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

Friday, January 26, 2024

El Omega's Brother Taquiza Killed & Found in Sonora

"HEARST" and "Enojon" for Borderland Beat 

El Omega's brother "El Taquiza" was found dead in Sonora, near Chapitos territory. 

A few weeks earlier, a different member of los Omegas was found dead in a similar area. 

So, who is killing off these members of los Omegas and why are some pointing fingers not at Chapitos, but at Omega’s ally los Rusos?

Background Information

In the area of Mexicali, Baja California, there is a Sinaloa Cartel - Mayo group called los Rusos (the Russians) which dominates the area. 

Years ago, Rusos allied with a local cartel group called los Omegas, led by Felipe Eduardo Barajas Lozano, alias “El Omega”, and together they cleansed the Mexicali area of other drug traffickers and pushed other cartel groups, like los Garibays, to the south, to the Mexicali Valley. Garibays, in turn, allied with los Salazars and los Chapitos, both rivals of Rusos. 

Currently, Omegas and Rusos report under the overall leader of Rusos: Alfonso Peralta, alias “El P1”, who is mentored by Juan José Ponce Félix, alias “El Ruso”, the founder of Rusos.

Law Enforcement in Mexicali

In May 2021, police officers stumbled upon a group of unknown armed men, who they attempted to detain, but they were prevented from detaining one particular man by two federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) agents who were acting as his bodyguards. This man, it would turn out, was actually El Ruso himself. 

After police realized who they had just run into, they released the other armed men just days after they were taken into custody. These hitmen gleefully showed off how they were released on social media.

Police also conveniently avoided reviewing evidence which they seized that day, such as El Ruso’s driver’s license, for 2 years straight until the state’s Security Board finally forced their hand.

In December 2021, El Omega and his younger brother Cristian Jael Barajas Lozano, alias “El Taquiza”, were arrested in Mexicali by state police officers. Locals claim that law enforcement is so thoroughly corrupted by Rusos, that the arrest of El Omega could not have happened without Rusos approval.

We know that Taquiza was later quietly released from custody but his brother Omega remains in prison and he is currently awaiting trial for a murder committed in Culiacan, Sinaloa.

In November 2022, another Rusos figure named Cristian Alexis Mendoza Guillén, alias “La Plaga”, was arrested soon after he grabbed a bit too much attention on social media for showing off his narco antics. But within one year, he was released and on the streets again, as reported by Luis Chaparro.

Locals imply that arrests in Mexicali can mean one of two things. Either an officer stumbled into something blindly or los Rusos allowed law enforcement to arrest their own cartel members when they’ve been getting too violent or showy, as a kind of punishment. 

These “punishment” arrests serve a dual purpose. On one hand, it penalizes their members for drawing too much attention to themselves and encourages other cartel members to stay in line. On the other hand, it gives law enforcement in Mexicali the appearance of “tackling organized crime” and obfuscates just how deeply they collude with Rusos. 

All of this is an important context to keep in mind, because it demonstrates that things are not always how they appear when it comes to the crimes of los Rusos and it highlights that there are some quiet rumors of tension between Omegas and Rusos.

El Corico Killed

On January 8, 2024, an Omegas member named Ricardo González Valles, who went by the alias “El Coríco”, and another man went missing from the small town of Netzahualcoyotl, located west of Mexicali. 

On January 9, a pickup truck from the Mexicali Valley area drove to the town of Islitas, Sonora. Two dead bodies were thrown out of the pickup truck near a baseball stadium but, according to Mayor Santos González Yescas, the pickup truck was spotted by police officers, who chased after the vehicle. 

Radio Patrulla reports that “the driver began to flee, crossed towards the Nuevo León neighborhood, then entered Mexicali, already [making it into] in Baja California, where they were chased by municipal agents, who finally lost them in the direction of the Hermosillo neighborhood [of Mexicali].

The two dead bodies thrown from the pickup were examined and it was quickly determined that El Coríco was one of the deceased. 

In photos of the remains, Coríco’s face is seen to be smeared with blood and a narco message sign had been stabbed into his chest which read “Your time has come, Corico, for being abusive.” The other man who had gone missing was found lying dead beside him.

Social media videos of El Coríco show a seemingly jovial and normal family man, but this of course, doesn’t mean he wasn’t ruthless or cruel when it comes to “business” with Omegas.

Coríco, much like many cartel members, made grand displays of giving out toys to local children for holidays. Videos of his gift giving can be seen below.

El Coríco had previously worked under the Sinaloa Cartel member Vicente Martínez González, alias “El Guilo”, but the news publication Zeta Tijuana reports that he started working under Omegas after they allied with Rusos and cleaned out other cartel groups.

Coríco was arrested in 2008 and 2009 for vehicle theft, in 2012 for crimes against health, for assault with a weapon in 2015. In 2017, he was detained for injuries to minors and damage to property of others. This charge about “injuries to minors” may in some way confirm the narco message which alludes to abusive behavior. 

