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

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Father and Son Kidnapped by Cartel Hitmen in San Carlos, Sonora

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat 

After a cartel group announced a coming “cleansing” of the vacation town San Carlos, two men were abducted by cartel hitmen. The two victims are the manager of a popular nightclub and his father, a former police officer turned nightclub security guard.

The Kidnapping 

At around 4:30 am on April 10, 2023, two men were kidnapped in the town of San Carlos, located in the state of Sonora. The victims are a father and son.

The son is named Eduardo González Hernández, 26 years old, and he works as the manager of a nightclub in San Carlos called Maukaa. The father is Luis Angel González Ortiz, a former municipal police officer, who currently works at Maukaa as a security guard. Both men live in San Carlos. 

Their workplace, Maukaa, is an outdoor restaurant and nightclub thats ranked #4 for nightlife in San Carlos on Restaurant Guru. It regularly hosts live music and features a pool in the center. 

Although it gets an average of 4.3 stars on Google Reviews, there are multiple articles from the local newspaper covering claims that the restaurant upcharges and price inflates, preying on the drunken state of many of their guests.

Regardless, Radar Sonora writes that the men were abducted “while they were on San Francisco beach.” This phrase would seem to imply that the men were approached on the outdoor beach area, however, Maukaa nightclub is located directly on San Francisco beach, as seen in the video below, so it could also imply that the men were approached while in the club.

Video Source: La Mass Foodie on Tiktok

The newspaper Tribuna writes the men were “forced into a vehicle which then drove them out of the area.” As of the writing of this story, the men are still missing.

The Attacks Against Bars in San Carlos Last Summer 

Last year, in the summer of 2022, there were a series of attacks targeting Maukaa and other nearby restaurants/ bars, such as La Cantrina, La Bartina 64, and Hammerhead's (covered in this previous Borderland Beat post).

During this summer, the owner of La Cantrina, Irma Janeth, was shot to death by hitmen in an attack that also injured her 17 year old son. The security guard at La Cantrina was also shot to death in a separate incident. 

On June 19, 2022, hitmen allegedly found and executed a man named César Octavio Enríquez while he was at La Bartina 64.  Another was wounded from the gunfire and six more were hurt in the rush to flee the bar. 

The family of the victim,  César Octavio Enríquez, chose to come forward and they made his name public. They also asked police investigators to look further into the shooting because they insisted that he was an honest man and not involved in organized crime. 

Then on June 28, 2022, La Cantina went up in flames. By the time the fire was put out, the building had suffered heavy damage. La Bartina 64 announced they would be remaining closed for the time being due to the two incidents. 

Later that week, Maukaa Beach Club announced on social media that it had decided to close its doors due to increased violence in San Carlos. They later retracted this statement and said that they were closing in order to remodel the restaurant.

On July 1, 2022, at approximately 10:00 pm at night, there was a shooting in the parking lot of the San Carlos bar called Hammerhead's. A group of cartel hitmen approached a man who was sitting in a white sedan vehicle and shot him to death. 

Footage taken inside Hammerhead's showed the customers ducking down to avoid the shots. The video shows couples hugging each other and lying on the floor under the tables.

Two hitmen were arrested and charged with perpetrating the arson attacks on Maukaa and La Cantrina. The hitmen were Julio Cesar ‘N’ 19 years old, and Gabriel Yahir ‘N’, 19 years old - both originally from the Guaymas area.

The hitmen being native to Guaymas makes it more likely that they work for La Plaza.

Then, a La Plaza leadership figure named José Neri Ramírez Salaice, alias “El Neri”, was arrested on July 3, 2022. 

Sonora Public Security put out the following official statement about the arrest of El Neri on July 4, 2022, at approximately 5:00 pm: 

“SSP reports the Secretary of the Navy yesterday carried out an operation in #Guaymas that resulted in the arrest of one of the main generators of violence in the area, whose identity is being withheld due to ongoing investigations into the events in San Carlos and Guaymas in recent weeks. 

The person was placed at the disposal of the Attorney General's Office who will be providing further information.”

So, last summer La Plaza attacked Maukaa nightclub along with a handful of other bars in San Carlos. They likely attacked the location in order to scare the local businesses into paying de piso, an extortion charge, or because these locations also acted as drug sales points and they were displeased with them over some aspect of drug sales. 

This kidnapping, however, seems different from the series last summer, as it so far only encompasses a targeted attack on one establishment.

