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said in a statement that he was “worried” about the court’s decision. 

Robert Patterson, the acting administrator of the DEA, has said Caro Quintero returned to leading a drug trafficking empire, saying “He’s not just an old man trying to live out his final days. He’s an individual who continues to run a criminal organization.” The FBI’s acting deputy director said they believe Caro Quintero still resides in Mexico. Caro Quintero has the highest bounty of all the fugitives listed on the DEA’s most wanted list, with a reward of $20 million dollars being offered. (Source, Source, Source)   

POSITION: Day-to-Day Leader


NAME: Rodrigo Páez Quintero 


STATUS: Active

PROFILE: El R is believed to be the day-to-day leader of the Caborca Cartel. He comes from both the Paez and the Quintero crime families. El R is the nephew of both Miguel and Rafael Caro Quintero. (SourceSome sources such as Riodoce have alleged that in December 2020, Rafael Caro Quintero made various trips to create peace between El R and Los Salazar’s leader José Crispín Salazar Zamorano (Source, Source) Regardless of the validity of these reports, the violence between Los Salazar and the lieutenants reporting to El R continued in 2021. (Source)


POSITION: Second in Command - Former (Source)

ALIAS: El Pablito

NAME: Juan Pablo Quintero Martínez


STATUS: Inactive, arrested March 2021

PROFILE: El Pablito was believed to be the second in command of the Caborca organization, under Rafael Caro Quintero and El R. He is the nephew of Rafael Caro Quintero. (Source)

On March 4 2021, El Pablito was arrested in Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico. The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) secured an arrest warrant for El Pablito based on his probable participation in a homicide in Mexico City that occurred November 2020. (Source, Source) Vanguardia asserts that this November 2020 homicide, which is allegedly captured on video, was due to Pablito believing the homicide victim had stolen an Xbox from his possession. (Source) Known associates of El Pablito include Chapo Alfredo, from Los Olivas. (Source)

POSITION: Organizes Drug Production in South America

Plaza Boss of Some Locations in Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco

ALIAS: El Pelo Chino

NAME: José Gil Caro Quintero


STATUS: Active as of July 3 2021 

PROFILE: El Pelo Chino is the son of Eulogia Quintero Payan. (Source)  Early in his life, he operated in Jalisco and Morelos, mainly as a lieutenant to some major capo. (Source) El Pelo Chino was reportedly arrested in 2005 and sent to Puente Grande prison in Jalisco state. ZETA alleges Federal Police detected that he was able to direct an organized crime group from inside prison but they were unable to prove it. (Source) He was released in 2016. (Source)  In 2016, El Pelo Chino, allegedly by order of his uncle Rafael Caro Quintero, moved to South America and allied himself with a cell that is dedicated to the planting of poppies and cocaine. (Source)  

He reportedly has drug shipments shipped or flown over tp Quintana Roo. According to federal investigation documents, El Pelo Chino maintains on his payroll several officials from the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics stationed at the Chetumal airport, officials from the Quintana Roo Attorney General's Office and elements of the Quintana Roo State Police. He also reportedly manages the transportation of Caborca Cartel drug shipments to the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and parts of Tabasco. The federal report alleges El Pelo Chino’s discreetness may put him ahead of El R as a potential successor to Rafael Caro Quintero. (Source) El Pelo China was one of the Caborca leaders named in the 2021 narcomanta addressed to President AMLO. (Source)

OTHER NAMES: Los Páez Soto
DESCRIPTION: One of the most important factions or subgroups under the Caborca cartel is Los Paez, a criminal clan based primarily in Caborca.

The earliest member of the clan that was involved in drug trafficking was Pedro Paez Soto, the uncle of Rafael Caro Quintero. Pedro Paez Soto was executed in 1975 at the Culiacan airport during a violent feud between the Quintero Payan and the Otañez Lafarga families.