Coríco worked as a drug distributor for the Oriente and Valle areas. In 2020, Zeta Tijuana listed out a number of street-level drug dealers who worked under Coríco. They were named: 

  • Víctor Maya Félix
  • Javier Alonso Medina Loza
  • Juan Francisco Gómez Zúñiga, alias “El Pancho”
  • Eduardo Hurtado Dorame, alias “El Lalo”

Videos of Coríco’s funeral, which was held on January 12, show a band playing music and cock fighting right in front of the casket.

While it’s unclear who killed Corico, messages between his son and an account that appears to be in support of los Rusos were leaked, showing a heated discussion where the son appears to threaten Rusos. This may imply that Corico’s son blames Rusos for his father’s death. 

The messages read the following:

“Los Rusos nos pelan la verga compa… AsÍ nomás se los digo”

“Los Rusos can jack us off friend…I’m telling you just like that”

Furthermore, the mayor mentioned earlier, is quoted by El 5 to Poder as saying Corico and the other man’s bodies were “planted” in Sonora by men from Baja California. 

This would seem to fit with Rusos killing Corico but leaving his body in an area in Sonora contested by Salazars/Chapitos, thereby muddying the waters about who killed him.

Ruso’s Sister Arrested

In the early morning hours of January 19, 2024, a special team of State Police officers (FESC ) entered a town named Coahuila (sometimes called “El Kilómetro 57”), Baja California. 

This town sits on the state border, directly across from the town of Luis B. Sanchez, in Sonora. The combined region of Coahuila and Luis B. Sanchez is known to be one of Ruso’s home-base locations. 

In fact, the December 2022 attack on El Ruso, in which Chapitos sent a convoy of hitmen after him and battled it out with his hitmen, all took place in the town of Luis B. Sanchez. 

Another home-base location for El Ruso is Agua Caliente de los Monzón, a small town north of Culiacan, Sinaloa. All of Ruso’s three brothers and three sisters are believed to permanently reside in Agua Caliente, although they sometimes visit the Coahuila/Luis B. Sanchez area

It's unclear why the special team of state police officers were sent to the town on January 19. But what is known is that in the early morning hours, El Ruso’s sister Xochitl Harumi was detained, alongside two other suspects. 

Zeta alleges that one of the suspects accompanying the sister was detained for his alleged involvement in the “storing and safekeeping of weapons.” Two long barrel firearms were seized from their possession. 

The people arrest are: 

  • Xóchitl Harumi “N” - 37 years old, from Agua Caliente de los Monzón, Sinaloa 

  • Ramón Omar “N” - 43 years old, from Badiraguato, Sinaloa

  • César Antonio “N” - 25 years old, from Badiraguato, Sinaloa

Zeta Tijuana writes that they had “tried to corroborate whether the arrest was made inside or outside a home, but it has not been possible to specify the details of the capture with certainty. The only thing that's certain is that a special group of the FESC carried out the operation. At this time there is a property being guarded by authorities.”

The official state version of events later emerged in which a man with a firearm threatened soldiers. A decidedly one-sided article by Columna Ocho alleges the opposite, saying the house was raided without provocation, and that officers proceeded to beat and torture the detainees (a common civil rights defense used in these types of arrests). 

El Taquiza Killed 

During the afternoon of January 24, 2024, the dead body of Omega’s brother, Cristian Jael Barajas Lozano, alias “El Taquiza”, was found on a highway leading from Santa Clara to San Luis Rio Colorado, at around kilometer 50. 

Zeta reports that “it is presumed that the body was left since dawn, but it was not until several hours later when it was located by the authorities.” 

They also write that “little information has emerged about the crime except that the body had gunshot wounds and was wearing a black Hugo Boss brand shirt, had long hair and a black vest.”

So far only one social media account, an instagram account named Notice Culiacán. has posted photos of the crime scene. They included a photo of a second body in their post but it's not clear how it related to the crime, although it may have been dumped in an area nearby. 

Opinions on who killed Taquiza are mixed. Audio clips of Rusos members suggest that they believe, or at least want to be seen as believing, that Taquiza was killed by a Chapitos affiliated group. 

Chapitos are generally believed to control the gulf of Santa Clara, an important unloading point for drug smuggling, so Taquiza’s remains being in close proximity to Santa Clara would certainly support that idea. 

Borderland Beat spoke to someone in from the Attorney General's Office who said “Rusos have been engaging Los Salazar in SLRC, but they believe it [Taquiza’s death] might be internal due to other Rusos killed.”


  1. I live in the area and ruso sometimes comes to my parents store to speak with my parents because he knows them from tepuche but recently he’s been hiding because the marines have been looking for him

    1. Yeah and el mayo comes to my house to chill with my older brother 😂😂

    2. 11:31 your actually in your mom's basement, somewhere in America, lol you haven't even touched Mexican soil.🤣 They say in here are you the ones that claims to live a block from ALMOs palace.

