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

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Rafael Caro Quintero's Caborca Cartel Leadership Exposed in New Narcomanta

"HEARST" and "Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Unsigned narcomantas naming and showing the photos of alleged leadership figures from the Caborca Cartel were hung. Some of the information on the banners gives new insight as to the structure and identity of the organization. 

The Banner 

At approximately 6:30 am on the morning of December 2, 2021, residents of the town San Carlos, in Sonora, awoke to find a narcomanta (narco message banner) had been hung on a pedestrian bridge which crosses over the Internacional highway. 

A second banner, which was identical to the first banner, was allegedly hung somewhere else in San Carlos and discovered that same day.

Photos which are alleged to show the banner were uploaded online. The message reads as follows, as translated by Sol Prendido:

To all federal authorities, 

[Photos] Rafael Caro Quintero, Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad, Rodrigo Páez, José Gil Caro Quintero, Francisco Javier Espinoza Camacho aka ‘Fino’ or ‘Picipi’, and Roy Antonio Soto Quintero. 

These are the individuals in charge of heating up the towns of Guaymas, Empalme, and El Valle. In addition to charging a protection fee for all businessmen, farmers, and ranchers. 

It’s been known for years that they’re the ones directing operations. And that they’re wanting to kill the director of public security in Guaymas, Andrés Humberto Cano Ahuir.


The impetus of these narcomantas is likely the recent shooting on the city hall steps of Guaymas, which left one bodyguard to the Mayor of Guaymas and one innocent bystander dead. For more details on this shooting, please see this story

Following the attack, it was widely reported that the Caborca Cartel subgroup La Plaza was behind the attack and that the real intended target was the Secretary of Security, Andres Humberto Cano Ahuir who was reportedly standing near the victim when the shooting began. 

Alleged photo of Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad

While some of the cartel figures named and shown in this narcomanta have been known for years, some of the information is new, or at least finally more credible. Prior to this narcomanta, there were no photos of Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad with a decent amount of credibility behind them. 

Alleged photo of Roy Antonio Soto Quintero

Additionally, Roy Antonio Soto Quintero was not a Caborca Cartel figure often discussed or even mentioned by news sources covering the organization. (In fact, he has never been mentioned in any previous Borderland Beat story.) Because of this, the narcomanta choosing to name and show Roy Antonio is quite significant. 

Updated Profiles

With these two new bits of information from the narcomanta, we can update our previous profiles of the named Caborca Cartel figures, listing them in the same order that they are named in the narcomantas.

With time, a profile covering Roy Antonio Soto Quintero's cartel history will be created. For more profiles and further details please read this previous story.  

POSITION: Leader in Name for the Caborca Cartel

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: Leader of Caborca Cartel in the 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. He is the son of Emilio Quintero Payan. He is the 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: Day to Day Leader of Caborca Cartel


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. (Source

Some 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: 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

OTHER ALIASES: El Jogil, Don José, El Chino (Source

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 to 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)

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


Sources: Infobae, Sonora Informativo, Valor por Tamaulipas 

Further Reading: 

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


  1. El Pelo Chino es primo de Jackie Chan o que?

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm searching for the original photos that they printed on the banner of Juan Pablo Navidad and Roy Antonio but I'm struggling to find them.

      The image quality of the ones on the banner is just terrible. If anybody can find the original, let me know.

  3. Pinche Rafa, all that money should of gone to Venezuela with his good friend Maduro.

    Anyone ever wondered why the US is sooo interested in gettng Rafa or so they say. Look at Don Neto, was also convicted of The torture murder of Camarena yet hes out on anklem monitor lol AFG still in prison but damn do they hate Rafa, or pretend to

    I know it goes deeeep. With Rafa training contras on his ranches and or the CIA connections he had but um tlking just surface answers

    1. Rafa wasnt training contras they just used his ranch.

    2. I agree, Rafa is just a scapegoat for the US but they are in cahoots doing dirty deeds and money laundring to cocain3 smugling..
      If US REALLY wanted that old man they would already have captured or killed him.

      Maduro is just doing what every latin ameican president with cartels in thei country is doing. But since hes not a puppet like the rest if latin american narcopresidents he is on their SH!T list..
      The reason.mexican governors and president get away from EVERYTHING is because they do what UNCLE sam wants them to do..
      puppets on the strings

    3. A scapegoat? That fucker tortured and murdered a DEA agent. The U.S. wants him bad.

    4. So, Maduro is a good dictator who turned Venezuela into a socialist utopia because he's not a sound like a Biden voter who actually believes that Fentanyl Floyd was black jesus..