In the early 2000s, Los Paez was headed by Octavio Paez Soto, the right-hand man of Miguel Angel Caro Quintero. After Octavio’s murder in 2004, the control of Los Paez fell under Ignacio Paez Soto, alias "El Nachillo" and/or "C1." For years he fought for control of area ​​against his nephew Luis “Luisillo” Fernando Sanchez Paez ​, alias “L7” or “Luisillo”. Ignacio counted with El Mayo’s support.

This family was linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltran Leyva brothers (BLO). Over time during the rise of El Chapo, Los Paez formed alliances with Sinaloa Cartel groups/cells like Los Paleteros and Los Saboris who were affiliated with the clan of Los Salazar, a family that ran the state of Sonora for El Chapo.

Los Paleteros were led by Felix Adolfo Jauregui Meza, alias "El Paletero," who was killed in 2013. Los Paleteros were the strongest group in the region and shared operations with Ignacio. Los Sabori were led by Raul Flavori Cisneros, alias "El Negro", who was arrested in 2011. When Ignacio was arrested in 2013, Los Paez experienced a power vacuum in the region. (Source, Source, Source, Source)

POSITION: Lieutenant of Caborca Cartel
ALIAS: El Tiko
NAME: Ramon Quintero Páez
STATUS: Active as of July 3, 2021
PROFILE: El Tiko is a nephew of Rafael Caro Quintero. (Source) He was named as a Caborca Cartel leader in the 2021 narcomanta addressed to AMLO. (Source) In addition, in April 2021, El Tiko was named in a narcomessage sign that accompanied five dead bodies found on the side of the road in Caborca, Sonora. (Source)

POSITION: Lieutenant of Caborca Cartel - Former

ALIAS: El Chapón

NAME: Óscar de la Rocha Rivera 

OTHER ALIASES: El Chapo de la Rocha

STATUS: Inactive, killed May 2021 

PROFILE: El Chapón was Rafael Caro Quintero’s brother-in-law and one of his top lieutenants within the Caborca Cartel. He was alleged to be the plaza boss of Caborca and Hermosillo municipality in Sonora for the cartel. 

In 2013 when Caro Quintero was released from jail, he and Chapón are believed to have reconnected. Multiple news publications describe Chapón as Caro Quintero’s most trusted friend. Chapón was arrested in Hermosillo, Sonora on charges related to organized crime in 2015 and he reportedly offered the arresting agents one million dollars in exchange for letting him go. The agents evidently declined the offer and he was handed over to the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City. On June 4 2021, he was gunned down in Guasave city, Sinaloa as he arrived at a medical center. (Source)

SUBGROUP: La Barredora 24/7
DESCRIPTION: La Barredora 24/7 is often referred to as an armed wing or faction of the Caborca Cartel.

They made their first public announcement in Sonora in mid-2019 by burning a rival gang member alive. The victim was a suspected cartel member who worked for Jesús Humberto Limón alias "El Chubeto" in Altar municipality. El Chubeto worked for Los Chapitos, who have the following factions in the region: Los Salazar, Los Rumas and/or Los Costeños, and Los Cazadores.

It is worth noting that “La Barredora” is more of a general term for when a cartel/group is doing a cleanup (Barredora comes from the Spanish word barrer, or to sweep). 

Jesus Dario Murrieta Navarro, alias "El Cara de Cochi", is boss of sicarios for La Barredora 24/7. The second-in-command was a man nicknamed “El Sera”, who was arrested this year. El Cara de Cochi reports to Rafael Caro Quintero and Jose Rodrigo Paez Quintero, alias "El R”. (Source, Source, Source, Source)


ALIAS: La Cara de Cochi

NAME: Jesús Darío Murrieta Navarro


STATUS: Active 

PROFILE: La Cara de Cochi leads the armed wing of the Caborca Cartel, which is known as La Barredora 24/7. In February 2021, La Cara was accused of attacking the home of the grandmother of El Durango from Los Cazadores. (Source, Source

