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

Friday, March 24, 2023

Dinner at La Leche | Chapter 2 Disco

Mica for 
Previous Chapters 1

Initially, the plan for Chapter 2 was to introduce the restaurant La Leche. But after reading the comments, this audience wants the full unabridged version with a bit of history. Thanks for being patient readers.  

Dinner at La Leche
The kidnapping of Los Chapitos 
in Puerto Vallarta

Chapter 2 | Disco

Puerto Vallarta was once a peaceful holiday destination for cartel members and their families, protected by an unwritten rule prohibiting violence. In 1992, the Cartel de Sinola and Tijuana Cartel, also known as AFO, held a summit in Puerto Vallarta to negotiate and avoid war. However, this meeting is pure fiction and far from the truth.

As a cartel researcher, I was fascinated by this story, but I recently discovered that the truth differed from what I had initially believed. In reality, the Arellano family had visited Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Benjamín's birthday and escape the heat from PGR and the military, who were under the control of El Mayo and El Chapo. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera was widely regarded as Mexico's most influential drug lord then.

Benjamín and Eduardo

Before the nightclub shooting, the Arellanos had been in Puerto Vallarta for a week under the protection of General Adolfo Mondragon Aguirre who took Benjamín and his wife to a brand new hotel, which is now Sheraton PV, Ramón stayed at the Fiesta Americana, and Eduardo had a home in the marina where they went fishing several times during the week.

General Adolfo Mondragon Aguirre

General Mondragon's role in providing intelligence on the Arellano family to their rivals, including Guzman, Zambada, and Salazar, played a crucial part in the infamous ambush that took place in Puerto Vallarta. Guzman, who was known for his strategic mind and cunning tactics, saw an opportunity to eliminate his competition and gain power and control over the drug trade in the region.


Guzman's decision to ambush the Arellanos in Puerto Vallarta was a bold move that resulted in a decade-long war marked by unprecedented levels of violence. The incident at Christine's Discotheque, where six people lost their lives, including innocent bystanders, was just one of many violent clashes that occurred during this period.


The mistaking of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo for Guzman would happen 5 months later at the Guadalajara Airport by AFO assassins was another tragic event that occurred during the conflict, highlighting the extent of the violence and chaos that had engulfed the region.

Christine Disco 1992

Christine's Discotheque was one of the most popular nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta at the time, frequented by wealthy cartel members and tourists. Ramón's choice to stay at the Fiesta Americana hotel, which was located next to the club, was likely a strategic decision, as it provided him with easy access to the nightclub and its patrons.


On the night of the ambush, Javier and Ramón Arellano were the targets, as Benjamín decided against attending the birthday celebration and stayed at the hotel instead. The attackers, disguised as police officers, stormed the club and opened fire on the guards and the crowd of 300 people. The chaos and confusion that followed resulted in six fatalities, including innocent bystanders.

Javier was abducted by Chapo's men but was later released, while Ramón managed to escape through the ceiling vent. The entire incident was a testament to Guzman's cunning and strategic thinking, as well as the intense rivalry and violence that characterized the Mexican drug trade during this period.

The former location of Christine’s Disco

Understanding the history behind the ambush and the broader conflict that ensued provides valuable context for the Chapitos Kidnapping story. As the brothers drove to celebrate Ivan's birthday, passing by the same iconic building that once housed Christine's Discotheque, they were likely unaware of the violent history that had taken place there.

The prime location of Christine Disco

The next chapter will focus on the restaurant, and I look forward to delving deeper into this fascinating and complex story. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

Follow Mica on Twitter for content that didn't make the post. 


  1. What you see as Chapo's "strategic" thinking I see as a lack of it.

    1. Chapo didn't have to kill one of the Arellanos for the nightclub shooting to be successful. After the shooting, everyone took Chapo’s side.

      I consider Chapo’s ability to receive intel from the General protecting his enemies and placing the leaders of the PGR and military in Tijuana as strategic. The ambush idea and police uniforms with credentials were a great plan, but the execution failed to result in a dead Arellano. Either way the sealed the war that Chapo wanted.

      Also, at this time, everyone had security, but Chapo was the first to include equipment to locate listening transmitters.

      Chapo was also using tunnels during this time in Tijuana underneath the nose of the AFO.

      These are examples during 1991-1992. I consider Chapo the criminal as very strategic.

