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

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Salgueiro Versus Arellanes, An Inside Look at the Cartel War in Southern Chihuahua

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

Aftermath of one of the shootouts between Los Arellanes and Los Salgueiro (image credit: Diario de Juarez)
The cartel war that exists in the region of Guadalupe and Calvo, Chihuahua, originated in June 2020 after Los Salgueiro reportedly took down an aircraft carrying family members of Idelfonso Arellanes Acosta (alias El Poncho), the head of Los Arellanes, a group allied to La Línea.

Chihuahua's Attorney General's Office head Cesar Jauregui Moreno said that 6 people (including 2 minors) died in the incident; everyone but the pilot were relatives of Poncho Arellano.

Investigators have not explained exactly how Los Salgueiro were behind the collision. but Los Arellanes believe they were responsible and have been making incursions into Guadalupe y Calvo to avenge the death of their clan members ever since.

As a consequence of this war between criminal groups, earlier this week there was a two-day shootout in the community of Saucito de los Araujo (Guadalupe y Calvo municipality). Three people were killed.

Two of the victims were brothers, identified as Eliseo Pulido Gutierrez, 53, and Esteban Heras Gutiérrez, 46, both with a known address in Guadalupe y Calvo. The two were believed to have been high-ranking members of Los Salgueiro in the area.

From January 2021 to July 2023, the war between Los Salgueiro and Los Arellanes has left at least 40 dead in more than 10 clashes across different municipalities. Only this year, in Madera, 21 people have been killed, while in the Coronado municipality there have been three other clashes during the same time period where 17 people have lost their lives.

The accident
According to information published by El Diario de Juárez, the victims of the plane crash were the pilot Leonilo González Olivas, 38, from Guachochi; and crew members Katia Arellanes Santos, 23 years old; Ana Paulina López Arellanes, 12 years old; Esmeralda Arellanes Santos, 13 years old; Idelfonso Arellanes Santos, 14, and Luis Ángel López Arellanes, also 14 years old.

According to the flight plan, it was at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, 22 June 2020 when the Cessna aircraft, Registration Number XGCC TU-206G and Serial Number U20605205 ​​took off.

Investigators have not explained exactly why Los Arellanes believes that Los Salgueiro were responsible for the aircraft collision. Sources are not clear if the aircraft was shot down or if there was intentional mechanical damage done it it prior to take off

It was estimated that the time to reach their destination would be 1 hour 20 minutes. They travelled from Camargo and headed to Sinaloa,² but Los Arellanes believes that Los Salgueiro were responsible for the aircraft's collision in Mariano Balleza municipality. Everyone onboard was killed.

Investigators are not exactly sure about all the details on the accident because two of the bodies were found about 2 km (1.25 mi) from the crash site.

Who is Poncho Arellanes?
Poncho Arellanes has a long history with organized crime, with his criminal career spanning over a decade. He started by forming a kidnapping ring called Los Arellanes, which held operations in the states of Coahuila, Durango, and Chihuahua. Their center of operations was in Camargo municipality.

This gang started as an independent group of kidnappers until it was dissolved in 22 September 2012 after a failed kidnapping in Saucillo that resulted in the death of two police officers and the arrests of multiple gang members, including Poncho's brother Ever Ismael Arellanes Acosta.¹

Authorities said at that time that they were looking for two other people involved in the kidnapping, Joel Escobedo Meza (alias El Boli) and Victor Arellanes Acosta, another of Poncho's brother. He was believed to be hiding in Coahuila.

Poncho first captured the attention of Mexican authorities later in 2012 when he was arrested in Laguna de las Vacas along with Juan de Dios Moreno Garcia. Investigators said at that time that he was a member of Gente Nueva and that Poncho was 37 years old. But no more was known and Poncho was eventually released. He later started working for La Linea.

Many of the Arellanes are involved in organized crime and/or live near Camargo municipality. So far, these are the clan members are identified:

  • Idelfonso Arellanes Acosta (alias Poncho) – Fugitive
  • Víctor Arellanes Acosta – Fugitive
  • Éver Ismael Arellanes Acosta – Arrested in 2012
  • Juan Arellanes Acosta - Killed in 2011
There are other "Arellanes Acosta" individuals cited in public records from Camargo municipality and Sinaloa but Borderland Beat omitted them from this report because they are not suspected of organized crime involvement.