POSITION: Second in Command - Former

ALIAS: El Será

NAME: Unknown


STATUS: Inactive, arrested in March 2021

PROFILE: El Será was thought to be the second in command of La Barredora 24/7, reporting directly to La Cara di Cochi. He has been linked to many executions, kidnappings, robberies and extortion operations in and around Caborca municipality. El Será has been linked to the murder of the soccer player of the Los Cholos de Tijuana team, Luis Cano "El Titi." He was arrested in the Contreras neighborhood of Caborca city. He was detained in the company of two of his bodyguards. (Source


POSITION: Leader of Hitmen - Former 

ALIAS: El Barbas

NAME: Juan Francisco Martinez Miranda


STATUS: He was the presumed leader of the hitmen in the service of La Barredora 24/7. A voice note emerged in which El Barbas expressed his discontent for a fellow member of La Barredora, El Canton. El Barbas asserted that El Canton should be relieved of his leadership duties. (Source) Later, on July 21 2020, El Barbas was executed inside his home in Caborca by a group of armed men. (Source, , Source, Source, Source)

REGION: Empalme, Guaymas
DESCRIPTION: The area of Empalme and Guaymas are strategic for drug cartels because they have Sonora’s major port. The Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortes (Mar de Cortes), has long been used by drug traffickers to move drugs closer to the US-Mexico border.

POSITION: Leader of Caborca Cartel in Guaymas, Empalme Area (Source

ALIAS: Unknown

NAME: Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad

STATUS: Active

PROFILE: Juan Pablo Navidad is believed to be the leader of the Caborca Cartel operations within the municipalities of Guaymas and Empalme. Son of Emilio Quintero Payan, brother of Emilio Sajid Quintero, alias “El Cadete”, and the cousin of Rafael Caro Quintero. El Picipi, the leader of La Plaza, reports to him and his brother Tony Navidad.  (Source, Source, Source


POSITION: Plaza Boss of the Port of Guaymas

ALIAS: Tony Navidad 

NAME: [First Name Unknown] Quintero Navidad

STATUS: Active

PROFILE: He is the cousin of Juan Pablo Navidad and Rafael Caro Quintero. Alongside Juan Pablo, he controls and leads operations in the Port of Guaymas. El Picipi, the leader of La Plaza, reports to him and his brother, Juan Pablo. (Source, Source, Source, Source ) 

POSITION: Leader - Former
Plaza Boss of Port of Guaymas - Former (Source)
ALIAS: El Cadete
NAME: Emilio Sajid Quintero Navidad
STATUS: Inactive, arrest in October 2017 
PROFILE: He is the son of Emilio Quintero Payan and the brother of Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad. He is also the cousin of Rafael Caro Quintero. He is the former leader of operations in Sonora for the Beltrán Leyva Cartel. He was apprehended by the US government on October 11, 2017 at the San Ysidro International Gate, California. He is currently believed to be a protected government witness. (SourceSource)

GROUP: La Plaza 

OTHER NAMES: Gente del Fino

DESCRIPTION: La Plaza is a faction of the Caborca Cartel that is based in Empalme and Guaymas Valley. The organization is reportedly  headed by Juan Pablo and Antonio “Tony” Quintero Navidad, relatives of Rafael Caro Quintero. It is worth noting that many news publications tie La Plaza to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation (CJNG), referring to them as a CJNG group. (Source, Source, Source)

La Plaza has an armed cell known as “xS”, not to be confused with "Los Xs" the Tamaulipas/Chihuahua organization which is entirely different. Some street level gangs such as “La Mafia” and “Los del Tinaco” are thought to operate on behalf of La Plaza as well. (Source, Source)

POSITION: Leader of La Plaza 

Lieutenant of Caborca Cartel 

ALIAS: El Picipi 

NAME: Francisco Javier Espinoza Camacho


STATUS: Active

PROFILE: He reports to Juan Pablo Quintero and Tony Navidad, the leaders of the Guaymas, Empalme area for the Caborca cartel. El Picipi is originally from San Ignacio Rio Muerto and reportedly has a presence in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Source, Source) 


