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

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The History of Mayo's Son-in-Law, Chavo Felix

"HEARST" and "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This week, the media blackout on Mayo’s son-in-law was seemingly lifted. 

For the first time in a long time, the Mexican press acknowledged the existence of Juan Carlos Félix Gastélum, alias “Chavo Félix”, stating that a major arrest operation was underway in Sinaloa which aimed to capture him.

Information has since come out which points towards the raid actually targeting a different Sinaloa Cartel figure known as “El Comanche”, but it doesn’t really matter at this point.

There are now more than 20 articles published which seek to answer “Who is Chavo Felix?”

And here’s the short answer: Chavo Félix is an important Sinaloa Cartel figure who has multiple operating groups, such as los Rusos in Mexicali and los Demonios in Nogales, who work under him.

He is also involved in managing drug smuggling routes which unload shipments at Puerto Penasco, a strategic point in the Gulf of California, not too far south of the US border.

Strangely enough, some of these recent articles actually describe Chavo as “low profile” in their byline. And, look, the man is many things - but low profile is not one of them.

No, Chavo Felix is the kind of guy who uses the music video for the song praising him as an opportunity to show off his Rolls Royce Phantom and Mercedes G wagon, as well as promoting a tacky line of merchandise that's rolled out alongside the song.

And, yes, Chavo Felix may be married to a daughter of Mayo Zambada, but he seems to revel in telling the whole world that he's cheating on Mayo's daughter through the lyrics of a song which has more than 13 million combined views on YouTube.

This is a man who wants you to know who he is.

The good thing about Chavo's lack of discretion is there are plenty of photos of him online, seemingly taken during almost every stage of his career.

Chavo Felix is not low profile - not hiding -  for a reason. He knows he doesn’t have to.

He can pressure Mexican news organizations into silence, should he need to. 

He’s the son-in-law of El Mayo after all and unlike most of Mayo’s sons, Chavo Felix is reportedly in the direct line of succession to take over Mayo's side of the Sinaloa Cartel, just a few places behind his primary successor: Mayito Flaco.

Occupying a position like that can make a person almost untouchable.

But maybe things can change. Maybe someday Chavo will wish he had actually been as low profile as people like to claim he is.

The following story is an overview of the criminal history of Chavo Felix.

His Childhood and His Father

Chavo was born the son of the Sinaloa Cartel figure of Juan Francisco Félix Ojeda, alias “Panchon Félix”. His father reportedly worked under José Lamberto Verdugo Calderón, “El Verdugo” and was close with Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias “El Mayo”, himself.

Chavo grew up alongside at least five siblings, which include: 

Griselda Félix Gastélum, his sister

Karely Félix Gastélum, his sister

Mercedes Félix Gastélum, his sister

“El Pelón” Félix Gastélum, his brother

“El Wero” [ or Guero] Félix Gastélum, his brother

They are all believed to have spent their childhoods in Sinaloa, while their father was working in the cartel business.

Chavo was allegedly taught about the drug trade by his father and this schooling may have started in his late teens.

But in September 2008, the family’s relatively quiet lives were disrupted when $26.2 million dollars was seized from a safehouse in Rincón del Valle, Culiacan that was associated with their father’s boss El Verdugo. A vehicle in the home was later found to have an additional 2.8 million dollars hidden inside.

In January 2009, El Verdugo, Chavo’s father, and another subordinate of Verdugo made a trip from the state of Durango back to their home state of Sinaloa. 

The men drove together in a Jeep Liberty and when they reached Carrizalejo, Sinaloa, they spotted a military checkpoint up ahead. Verdugo reportedly refused to stop and he ran through the checkpoint, causing soldiers to shoot at their vehicle as it sped away. 

Some of the gunshots struck Verdugo, mortally wounding him and he died at a hospital in Culiacan later that same day and Chavo’s father as well as Sergio Félix Félix were officially detained by soldiers.

Both men were found to be in possession of 0.7 million pesos and a number of watches which were inlaid with precious gems. The watches were reportedly worth more than $1 million dollars.  

In April 2009, Mexican prosecutors presented evidence which tied Panchon and Sergio to the millions found in Verdugo’s safe house and they were sentenced to serve time in prison on charges related to money laundering.

Based on estimates of Chavo’s age, he would have been around 29 years old when his father was sent to prison. Old blog comments claim that Chavo took over his role in the Sinaloa Cartel in his father’s stead.

And the lyrics of a narcocorrido, seem to confirm this. In Los Demonios, by Colt Romeo, it say his father "Don Panchón one day told me: Son, I leave you in charge, you take care of your own and leave the rest to Mayo.”

Narcocorridos are songs which praise a specific cartel figure or cartel group which are commissioned by said cartel figure. It's important to note that the lyrics of narco corridos are reviewed and approved by the cartel figures themselves, so they can act as important texts of “confirmed” details about a narco.

Chavo Felix in the Antrax Era

When you look back at the history of the Sinaloa Cartel, there was a distinct period in time that seems indelibly linked to Los Antrax.