Los Salgueiro are considered the predominant group of the Sinaloa Cartel in the southern region of Chihuahua, as well as in some areas of Durango and Sinaloa.

Both state and federal authorities have been closely following the movements of this organization and have managed to disable several of its members in previous operations. Such members include Antonio Leonel Camacho Mendoza (alias El 300), Cesar Ulises Ramirez Jimenez (alias El 309), and Jose Bryan Salgueiro Zepeda (alias El 90), as well as other notable figures.

Antonio Leonel Camacho Mendoza (alias El 300)

According to a 2023 organization chart shared by the State Attorney General's Office, Ruperto Salgueiro Nevárez (alias El 37) is the leader of Los Salgueiro. While Melquiades Diaz Meza (alias El Chapo Calin or El 13), recently killed, was considered one of the main plaza bosses.

Ruperto Salgueiro Nevarez (alias El 37)

Melquiades Díaz Meza (alias El Chapo Calín)

Sources: Diario de Juarez (main, multiple cited in this article); Borderland Beat archives

Images: Special thanks to "HEARST" for the criminal profile images

¹ The other gang members arrested were José Díaz Vázquez and/or Jesús Antonio Vazquez Molinay, and Mario Adrian Oaxaca Carballo.

² Sources differ on where the aircraft had its final destination. One source said they were heading to Los Mochis while another said it was Guasave.


  1. The aircraft accident will have been investigated by the Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil, AFAC, which is the Mexican equivalent of the USA FAA.

    Is the AFAC report available? This should be public record.

    1. I tried looking and couldn't find it. If you or others can find it I would greatly appreciate it. Their website isn't very good.

      If the report isn't there, I'm sure it could be requested via a transparency request. They love having loop holes like that.

    2. Exellent article, Morogris.

      I found these:

      My Spanish isn't good enough to understand the net.noticias article.

      This accident is intruiging because these gangsters say its what started their conflict.

      In cruise flight, a C-206 takes about 30 seconds to travel 2 km (at 145 knots).

      If just parts of the aircraft (aileron, spoiler, elevator, rudder, propeller etc) are found 2 km from an accident site, a mid-air breakup is one investigative starting point. Of course, anyone could take anything 2 km from an impact site and leave them somewhere else, we don't know.

      But if an aircraft passenger is found 2 km away without any aircraft parts lying around, an assumption would have to be a volunatry or involuntary exit through a door.

      If two passengers are found 2 km away, they either both came out a door at the same time (30 seconds before impact) or were taken there later.

      Aerodynamically, a Cessna aircraft is easily controllable with an open door, or no door at all, for that matter. The sound of the slipstream is loud, and its common for a seatbelt to get pulled out so the buckle bangs against the side of the fuselage, which tends to alarm passengers and damage paintwork, but doesn't affect handling.

      A Mexican pilot familiar with AFAC procedures might be helpful.

      This is PURE SPECULATION, but what if years of cartel murder originated with a couple of kids screwing around in the back seat trying to scare each other? They pop each others' seatbelts and one opens the door. The pilot looks around, inadvertantly banks the plane, kids slide out, pilot banks the other way and loses control within 30 seconds.
      Simple bad luck on a bad day and terribly tragic, but what if?

    3. Who can really trust any investigations by a party that prosecutes 1% of all homicides in the country?

  2. That plane incident happened in 2020

    1. That’s what the article says. This was brought up to light again after those clashes in Guadalupe y Calvo.

  3. Man from up north resolve issues with whole days of battles nobody taking one step back it's crazy the mentality Sinaloa Chihuahua durango sonora man have not giving a F about death they worshipp death these dudes are war machines
    -Chiraq Goon-

    1. 2:29 you absolutely right!
      Real gangsters

    2. Seems to be working out just great in “Chriaq” right?

  4. XB-PWE was a Cessna 206, single engine, high-wing. The accident photo shows a single engle, low-wing aircraft (perhaps a Piper?).

