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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, December 20, 2021

Carteles Unidos Creates Narco Blockades After Arrest of "Macho Prieto" in Aquila, Michoacán

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

The arrest of an alleged Carteles Unidos lieutenant, identified as Heriberto ‘N’, alias "El Macho Prieto” led to narco blockades in Aquila, Michoacán. 

On the afternoon of December 16, 2021, agents from the Attorney General’s Office, alongside soldiers from the Navy (SEMAR) and the National Guard (Guardia Nacional, GN), conducted a raid on Chocola ranch near the town of Pichilingillo, in Aquila municipality, on coast of the state of Michoacán. 

The raid led to the arrest of two alleged lieutenants from the group Carteles Unidos. The detainees were reportedly Heriberto ‘N’., alias "El Macho Prieto" or “El Many” and another man who has not been identified by the press or the Attorney General’s office at the moment. 

The two detainees were transported by the soldiers and agents to the closest SEMAR base, which is located in Maruata, as seen on the map below.

In response to their arrest, armed men allegedly commandeered 2-3 trucks near the town of Caleta de Campos, within Lázaro Cárdenas municipality. The trucks were said to have been circulating on the Lazaro Cardenas - Manzanillo highway when they were taken by force by a group of armed individuals. 

Photo of one of the road blockades near Maruata.

They drove these trucks over to the highways near the Maruata SEMAR base where, at approximately 4:00 pm, they set the vehicles on fire, blocking the road in an attempt to rescue the two Carteles Unidos leaders. The road blockades successfully suspended all vehicle traffic on the highway. 

Photo of another one of the road blockades near Maruata.

Whether these road blockades were created before or after the two detainees were brought into the base is unknown and unspecified. What is known is that the SEMAR soldiers were able to successfully transfer the two men into a helicopter and transport them to the offices of the Attorney General's Office.  The road blockades were then said to have been dismantled by SEMAR soldiers.

Aquila municipality is believed to be under Carteles Unidos control. So, which part of Carteles Unidos was likely involved in this incident? There are actually multiple possibilities.

The area is currently thought to be held by the Carteles Unidos subgroup “Los Tenas” which are lead by Fernando Cruz Mendoza, alias “El Tena”. 

However there are still remnants of smaller regional cartel group in the area because the region used to belong to the Carteles Unidos subgroup Los Pulidos as well as another local criminal group reporting under "El Toro". 

The Cartel Landscape of Aquila

Prior to Los Tenas, one of the regional criminal groups which control Aquila came from the Santa María Ostula area. 

In 2014, the indigenous population of Santa María Ostula created a “community guard” or autodefensa (self-defense) group and a man named Cemeí Verdía Zepeda was appointed as the community guard’s first commander. The exact history of this autodefensa and when it began its relationship with organized crime/drug trafficking is unclear. 

Full resolution image linkIn the process of recoloring all maps for so there will be one color for each cartel across all state maps.

It is possible that the group was originally created purely for the protection of the people of the community from extortion and kidnapping by Los Caballeros Templarios (Knight Templars). 

However it is known that in 2017, its first commander, Cemeí Verdía Zepeda, was arrested and its new leader Germán Ramírez Sánchez, alias “El Toro”, began openly using the group for drug trafficking on behalf of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation (CJNG). 

Then, El Toro’s group had a falling out with the CJNG in late 2017 and joined the Carteles Unidos alliance. According to JOCT News, the group’s dispute related to the same cocaine shipment that also caused Juan José Farias Álvarez, alias “El Abuelo”, to split with the CJNG. 

Another criminal group, which was previously in control before the rise of El Tena, was “Los Pulidos” or the Pulidos family from the town of Huahua. Noventa Grados describes Los Pulidos as historically a “criminal partner” of El Toro’s group. 

In 2020, Los Pulidos allegedly kidnapped 4 young people who were in a restaurant in Aquila and later murdered all four victims who were kidnapped. 

In June 2020, El Tena’s brother, “El Chuy Playa”, reportedly led a group of armed men to kill 20 members of Los Pulidos in Huahua as retribution for the killing of the four. During this massacre, a member of the Pulidos family who goes by the alias “El Negrín” had his feet cut off before being shot several times. 

Attorney General’s Office (FGR) intelligence documents which were consulted by La Silla Rota in 2019 assert that El Toro’s group and Los Pulidos have now been pushed out of Aquila by the Carteles Unidos subgroup Los Tena, led by El Tena as part of their quest to control the illegal logging of the sangualica wood forests.