It's unfortunately still unclear whether the Sinaloa Cartel or the Caborca Cartel subgroup La Plaza are behind the kidnapping. 

Kidnapping Sources: Radar Sonora, Tribuna, Opinion Sonora, Sonora Informativo

Maukaa Background Sources: Makuaa Instagram, La Mass Foodie, Opinion Sonora Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Radar Sonora Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5  

Attacks in Summer of 2022 Sources: Zeta Tijuana, Jornada, Reforma, El Imparcial, El Sol de Hermosillo


  1. messy messy messy. seems like that bar is dirty

    1. Piso and distribution of their drugs is what this is about. Los Chapitos enforced their pink bags being sold by clubs, taxis and beach peddlers in Mazatlan right after Chapos second arrest.

  2. Another comprehensive, thorough and excellent article Hearst!

    One item of interest....there was recently a couple of additional arrests in the Hammerhead's murder. Two Guaymas police officers are alleged to have participated in tipping off the murderers as to the location of the victim:

  3. Damned can't even own a bar or restaurant in a tourist area, the article did not mention it, but has to be they did not want to pay piso or to allow drugs to be sold there.

    1. The article I wrote did mention:

      "They likely attacked the location in order to scare the local businesses into paying de piso, an extortion charge, or because these locations also acted as drug sales points and they were displeased with them over some aspect of drug sales."

    2. Ms. Hearst
      It's a catch 22.
      If the businesses are clean and not selling drugs, they get extorted.
      And if the businesses are selling drugs, they get extorted and killed.

    3. Exactly.

      No matter what you do, you're going to have scum leeching off your monthly profit. Extortion is incredibly demoralizing to business owners in Mexico.

    4. The problem if you are a business owner like of a nightclub in Mexico or anywhere in south America there are bound to be people selling drugs in there wether you like that or not.
      You can't push them out because they can always belong to a cartel and they will retaliate against you if you do so. You can't join them because then you are involved in shit yourself.
      This means opening any business even with good intentions is a bad idea in Mexico and possibly everywhere in South America.
      Life has to go on however.
      People have to have businesses in Mexico and elsewhere in South America.

    5. The article mentioned pops was a retired Municipal Police officer, that now used to own the business and they must have ambushed him (the cowardly method), that he did not stand a chance to defend himself.

      I am hoping there is video footage, Sol please contact your underground sources.

    6. @10:17 Ironic you used the term "Catch 22" on this thread. Much of that movie was filmed in San Carlos.

  4. Different angle. But maybe they weren’t let in the club. Or weren’t given ‘special service’. These guys think that their name time ‘sicario’ means they get all the privileges. And then comes the reality check. And then they start the so called lumpia 🤷‍♂️

    Rubio NYC


  5. Interesting pics of a recent bust of 1-2 tons of coke in Nayarit allegedly belonging to El Jardinero…

    -Holden D. Cash

  6. San Carlos awash in tourist money over Semana Santa, $2.5 million of it. Cartels want a taste.

    "San Carlos, Sonora.- According to the numbers presented by the State Secretary of Tourism , through the Office of Conventions and Visitors ( OCV ) at the San Carlos police station during Easter 2023 there was an economic benefit of 45 million 36 thousand pesos.

    In hosted tourists there was an income of 24 million, 394 thousand pesos, while in temporary accommodation on digital platforms 20 million 642 thousand pesos entered."

  7. Is it concidence or did El Chapo marry a Salazar woman just to connect with the plaza bosses in Sonora? His sons carry the last name.

    Salazar, Quintero,
    Payan, Paredes. Who has more power in Sonora or does it just change by municipality like it does in Michoacan or Quintana Roo? If there is a jefe de plaza for every municipio in Mexico, just imagine......

    1. I might be mistaken but Salazar is a last name prevalent in that area of México so I doubt Alejandrina is related to Adam Salazar Zamorano.
      Some last names are very regional and you can narrow it down from where they're from. Ayón, Aispuro and Chaidez are very likely to be from Durango. Valencia, Morfín and Contreras from Michoacán. Treviño from the NE of México.

  8. Wasn’t El mocho was killed in playas de rosarito baja california?

    1. Yes. He was.

    2. I stand corrected 😬.
      That you meant El Mochi's.

  9. Here's some news that have not hit your radar. 3 people went missing while at popular bar in Mexicali Baja California. There's been quite a few people gone missing in bars around the city.

    1. BORDERLAND beat still sleeping on this story. The bar where the 3 men were kidnapped two weeks ago was burned to flames by masked men this weekend.


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