    And two bodies were found 2 km from the wreckage. Were they the 14-year old boys?

  5. This is a lie arellanes allied with la linea and were pushed out of Camargo that’s why they’re fighting salgueiros but they don’t make it past Camargo from cuathemoc to parral chapitos have everything on lock better yet from Valle de Allende and Mariano Giménez..

    1. Welp. I invite you to provide the sources here and post your own article draft in the comment section for review. Arellanes are based in Camargo for more than a decade now and are going into Guadalupe y Calvo to take out Salgueiros. Saludos 🍄

    2. 4:28 - A recent source from Diario de Juárez said that Poncho Arellanes was the criminal leader of La Linea/Arellanes in Camargo. This was citing Chihuahua Attorney General's Office. If you have other information I'm happy to review with you. Feel free to email me as well.

    3. 4:28 looks like Linea made it deep into Sinaloa territory to kill these two or three characters.
      La Linea will strike again and you know it.

    4. Ramoncillos run Camargo up to delicias they flipped from gn to linea

    5. All I know is Pablo Acosta is continuing to turn in his grave…

    6. Los ramoncillos in camargo that is true

  6. Main Arellanes lives one block from my cousin in Camargo. He lit up the sky this past New Years con un Norteño toda la noche.

    1. Post the address on Twitter. Saludos.

  7. Dam all you guys have the chismes! CHET!!

  8. Hmmm. Very interesting. Nice work

  9. La Línea is the only group to really give CDS hell to pay during confrontations. For over a decade now they have shown to take on CDS even while being smaller in numbers and straight up slaughter them. Jaliscas and Zetas will say that they also kill off CDS foot soldiers however they take serious losses too. I’ve never heard of La Linea losing to CDS or anyone else except the time Nachito from Madera was taken out in Largo Maderal by El Jaguar’s crew, but Linieros came back and wiped them off the face of the earth. La Línea is insanely powerful for being a much smaller group and while having control of just ONE state.

    1. I suspect BLO and Linea have a very strong alliance

    2. BLO isn’t really a thing anymore Isidro is his own man

    3. CDS has won battles but Linea are way up on the scoreboard the thing about Linea is they don’t use their resources and manpower to expand to other states they use it to keep hold of their plazas

  10. Mentiras
    1. El avion fallo y cayo . En ningun momento gente de ningun grupo tubo que ver en que el avion fallara. Fue un accidente.
    2. Alguin por sus propios intereses pago al diario de chihuahua para que publicaran esta mentira.
    3. Los salgueiro son los jefes pero cada area tiene su encargado . Y cada encargado se mueve y actua diferente. Las cosas que pasan en cada area es responsabilidad de cada encargado.
    4. La pelea en la sierra con poncho es solamente con los señores salgueiro. No con el cartel .
    5.La pelea en jimenez no tiene nada que ver con poncho de camargo ni con guachochi.
    6.La pelea en guachochi no tiene nada que ver con poncho ni jimenez . Es pelea entre familiares del chapo calin interna. Los reyes brazo armado de calin se distanciarion del chapo calin por que el chapo extorciona negocios acerraderos transportistas compradores y vendedores de madera y comisariados de ejidos . Esto distancio a los reyes de calin y desato otra pelea en guachochi aparte de la que ya tenia el chapo calin con su familia.
    7. El cartel de sinaloa en chihuahua no esta deacuerdo con la extorcion ni cobro de piso .

    1. 1. diario de juarez and others say otherwise. plus this is still under investigation. you have specs of what happened? send them to investigators for review.

      2. source? big claim right there

      3. source?

      4. if they are fighting people from that cartel, its picking a fight with the cartel to some extent too. this spills over quickly. arellanes/la linea def fighting salguieros. literally there's been clashes for over a year now. again, diario de juarez and others cited here mention that. i'm curious why you're denying this.

      5. source? Jimenez isn't even mentioned in the article here. do you mean the cited diario de juarez source?

      6. source? ditto here...

      7. jajajajaja te mamaste aqui

      Come back with better arguments and solid evidence. Otherwise you're just a run-off-the-mill commentator with no evidence for your claims.