El Picipi has been accused of organizing certain La Plaza crimes such the September 2019 arson that killed two children in Empalme, the September 2019 homicide of police Commander Gustavo Nafarrate and the murder of a Marine in an ambulance in October 2020. (Source, Source, Source, Source) In December 2020, El Picipi was accused of organizing the creation of a clandestine crematorium that was discovered in Guaymas. At the time of its discovery, it reportedly contained the charred remains of 27 people at the time. (Source

POSITION: Plaza Boss of Empalme Valley and Guaymas Valley

ALIAS: El Pitayo

NAME: Unknown


STATUS: Active as of March 2021 

PROFILE: El Pitayo is believed to be the plaza boss of the Valle de Empalme and Guaymas areas. Some social media users have also accused him of extortion operations in these areas, in addition to being in charge of the regional drug sales. (Source, Source) Captured La Plaza operative Jacobo Pérez Flores detailed on video that he reported to El Pitayo in March 2021.(Source


POSITION: Head of Sicarios in Guaymas (Source

ALIAS: El Mocho

NAME: Juan Carlos Real Nieblas

OTHER ALIASES: El Gordito de la Barba

STATUS: Active

PROFILE: He is believed to be the head of sicarios in Guaymas. He operates primarily in the Las Golondrinas neighborhood. (Source, Source, Source)

POSITION: Plaza Boss of Empalme (Source)

ALIAS: El Oliver

NAME: Jesús Oliver Hernández Esquivel


STATUS: Active 

PROFILE: El Oliver is believed to be the plaza boss of Empalme. How Empalme is divided between El Pitayo and El Oliver is unclear at this time. (Source) A criminal gang operating in Empalme called "Los del Tinaco” allegedly reports to El Oliver. (Source) He has been accused of being involved in the September 2019 arson that killed two children in Empalme, along with El Picipi. Of note, the surviving victims of this arson also accuse El Oliver of belonging to the Cartel Jalisco New Generation. (Source)

POSITION: Head of Sicarios  (Source

ALIAS: El Castro
NAME: Antonio Castro Valenzuela
STATUS: Active
PROFILE: He is alleged to be the head of sicarios for El Picipi’s La Plaza group. (Source) Detainees say he is paid by commission, which is to say he is paid for each person that is executed. (Source) Some social media users claim that El Castro was a Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) soldier prior to beginning to work for La Plaza cartel. They also allege certain active duty SEMAR elements they name are directly linked to La Plaza and El Casto. (Source

POSITION: “Execution Arm” under El Castro 

ALIAS: El Monkey

NAME: Abram Márquez Muñoz


STATUS: Active

PROFILE: El Monkey allegedly directly reports to El Castro and serves as the “execution arm” on Castro’s behalf. (Source) Similar to El Castro’s alleged background, some social media users claim that El Monkey was a Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) soldier prior to becoming a hitman in service of La Plaza. (Source

POSITION: Co-Leader of xS
ALIAS: El 70
STATUS: Active as of March 2021
PROFILE: He is a head of sicarios for La Plaza. He leads a group known as “xS”, an armed wing of La Plaza, alongside El Chapo Pelón. (Source, Source) In March 2021, captured La Plaza operative Jacobo Pérez Flores detailed on video that El 70 served as his protection and El 70 was in charge of “taking care” of cartel members who switched sides. Pérez Flores asserted that part of El 70’s execution operation involved an immolation burial site in Ortiz, Sonora. (Source

POSITION: Co-Leader of xS
ALIAS: El Chapo Pelón
STATUS: Active
PROFILE: He is a head of sicarios for La Plaza. He leads a group known as “xS”, an armed wing of La Plaza, alongside El 70. (Source, Source) Alleged known associates of El Chapo Pelón include the hitman Luisito Quijano. (Source) Some social media users have connected El Chapo Pelón to the recent June 2021 execution of Jesus Huerta Miranda in Morelos la Cruver and the June 2021 immolation of 3 day laborers Campo Santa Inés. (Source, Source)

REGION: Cajeme, Bacum, San Ignacio Rio Muerto, Benito Juarez, Navojoa

DESCRIPTION: Cajeme is a valuable region to control as it contains Obregón city, which is the second largest city in Sonora. The  other municipalities make up the Yaqui Valley region of Sonora.

