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

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Fame & Infamy - Damaso's Rebuttal to los Chapitos

"HEARST" and "Buggs" for Borderland Beat 

Borderland Beat can say with confidence that the letter received and signed by Damaso Lopez Serrano, aka "Mini Lic," has been 100% confirmed to be coming directly from him.

Damaso López’s letter acts as rebuttal to a communication that los Chapitos released earlier this month which refuted specific parts of the US indictment and alleged they were being unjustly persecuted by the US government. 

It can be difficult to keep track of the various claims and responses so this series will match up each claim with the subsequent response, and then review any corroborating evidence. 

This article is Part 2, covering los Chapitos's views on fame, the media’s coverage of them, and the murder of a beauty pageant judge. 

To read Part 1, which covered the allegations about their involvement in fentanyl and their alleged framing of El Mayo, click here

On the Chapitos Relationship with Corridos

Chapitos letter:  

There are countless corridos or songs that musicians compose with fake information,  released without our permission, that use our name in order to become nationally, or internationally, famous. 

Damaso’s response: 

That's right, there are countless corridos and songs that musicians compose and there’s truth in them. There are also some [songs] with false information, but most of the information they have is true and yet they [Chapitos] say that the musicians do it without authorization.

Don't you remember, Ivan, when they arrested your dad in 2014? How you ordered Barajas from Enigma Norteño to compose the corrido called "El Señor Iván" and also songs from Código FN, where they said that you were your dad's successor. 

Ask Barajas how I told him not to mention us [Damaso Jr & Sr] in that corrido, but he told me that you were pressuring him because you wanted everyone to know that you were your father's successor, even though you and I know the real truth about that. 

That was not true and I have the evidence to prove it. I will show it in due time.

Further Context 

Damaso refers to this song, El Señor Iván by the artist Enigma Norteño , which features lyrics like: 

“From the Altiplano prison, with paper and pen in hand

El Chapo wrote the letter with a final destination

We know the sender, we have a new boss 

[...] I am the reflection of the old man when I look in the mirror

I already have the instructions to take care of Culiacán

I have the upper hand because they gave me command

[...] And now I bring all the weight, the power was given to me by my dad

The cartel is still in force, 

Archivaldo was left in charge, the cake was

Was what Guzman asked for, 

so the Licenciados, with immunity, make up the whole team.”

In his letter, Damaso specifically refers to that last line of lyrics above, when he says he asked the Enigma Norteño singer Ernesto Barajas not to “mention us [Damaso Jr & Sr] in that corrido, but he told me that you were pressuring him because you wanted everyone to know that you were your father's successor.”

Damaso also refers to Código FN songs that were released during this same time. He is likely referencing El Sucesor, among others. El Sucesor contains lyrics like: 

“We present with all due respect

Mr. Chapo's successor:

And he is Ivan Archivaldo” 

On Media Outlets and YouTube Channels 

Chapitos letter:  

Media outlets have regularly created articles with our names in the titles and even put them in headlines of the front page, solely for the purpose of selling more newspapers or to obtain clicks on their webpage. 


YouTube channels will invite alleged 'drug trafficking experts' that comment on us, and our ways of operating, who have no knowledge about what they are speaking about. Then, the people see it, believe it, and judge us. 

Damaso’s response: 

Iván, what you really like is to attract attention. You love that the media talks about you, as long as what is said is that you are the most powerful and that everything that is exalting you. That's why you named yourself "The King of Cocaine", but now that they say that they are hunting you, you don't like that title anymore.

Supposed experts in drug trafficking give their opinion about you, without having any idea of what they are talking about, sure. And although I do not consider myself an expert, I can assure you that I know you well and I know exactly how you operate. The people have always seen and know it, but they don’t speak out because they are afraid of you since you have spread your campaign of fear everywhere.

Further Context

Borderland Beat has found no news articles which came out prior to 2020, which called Ivan Archivaldo “El Rey de Cocaína” or the king of cocaine. Any article which included Ivan’s name and the term were, instead, referring to his father, Chapo. In 2020, however, a number of media outlets began ascribing the alias to Ivan. 

On Forbes Ranking & Chapitos Clothing


Chapitos letter:  

Companies use our name to establish themselves. They produce clothing, beverages, accessories, and more by alluding to our name or our father’s, to obtain an economic benefit. Even an economic / financial magazine gained market share by publishing our father's name on a list of millionaires, without any evidence.

[...] The people and companies which use our names and last names benefit an incalculable amount from it. And we are the ones hurt by it. 


Damaso’s response: 

The incalculable benefits for the people and companies you talk about, are nothing compared to the benefits you receive, because you profit off of everything. 

Do you remember the casino you put in Baja California Sur? And, how you corrupted officials into letting you install a very famous casino in Culiacan? All because you knew the owners [of the casino] would need your protection [to operate it in Culiacan]. 

You also charge a fee on the palenque [rooster fighting ring] in Culiacán. The palenque is managed by Iván's compadre - you already know who.

