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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, May 15, 2023

CDG Matamoros Part 12: Specter of the CJNG

 "Itzli" for Borderland Beat. 

June to September 2022: The actions of the CJNG, along with the fallout stemming from it, dominates this point in time, prompting major changes to take place that set the stage for future events.

Continued from Part 11: Political Winds

CJNG Leadership in San Luis Potosí

Following the collapse of the ceasefire between the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) and the Matamoros faction/Los Alemanes, as discussed in Part 10, the CJNG continued to dominate cartel events in San Luis Potosí. Information about some of their notable leaders at this time can be found within a Mexican military’s report about cartel activity in that state, which was created in June 2022 and later revealed in October of that year by the Guacamaya leaks

Among the individuals listed:

Jorge “El Profe” Ruvalcaba Jiménez, the alleged leader of the CJNG in San Luis Potosí.

Eduardo de Jesús “El Lucifer” Muñoz Brambila, in charge of the middle area of the state. 

Omar “El Toro” Espejo Flores, who had been arrested in December 2014 when he operated for the CJNG in Michoacán and Jalisco, alleged leader of Operativa Huasteca, discussed in Part 9.

Sadam Antonio”El Árabe” Zepeda Soni, alleged second-in-command of Operativa Huasteca.

Benjamín “El Negro” Gerardo Padilla, head of plaza in the city of San Luis Potosí.

Another military document released by Guacamaya leaks would list Pedro Antonio Huerta Larraga as head of the CJNG, his sister Cynthia “La China” as the head of drug distribution, and “El Comandante 90”, “L-23”, “Comandante H-28” and “El Señor Karis” as commanders under him, though it is not clear where in San Luis Potosí they were operating nor when this document was written.

Expansion of Operativa Bélica

By the summer of 2022 the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) cell known as Operativa Bélica, discussed in Part 10, began operating within the Huasteca region of San Luis Potosí, apparently taking the place of Operativa Huasteca. Often using the initials O.B., Operativa Bélica sowed terror in the area, dumping multiple bodies with messages against the Cártel del Golfo (CDG, Gulf Cartel), producing interrogation videos, and hunting for members of Los Alemanes such as “El Flaco”. It should be noted that in this timeframe, Luis Gabriel “El Cape” López Saldaña, code name “Escorpión 25”, was reported to be in charge of San Luis Potosí, most likely the Huasteca region, and southern Tamaulipas for the Matamoros faction.

Operativa Bélica continued to act around the capital of San Luis Potosí as well. In late June they landed a significant blow against Los Alemanes when they captured one of their operators, Rodrigo Alejandro “El Chino” Bárcenas Rodríguez. Thereafter, videos of “El Chino” being interrogated appeared online and he gave several details, including the fact that he was the brother of another notable member of Los Alemanes, José Pedro “Peter Carretaras” Bárcenas Martínez, as well as Los Alemanes’ cartel activities in La Pila, which was the town where Operativa Bélica first made their presence known seven months prior.

The Tula Incursion

As discussed in Part 11, according to rumors, politician César Augusto “El Truco” Verástegui Ostos was “flirting” with the idea of giving the CJNG access to the southern part of Tamaulipas and it was clearly stated on June 20, 2022 that he had “opened a route for the CJNG through the mountain highways around Tula and Ocampo Tamaulipas.

On the afternoon of August 18, video of an alleged CJNG incursion into the state of Tamaulipas began to spread online. It was also said that they managed to kidnap the CDG head of plaza in Tula, Sergio “El Canelo” López Pelayo. The next day, according to claims, the decapitated head of “El Canelo” was left in Tula along with a message from the CJNG.

However, many details of this prevailing narrative were disputed by MennyValdz, creating an alternate version of events that will be addressed in detail in a future article. While there is valid uncertainty regarding CJNG actually entering the state of Tamaulipas, the consequences seem clear regardless. 