Full resolution image link

Los Pulidos & Toro’s group are said to have migrated to Coahuayana and now operate under the protection of Héctor Zepeda Navarrete, alias “El Teto” who leads local criminal elements in the area, making El Toro, Los Pulidos and El Teto’s group a sort of combined force for the time being.

Overview of El Tena

In 2013, Fernando Cruz Mendoza, alias “El Tena'' was alleged, in intelligence reports, to be one of the seven most prominent leaders of the Knights Templar (Caballeros Templarios, CT). During the 2013 - 2014 autodefensa uprising, El Tena was often named and threatened by the newly founded autodefensas in narcomantas. 

Some plaza bosses thought to have been reporting to El Tena during his CT days include: Isidro Birrueta Montejano, alias “El Chicano”, the plaza boss of Tepalcatepec at the time as well as Antonio Tapia Varela alias “El Toñón”, the plaza boss of Coalcomán at the time and Francisco Nuñez Galeana, alias "El Pantera", the plaza boss of Buenavista Tomatlán at the time. 

Currently, El Tena’s organization is best known for illegal logging in the Aquila area. El Tena is believed to be the brother of Jesús Cruz Mendoza “El Chuy Playa”, Marco Antonio Cruz Mendoza “La E”, and José María Cruz Birrueta “El 40”.

El Tena is reportedly the cousin of Mario Ramón Cruz Martínez “El Ferrari” who is married to María Luisa González Valencia “La Gitana”.

He is also allegedly the cousin of Jesús Cruz Valencia, the elected (then ousted in 2014) mayor of Aguililla. Former mayor Jesús Cruz Valencia was charged for organized crime and received a 15 year sentence in 2018.

Sources: Quadratin, Cuarto Poder Michoacan, Red Michoacán, Noventa Grados, Infobae, Sportlepsia

Line by line citations for Cartel Landscape and El Tena information located here: Notable Figures: Carteles Unidos Part III


  1. Looks like this autodefensa group in the beginning it was fine, but after awhile, Cjng curupted it, nice article.

    1. They are too slick. From the begining the autodefenzas were a cartel but notice how people still think CU are not a cartel..

  2. Michoacanos are ruthless,low key, and powerful gangsters

    1. More like careless brutes, loud and ignorant who can't get along with their own people. Gente corriente.

  3. Now its starting to get good. Just like cjng always does, they find a way to get their tentacles in the armed forces or get putside forces loyal to them went in to start kidnapping and thrning over enemies. Look how little by little SEDENA and SEMAR are doing operstions to capture CU leaders and sicarios
    Thats how it started in GTO. Cjng was getting virtually nowhere or they were barely making progress until the govt went sfter Marro and his closes circle directly. Next thing u know CJNG has plaza bosses in their hands making interrogation videos

    Honestly,call me crazy, call me dumb but i really believe that CJNG is a Cartel run by Mexican Military. If you pay attention SEDENA specifically with SEMAR also, they clean up their plazas and thry never go after the REAL bosses. They are ecpanding like wild fire throughout mexico and for those who didnt know in Tomatlan, la Zona militar 21/a protects Menchos Boggest and most prized Ranch that used to be protected by El Gringo and noe by RR. Its where every party is held, where they stash the grupo elite and delta trucks where they have a real life training facility and literally a cuartel where the Barredora of Grupo Elite stay when on the job its crazy hoe hooked up they have it their and its about 3 miles from the militar base mentioned above

    1. Your a fool if you think cjng will take over michoacan SOSA
      I used to believe that too but i came back to reality lol

    2. Sosa you are correct on GTO, before cabezita de mierda came into power GTO was relatively safe, as soon as he came in talking all that shit about stopping the huachicoleros, he unleashed the dogs on Marro clearing the way for cjng to come into GTO and turn the state into a war zone.

