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

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Caborca Cartel Strikes Back, Exposes The Top Three Salazar Lieutenants in Sonora

"HEARST" and "Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat 

Narco message signs which allegedly named and exposed the three most important Los Salazar lieutenants were discovered in Guaymas and Cajeme municipalities in the state of Sonora. 

The Banners

On the morning of December 7, 2021, a new narcomanta (narco message sign) was discovered on Miramar bridge in the city of Guaymas. Later, across town, another narcomanta was discovered on La Muralla pedestrian bridge, and then another on the south bridge over the federal highway. 

Photos of some of the narcomantas hung.

Meanwhile, in Obregon city in the municipality of Cajeme, the same exact narcomanta was found to have been placed on electricity towers near the Yaquis baseball stadium. 

The narcomanta message read as follows, as translated by Sol Prendido:

Public Minister Alejandra Santiago Sáenz, ex girlfriend of the main operator for the Salazars with the government. 
For whom do you do justice, for the people or for Los Salazars?

Claudia Indira, 
Don’t fabricate evidence. Tell the truth about who did the attack on the Palace, the person responsible is Commissioner Cano, who orchestrated everything. State your opinions with truth, don’t continue to sell out to the Salazars.

The main generators of violence in the state of Sonora are:

Jesús Francisco Sarrazin Lohr "El Pirata".
Jesús Adahír Salazar del Villar "El Azteca".

Luis Alfonso Encinas Bejarano, "El Narizon” or “Venadito".

As some background context, on December 2, 2021, narco banners were hung in San Carlos, Sonora, which exposed alleged Caborca Cartel leaders, showing their photos and sharing their names. For more details, see the full story here.

It was alleged online that Los Salazars were the ones who created and hung those banners. With this in mind, this new narcomanta can be seen as an act of retaliation against that banner, as it names and shows alleged Los Salazar operatives.

Alejandra Santiago Sáenz

The first person referred to in the banner’s message is Alejandra Santiago Sáenz. She was announced back in 2018 by the Sonora governor to be the head of a newly created government unit. 

The “Specialized Financial Intelligence Unit” (UNIPAF) which Alejandra led was created in order to detect financial structures of former state officials as part of an anti-corruption campaign by the governor. 

When she was announced as head of the new unit, Alejandra spoke to the press, saying “citizens are called upon to make use of their voice, their strength, and to point out, denounce, contribute, effectively to obtain evidence to investigate persons who during their tenure as public servants have increased their assets in an illicit manner.”

Which Salazar operator she is alleged by the banner to have dated is unclear and prior Sonora news reports make no mention of this claim.

“Claudia Indira” &Commissioner Cano”

The “Claudia Indira” referred to in the banner likely refers to the state’s Attorney General Claudia Indira Contreras Córdova. Meanwhile the “Commissioner Cano” likely refers to Guaymas municipal police Chief Andrés Humberto Cano Ahuir,  a 33-year veteran of the navy who became chief in August 2019.

After a recent cartel shooting outside the municipal palace (or city hall) on November 25, 2021, Claudia Contreras released a video message in which she said that state authorities were considering the possibility that the attack targeted Andrés Cano Ahuir.

The exact nature of what is meant by the banner’s statement: “Tell the truth about who did the attack on the palace, the person responsible is Commissioner Cano, who orchestrated everything,” is unclear. 

A photo taken shortly before the city hall shooting began showing the mayor and Marisol, who is the unrelated civilian bystander who would later be killed by the cartel hitmen during the attack.

It could be alleging that Cano Ahuir colluded with the hitmen from the shooting to fake an attack on himself, with the guarantee that he would remain unharmed in order to appear to be persecuted by organized crime for the sake of a personal agenda of his. 

It could alternatively be alleging that the hitmen were colluding with Cano Ahuir in order to kill someone else who was present outside the city hall that day, such as Mayor Karla Córdova.

La Plaza’s Vendetta Against Commissioner Cano

Some online have alleged that the hitmen who carried out the November 25 city hall attack belonged to the Caborca Cartel subgroup La Plaza. The organization has reportedly had a vendetta against Commissioner Andrés Cano Ahuir ever since July 2020 due to an alleged attack against one of their members, Juan Francisco Herrera Ortiz “El Brujo”.

The crime scene of the attack on El Brujo.

The attack against El Brujo ended up killing not just Brujo himself, but also his wife and his 12 year old daughter, as well as injuring three other children.

La Plaza narcomantas which blame Cano Ahuir

Later that month, La Plaza hung a narcomanta claiming Andrés Cano Ahuir had prior knowledge that the attack on El Brujo was going to occur with his family likely present. They also allege Cano Ahuir, along with a host of other named government authorities, were working for Los Salazars.

Three Salazar Lieutenants

So who are these three men listed on the banner and how much do we know about them already?

El Pirata The first man listed is Jesús Francisco Sarrazín Lohr, alias “El Pirata”, is allegedly the overall head of hitmen for the whole Los Salazar organization.

He is believed to report to Los Salazar’s leader José Crispín Salazar Zamorano, alias Tío Pin (Uncle Pin) as well as its secondary leader Alfredo Salazar Ramírez, alias "El Muñeco", who is Tío Pin’s nephew and who still allegedly gives out orders from prison. 

