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

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Unseen Faces of CDS: Leaked Intelligence Maps and Charts - Part 1

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat 

The news publication Contralinea released images from seven old military intelligence documents which cover the Sinaloa Cartel (Cártel de Sinaloa, CDS). 

The Leaked Documents 

Contralinea says they reviewed a total of 34 intelligence documents on CDS that were produced between the years 2016 and 2022. They published images from just 7 of these documents so far, in this article

It's important to keep in mind that many of these documents are quite outdated. Believing these documents represent their current status would set our understanding of the group back at least 5 years. 

That being said, the documents do contain numerous photos and names which have never been released before which can help fill in our current charts and maps. Furthermore, we end up getting a rare glimpse at the government’s changing understanding of the group dynamics and conflicts in recent years.

Document 1 - CESNAV

Date Prepared: 2018

The oldest intelligence document that they released images of was titled CESNAV, which likely refers to the Mexican Navy’s School for Higher Studies (Centro de Estudios Superiores Navales, CESNAV).

Currently in the States of Durango and Sinaloa there are criminal organizations that control the planting, cultivation and transfer of narcotics, the production of synthetic drugs and the theft of fuel, which have been the main generators of violence, as is the case of: 

• The following organizations maintain a presence in the state of Sinaloa: 

-"Guzman Loera-Zambada Garcia", led by Archivaldo Ivan Guzman Salazar (a) "El Chapito". Ismael Zambada Garcia (a) "El Mayo" and Rafael Caro Quintero (a) "El Viejito". 

-"Beltran Levva-Carrillo Fuentes", led by Fausto Isidro Meza Flores (a) "Chapo Isidro". 

• In the state of Durango they maintain a presence with the organizations of: 

-Guzman Loera-Zambada Garcia", led by Jose Luis Cabrera Sarabia (a) "El Chepe" and/or "El 03" . 

-"Independiente de la Laguna", headed by Griselda Eulalia Garcia Avila and Rosa Isela Garcia Avila (a) "La Tia".

Document 02: Situación Actual del Cartel del Pacífico

Date Prepared: 2020


The criminal organization is present in 20 states: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baia California Sur, Campeche, Mexico City, Chiapas, Colima, Chihuahua, Durango, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Queretaro, Sinaloa, Sonora , Tabasco, Yucatan and Zacatecas.

It maintains confrontation with eight criminal groups in nine entities of the country: 

• Baja California - against the Arellano Felix Cartel and the Jalisco Nueva Generation Cartel (CJNG) for drug dealing and drug trafficking.

• Chihuahua - against La Linea-Nuevo Cartel de Juarez (NCD)for the drug dealing of synthetic product and drug transfer routes. 

• Colima - with CJNG for control of the port of Manzanillo-Conflict with CING and CAF 

•Jalisco - in support of La Nueva Plaza, splinter group of the CJNG 

•Oaxaca - a point of confrontation with the CJNG for drug dealing, drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping

• Quintana Roo - the conflict is with the CJNG, CDG and Los Pelones for drug dealing and extortion. 

• Sinaloa -  Los Beltran Leyva through the drug-producing areas (marijuana and poppy fields and drug trafficking routes. 

•Sonora- with Los Beltran Leyva for the transfer and sale of drugs. 

•Zacatecas - conflict with the Gulf Cartel (CDG) Los Talibanes and the Northeast Cartel (CDN), due to the predominance of transfer routes, drug dealing and extortion. 

There are fractures and internal conflict between cells that operate for each of the aspects: 

• Sinaloa - In Culiacan and Salvador Alvarado between cells of Los Mayos and Los Chapitos. In Badiraguato between Los Chapitos and Los Guanos. 

• Chihuahua - A fissure in the Gente Nueva cell is detected in the capital 

• Sonora -  Los Mayos fight in Nogales with cells of Caro Quintero and in Caborca with Los Chapitos.



• Two leadership blocs can be seen: the traditional one prone to negotiation, where El Mayo, El Guano and R-1 are located; and the second headed by Los Chapitos, which is more violent. 

• In order to mitigate the friction with the children of Guzman Loera, El Mayo chose to respect the passing of power to his children 

• Conflicts within CDS tend to encompass limited geographical spaces, between cells or related groups that do not reach the top of the factions

• In Sonora, in 2019 Zambada Garcia, Caro Quintero and Los Chapitos directly managed the drug and migrant transfer routes, to avoid an armed clash between local leaders. 

• When CDS groups were competing with antagonistic organizations, they receive support from other entities. This is the case in Chihuahua with Gente Nueva. 

• The CDS dominates the market, production and transfer of fentanyl, the profit of this interests other organizations, mainly the CJNG 


• The insistence of Los Chapitos to dominate the rest of the subgroups and thus achieve greater expansion, are permanent risks of rupture within the Pacific. 