    3. .Youre talking about Amlo right. Cause cabeza de Vaca is govenor in Tamaulipas but yeah i honedtly think that CJNG is a cartel that is protected and really led by corrupt military officials. Ifyou notice like i mentioned barely any operatiobs come against Mencho and co and when they do they barely get anything or Mencho and Cp are well aware beforehand and they end up setting a trap/ambush and military die by the handful (everyone knows the govt lies. When they admit deaths i would easy multiply by 2 or 3. So if they say 5 die then really 10 or more died) look at May 1st 2015. They lied so many times about the number of deaths, how they died. They said there was survivors which is BS for the most part and that only 1 Boludo was shot down. Well aypne from Jalisco will tell you thats a lie. Minimum 3 were lost
      The govt said of first the cjng shot the pilot with a barret .50tazo then they shot the rotary tail of the boludo causing it to crash down. First of all if they shot the piloy the fucking heli would have been going crazy attempting to gain control making it hard for the marucheros to shoot it down with anything let alone hit it with a rocket that isnt guidef
      Apparently cjng shot down 1 boludo in close proximity to GDL by shoooting the pilot it came down and cjng went to the crash site right awayand shot the fallen copter up again. Then in bulla Purificacion 2 fell one on the outskirts with Menchos outer ring of security. Apprently sent by him in convoys to LOOK for th bolufos and set a trap. According to locals they hit this one with .50 barrets and a .50 machine gun which caught fire mid air in the chaos . Then one boludo managed to find a convoy that allegedly found Mencho himself a part of, his escolta personal which comssted of the nest of the best. 4 trucks 8 per truck with nothing but Ex SF of Mexico, Ex Policia federal/Gopes, Ex Farc, colombian military and Col SF and a handful of Kaibiles and a hanful of American Ex Miltary of all sorts. Well Menchos truck a Ford f250 King Ranch was behind the lead. They saw it coming pulled over and staggered themselves, left a truck mid road to get their attention. When it hovered to get a closer look and allow a descent from the SF they carried and they shot 6 Differnt times almost all at once. To create a crossed line of fire. 2 hit one the tail the other underbelly. Immediately catching fire and eventually crashing down allowing Mencho to flee successfully TONAYA where allegedly a 4th one was shot down or shot so much it was forced to do a crash/emergency landing. Although i was never able to dpeak to any lovals from tonaya because they are really hard to gain their trust.

    4. Well yeah man sorry lil off topic, but i remember reading some interested articles talking about hoe the mexican military havr all for the most part banded together to be able to control the drug market or a large part of it by choosing acartel to help
      Basically do what Calderon did but without allowing the crookwd politicians to do it . Apparently the mexican military is tired of cartels mamadas, politicians using armed forces be it military or police to do their bidding getting rich beyond wildest dreams and never being prosecuted while the military gets thrown umder the but when convenient and are paid peanuts, or given nothing under the guise that its forvthe good of Mexico and amor a la patria.
      If u notice cjng grows everywhere with the help of the mexican ARMED FORCES. Cjng gets somewhere, they heat up the plaza, they cause nothing but mayhem stirring the pot getting local cells to flip little by little or like TJ gerting the smaller less powerful cells to link up imder their fla . Send cjng loyal commanders and well trained sicarios to assist, fill the ranks and slowly get the cells to become loyal in full to cjng Mencho. Individually they couldnt do much but now 10 cells of 10 each you have a good little army snd say cjng send 50 more of their Deltas or Grupo Elites anf noe u got 150 men to battle the loval powerhouse. Once they win with help of SEDENA and SEMAR they kill the unloyal, Renig on their deal and now the plaza is 100% cjng
      Well if u go plaza by plazawhat happened cjng arrived caused havoc, military comes says theyll calm everything down but funny hoe only cjng enemies fall then families come out saying the feds kidnapped their loved and or handed them over to cjng And slowly the plaza is cleaned by them for cjng.
      Its said hat cresencio sandoval leader of all SEDENA is menchos biggest ally along with Durazno. I also have heard that Rafael Ojeda Duran is with them.

    5. Yes, cabezita de algodón cabezita de mierda. Amlo has given a lot of power to the military and it looks like mencho is his chosen one.

    6. Sosa don’t know anything about cjng

    7. Sosa, I'm certainly not disagreeing with you as I'm relatively new to a lot of this, but I'm curious why I frequently read "if it wasn't for the military helping CU in Mich, CU would be dead by now?" Is there any truth to this or have I read it enough times that it just appears to be truth? Genuinely would like to hear perspectives if anyone has the time. Thank you

    8. Ms.H, Cartel cheerleaders make up conspiracies without any evidence to back up their claims. Just know that Michoacan is a mess because Peña Nieto allowed autodefensas to arm themselves. Now you have armed civilians and cartel members posing as civilians roaming the state and adding to the shit show.

    9. 8:22 don't forget the current enpt president is allowing it too.

    10. SOSA, when i was in the can i almost lost my mind too. Try reading a novel or a good book to get your mind of all the BS going in your mind.

  4. Those guys will be out soon, they ALWAYS do..

  5. Mencho Hasnt been able to take Michigan for almost 10yrs. And CU are pretty much All Over Michigan.

    1. Someone warn Detroit. Carteles Unidos is about to be all over them.

      I heard the CJNG took Grand Rapids last week. Next they'll take Kalamazoo.

