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

Saturday, January 7, 2023

La Familia Michoacána Leader Salvador Navarro Peñaloza “El Zarco” Killed in Las Cruces, Guerrero

By "El Huaso" for Borderland Beat

Local news and social media accounts are reporting the death of La Familia Michoacana (LFM) Leader Salvador Navarro Peñaloza “El Zarco” or "El 01" in Las Cruces, Guerrero yesterday. There is currently no government confirmation of the event, but news site Contramuro posted a photo of a corpse that bears significant resemblance to Navarro Peñaloza. 

According to Contramuro, locals reported a shootout in the municipality of Coyuca de Catalán, in Las Cruces in northern Guerrero, near the border with Michoacán yesterday. They report that Navarro Peñaloza and several of his bodyguards were captured and killed, their bodies later found in a stolen truck around 3 p.m. Several news sources agree there was a shootout, but death tolls range from a handful to twenty or more.

A statement from the Guerrero state government on their Twitter page around 7 p.m on Jan. 6 said that  National Guard and Army units were deployed to the scene after recieving 911 calls, but found no trace of the shootout. They also spoke to locals, who said they had not witnessed a shootout.
Guerrero Government Statement 1/6/22

Both rival organized crime groups and the Mexican government identify Navarro Peñaloza as a main leader of the LFM. In 2016, the Mexican Attorney Generals Office (PGR) previously offered 1,500,000 pesos ($75,000 USD) for information leading to his arrest. The notice identified him as a main generator of violence in the region. Expansion Política reported in 2022 that Navarro Peñaloza was formerly in the now defunct Knights Templar cartel, but later joined the LFM.

In December 2019, Navarro Peñaloza was threatened in a CJNG narco video, who identified him as La Familia Michoacana's commander in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero. This and another video released that month by CJNG announced CJNG's incursion into the state and threatened LFM leadership José Rodolfo Maldonado Bustos "Don José", Alberto Espinoza Barrón "La Fresa".

According to investigative think tank InSight Crime, the LFM have made a return, and after years of fragmentation and splintering, are gathering power. InSight Crime reports that they are deeply involved in the production of methamphetamine, and to a much lesser extent, the distribution of fentanyl. Due to their control of the Lazaro Cardenas port, they are able to source large quantities of precursor chemicals for use in clandestine production sites. This focus has made them key suppliers of other criminal groups in Mexico, such as the Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima in Guanajuato, security expert David Saucedo told Borderland Beat.

Warning: Graphic photo of the body below.

Guerrero Government Statement 1/6/22, La Jornada, All Source News Twitter Account, InfoBae 12/19, Sur Acapulco 11/21, InfoBae 12/19, Contramuro, DOF Recompensas 2016, InSight Crime, Interview with security expert David Saucedo


  1. Cjng gaining ground

  2. He was either betrayed by La Familia Michoacana themselves or CJNG finally got his ass

  3. Ever since the massacre they did it is rumored that a lot of ppl have turned on them. CJNG has nothing to do with this. Expect more blood and maybe and alliance with other cartels.

    1. I agree, these cats go all out until one side gets the other. This cartel been feared since the day it was established, straight ruthless

  4. Well supposedly him and don jose didn't agree with the truce PEZ and Fresa had with jalisco. El fat ass del Lalo mantecas didn't agree with that truce either and he had a similar fate..

    1. That makes sense

    2. Don Jose told Zarco if he had anything to do with the death of el mantecas he would kill him himself even if he loved him like a brother. I think that’s what happened he found out about it and killed him.


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