GROUP: Los Olivas


DESCRIPTION: Los Olivas is an organization that is aligned and works under the Caborca Cartel. They primarily operate in the southern regions of Sonora state such as Cajeme, Vacuum and Navojoa. Corridos such as “El Party del Chapo Trini” report that the family has roots in Badiraguato, Sinaloa where many other Sinaloa Cartel kingpins originate. The Olivas family first grew to prominence in the cartel world under the auspices of the Beltrán Leyva brothers who led the Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO).

Trinidad Olivas Valenzuela alias “Chapo Trini” grew to become the BLO plaza boss for Obregón city, in Cajeme municipality, Sonora. Chapo Trini and the Los Olivas group is believed to be behind the execution of Tomas Tovar Rascon, “Tito Torbellino”, in May 2014. When Chapo Trini was executed in July 2017, his brother Alfredo Olivas Valenzuela, alias “Chapo Alfredo”, is believed to have taken over leading the Los Olivas Organization. 
(Source, Source, Source, Source)

POSITION: Leader - Current
Operational Leader for Obregón, Bacum and the Yaqui Valley

ALIAS: El Chapo Alfredo

NAME: Alfredo Olivas Valenzuela

STATUS: Active


PROFILE: In addition to being the father of singer Alfredo Olivas, he is a well-known drug trafficker who has been directly linked with Rafael Caro Quintero and his nephew El Pablito. He reports to Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad. (Source

Chapo Alfredo is the brother of Chapo Trini, from whom he inherited the organization from. Chapo Alfredo also has strong Beltrán Leyva (BLO) associations, as his brother Trinidad Olivas Valenzuela alias “Chapo Trini” was allegedly a BLO plaza boss. (Source

His organization began with fee collection (cobra de piso) on owners of video game machines, cigarette vendors, the fees have escalated to affect small merchants and those of the Yaqui tribe. (Source, Source) He has been linked to the June 2020 beheading of a businessman and former president of CANACINTRA who refused to pay a fee to the Olivas organization. (Source) He reportedly suffered two attempts on his life in 2018 in Zapopan, Jalisco, one occurred outside his home and another occurred in the hospital that he sought treatment in following the first attack. (Source

POSITION: Second In Command

ALIAS: El Regalo

Name: N/A


STATUS: Active 

PROFILE: He is a close associate of Chapo Alfredo and considered to be his right hand man. He allegedly coordinates drug dealing activities in several areas such as: Libertad, Posadas del Sol, Las Fuentes, Prados del Tepeyac, Las Brisas, and Benito Juárez. (Source, Source)


POSITION: Lieutenant - Former 
ALIAS: El Telcel
NAME: Miguel Enrique Aragón Camacho
STATUS: Inactive, possibly killed 2018


PROFILE: He is the brother of Tío Bencel. Some allege that following the 2018 attempts on Chapo Alfredo's life, Alfredo suspected El Telcel had sold him out so he had him executed. (Source, Source, Source)

POSITION: Lieutenant

Leader of Southern Obregon Operations

ALIAS: Tío Bencel

NAME: Rubén Aragón Camacho


STATUS: Active

PROFILE: He allegedly is in charge of southern Obregon city, directly reporting to Chapo Alfredo. He is the brother of El Telcel. Tío Bencel allegedly ordered the murder of his own nephew "El Bitolas" (Or "El Pituca") because he had tried to start an independent operation. (Source, Source, Source)