• Ismael Zambada will continue with his negotiation strategy to avoid internal conflicts, with the intention of positioning himself as the hegemonic leader. 

• Rafael Caro Quintero's side will maintain its low profile to avoid conflicts with the rest of the criminal group. 

• The conflict between the subgroups and the divide within it will weaken the organization. Especially in entities where their presence is weak or with there is resistance from other criminal groups.

 • The conflicts with the subgroups, allows other groups, such as the CJNG, to expand into territory controlled by CDS 

The CDS will continue to strengthen its logistics in smuggling cocaine and its eventual production in Mexico, as well as the production of poppy and trafficking of fentanyl and methamphetamine. 


Document 03: Groups of the Sinaloa Cartel 

Date Prepared: 2020 


Jesús Humberto Limón López (a) Chubeto, leader in the Altar region (Los Chapitos) persists in his intention to attack his opponents. 

- In Caborca he plans to assassinate Jesús Darío Murrieta Navarro (a) Cara de Cochi, head of Los Páez (RCQ) assassins; 

- While in Ures they are trying to push back Los Gigios (Los Mayos faction). 

• In the context of maintaining control of criminal activities, Limón López strengthens his network of corruption. In addition to providing protection, he occasionally participates in violent actions to counteract his antagonists. 


•In Caborca, José Bibiano Cabrera Cabrera (a) Durango, operational chief of (a) Chubeto, coordinates the strategy, deploying cells of hitmen in the towns of El Chango and El Plomo. 

-Luis Gerardo Cabrera Cabrera (a) Gero, plaza chief in Trincheras, will support the deployment coordinated by his brother (a) Durango, and will head a cell of 10 hitmen, which will be installed in the early morning of Aug. 13 (location not specified).

-For his part, (a) Duranguillo, José Bibiano's operator, will transport the weapons and ammunition. 

• In Ures, (a) Chubeto will reinforce the cell installed (07/Aug) with 15 hitmen and 2,000 bullets for the AK-47 

-(a) Ponchis, plaza chief in Santa Ana, will send 15 hitmen. 

-Limón López mentioned that his group installed in Urés confronted Los Gigios in Mazatán and Moctezuma; and managed to kill six adversaries. 

• He emphasizes that in the context of the dispute, Limón López strengthens his protection network.

In this regard, (a) Ponchis specified that he reached an agreement with Santa Ana police officers on the amount of the weekly "quota": municipal police of 20 thousand pesos, 25 thousand to state police officers and 30 thousand to "cajoneros" (unidentified corporation); they will also provide 40 thousand pesos every two weeks to the National Guard. 

Previously, (a) Durango agreed to pay 60 thousand pesos per week to an alleged military commander (unidentified), in order to implement operations against Los Paez in Caborca and participate in the "cleaning of the plaza". 


The group led by Limón López is characterized by its high capacity for corruption, which is why it receives protection from security forces of the three levels of government, who, in addition to providing protection and informing them of the operations implemented in their area of operation, also participate in the detention of their antagonists, including violent actions against them.


Their broad network of corruption strengthens their firepower and gives them an advantage over their antagonists to expand their area of operation, a situation that foreshadows a scenario of greater violence. 

The dispatch of hired assassins in Caborca and Ures is due to the intention of assassinating (a) Cara de Cochi, while expanding his influence in those municipalities. 


We recommend a greater presence of the GN and SEDENA as a deterrent in order to avoid direct effects on the population. 

Likewise, it would be convenient that the security personnel assigned to the Altar region be constantly rotated to make it more difficult for Limón López's group to co-opt them.

Document 04: Accion Sonora

Date Prepared: 2020  

Presence of Criminal Organizations

From January to August 2020, Sonora ranks 8th in the nation for intentional homicides with 870 cases.

At the state level, Cajeme is the municipality with the most intentional homicides with 247 cases. They are followed by Hermosillo with 159, Guaymas with 117, Nogales with 73 and Empalme with 63 cases. 

The Cajeme-Guaymas-Hermosillo corridor is the area with the highest number of intentional homicides, mainly linked to organized crime for the control of the transfer of drugs, people, weapons and money, among other crimes. 

The main problem is the operation of the organizations: Sinaloa and Los Beltran Leyva, responsible for the production, transfer and commercialization of drugs at retail, especially crystal, in urban centers of Hermosillo, Cajeme and Nogales. 

Competing criminal groups:

• The predominant CDS groups that operates through 9 local groups related to three aspects, in the north of the state: 

- Rafael Caro Quintero (a) R-1, has a convenience agreement with the CJNG.

