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

Monday, January 1, 2024

Borderland Beat’s Top Stories of 2023

Compiled by "Socalj"

From Borderland Beat Contributors

The year 2023 began with a heavy hit to Mexican drug cartels with the arrest of Ovidio Guzman-Lopez.

Since that time, fentanyl trafficking and border migration have become heavily politicized not only within the US and Mexico but internationally as well. Especially following the kidnapping and killing of American tourists, and new indictments against members of the Sinaloa Cartel's Los Chapitos faction. In response, 

The rest of the year included surprising headlines with the CJNG threatening Peso Pluma, the best-selling/charting regional Mexican singer. A Mexican city councilwoman was arrested, released, re-arrested, and charged with drug trafficking across the border into Texas. The children of "El Chapo" denied their involvement in trafficking fentanyl and issued a first-ever "ban" on the drug, responsible for over 100,000 deaths in the US. And the former chief of police once responsible for combatting drug cartels was convicted of not only being bribed but working hand in hand with high-level drug traffickers.

Below is our list of the most viewed articles of the year and important stories worth revisiting and following next year.

Most Viewed Borderland Beat Articles in 2023

Article by Borderland Beat Contributors

Ovidio Guzman-Lopez Captured

The capture of Ovidio Guzman-Lopez took place on January 5, 2023. The Mexican military raided his ranch in Jesus Maria, Sinaloa in a coordinated operation. The price was heavy with 10 soldiers and policemen killed and 19 Chapiza gunmen shot dead.

The ensuing Culiacanzo 2.0 saw narco blockades and shootings at the nearby airport against military and commercial planes. Unlike his first arrest in 2019, the threats and attacks by cartel gunmen did not secure his release. After months of Amparo's being filed to block his extradition, he was ultimately flown to face trial in Chicago.

Additional Articles 

The Bloody Aftermath: Ovidio's House and the Hitmen Shot by Helicopter Gunship
A Look at the Interior of Ovidio's House
Gunmen Threatened Journalists, Taking their Phones & Vehicles During Culiacanazo 2.0

SEDENA Confirms 10 Soldiers & 19 Sicarios Killed in the Aftermath of Ovidio’s Capture
10 Of The People Killed By The Army In Jesus Maria Identified
Chapitos Hitmen Say Mayo Betrayed Them in Alleged Radio Clip from Ovidio's Arrest
Alleged Chapitos Hitmen Say Mayo Betrayed Them - Part 2
Judge Dismisses Terrorism Charges Against Culiacanazo 2.0 Chapiza Detainees

Was Ovidio's Capture a Gift for US President Biden's Visit?
Ovidio Guzman Lopez Extradited to Chicago To Face Drug Conspiracy Charges
Ovidio Guzman Lopez Traveled Aboard the Same Plane Used for "El Chapo's" Extradition
Unpublished Photo Of Ovidio Guzman Shared Prior To First Hearing In The U.S.
Ovidio Guzmán Lopez Pleaded Not Guilty in Federal Chicago Courtroom

Article by HEARST, Enjon, & Socalj

El Mago, A Friend of Ivan Guzman Was Killed in Los Angeles

Thanksgiving morning, a shooting in an industrial area outside of Los Angeles was reported with two dead and others wounded. It was discovered by Borderland Beat, that one of those killed was Eddie "El Mago" Escobedo. Eddie was reported to have been a longtime friend of Los Chapito's Ivan Archivaldo Guzman-Salazar. He was also a convicted drug trafficker and money launderer for the Sinaloa Cartel having been based in Los Angeles for well over a decade.

He is suspected to have ordered the killing of a childhood friend, shot dead in his Bentley on a Hollywood freeway. It is still not officially known who was responsible for killing "El Mago," though it is believed to have been the other dead man, an 18th St gang member named Guillermo de los Angeles, Jr.

Several musicians, businessmen, and fans of his Besthibachi restaurant chains flooded messages on social media following his death.

Additional Articles 

Ivan Archivaldo and Alfredo Guzmán's Top Lieutenants

Article by HEARST

Kidnapped Victims Forced to Kill Each Other

Narco videos have become a common way to send intimidating messages to rivals, and the government and display the punishment victims of cartel violence receive. Five young men went missing in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco. One of their cars was found, torched with a dead body inside (not one of the missing men). And finally, a photo was released showing that the five had been kidnapped, bound, and gagged ahead of their likely executions. 

However, their killer was one of the group; forced by CJNG cartel members to murder his own friends. A video showing the young man, brutally stabbing and nearly decapitating his friends was released. The location of the killings and several of the machetes and knives used to kill the four were discovered.