POSITION: Plaza Boss of Ciudad Obregon - Former
ALIAS: El Milko

NAME: Fernando Delgadillo Hermosillo


STATUS: Inactive, killed May 2021 

PROFILE: Milko allegedly reported directly to Caborca Cartel boss Chapo Alfredo. On the day of March 4 2021, El Milko had just driven out of a luxury housing complex when he was shot in broad daylight, in the middle of the street by a group of armed men. El Milko was reportedly in the city for the purpose of high-level coordination of drug distribution from Acapulco to warehouses within Mexico City and to the port, where they would be smuggled out by sea.  (Source, SourceSource, Source

POSITION: Head of Sicarios - Northern & Western Obregon City

ALIAS: El Ladrillero

NAME: Nando Arenas


STATUS: Active

PROFILE: Head of sicarios in northern and western Ciudad Obregon. He is suspected of being behind the murder of police officer Carlos Omar Aguilar Alardí in Laguna de Nairani. He reports to El Antena de Bacum.  (Source, Source)

POSITION: Leader of Los Antenas de Bacum  

Head of Sicarios - In Bacum and Yaqui Valley (Source

ALIAS: El Antena

NAME: Francisco Javier Meraz

OTHER ALIASES: El Antena de Bacum

STATUS: Active

PROFILE: One of the Meraz brothers. He began his criminal career as a gunman in the company of his brothers "Pancho Antena", "El Mankio" and "El Indio", who were all dedicated to assassinating people for hire in Obregon City. All three have since died and their plazas (San Jose Bacum, San Ignacio Rio Muerto) were possibly inherited by El Antena. (SourceHe has been linked to the June 2020 beheading of a businessman and former president of CANACINTRA who refused to pay a fee to the Olivas organization.(Source, Source, Source, Source, Source)

POSITION: Head of Sicarios - In Bacum and Yaqui Valley - Former

ALIAS: El Pancho Antena

NAME: Francisco Meraz


STATUS: Inactive, killed October 2017

PROFILE: One of the Meraz brothers. Francisco Meraz "El Pancho Antena" was killed by municipal police officers on October 28, 2017 in San Ignacio Rio Muerto when he was fleeing after shooting at a state police patrol car in the Tobarito police station, a town located 15 minutes from Ciudad Obregon. In the attack two state police officers were injured and three gunmen were killed. (Source)


POSITION: Plaza Boss of San Jose Bacum - Former (Source

ALIAS: El Mankio

NAME: Fermin Meraz


STATUS: Inactive, killed January 2020

PROFILE: One of the Meraz Brothers  He was the Plaza Boss of San Jose Bacum. He and his brother El Indio were executed by a lone gunman in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora on January 11, 2020 (Source, Source)

POSITION: Plaza Boss of San Ignacio Rio Muerto - Former (Source

ALIAS: El Indio 

NAME: Emanuel Meraz


STATUS: Inactive, killed January 2020 

PROFILE: One of the Meraz Brothers  He was the plaza boss of San Ignacio Rio Muerto. He and his brother El Mankio were executed by a lone gunman in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora on January 11, 2020 (Source, Source, Source)


POSITION: Drug Trafficker (Source)

ALIAS: El Primo del Antena

NAME: Sergio Meraz Reyes


STATUS: Inactive, killed July 2020 

PROFILE: El Primo was the cousin of El Antena and the owner of the restaurant "La Palapa Del Bucanero". He was alleged on social media to be a drug trafficker for Los Antenas on the side. He was executed by a hitman while he was in the parking lot of his restaurant in Obregon city on July 25 2020.  (Source)  

REGION: Nogales, Magdalena, Santa Ana, Cucurpe

DESCRIPTION: This region contains the highly sought after port of Nogales, a key entry point on the US-Mexico border. 

GROUP: Los Gigio

Los Gigios is a Sinaloa Cartel group based in Nogales and its surrounding areas. They have strong El Mayo associations within the Sinaloa Cartel and they are closely aligned with the Caborca Cartel. (Source, Source

Their local boss is Felipe de Jesús Sosa Canizales, alias “El Gigio”. This individual was brought to the spotlight in May 2013, when the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) included him and seven other cartel members in the Kingpin Act. At the time of the sanction, El Gigio was accused of working under El Chapo, El Mayo, and Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza, alias “El Macho Prieto” as the Nogales plaza boss.