Within the Guacamaya leaks of October 2022 came another report written by the military. This document, dated August 31, focused on recent events that had occurred in Tamaulipas. As written by Proceso, which had access to the report via Guacamaya leaks, “...facing an incursion of Operativa Bélica of the CJNG…recently in Tula, Tamaulipas…the area was reinforced by the CDG-Ciclones/Escorpiones”. It should be noted that a week after the incursion, Valentin “El Ferras” Ferras Lucio was reported to be head of plaza in Tula.

The Soto la Marina Incursion 

Looking back, it appears CJNG actions in the Tula area may have been an effort to distract the Matamoros faction's attention from another incursion that indirectly had far greater and longer lasting consequences. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any documentation from the time it took place, forcing us to rely solely on the aforementioned military report from August 31, which appears to have been written with a primary focus on the following.

On an unspecified date before August 18, 2022, a woman with the last name Landaverde Vilano became aware of “the alleged armed incursion of the CJNG in Soto La Marina, Tamaulipas”, the principal city controlled by Pablo Misael “El Mezqui” Ramos Lara, code name “Pantera 24”, leader of the Centro faction of the CDG, discussed in Part 10.

Landaverde Vilano then informed her sister, Aidé “La Flaca” Landaverde Vilano, who is reported to launder cartel funds through restaurants in Matamoros, about the presence of CJNG members in Soto la Marina. In turn, “La Flaca” notified their half-brother, José Alberto “La Kena” García Vilano about the situation.

Within the report, there is reference to “cells of this organization coming from northern Veracruz to Tampico”, which indicates that the CJNG incursion came from the south, most likely via Highway 180. It is quite possible that they took advantage of the absence of the leader of the Sur faction of the CDG in Tampico, Héctor Crescencio “R3” de León Fonseca, as discussed in Part 11, in order to do so.

While purely speculative, an alternate scenario may have been that the actual route was not through Tampico, but was on a known rural trafficking route from Guayalejo, Veracruz to the Nueva Apolonia/Camotero area of Tamaulipas.

The biggest mystery surrounding the incursion into Soto la Marina is the fate of the CJNG members that had been spotted. Despite extensive research, no references have been found about their presence outside of the military report and there is no mention of any armed confrontations involving them, leaving their activity thereafter a mystery.

Response in Enramadas

The reaction of the Matamoros faction appears to have begun shortly after “La Kena” learned about the incursion in Soto la Marina. According to the military report, on August 18, 2022, members of the Matamoros faction went to El Moquetito, 30 miles south of the city of Matamoros, apparently using the town as a staging area. 

Additionally, they reached out to members of the Grupo de Operaciones Especiales (GOPES, Special Operations Group) of the Tamaulipas state police, as well as the Guardia Nacional (GN, National Guard), that had been working in collusion with the cartel. The objective was clear: locate members of the CJNG and the Centro faction, in particular “Pantera 24”, who was immediately targeted by the Matamoros faction. It can be assumed that they held him directly responsible for the incursion of the CJNG, either suspecting that he was working in collusion with them, or, at the very least, they were angry that he had failed to prevent the CJNG from entering deep into the territory held by the Centro faction.

For unknown reasons, the small town of Enramadas, in the municipality of Soto la Marina, appears to have been the particular focus, opening the door to the possibility that “Pantera 24” was known to live there or that the CJNG incursion was actually spotted in that town and not the city of Soto la Marina itself.

On August 21, 2022, an anonymous report was posted regarding members of GOPES arresting allegedly innocent civilians and beating women in Enramadas, as well as now deleted video of their abuses, including thefts from homes and businesses. The following day residents would begin protesting outside a nearby military base, demanding their intervention in the actions of the GOPES, and it appears that protests would continue for several days thereafter.

Five days later, on August 27, it was reported that around 10 vehicles with armed men arrived in Enramadas. Another report would appear on August 30 discussing events in Enramadas, but it is unclear if it is referring to events of that day, or days prior. Regardless of the timing, the remaining town residents were said to be confined to their homes by approximately 50 armed men and were not allowed to use their cellphones.