    2. Money talks and any news source will print half ass stories and change things around to help out there friends at least here in mexico. How would a reporter get all this information? How would he know internal cartel inf. ? The game being played here involdes a lot of diferent people and intrest. Police in da state say diferent from this information the diario de chihuahua printed . Its no secret whats going on in chihuahua . But the information the diario printed is not all correct.

    3. How would anyone get any info if not directly involved?
      Why would an internal feud mark the death of two perhaps three plaza bosses also?
      Doesn't this weaken the same cartel or cause mistrust on others within the cartel?
      Why would Linea or some enemy spend resources on a fake story also when there is an a life or death struggle for that cartel in the state?

    4. Again, still waiting for you to provide a reliable source for your claims... otherwise you're just speculating on something you can't prove. Burden of proof is on you 11:12.

      If you have a source from what the police says, provide it here.

      "What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"

    5. I'm sorry but linea don't got as much resources as sinaloa to go out and try to take Triangulo Dorado for themselves. Look at madera, they beat the shit out of those lobos/jaguares but the dead keep getting replaced because m100 people have so many foot soldiers

    6. Am talking to 10:36 am . he's pushing asking sources if you were familiar with any of this you would no whats going on .The proff is that you cant tell truth from fake news. Go back to your sources and read more before you post . El diario de chihuahua is conecting 4 diferent things in one. Also to borderland beat for letting coments like 10:36 am disinforme . And for the cut and paste job. The information is half truths look into it by reading a lil more on this matter. El monitor de parral , La patrona de guachochi have a lot of information in this area. Chihuahuas fiscal has more info. Look into it a lil more .

    7. Note for transparency:

      I deleted a previous comment due to personal attacks / uncivil remarks. Constructive criticism is always welcomed here, but let's keep it civil please. I appreciate our readers and any information that they may want to share with us.

      We recognize that as we try to make sense of the cartel violence in Mexico, there are always different angles and versions to an event. Happy to discuss how we can make sense of things while trying truthful to verifiability as best as we can.

      Feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns, or if you're interested in collaborating on future stories.

    8. 3:32 PM - Could you please share the exact links to those other outlets for review? I'm happy to work on this with you if you allow us. Part of doing constructive criticism is providing reliable, third-party sources whenever making absolute statements of fact.

      I recognize that in topics like these, providing "reliable sources" is complicated because not everything is published that way, especially when there's cartel censorship involved.

      We reviewed multiple sources for this report and linked them where appropriate (so it wasn't a cut and paste like you're suggesting because we had to put information together even from multiple years). We may have missed other sources of course, hence why I'm inviting you to work with us on this.

    9. What the Irony, some people try to put on a fake comment to confuse the reader's. Then come bashing BB, have some common sense.

    10. Los periodicos valen puro madre. Los reporteros saben si escriben algo sin permiso los van a chingar

    11. Sorry, you're wrong.

      BB folks are volunteers. They have no other agenda than to seek the truth.

      If you know something is truthful and relevant to this article, this is the place to speak up and help to push the shadows of ignorance back.

  11. Miren les contaré algo ya sabrán ustedes si creen o no veo algunas, personas de aquí que apoyan un bando y otro, pero todos especulan, o es gente cercana a ellos o gente que trabaja para algunos y comenta para ayudar a una facción, pero cuando vives de cerca ese problema que con el tiempo se volvió una guerra, las cosas fueron con cosas insignificantes hasta volverse en todo esto, este artículo no va para nada mal, solo que faltan cosas que agregar, y entiendo que no salgan a notar por que son cosas que los investigadores desconocen, ya que algunos datos no están en fiscalia. He estado tan cerca de este problema en su origen que la realidad, no saben desde donde y como se prendió la mecha, una mecha que se a llevado a mucha gente y otra que esta esperando para entrar en acción,

  12. El día que quieran saber la verdad me este problema va más atrás de todo eso y aquí la fuente es lo vivido y los seres queridos perdidos

    1. Entonces tiene que ver con la guerra el avión que se desplomó o no ?


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