- Los Chapitos (sons of Joaquin Guzman Loera). 

-  Ismael Zambada (a) El Mayo. 

• Los Beltran Leyva through Los Chapos Trinis, operate mainly in the capital, municipalities on the coast and in the south of the entity. They maintain an alliance with Caro Quintero and the CJNG against Los Salazars of CDS

• New Juarez Cartel: It comes from Chihuahua, enterings through the municipalities of Arivechi, Sahuaripa and Yecora, under the leadership of Ever Jose Gonzalez Bourne (a) El Aquila, disputes with Los Salazar the transfer of drugs in Cajeme and Navojoa. 

From January to June 2019 and 2020, the number of C.I. for drug dealing 103%, home robbery 113%, robbery 74.2%, extortion 240% and kidnappings decreased by 75%.  

*Note: The government documents consistently refer to the Cártel de Sinaloa (CDS) as Cartel del Pacifico, which is just another, less commonly used name for CDS. In order to avoid confusion, all instances of Pacifico have been switched to CDS.


  1. Thanks Hearst! coffee and BB

  2. Damn good work amigo

    1. It's amiga, but thanks!

      I have been asking other contributors if they have ever seen that photo of Mayo before and so far they haven't.

      If it's actually an unreleased photo of Mayo that would be pretty cool. Based on the glasses, maybe it was taken in the 80s?

    2. The now inactive website Borderrepoter has unseen fotos of other narcos too.

    3. I find it interesting that cartels are slowly moving coca leaf production/ cultivation into Mexico. In 2014, coca fields were discovered in Chiapas. It is a matter of time.

  3. Cartel de la Laguna has an alliance with la linea

  4. Lots of good information here Hearst.

    Two things I want to side note is that the Los Pelones in the Cancun area is not the same as the Los Pelones making recent news in Veracruz.

    In Cancun region those guys originated from the Zetas/Gulf and used that name to say they shaved their heads and were military trained.

    In Veracruz the name is used because the leader is a narco-politician with a bald head.

    I also think a lot of people underestimate the difference about how the AFO and CJNG operate in TJ. AFO is integrated into day to day life. They own bars, stripclubs, hotels, hell half the city. While CJNG comes in with swat crews to attack and protect their loads and then retreats to the rurals.

    Sinaloa has a set in presence in TJ as well. But it is not as high key as knowing you are sitting in an AFO owned bar. The local gangs seems to switch allegiance between AFO and Sinaloa on who is paying the most. Then they get wiped out and you have a few weeks of violence.

    1. Sometime, we should debate out whether the CJNG has a set presence in TJ, because I think there are a number of CJNG leaders who hold a lot of power and territory in Tijuana.

      What I've seen in recent years is the local gangs switching between the CJNG, Mayo/Aquiles, and Flaquito/AFO/Chapitos.

      I'd be curious to hear what you think about my latest TJ map.

      I discuss my sources for it in this article:

      I'm always looking to improve it with new info.

    2. As far who holds power in Tijuana, I would point towards federal indictments filed in San Diego, or Central District of California, Los Angeles

      None have mentioned Arellano Felix in years.

      Some guys work, El Bujo, there's a few of them left, but it's about scale. The indictments in San Diego are all about Sinaloa moving a lot of work across the border, and distributing nationally.

      San Diego US Attorneys Office hasn't had a major case against CAF since Luz Verde in 2010.

    3. @12.51- Those federal indictments are an unreliable guide to a groups power in Mexico though J, and the way they designate Cartels can be absurd. They only tend to go through in the US if the organisations main income is drug trafficking or they pose a direct threat to US business interests, so CAF may still own a good chunk of the city without it being a priority for the US.

    4. For years and years the main indictments out of San Diego, were CAF

      and now, around 2008/2010, directly after the arrest of Tigrillo, they have all but stopped, aside from Luz Verde

      They are based on who moves the most drugs across the border, and who moves the most in the city, who moves the most drugs across the country from San Diego

      and year after year, this has been Sinaloa. Now, you are starting to see some CJNG, as they hold a part of the city.

      The idea that CAF is some sleeping giant, has been largely discounted for a decade plus.

    5. Oh yeah, I wasn't suggesting they were a sleeping giant J, or that they are even a shadow of what they were, just that US indictments are a bad guide for lots of reasons. A group can still control most of a city without controlling the drug routes, and US designations often put disparate groups in the same tent if they are the priority (where the money has already been spent, and the media has been focusing on that group as a result), and labels others who belong to a different group that are a much lower priority as ''independents'' to remove any pressure.