    3. 12:09 I'm from the Redwood area in Cali and Mencho and Maradona come together to eat in a restaurant that's my uncle's and they talk about their wife Rosalinda 🤷

    4. Sometimes El Senor Mencho drives over to Fresno for the best al pastor outside of Mexico. My tia sees him every other week and says he tips real well and buys everyone tacos. My primo's Shamo rooster had a messed up wing. He took Shamo to Fresno taqueria and El Senor Mencho did surgery on ala with plastic cuchillo and Shamo is strong and fighting ahora!

    5. 12:20
      Is that you Connor 🤔, I can sniff you a mile away.

    6. That’s a negative chief! 😂

    7. Emma slides in my DM from time to time now . She's sent me various seductive pictures of herself . She is such a smoke show

    8. I work at home Depot in Texas and my manger it's El Jardinero. 🌺 🌹💐

    9. Connor seems like you slowly making progress with her then 👍

    10. Can confirm. I am el Russo's top bodyguard and the Marines have been driving us crazy. Tell your folks we said hi.

    11. I am a Mexican Marine I can confirm that all the narcos nos pelan la verga

    12. 12:20 are you the kid that lives one block from Obrador Palace? You sure get around.🤣

  2. Something I wonder is how someone like La plaga and Omegas brother are able to be released after being captured, but people like el Omega and Tolin are still locked up? They've been in the game longer and definitely more powerful.

    1. The bigger more famous you are, the more heat you have on you, idk that’s just what I would assume.

    2. lol Plaga is a nobody poser. I would bet my life savings that he has never killed anyone.

    3. Get ready to hand over your “life savings” then.

  3. Jesus, with all of that money couldn't they have opted for another place with grass or cement or something other than dirt? What a bunch of savages.

  4. Oh wow, hadn’t notice how it’s been a few getting picked up. One after another… something is definitely up, and it sure doesn’t seem like this is by a ‘contra’. They would’ve 100% left a narco message with them, claiming responsibility. It’s a way to rub it in the face of the other group.
    Unless Omega himself was in on the killing of his brother, this is for sure about to fracture his allegiance to the Rusos.

    Wonder who’s next, Taquiza probably had to give someone/something up, that tourture wasn’t for nothing…

  5. The MZ groups are the most well founded and well armed groups in CDS. Not for nothing it's basically the only reason why CJNG hasn't completely taken over more territory

    1. You do know since the truce the Chapitos have been providing weapons to Mayo for Zacatecas and other states.

    2. You know that in CJNG various commanders help each other out right 1:53 .

    3. facts Mayos Have more experience by fighting cjng flechas, demonios, and a hand full of other tiers

  6. Great article! Wonder how this will play out long term for omega and ruso alliance if it was actually inside job.

  7. Dudes will smile in your face and be buddy buddy but as soon as you’re out the picture they’ll forget you, i seen it in my neighborhood where dudes will get locked up and the same dudes they be kicking it with will be trying to smash your girl

    1. @3:29 PM It's not always one-sided. Many a girl will walk a lascivious eye over the butt or D-print of their man's homies.

    2. Don't wanna bore anybody with a walk down memory lane, but back in MY day, it was VERBOTEN to tag your crime partner or pal's sweetheart while he was cooling his heels in lockup..
      Strictly forbidden!..
      I dunno what the world's coming to, some of you you young riders nowadays have no concept of what's right and what's wrong..

    3. calm down conner the ex banger lol, foo you live for online forms stop fantisizining

  8. Taquiza. Used to wash the windows on my car in TJ!!I have seen dozens like him!!😹

  9. Fat guys in skinny jeans,fuckin priceless,pure class

  10. Brilliant article HEARST. A friend of mine in Italy wrote to me recently saying that you're the main reason journalists like him, in the US and Europe, who cover organised crime in Mexico have time to sleep.

  11. Taquiza descanse en paz el tataras dela hidalgo he changed a lot after he started working with those groups guy wasant to be trusted the Barajas brothers also know as los changos always worked on the macho prieto side but everything got twisted after ruso stayed around when they killed polo Ochoa greed and jealousy equals death

  12. el ruso llego y se adueñaron de mexicali, la plaza era de checo. porq no se kedo

    1. El checo ya anda en Culican hasesorando al Flaco

    2. Algo pasó ahí en Mexicali porque un día estaba el checo, el kiki Orozco y el Tony y de repente el kiki se fue a Jalisco , el checo a Culiacán y el Tony lo mataron , según yo ya no había nadie de ellos para cuando llegaron los rusos

  13. Just ignorant fools
    Killing each other
    Omega brother looks like a child actor who got hooked on drugs… then GOT THEY BRAIN BLOWN OUT!
    These Mexican cartel members are northern trash

  14. Supposedly they are going after the omegas in mexicali "por abuzones." The same Rusos are taking out the omegas. They would've never arrested omega without rusos permission. He had been killing a lot of youngsters in el Valle and from the antros. Iykyk


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