Similarly, they use the drip by drip [slow increase] method of raising extortion fees imposed in Culiacán continues, charging the farmers, the collection of fees from the farmers, and the extortion that you imposed in Culiacán.

The following are some of the activities that generate ‘profit’ [for them]: 

Fees on car junkyards [chopshops]

Fees on taquerias and cars

Control over and fees on the sale of pirated movies and music

Fees on places of prostitution [brothels]

Fees on the sale of stolen cigarettes

Gas pipeline theft 

Fees on slot machines

& an endless list of other activities where "profits" are generated.

Those who are harmed are the people who have an honest business or job and who have to put up with you abusing them because of your excessive and uncontrollable greed.

Further Context

When Chapitos referenced an "economic / financial magazine" that published their father's name, they were referring to an infamous edition of Forbes magazine that, in 2009, ranked El Chapo as #701 on their annual Billionaires List. 


The Chapitos call out the magazine's inclusion of Chapo as an example of how media companies put their family name in article titles to sell "more newspapers or to obtain clicks on their webpage."

According to the letter, the Chapito brothers took umbrage with the publication's inclusion of Chapo when there was "no evidence" to support their estimation of his net worth, which they gave as roughly $1 billion USD. 


Their criticism of the publication's vetting process, in isolation, may be warranted. Forbes has faced similar criticism from US news outlets over their naming of Kylie Jenner as the world's youngest billionaire based on "likely forged" tax returns. In 2013, the magazine removed Chapo from the billionaires rankings because it decided that “his assets were too difficult to verify.”

However, their criticism begins to fall apart when you remember that Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo’s mother, Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez, and their sister, Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar have their own line of merchandise called “El Chapo 701”.

Their brand sells a multitude of items, such as clothing, accessories, hats, covid masks, and alcohol, branded with symbolism of El Chapo. The women promoted the brand through a series of media interviews in which Alejandrina Gisselle gleefully proclaimed her father, El Chapo, was the “CEO of Sinaloa”.

The Chapitos’s complaints about companies profiting from Chapo-centric merchandise seems considerably less righteous when it becomes clear what they are actually opposed to: that non-family members are able to profit from Chapo’s name, as they believe it is solely their family’s right to capitalize on the infamy of the brutal torturer of so many Mexican citizens.

Damaso alleges that Culiacan’s palenque, or rooster fighting arena, is managed by “Iván's compadre - you already know who.” This is a veiled reference to Roberto Tapia, the popular Mexican singer born in America but raised in Culiacan, Sinaloa, whose known for albums like El Muchacho, which reached #1 on the Billboard Latin charts in 2012.

The publications Debate and Claudia Peralta both describe Roberto Tapia as the palenque’s entertainment manager.

In 2013, Roberto Tapia flaunted his not-so-secret friendship with Ivan Archivaldo during his feature on Codigo FN’s song “Ivan El Mayor”, when the video cut to footage of one of Ivan’s embellished pistols, with close up shots of the letters IA.

Damaso alleges this same embellished pistol was used by Ivan to kill El Guacho in a homicide that will be covered in detail in part 3.

On their History of Prudence

Chapitos letter:  

Our approach regarding these kinds of things has always been prudence. We haven't felt it necessary, nor have we believed it prudent, to speak out before. We believed that by remaining silent, and not bothering anybody, that the consequences of the cradle we were born in would diminish.

Damaso’s response: 

You talk about being prudent. As the saying goes, ‘tell me what you like to brag about being and I will tell you what you lack’. 

You were very prudent, Ivan, to do what you did with Hugo Ruben Castellanos Jimenez, just because your girlfriend didn’t win the Miss World beauty pageant. You ordered El 200 and El 300 to kidnap Hugo Ruben at the nightclub where the pageant was being held. They took him out by force and left him executed inside a van.

Further Context

On August 7, 2016, the director of the Miss World beauty pageant, Hugo Rubén Castellanos Jiménez, was abducted by armed men wearing face masks in Culiacan, Sinaloa. 

Castellanos Jiménez had just hosted the Miss Sinaloa beauty pageant hours earlier, where he crowned Melissa Carolina Lizárraga as the winner. The other contestants present that night were Rosina Yáñez, Lidia Rojas, Yareli Carrillo, Angélica Payán, Claudia Machado, Denisse Franco, Elided López, and Elizabeth Vidana.

The BBC writes that after the ceremony ended, Castellanos Jiménez attended a party and then, at approximately 3:40 am, he went to a bar alongside two friends. 

As the night wound to a close, Castellanos and his friends left the bar and began driving home when they encountered a road block set up by masked gunmen who kidnapped Castellanos at gunpoint, but allowed his friends to leave the area.

The next morning, someone reported the discovery of an abandoned Jeep Cherokee SUV that was visibly riddled with bullet holes

When officers arrived to inspect the vehicle, at approximately 8:00 am, they found the bullet-riddled body of Castellanos in the backseat. The medical examiner later determined Castellanos was shot in the head and in the back.