The charred remains of four bodies were also found. However, family members and investigators do not believe the bones found matched the young men.

Additional Articles

La Voz Alleges Lagos de Moreno Video Was Created By CJNG
The Lagos de Moreno Five: Their Remains May Have Been Found & More on CJNG's El Loco

Article by HEARST, Redlogarythm, & Buggs

Iván Guzman - Dead to Rights

Dead to Rights is an exclusive story based on information that was provided to Borderland Beat by a person using the codename "Shelby." Some of the information provided had never been published before. We verified that "Shelby" had personal knowledge of the incidents mentioned in the work.

Ivàn Guzman has been seen as a key leader of the "Los Chapitos" faction of CDS and heir to the drug trafficking networks "El Chapo" established. His personal and criminal history was detailed, beginning with aiding in his father's first prison escape in 2001. Details of the numerous murders he was responsible for included that of a Canadian tourist and a Mexican man. His psychiatric profile from his time in prison was also shared.

Additional Articles

Article by Socalj

Mexican Mafia Shot Caller Arrested in Rosarito

Martin Madrigal Cazares, known as "Evil," was a fugitive Mexican Mafia member who controlled Sureño gangs in Ventura County, California, from a base in Mexico. Wanted for over 10 years by the US, he was arrested with another fugitive Mexican Mafia member and 9 others in Rosarito in January 2023.

The group was carrying weapons and drugs aboard pickup trucks with California plates. However, it seems he was released from custody since that time, as he was killed in Rosarito, Baja California. He was found shot in the back of the head on a beach in September. Our source in the area, an expert on the local narcos believes his death was related to a stash house being robbed that belonged to "Los Aquiles."

Additional Articles 

Mexican Mafia Fugitive "Evil," Who Controlled Ventura County Killed in Rosarito

Notable & Important Stories

Trial & Conviction of Garcia-Luna 

The Trial of Genaro García-Luna Has Begun in New York
Genaro García-Luna Guilty on All Counts
Garcia Luna's Lawyer Requests Retrial Citing Withheld Evidence & Witness Perjury

First Set of Witnesses Against Genaro Garcia Luna Are Named
Jesus “El Rey” Zambada Garcia Testifies Against Genaro Garcia Luna
Sergio "El Grande" Villarreal Barragan Testifies Against Genaro Garcia-Luna
Former Milenio Cartel Leader "Lobo" Testifies to Bribing Luna $10 Million

DEA Confirms It Had Information On Bribes to García Luna Since He Was in Calderón's Cabinet
Genaro García Luna in Collusion with Organized Crime

4 Americans Kidnapped in Matamoros

4 Americans Kidnapped in Matamoros Identified, FBI Offering Reward
What We Know about the Kidnapping of Americans in Matamoros
Breaking Kidnapped Americans: 2 Dead Men, 2 Alive
CDG Gives Up Hitmen Behind Kidnapping of 4 Americans

American Media and Politicians Fixated on Matamoros Kidnapping at Critical Moment
Calls Grow for Mexican Cartel Crackdown After Americans Killed
The Gulf Cartel Leaders the US Should Be Looking For

5 American Tourists Kidnapped by Gulf Cartel Members Were Rescued in Tamaulipas

Chapitos Indictment, Letter To DEA & Fentanyl "Ban"

"Mini Lic's" Borderland Beat Exclusive

"El Nini" Arrested 

What was the most important story or article from Borderland Beat this past year? 
Share your pick and why in the comments.


  1. I think el netos escape and being killed after should've been included

  2. An article missing here that would've automatically made top story is the Cartel del Noreste execution of a La Línea operative in Zacatecas. Blogger erased it because of how grotesque that video was. Perhaps at a later time I'll post that article in a future story. It's probably one of the ugliest videos ever made by the deranged cartels.

    1. Sol was that the skinny guy that says "no me pises pa" while his face was being removed?

  3. Also missing was the story and vidso about CDS sicarios making love to the CJNG commandantes

    1. I actually protected Cartel de Sinaloa from that embarrassment. That was really me looking out for that snitch cartel. 🤣

    2. You're too kind.

    3. 12:09 and thats why CDS fans hate you 🤣 but none the less the best comment

  4. Borderland Beat Greatest HITS :-) Often imitated, never duplicated :-) Narco GAME OF THRONES at its finest :-)

  5. When will there be a corrido about the brave contributors of BB?

  6. Hi guys please share any information you have on FEGS ,shadow group special forces

  7. Why wasnt hipolito mora murder not included?
    Y’all forget that?


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