El Gigio works closely with Leonardo Lopez, alias “El 20”. They are competing against rival gang members for control of Magalena de Kino, Santa Ana, Imuris, and Cucurpe. Reports say that El Gigio and El 20 have several drug plantations in the area. (Source, Source, Source - p.7, Source)


Plaza boss in Nogales, Magdalena, Santa Ana, Cucurpe, Ures, San Pedro de la Cueva (Source)

ALIAS: El Gigio 

NAME: Felipe de Jesús Sosa Canizales 

OTHER ALIASES: El Gio, El Yiyo, El del Sombrero (Mayo is also referred to as Sombrero)

STATUS: Active as of July 3 2021 

PROFILE:  El Gigio is the leader of Los Gigio, a group with a long history in the Nogales area. He reports to Sinaloa Cartel’s Ismael Zambada García, alias “El Mayo”. (Source, Source, Source) His group has an alliance with the Caborca cartel. (Source, Source) He was named as part of the cartel leaders operating in Sonora in the 2021 narcomanta addressed to AMLO. (Source

He as been tied to Sonora Sinaloa Cartel figures such as El Jabalí and El Negro Sabori. They, along with El Gigio, are believed to have participated in the Sinaloa Cartel cleansing of the Beltran Leyva organization in Agua Prieta, Nogales, Santa Ana, Tubutama area around 2009.  In May 2013, the United States Department of the Treasury designated El Gigio under the Kingpin Act for alleged organized crime activity. Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza, alias "El Macho Prieto”, is believed to have supervised El Gigio at some point in his career. (Source)

POSITION: Chief of Sicarios for Los Gigios (Source

ALIAS: El 20 

NAME: Leonardo López


STATUS: Active as of July 3 2021 

PROFILE: He was named as a Sonora cartel leader in the 2021 narcomanta addressed to AMLO. (SourceSource) He is believed to have sicario bosses “El Soldado” and “El Cirilo” reporting directly to him. El 20 has been accused of being involved in the July 2020 execution of a Santa Ana state police commander named Daniel Hernández. Other known associates of El 20 include "El Coyotito” and "El 6-3", who leads the region surrounding Hermosillo with El Negro previously reporting to him. (Source


REGION: San Pedro de la Cueva, Ures, Villa Pesqueira

DESCRIPTION: A cluster of municipalities in central Sonora.

POSITION: Plaza Boss of Ures 

ALIAS: El Negro

NAME: Juan [Last Name Unknown]


STATUS: Active

PROFILE: He is believed to be a high-ranking cartel member based in Ures, Sonora. In July 2020, a four-day shootout broke out in Ures near El Negro’s home. One person was killed and two more were kidnapped. El Negro was able to escape alive. Citizen journalists say that El Negro’s faction has presence in the mining industry in the area. (Source, Source, Source)

GROUP: Los Demonios


POSITION: Leader - Former

ALIAS: Unknown

NAME: José Silverio Rivera Araujo


STATUS: Inactive, arrested Sept 2020

PROFILE: José Silverio was the leader of “Los Siete Demonios” The FGR and SEDENA arrested him in September 2020 alongside nine of members of Los Demonios. (Source, Source)

POSITION: Leader - Former 


NAME: Juan Guadalupe Jacobo Regalado


STATUS: Inactive, arrested 

PROFILE: He is the former leader of Los Demonios up until his arrest in 2019.