The International Business Times described it as a “targeted attack”, writing that “authorities believe Castellanos was the intended target of the kidnapping and ruled that robbery was not the motive, as money was found at the scene.”

Many news publications found ways to cast suspicion on los Chapitos behind the murder, without ever outright naming them.

The Independent wrote “Mexican beauty pageants have long been entwined with the country’s drug trade, especially in Sinaloa, home of the infamous Sinaloa cartel and its leader Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, who married his wife, small-town pageant winner Emma Coronel, on her 18th birthday in 2007.”

Dallas News wrote “It was said that the people were not happy with the result of the night,” which seems to align with Damaso’s allegation that Ivan had Castellanos killed because his girlfriend was not crowned the winner.

Damaso claims that Ivan sent the brothers mentioned in Part 1, Kevin Alonso Gil Acosta, alias “El 200”, and Karim [or Krisam] Elías Gil Acosta, alias “El 300”, to carry out the kidnapping and execution. 

The pair were arrested in 2014 as part of Operation Gargoyle, an attempt to arrest Chapo. Then arrested again in 2015, during a major law enforcement raid on Culiacan which nabbed Mayito-associated men like Jesús Peña González, alias "El 20", and Chapitos-related men like El 200 and El 300. 

Traces of El 300’s legal history in Sinaloa’s Third Circuit Court can still be found in online databases, with the “Date of Final Agreement” listed as September 06, 2021.

Sources: Hyperlinked within the story.

Special thanks to Redlogarythm, SoCalj, Sol Prendido, and Ivan.

A comparison of the Chapitos letter and the Damaso letter will continue in the next part: 

Torture and Execution - Damaso's Rebuttal to los Chapitos


  1. BLB has been on fire lately. Excellent article.

  2. Ivan"self proclaimed king of cocaine" archivald

  3. El rey del fenta el ratoncito

  4. Now I understand why Mayo and probably Chapo liked this kid better.

  5. The layer after layer revealed in Mini Lic's latter and these examinations is fascinating

    some of the best work ever done the subject, in any outlet,

    no one does pieces like this, hardly anyone, besides like the New Yorker or NY Times could do this kind of detailed informed analysis.

    The detail I though funniest was Ivan and Jesus unable to put down their IPads at weddings.

  6. but but but, los chupitos is an organization that operates with the highest level of integrity and never ever ever extort poor local farmers who don't even have rice to eat with their beans and no salt for their tortillas either.

  7. The Chapitos made a bad call thinking fentanyl would be the future drug invested heavily and now everything is falling apart there whole structure is compromised its a only a matter of time the powerful families in Sinaloa star turning their back on the them already Colombian and Peruvian suppliers don't want to do business with them in Sinaloa the mayo associate a d factions are distancing from them it's all bad for the Chapitos faction only time would tell if they can stop the ship from drowning

    1. How do you know that Colombian and Peruvians don’t want to do business with them. Did your connect in the crew call you up and spill the beans ?

    2. 4:16 he doesn't truth is Colombians will sell to any one. They have no loyaltys to any Cartel in Mexico

  8. To be so religious they sure like those idols and idolatry in Sinaloa. No hate just making an honest observation.

  9. Los Chapitos having stickers with “MZ” initials to label the fentanyl Presses in “military raids” that produced the M30 pills is too funny.

    1. Escucha “el compa Nick” grupo arriesgado el corrido. Alli dice “si ocupan botones ay nomas avisan.” Es gente del Mayo. No le crean todo lo que diga la mini licenciada. Todos estan al tanto que mando matar a javier por el reporte que dijo que es pistolero de utileria. Ya bajate la falda Damasa.

  10. I am assuming Mayos people can make a call to people that are on their team, and make sure it doesn't go any further. But, both factions have access to law enforcement military sources, and journalists.

  11. Wow, Ivan seems to be a real POS. It also appears the he taxes the people more than his pops would agree to do, but who knows?

  12. Ivan's mugshot versus him walking out of jail in the baby blue track suit blows my mind. He lost alot of weight in jail. RCQ on the other hand, gained weight in jail as the years passed.

    1. chapo snitching a loyal guy like alfredo beltran in, too get that son of his outta jail. stupid guy. surely ivan the hardmen couldhave done a bit of jailtime.

    2. I agree this fool a coward.. couldnt even do his time. Also
      Fent is stupid move man cmon drugs are supposed to be fun not dangerous…

  13. Cada vez que sale un nuevo articulo de los chupapitos los hacen ver mas y mas pendejos y aprovechados, ahora asta a los taqueros y la gente que vende cheves los andan extorcionando? Pinches garrapatas, asnos un favor diocito y guardalos con tigo pero lla no los dejes salir de ahi

  14. Pretty soon even the suppliers are gonna turn their back ,for the fear of getting caught up with the chappillos or getting turned in by the chappillos!!! Either way theyre done, the vultures are circling, gathering to take their piece.

  15. Fantastic article, really enjoyed and looking forward to the next part.


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