  5. tolteca + tintin olds

    1. You've seen them before, you mean? Gotcha. I expect some of these have been seen before. Thanks for the tip.

    2. Tolteca and tin tin and bournes bros switched sides to la linea

    3. I thought it was just Tolteca. He's only included in here as former CDS. I wrote about him as being Linea in an old Notable Figures.

    4. Toltec brought group of people with him when he switched to cdj. His people still active in northwest like palomas janos

  6. No fotos of the Notorious Señor Sicario 006

  7. So I'm guessing mayos zamabadas bottom pic is his recent pic

    1. Look at the glasses. I think it's older than other photos.

    2. It must be. The latest photos are his interview with Scherrer for Processo. Never seen the one with him on horseback either. Nice one

    3. The horse back photo was debunked not him the guy actually came out on the news saying it wasnt mayo

    4. Good to know. I'll take that one out of the graphic tonight. I'll also remove any that weren't unseen.

    5. He could have died his hair for that new pic and had plastic surgery to look

  8. @hearst the rumor that is going around the areas of Naco and agua prieta is that Martin Siqueiros aka el Tin tin is that he was killed. He was causing too much heat but getting high on meth and accidentally shooting his friend in the leg. Keep in mind this is coming for the people that live in the city.

    1. That's fascinating. Who will Junior pick to replace him, do you think? Assuming it's true.

    2. He was killed in February of last year. Sonora Informative came out with a really detailed article that names Marcos Paredes (El Junior) business that he uses to launder money and their addresses. It also states that killed by Guadalupe "El Guero" Cano had a meeting with El Pluma and Leonel Toscano "El Tigre" and they decided to have him killed. I'll sent the article to BB or whatever Hearst's email is, hopefully they can translate it and post it. It's a super good read. Marco has been seen quite a bit in Agua Prieta and in Douglas lately, his wife as well. If I see him in Douglas I'll definitely get some pics or video. He drives a maroon color denali. His wife has a FB page where you can see some pics of them together.

    3. Heard El JR runs things from Phoenix

    4. Hearst, I sent you the article. It's from Sonora Informativo on FB

    5. Marco Antonio Paredes (El Junior) does run things from Phoenix (San Tan Valley to be exact which is outside of Phoenix). His wife's name is Brandy Figueroa, she has a FB and on the profile pic is wearing a red dress with her son.

    6. Marco's mom (who was arrested along with his father Marco Paredes-Machado "El 100" in 2011 is Rosa Icela Ponce who currently lives in Tucson AZ. She also has a FB (background women with yellow shirts, main foto of her with two other women all wearing blue dresses). She runs a business (probably a front of course). Hearst I'm also gonna send you Marco Paredes-Machado court papers that were made public here in AZ a few years back. Also a very good read. Details how they captured El 100.

    7. @hearst, do you know any info on Miguel Raymundo Marrufo from the Naco / Cananea Sonora area? He’s been in the game for over 20 years. Never been caught but is wanted by the DEA. NOT SURE if he’s with m100 and his folks but that would be interesting to look into.

  9. If your implying one day cocaine will be produced in Mexico. the problem I see with that is the production is booming in South America. I think the countrys to look out for to branch out in cocaine are Honduras and Venezuela

    1. I didn't write the intelligence doc that alludes to cocaine being produced in Mexico. I just wrote the intro.

    2. No no just putting in my 2 cents always love you stuff sorry if I sound like a prick

  10. Texas man with ties to CDS arrested in murder of Colombian woman found in suitcase

  11. So el azul wing of the cartel was absorbed by one of the others?

  12. Very nice? These pictures can be obtained in Google image search lol 😂

  13. The esparragoza family is as strong as ever el Azul like always just watching and friendly to everyone is the only of the three that cried when arturo beltran passed away, el Azul is grandpa of arturos nephews and uncle of Jose Maria Chavez esparragosa alias el buche right hand of arturo beltran

    1. Yea I seen online buche was family with azul but rojo from guerrero was right hand man for arturo he was the one that went to war with zetas and guerrero and ran them off when zetas had lazca still ass boss

    2. Correct on all you said. Met Azulitos son at my friends baptism. Friendly, cordial, humble. No bad vibes. Chaidez and Azules very good friends

    3. @11:50 No pongas mamadas wey.


    Actual picture of el yiyo de nogales…middle of the page.

  15. This is way outdated

    1. That's why I wrote at the very beginning about how we shouldn't take this as representing the current state of CDS and labeled the year the documents were produced in every single image, as a constant reminder of how old these are.

      The very first sentence of my story refers to them as -old- intelligence documents.

      I don't know what else I could have done to make this clear.

  16. El Tin was killed with several of his people

  17. @6.08. And the words she used in the article can be obtained in a dictionary. Tolstoy was a fucking fraud..

  18. el tolteca switched to la linea and tin tin got killed


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