    2. James Brown
      Time to protect North Carolina
      We don't need no Cjng taking over the state, with hidden Safehouses. We need to arm up, and to AVENGE the death of Barney Harris, those cjng don't belong in are states, they are ruthless killers.

    3. Hearst, I totally fell for that...face slap. I was furiously texting you asking you to email me Michigan info/links...omg. Too funny

    4. 5:34 Don't forget to recruit Whitey he hates Cartels that kill kids, Viva la causa.

  6. RAFA.. thanks bro. Honestly bro i reslly believe that yhe mexican armed forces have an alliance within the Corrupt Altos Mandos to protect cjng
    No coincidence everywhere Mencho starts war eventuslly is dome with help from armed forces. Usually the local militry is already loyal or at least not going after their enemies but after heating it up cjng wins whem they get outside military help sent because the militsry stationed there cannot contain the violence mostly due to corruption and because cjng propaganda. Rest is history.

    I remember reading multiple articles from trusted sources talking about how the Mex Military is tired of getting peanuts and used to control the csrtels for corrupt politicians so they now control them and get the lion share. Plus they can keep whoever in power and in check and they show work here amd there. Look at zona militar 21/a kn Tomatlan. Less than 3 miles from RR ranch, well Menchos but RR is charged with keepimg it safe and everything there in good hands. Gringo the one the feds killed used to take care od that Ranch/safespor for Mencho until his death
    Well its even said that many elite cells and Deltas are active Military members that on their free time even while working too go out and do jales for cjng. The delicate ones
    Look at Cholo, he was not kidnapped by cjng themselves. He was arrested on his Ranch on the outskirts of Tlaquepaque during an operation by State police and SEDENA and afterwards sold to Mencho for allegedly 3 million.

    Hoenstly i cant wait until all the corruption involving cjng comes to light. Look how Garcia luna was caught and his federal police commander, hoe vicentillo told the courts that they had nexus with DEA to operate worry free in return for info on other cartels and the occasional info on their own men and stashhouses
    . Just imagine if cjng is exposed that way. I call it. All altos mandos of military and police will be exposed to have been protecting Mencho and Co

    Remember in 2014 that girl who used to date Mencho as teens that sold Jale in LA area, later ran to the midwest USA because she was accused of thievery because her ex man stole her drugs and they wanted her dead well she went above her old connects head and talked to Mencho herself he basically took her side n called everyone off her then she sweet talked him into giving her like 100 kilos or pounds of crystal all while accidently and unknowingly dealing with an informant and later undercover DEA agent. Then when the 100 landed they arrested her and then she flipped and gave them Menchos phone number and showed them the messages
    Immediately federsl police Nd miltary they mounted a "secret" operation after finding Menchos exact location using his phone number/activity to a Ranch near . Well he was tipped off just in time and barely managed to escape after taking off on foot through the sierra with a few of his Men, Menchito and El 03.Allegedly they also had military intelligence who managed to penetrate his inner security circle and he found out and finally told his men yo leave and let him walk alone walking for days through the mountains with barely any food or water.
    At the Ranch he left his daughter Jessica and his wife Rosalinda And the remaindee of hie men. The remainder of Men immediately after Mencho leaving began to fire at the choppers and the miltary/police insinuating a huge firefight. Allowing Mencho, his sons and his crew to escape the ranch. According to reports Mencho barely escaped the ranch and then because the military infiltrated his escoltas they almost caught them whiel on foot until he told eveyone to leave and he walked alone as i mentioned. Its said a high ranking military member informed him as the operation was already in full swing and was infromed they would be arriving in less than 45 minutes

    1. Luis Chaparro was discussing this a few months back as well, also implying certain people in USA gov't were aware of this as well. Obviously, I have no clue, and I'm sure 20 people could call BS, but interesting nonetheless

  7. Viva Michoacan
    Viva Jacona

    Viva Morelia

    1. Y que viva muy lejos, pinches michoachangos indios cagados. No cabe duda, que a donde sea que llegan los Michoachangos nomas llegan a cagar el palo. Pinche gente corriente.

  8. Study the post! No better maps and background material on this story than this. We will always be able to use this post as great research. Please thank "HEARST" for that effort and diligence people

    1. Hearst I send you a bouquet of Red and Yellow roses.
      Keep up the good work 👌.

    2. For what it's worth I second that. I envy how HEARST can provide so much background information and who's who that makes the tangled knot that is Michoacan seem tangible.

  9. Well well well here we are and things are gonna start changing! I’ve Been put away to long


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