While media coverage about the military report would mention the details posted on August 30, stating that it was possibly referring to actions of the CJNG, the actual messages leave no doubt as to who it was referring to as it states “here in the ejido los escopriones are with the gopes, all together”. About three weeks later, Juan “El Jarras” García was reported to be the new head of plaza in Enramadas.

Fall of the Centro Faction

A month later, it was still being said that Los Escorpiones were actively searching for “Pantera 24” and were constantly abducting people in the ejidos of Soto la Marina, while claiming to be “cleaning” the area. An additional post from a couple days thereafter described CDG actions in the city of Soto la Marina, where they acted without any interference by authorities.

With the reference to “cleaning”, it appears that the Matamoros faction was completely taking over the territory controlled by the Centro faction and eliminating any member of their that could be found. According to the military report, Eutimio “El Timo” Chávez Ruelas, code name “Escorpión 24”, discussed in Part 9 and Part 10, was instructed to move to Soto la Marina and it was assumed he would take over as head of plaza.

While it was not known at the time, it appears that “Pantera  24” fled the area and was granted refuge by Carlos Roel “Chuy 7” Collazo Rodríguez, leader of the San Fernando faction of the Zetas Vieja Escuela, discussed in Part 6 and Part 7. It is likely that many members of the Centro faction fled along with him and this faction of the CDG ceased to exist, as its members were absorbed by the San Fernando faction and its territory was taken over by the Matamoros faction. Even so, the fate of individuals such as Juan “Juan Mafias” Cortina, who was reported to be head of plaza in La Pesca prior to these events, is unknown.

The Arrest of El Alemán 

While the Matamoros faction was focused on searching for their former ally, “Pantera 24”, another ally of theirs, Alfredo “El Alemán” Alemán Narváez, leader of Los Alemanes, was arrested on September 22, 2022, marking a significant blow in their fight against the CJNG in San Luis Potosí.

A week later, the Operativa Bélica cell of the CJNG announced their expanded presence in the city of  San Luis Potosí in a video in which several members of Los Alemanas were threatened by name. 

*This article was updated on 5/31/23 to include information on “El Cape” in the Expansion of Operativa Bélica section, “El Ferras” in the The Tula Incursion section, “El Jarras” in the Response in Enramadas section, and “Juan Mafias” in the Fall of the Centro Faction section.

Continued in Part 13: Expanding Horizons


  1. El Jefe 19 will not allow CJNG to operate in Gulf Cartel plazas.

    Fuerzas Especiales Grupo Escorpiones Delta 3

    1. The what ? Fuerzas Especiales Grupo Escorpiones Delta 3 ?

  2. We now know the Mexican government is helping CJNG. Its the money the politicians are getting.

    1. 6.30
      Where have you been, it has been known for many years, CDS used to be their favorite. They have let CJNG expand all over Mexico and not a single lab making fentanyl siezed from CJNG.

    2. Are you sure that CJNG has taken most of San Luis Potosi Itzli??? Because I had been hearing otherwise. But they might be trying to downplay what is happening. That's why I ask. It seems like Pantera 24 was still trying to push for control of Tamaulipas for CJNG. It's a little confusing but alot has been going on and has came out when it comes to Tamaulipas

    3. Las jaliscas no controlan la mayoria ni en san luis potosi ni en zacatecas. Es mas en san luis potosi siempre andan agarrando vergazos por parte de la ley y de otros grupos. Y los alemanes no son cdg ni asociados del cdg. Lo que queda de los alemanes son independientes. Al rato se acaban como los zetas vieja escuela alv.

    4. 9:58 gracias por la información

  3. Con dinero baila el perro… they will be in most plazas soon

    1. Es obvio que los del gobierno en mexico federal o estatal son capaces de vender el culo de sus madres por dolares. Son los mas corruptos del mundo.

  4. Es obvio cual es el cartel concentido de AMLO .. le abre camino por donde quiera a las 4 . Ya no mes falta que le pege la loquera al del palenque y meta fuerzas a sinaloa alv .. El 006 le pega ataque hahahha

    1. El cartel consentido del retardado mental de amlo es el cds.

  5. Alas, BB continues to reign as the most informative narco news site EVER! 🦉


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