El Azteca Next listed on the banner is Jesús Adahír Salazar del Villar, alias “El Azteca” or “El Chuy”, who is the son of El Muñeco. Azteca is the half brother to Muñeco’s other sons Alonso “La Cria”, Adair “El Judas”, and Aldair “El Flaco”. 

El Azteca reportedly took control of the group of Salazar hitmen in the Navajoa area following the death of his half brother La Cria in August 2019. He is allegedly the one leading the various Salazar operations which contest Caborca Cartel controlled territories such as Guaymas, Cajeme, Empalmes, and Hermosillo.

The Facebook group Sonora Informativo reports that El Azteca was arrested alongside his cousin, the narco corrido singer Alberto del Villar Cisneros earlier this year in February 2021. It should be noted that Alberto del Villar Cisneros is the son of a different Salazar operative: Sergio Alberto del Villar Suarez, alias “El Napoleon”. 

(Not to be confused with a new alleged cartel operator in Sonora using the alias “El Napoleon” named José Luis Yucupicio Castillo, who is unrelated.)

Azteca and Alberto were allegedly caught while driving an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV in the Tierra Blanca neighborhood of the city of Navojoa, in Sonora. The pair were captured by Army (SEDENA) soldiers however the Attorney General’s office allegedly released them from custody shortly after. 

Sonora Informativo claims they were released after a bribe of $5,000,000 pesos ($239,403 USD) was paid.

El Narizón And the last man listed is Luis Alfonso Encinas Bejarano, alias “El Narizón” (The Nose) or “El Venadito”. Narizón is allegedly in charge of the hitmen on behalf of someone named Luis Enrique Amavizca, according to Sonora Extrema. Little else is known about him, with sources like Sonora Informativo having never mentioned him in any post prior.

So, who was behind these new banners? 

The territories these narcomantas were hung in belong to subgroups of the Caborca Cartel, with Guaymas allegedly being controlled by La Plaza and Cajeme allegedly belonging to Los Olivas,who were previously Beltran Leyva Organization before beginning to work for the Caborca Cartel. This makes it very likely that some Caborca Cartel subgroup was behind the printing and hanging of the banners. 

That being said, Cajeme municipality and Obregon city within it have been heavily contested for control by Los Salazars. Just at the end of October 2021, 3 alleged Salazar hitmen were killed following a confrontation with police, along with 4 more hitmen arrested in Cajeme. The full story on this incident is detailed here. Guaymas city also reportedly has been intermittently contested by Los Salazars as well. 

In early October 2021, an emergency police phone line operator who worked in Obregon was interrogated on video by cartel hitmen. In the footage, she said that she was acting as a mole for Los Salazar and passing information to Salazar hitmen in exchange for a regular fee. The Caborca Cartel and its subgroup Los Olivas were suspected. For more details and an English translation of the interrogation, please see this story

Sources: Sonora Informativo, Valor por Tamaulipas, Redes de Sonora, Mexico News Daily, El Diario de Sonora, July 2020 Narcomanta from Fernand on Twitter

Further Reading

Caborca Cartel Leadership Named in Narcomanta 

Cajeme: Los Salazar's Mole In Emergency Phone Line Dispatch Interrogate

Guaymas City Hall Attack


  1. Animo Sicarios
    "Puras trocas artilladas son las que me cargo
    En la guerra y otra vez se ha comprobado
    De la gente y el poder del Mayo
    Se sabe que poco apoco vamos avanzando
    Por allá en las calles nos ven circulando
    En Zacatecas y Durango.
    Y el Azteca se respeta lo han mirado.
    (Y así suena con la banda compa Uriel
    Salusita viejo)
    Se carga un bolón de gente
    Por que con el jefe no existen errores
    Y con mi compadre es igualito
    El mismo ambiente
    Andamos bien equipados pal que se atraviese
    Que se ponga tonto y para con San Pedro
    Se lo mandamos en breve.
    Aquí andamos con los tubos por enfrente.
    (Y puro Nuevos Ondeados compa Changel
    Y somos los sembradores)
    Somos del equipo cien por ciento
    De aquel hombre
    Y unas artilladas con tostones
    Que seguido dan la vuelta
    Hasta San Luis voy y vengo y por los callejones
    , Por el centro y allá por El Monte
    Es el comandante Azteca.
    Siempre firmes y de parque trocas llenas.
    A la orden del hombre
    Y de mi compadre Olegario
    Buena escuela del Ondeado
    Al viejón se le recuerda
    Entro y salgo del zacate para todos lados
    Que se pongan trucha también los soldados
    Aquí rifa El MZ.
    De Durango también cargo la bandera"

  2. Vincent Fernandez
    A true legend.

    1. He will strongly be missed, 006 has being crying nonstop.

    2. Juan Rambito has also cried, long live the king of Ranchera music.

  3. Está mal ese mapa actualmente Hermosillo tiene el control los Salazar y toda la costa y bahía de Kino, Etchojoa,Benito Juárez,huatabampo y álamos son de los Salazar desde el año 2005 en Nogales la mitad les pertenece y la otra mitad a los yiyos


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