At the time of his arrest it was said that an important route of drugs and weapons operating between Nogales Sonora and Phoenix, Arizona was discovered by law enforcement authorities as a result. (Source, Source)

Previous Notable Figures Articles:

Notable Figures: La Linea Part I: Chihuahua

Notable Figures: La Linea Part II: Sonora & Background

Notable Figures: Gente Nueva in Chihuahua

Notable Figures: Los Paredes

Coming Up Next:

Notable Figures: CJNG in Michoacán

Notable Figures: Carteles Unidos Part I

Notable Figures: Carteles Unidos Part II


  1. Imagine making millions helping to run a cartel and you get locked up for a murder you committed over an STUPID

  2. Excellent work!!

  3. ahora si lei alo desgraciado 😁😂

  4. RCQ and his guys are known for kidnapping underage girls for sex parties and then dissolving them in acid after they have served their purpose. These people are true POS and need to be exterminated.

  5. Interesting aliases. By far I think these aliases have been the best in these Notable Figures reports. “El Monkey” is probably a reference to Dexter’s Laboratory lol nice article you two. Look forward to the rest. Maybe Tijuana some day?

    1. I will definitely do Tijuana someday and see if anyone else is willing to tackle writing it with me.

      I love writing and researching about cartel activity in Tijuana. ZETA Tijuana Weekly is one of the my favorite sources, their reporting is just incredible.

  6. Looks like los beltran have a SNITCH el cadete

    1. 12:20 didn’t cadete have a falling out with the rest of BLO before he was arrested?

    2. @3:45 a comment was made when he turned himself in that he had a dispute with Isidro and in hi last interview RCQ said he was making up lies about him to save himself. For being a son of "El Barón de Babunica" his actions haven't demonstrated any similarities to his Father...

    3. 7:42 there was also a corrido about chapo Isidro that says “si unos se han ido es porque no han querido entender” pretty sure he’s talking about cadete there

    4. He had a fallen out with his uncle el pelo Chino

  7. Standing ovation for MX and Hearst

  8. HEARST & MX,

    You guys collaborated and nailed it! Top down, not a detail spared. I look forward to your future works. Thank you and may all of these scum bags rot in hell.

  9. The demonios section is wrong. J3 was not and will never be the leader of demonios, he’s just a loser who would pay the demonios (handsomely lol) to let him say that he was a part of it. El 50 es el dueño de los demonios y el verdadero patrón del “convoy de los demonios “ corrido de los pennys. El J3 y el chango y los que salen en esta historia son puros pendejos que ponen para que den la cara

    1. source? where did you get J3 is not a high-ranking member? even if he "paid" his way in, he was under the Demonios umbrella. lots of top guys who pay piso may be considered "leaders" in their own right, especially if they had a network of people under them moving merchandise. won't be surprised if the claims that he was just an idiot paying fees to los Demonios is just a butthurt comment from people who made less than him.

    2. Pregúntale a quien sea de la clicka y te dirán lo mismo pendejo “where did I get that J3 is not a high ranking member” haha because i know them dumb fuck. Most of you go off corridos lol so try paying some attention child even in J3’s corridos it says so. El primer corrido de los demonios es el “convoy de los demonios” allí te dice quien es el bueno nomás para que veas de que lado roza la cadena verga

    3. And by your dumb logic if you have one person following then technically you can call yourself a high ranking leader within your own organization lol!! But neither J3 or chango or you for ghat matter are leaders of the demonios

    4. Lo del 6-3 y el soldado si está línea . Pura gente del sombrero

    5. My comment before the one about 6-3 didn’t get posted I guess but in it I explained exactly what my source is fuckhead

    6. 1:04 he got his info from a corrido

    7. Los demonios are Chavo Felix's crew

  10. Shame El Durango didn’t get to finish the job

    1. He should've stayed focused on the prize instead of how many likes he can get! Now him and his patron are suck each other off and shit!!

    2. Nno esta pelada con ese cara de cochi todos van a matarlo y nadie a podido ese lo deve apoyar el gobuerno del gabacho o algun alto mando de mx

  11. BB

    Do a article of the Caro/Payan family tree line !

  12. The only thing missing is the list of RCQ hideouts and sightings...

  13. Falta el 5 de nogales cristobal canastillo


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