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

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Caborca Cartel's La Plaza Kills 2 On City Hall Steps In Guaymas

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

La Plaza, a subgroup of Rafael Caro Quintero’s Caborca Cartel, has been named as the perpetrators of an attack at city hall which left two civilians, along with one hitman, dead in Guaymas, Sonora. 

The attack is notable because high caliber weapons and frag grenades were used not in a remote location, but in the highly public steps in front of city hall. 

The attack is even more notable because it was allegedly a cartel hit specifically targeting the Secretary of Security, Andres Humberto Cano Ahuir, and yet the hitmen seemed unconcerned with collateral damage to civilian bystanders. The attack occurred at the end of a peaceful demonstration against gender violence and resulted in the death of an uninvolved party: an 18 year old woman, Marisol Cuadras, one of the women participating in the demonstration.

Marisol Cuadras

The Series of Events

In honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a local women's group planned a demonstration in the city of Guaymas in the state of Sonora. 

Context view of Guaymas city hall

The demonstration began at approximately 5:00 pm on the evening of November 25, 2021. The women's group arrived at the steps of city hall. The group was made up of about ten to twenty women, all symbolically dressed in black and carrying cempasúchil flowers to remember those they lost. 

Marisol Cuadras, like the other demonstrators, wore all black, along with a purple bandana. The women hung banners and signs which called for justice for women still missing; with phrases like "We want us alive" written on them. 

In one of the last few photographs of her alive, Marisol can be seen using purple chalk on the sidewalk to write out the phrase “todas fuimos”, or we all went / it was all of us, a slogan used in a similar way to the MeToo movement.

At roughly 6:30 pm, the newly elected mayor of Guaymas, Karla Córdova, along with some staffers and cabinet members walked out to the city hall steps to meet with the group of women in an unplanned, informal visit. The mayor and the group of women spoke about what can be done to increase the overall safety of women in Guaymas, such as installing street lights in dangerous areas of town as well as panic buttons in a conversation that lasted several minutes. 

The mayor reportedly said "I admire that you go out and participate in this movement," to the women gathered. At the end of the conversation, the group posed for a photo alongside the mayor. Marisol Cuadras can be seen standing just to the left of the mayor in the photo above.

At around 6:40 pm, in the middle of the mayor saying goodbye to the group, an armed group of men opened fire on the mayor’s group of staffers and cabinet members, who were standing just behind the group of women. The real target of the attack, the Secretary of Security Andres Humberto Cano Ahuir can possibly be seen in the photo below.

Unable to find a version of this photo without the blue arrows, please inbox it to me if you can a version without them.

"When we heard the first bullet impact, we started to run to get into the municipal palace," the Mayor Karla Córdova later recounted in an interview with journalist Joaquín López Dóriga. "Then I threw myself to the ground." 

The first couple of shots struck the mayor’s driver and bodyguard Antelmo Gutiérrez, a 40-year-old policeman who died shortly thereafter from his gunshot wounds. 

The crowd had all collectively ducked down to the ground at this point, and they began slowly crawling their way towards city hall where staffers managed to open an office door for the victims to take shelter in. 

The armed men continued their assault, now throwing grenades in the direction of the office where the victims were sheltered inside. Then, according to the mayor, the gunmen returned to shooting firearms from four different locations, towards the office, trying to get an angle on the people inside. 

"It was all of a sudden," says Omar Salazar, a freelance journalist who was leaving after covering the demonstration. "It started to smell like gunpowder and then we heard explosions, like rockets, I didn't imagine they were bullets," he says. 

A code red was activated and over a dozen patrol cars responded to the request for support. Bullets were exchanged between the armed men and the police officers. Omar Salazar Marisol was killed in the crossfire between the two groups.

The police managed to kill one of the cartel gunmen. The gunman, who was about 50 years old, was carrying a 9mm caliber weapon, ammo in his trouser bag and a bag of marijuana, according to the State Prosecutor's Office.

No arrests were reported on the night of the incident so it is presumed that the rest of the hitmen were able to flee the scene.

Cartel Aspects of the Crime

Infobae, Excélsior and La Silla Rota newspaper all report that the Naval intelligence sources they spoke to said there are indications of the involvement of the group La Plaza. 

La Plaza is a subgroup of the Caborca Cartel that is based in Empalme and Guaymas Valley. The group is believed to be led by Francisco Javier Espinoza Camacho, alias “El Picipi” or “El Fino”. El Picipi is originally from San Ignacio Rio Muerto and reportedly has connections in Guadalajara, Jalisco as well. 

Some early social media reports alleged that the deceased hitmen from the attack appeared to look like the cartel leader El Picipi. However, this identification has since been refuted by law enforcement authorities who state that the deceased gunman was a known member of La Plaza, but was not the boss El Picipi himself. 

"That [deceased] hitman already had an arrest warrant. There had already been two, three attempts to arrest him," reported José Rafael Ojeda Durán, the head of the Secretariat of the Mexican Navy, implying that he was a known entity to authorities despite them choosing not to release his name at this time.

La Plaza allegedly reports to Juan Pablo and Antonio Quintero Navidad, relatives of Rafael Caro Quintero. 

The alleged head of sicarios in Guaymas is Juan Carlos Real Nieblas, alias “El Mocho”. Although it is also possible that El Tepo reported to Antonio Castro Valenzuela, alias “El Castro” or “El Rábano” another La Plaza head of hitmen whose region of control is still unclear. 