    5. You don’t think U.S sanctions against Venezuela helped crumble the nation?

    6. Do we really know who killed Kiki some people point to CIA cause he was uncovering that contras shit so yes he could be called a scapegoat or you believe everything the DEA or American government say then u one silly cuban

    7. SOSAP7G i think you mean colombia with duque

    8. Maduro is killing his own people. Chavez sold the people did the " 'ol switcheroo on his people" I have seen it first hand in a couple of hot countries, socialism doesn't work. In theory it sounds great but nope, doesn't work in reality. Anybody who thinks it does needs to read the whole story beyond the utopia it claims to be.
      I have seen the people hunched over with oppression and a dead gaze in their eyes or perhaps it's just starvation creeping in. It is not pretty folks. Lots of blame to go around beyond pappy Chavez and Madurro

    9. Just look at california, they believe in socialism and now that place is a shit hole. Now they all want to move or texas and arizona

    10. 3:54 Shelly
      It would have been great if the guy handling the drone with explosives, had killed Maduro, it did explode but to prematurely, that it only frightened him.
      Apparently you do know he had WiFi disabled,. Do no one can send out photos or videos for the world to see, the atrocities that are occurring everyday.

    11. Yes, a sad and desperate situation

  4. What's worse caborca running la plaza or Salazar's choose wisely

    1. Caborca Witt RCQ as leader they will not mess with inocente people.

    2. caborca cartel is the one killing the innocent people. RCQ was a dirtbag

  5. I honestly think that he’s out of the drug game he’s moved on to money launderer that’s why they always freezing back accounts confiscating restaurants properties,you have to remember the Quintero family has been in the drug game way before Rafa that family is all divided up into factions,Rafas faction is money laundering he’s probably doing it for other organizations also that’s why he moves around all there plazas freely and don’t get caught he’s protected at each plaza until it gets hot then he’s on the move .The Quintero’s are associated with the Sinaloa cartel,CJNG,Juarez and even what’s left of BLO.With the money he made back in the day he’s more then likely moved on to money laundering leaves a great profit and less risk fighting for plazas more low key and when you laundering for all cartels ain’t no one fucking with you..

    1. 7:14 RCQ is most probably moving massive weight. Hence long gaming Chapitos they came in strong but the Chapitos look to have failed on taking out the Quinteros

    2. well not exactly, because the cazadores are in caborca and caborca cartel is hiding in pitiquito i think they are just less on social media

    3. ElMeroMero BLO's people in sonora switched to caborca cartel

  6. He’s from the old guard they don’t put mantas up like you seen before talking about he’s coming for plaza like they’ve put up in the past in Sonora just like Zacatecas using mayos name these guys just wouldn’t operate like that only one who was flamboyant enough or boisterous was chapo back in the day when he had that beef with z-40 besides that old school narcos don’t look for that attention for all we know Caro and Mayo might be dead and it might just be there underlines using there name for propaganda but if Caro is still alive he’s probably into the money laundering thing.Just look in Michoacán Migueladas is probably one of the last old school narcos there not aligned with anyone but you hear nothing from him cause he’s moved onto money laundering,Less risk of having to loose loads moving stuff from South America to border the payoffs it’s more of a headache.Laundering money is where the real money and less risk

    1. Wyta. Migueladas was just atttendeding meetings about 3 years ago in Michoacan with CJNG according to military intelligence. Migueladas have nueva Italia and the area surrounding it and he has ols political toes ots why the CU wont publicly declare him an enemey and why cjng seems to be content with him just being a silent partner.
      Look at the lame ass video that the viagras made "cartel Zuriacan Nueva Generacion" it wasnt migueladas it was viagras trying to heat up the plaza by saying any military coming into his territoy will be killed, any aircraft will be shot down asap etc.
      RCQ is a fucking ghost, that dude has real ties in both USand Mx and its why he is still free if hes even alive.
      The entire time in prison he remained operating just on a different scale, and investing in legitimate businesses. Buy i would lke to know where he stands inall this

    2. You said it 3 years ago he ain’t on the drug game no more his people still in nueva Italia but he’s moving that bread now it’s the reason he ain’t make no alliance and no one fucking with him either only CU tried going in there to put pressure on his people to start paying piso and they got they ass handed to them his people eventually will all become CJNG cause they both have hate for viagras

  7. It's those Mexican government officials and politicos who are the cartel. All others ore lease holders to a sanctioned money making activities. Note: lease holders are subject to change without given notice. These actions are being displayed throughout Mexico.


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