    2. I see all that as more evidence of lacking it because he was over ambitious with the entil. In the long run it ruined him.The only strategic one I see is there Zambada.

  2. Mica and everyone at borderlandbeat...we appreciate all the coverage andcontent you produce. Thank you!! 👏 👏 👏 👏

    1. Agreed. Appreciate it

    2. First, big thanks to Mica, your effort is much appreciated.

      As the history, and the greater context behind these events are described and discussed,
      I would like to hear your opinion (or maybe even a later write -up) of Mayo's position described in Vicente Zambada's book El traidor.
      Was he, afterall, always the kinpin, even upper than Amado Carrillo Fuentes?
      I think , these longer, "insight -kind" of articles suit here very well in BB, between daily news articles.

      Somehow didn't have my previous comment published

    3. Yes!! I’m reading the book right now and I find it a little far fetched that mayo would have been amados boss.

  3. I don't see Chapo as a strategic thinker. He could be every bit as brutal as Ramon. His brutality is what made him so dangerous.
    Remember at this time that the Arellano family was much bigger than Chapo, Palma et. al.
    Chapo got his big break when he hired an engineer to build a tunnel in Aqua Prieta and he started moving large quantities of cocaine into the U.S. at a rapid pace. The Colombians were giving him larger and larger loads of cocaine while they couldn't figure out how he got it across the border so fast with very few losses.
    Chapo never designed a tunnel. He always hired or kidnapped engineers. Even Mayo was struggling with the Arellanos back then. The Aqua Prieta tunnel is what put Chapo front and center in the narco world, not any strategic vision on his part.
    Mayo has always been a lot brighter than Chapo. Chapo did hit a homerun with the idea of the tunnel. And of course he became the master of tunnels. But outside of that one idea, he has never been an original or strategic thinker.
    Come to think of it. I think Palma and Chapo were in the raiding party at the disco. Remember Ramon set off a couple of bombs at a Chapo property just a few weeks before.
    I don't remember whatever became of Mondragon. He was arrested and fired and just fell off of the radar. I don't believe he ever went to prison or was killed. It would be interesting to know what became of him.
    I do appreciate the article. It forced me to clean out a few cobwebs upstairs. I am looking forward to the article on la leche.
    Thanks Mica.

    1. Detroit you are correct that Chapo and Güero Palma are the ones who attacked Los Arellanos in PV

    2. 11:08 you are 100% right, the only thing chapo was a master at was at brain washing the dumb 1/2% of the population and using them than when they were of no use just get rid of them, other than that well he got used by mayo, cause mayo is a little above avarage smart wise, karma is a bitch

  4. Was this the nightclub the famous incident took place where severed heads were rolled down the floor?

    1. No that was at the sushi bar down the block where their heads were on the chopping block

    2. I believe that incident happened in Uruapan, Michoacan on Sept. 6, 2006 at a nightclub called "Sol y Sombra".The act was attributed to La Familia Michoacana.

      Excellent write up, Mica and BB staff!

    3. JB:
      That was a casino in Monterrey.

    4. That was in Michoacán and it was the zetas that did it.

    5. 6:51It was Chango and Chayos LFM that did it

    6. 6:25 defenetly LFM who did it and it was Zetas heads that rolled

  5. He should of been more strategic in keeping himself out of jail, but he obviously wasn't that smartm

  6. That day a brother of bob esponja of cds

  7. Please include analysis on the possible involvement of Lic, Lil Lic, Tito Beltrane, Mencho, Chapo Isdorio & Mencho in your future installments

    1. This would be great

    2. 8:22 why? If they had nothing to do with it

    3. 3:02 because as the original poster said, they are possibly involved

  8. I think that is called hubris in latin, the case with el Chapo why got caught..

  9. I’m sorry but in 1992 Chapo and the Arellanos were not really well known. They were building their fame but were not really known. Also the Christine ambush was because Ramon killed Chapos friends and associates in Tijuana and Rosarito. Chapo didn’t started the war nor Mayo Zambada.

  10. Great stuff Mica. That story about the ambush at Christines was legend in the Guzman family though- if it wasn't on their route they would have taken a detour just to drive past it and recount the legend to their friends. I'm pretty sure they were aware of what happened there.

    1. Thanks for reading!

      You’re right! They probably parked in front and bragged about “dad” as Chapo had just got rearrested for the final time.


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