La Plaza has an armed cell known as “xS” (not to be confused with "Los Xs" the Tamaulipas/Chihuahua organization which is entirely separate and unrelated). The group “xS” is led by “El 70” and “El Chapo Pelón”. In addition to “xS”, some street level gangs such as “La Mafia” and “Los del Tinaco” are thought to operate on behalf of La Plaza as well. For more details on the leadership within La Plaza and the overall Caborca Cartel, please see this previous story.

Recent La Plaza Incidents

On October 8, 2021, six alleged La Plaza gunmen were arrested by Army (SEDENA) soldiers on charges of carrying firearms and drug possession. For further details, please see this previous story

There have been a whole series of incidents in Guaymas recently, such as three underage girls kidnapped August 29, the execution of the deputy chief of the Municipal Police on September 7, late night shooting On September 10, and the execution of La Plaza a hitman and fee collector named José Guadalupe Hernández Delgado, alias "El Tepo", around September 11, 2021. For further details on all these events, please see this previous story.

Sources: El Pais, La Silla Rota, Excélsior, Infobae, El Universal, El Sol de Hermosillo

Further Reading: 

Notable Figures: Caborca Cartel and La Plaza

La Plaza’s El Tepo Executed in Guaymas 

Six La Plaza Members Arrested


  1. Animo Sicarios!

    A new team has been assembled to clean the Sonora plaza.
    Los "Covid19" from Sinaloa led by El Commandante Omicron.

    This unit has been highly trained by an ex Delta Force CAG colonel in anti terrorism,desert warfare, Close Quaters Combat and Special Reconnaissance. They carry sophisticated weaponry such as
    M4A1 Assault Rifle HK416 Carbine Benelli M4 Super 90 semi automatic shotgun,M136 AT4 rocket/missle launcher,FGM 148 Javelin anti armored vehicle portable destruction. They wear a distintive camouflage developed by Mossad with the distintive vegatation of the Golden Triangle of Sinaloa.
    NSA modified communicationa systems on 6G networks.
    These Operators will be arriving via HALO jump from a modified Cesna flying at high altitude.

    Ordenes de los patrones #701
    Clean the plaza !

    1. The crazies all thought Covid19 was a conspiracy to install "evil" 5G towers while we were stuck inside.

      If only they had Sicario-006-level intel and known it was actually Commandante Omicron with 6G that they had to watch out for.

    2. They say very bad things about Commander Omicron, you can't see him coming and before you know it he has taken hold of you.

  2. Not alot of police present, when the Mayor stepped out to greet them, and when the code Red, was issued only one sicario was killed and the rest got away. Knowing which Cartel did it, it should then be activated to go after them, but we all know they will be out roaming around to kill again.

  3. If it's not cartel after Sec of Sec Ahuir it's innocent journalists...SofS Ahuir is alleged to be responsible the murder of journalist Ricardo Domínguez López.

    An insider tipped off the cartel of SofS's presence for the gunmen to fire from 'four different locations'.

    This sincere group of lovely ladies had no idea that evil lurked in their immediate presence.

    Canadian girl💋

    1. They had to know evil lurked within their immediate presence when they stepped outside their homes everyday ! Its appauling how women are treated in Mexico it needs to end its almost 2022 and the same shit from 2008 is still happening how is this possible with the technology available to the so called competent authorities you would think it would be a priority but apparently not . Its sad that this girl was trying to do sonething about this bullshit and died because of it . I hope her death was not in vain and something positive comes from it ! Its a damn shame . Rip kid !

    2. On average 10 women are killed a day in MX, sadly it was in vain and will continue to be until, well, who knows? A long long time I imagine.

  4. Cartel de sinaloa kill way to many women in snaloa and sonora

  5. My heart goes out to Marisol Cuadras's family, I didn't know her but I like everyone else can plainly see that she was a caring and loving human being, I'm just sorry she was born during a time of lawlessness and greed in Mexico's history. I'm also sorry for all of those women who've disappeared never to be seen again because they've either been killed or sold into a human hell you wouldn't want your worst enemy to have to endure. I look at my little daughter and try to think what it would be like if she was to just up and disappear, what it would do to me is something I can't even imagine. I think to myself what it's like when my baby girl just starts to cough, I want to go to the ER just to make sure she's alright, I could not imagine treating a female in a manner where she could be harmed. It just saddens me to no end what's happening to women and girls in the world today, RIP Marisol Cuadras. We need to treat the females of our species a hell of a lot better then we've been doing because we're failing them.

    1. Great today is Wednesday 😀, I get paid, can go to the bar and drink, yippie.

  6. And the genocidal mass murder and rape continue without even a hiccup! It’s tolerated, accepted, and has been woven into Mexico’s everyday societal fabric! RCQ’s guys? U mean the dirt farmer who was completely fabricated as some weed growing geniuses? He can’t compete with the USA weed growers it’s as simple as that! He is a rapist and a simple killer only when he has the advantage!

    1. Whitey I will take 3 tacos de carne's asada con green chili and a Pepsi.

    2. My favorite except I don’t drink soda, only water and milk.

    3. Da whitey
      Make it 4 tacos de pastor por favor. Happy you are on your meds today.

    4. RCQ had no involvement in the creation of sinsemilla, He just got his hands on sinsemilla.


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