Los Antrax were a group of hitmen which worked on the Mayo side of the Sinaloa Cartel. They were founded in roughly 2008 and they peaked around 2013 to 2014, then quickly fell when their most well known member, José Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa, alias “El Chino Antrax”, was arrested. 

The group was known for its indulgent use of social media which focused on showy displays of wealth, with posts often focusing on a combination of luxury goods and firearms, exotic travel and violence.

The narco parties and the photos from this time period seem to have a certain flavor to them, as if laced with the same false promises that cartels sell to boys living in poverty. We’re going to refer to this time period as the Antrax era. 

So what was Chavo Felix up to during all this? He appeared to be enjoying the perks that came with his newly inherited status in the Sinaloa Cartel.

Chavo and his brother Wero Felix were frequently photographed with members of los Antrax at clubs in Sinaloa. The brothers seemed to date within the same pool of girls that Antrax members socialized with as well.

Was Chavo ever a part of los Antrax? Its not clear. The most concrete tie between the brothers and the group comes from blog comments made in 2011 which claim that Antrax member Francisco Arce Rubio, alias “Pancho Arce”, considered Chavo and Wero to be some of his trusted confidants.

And Chavo seems to acknowledge that he “studied” under the school of “Don Pancho” in a narco corrido titled “El Chavo” and he makes similar references in other songs, like describing Pancho Arce and Chino Antrax as “two friends he trusts very much” in Chavo Felix - Enigma Norteno, which was released in 2013. 

The most accurate way to describe what we know about Chavo Felix and Wero as far as Antrax goes is that they were loosely associated with the group.

It is believed that during this same time period, Chavo Felix elevated his friend Samuel Fuentes, alias “El Muchacho de la Barba” or the boy with the beard, to the role of his right-hand-man or possibly as the head of his personal security. (Fuentes also got a mention in the aforementioned Enigma Norteno song Chavo Felix.)

Samuel Fuentes, much like Chavo, comes from a storied Sinaloa Cartel family, being the son of Francisco Fuentes Jiménez, alias “Chico Fuentes”.

This also makes Samuel the nephew of Jose Luis Fuentes Jiménez, alias "Comandante Fuentes", an old school narco from Tamazula, Durango, who was the first husband of Sandra Ávila Beltrán.

A pedigree like that can get you pretty far in the Sinaloa Cartel and Samuel’s friendship with Chavo would only further bolster his importance. 

Samuel Fuentes, much like Chavo, is a person that many people claim was a part of los Antrax, but it's more accurate to say he was simply loosely associated with them.

After the fall of los Antrax, Chavo Felix seemed to focus primarily on drug trafficking through the state of Sonora and his right hand man Samuel seemed like less of a presence in Chavo’s organization; however, try to keep Samuel in the back of your mind because he’ll show up again later.

Chavo Felix’s Romantic History

During the Antrax era, Chavo Felix was known to date a number of women who are the children of famous Sinaloa Cartel narcos. Far too often the women in this world end up meeting a tragic end at a young age, often paying the cost for the sins of the men they associated with. 

Chavo Felix is rumored to have dated Yuriana Castillo Torres, who is related to the Sinaloa Cartel figures Javier Torres and Manuel Torres, at some point in time but the couple later broke up and they went their separate ways.

Yuriana Castillo went on to become a mistress to Chino Antrax and she had children with him. In May 2014, Yuriana was kidnapped and killed by a group of hitmen in Culiacan, Sinaloa, shortly after her boyfriend Chino Antrax was arrested in Amsterdam.

When her death was made public, there were some unsubstantiated rumors claiming that Chavo was upset that Yuriana had children with Chino and there were unconfirmed allegations about Chavo Felix being involved in Yuriana’s death.

Meanwhile, Chavo Felix moved on to date Claudia Ochoa, who he married and father three children with. They had two sons and one daughter together.

Meanwhile, Chavo Felix moved on to date Claudia Ochoa, who he married and father three children with. They had two sons and one daughter together but they later divorced.

Chavo Felix also reportedly fathered a son with Aislin Araujo Zazueta, the daughter of Gonzalo Araujo Payan and he may have also fathered a son with Sandra G. León. Some online sources even claim Sandra was at one point married to Chavo, but this is unconfirmed. 

Claudia Ochoa’s brother Sergio implied there may have been a period of messy overlap in which Chavo Felix moved on to date Sandra’s good friend Teresa Zambada Ortiz, the daughter of Mayo and Leticia Ortiz, while he was still with Sandra. (Or possibly the other way around?)

The timeline of these things is unclear and ultimately inconsequential. The only thing which seems to really matter is that Chavo Felix went on to marry Teresa Zambada Ortiz, the daughter of El Mayo and Leticia Ortiz, which solidified some of his power and influence within the Sinaloa Cartel.

Their marriage must have happened at some point before 2012, based on Chavo Felix referring to Mayito Gordo as his brother-in-law in a 2012 narcocorrido by Jesus Ojeda.

Chavo’s new wife Teresa Zambada is the sister of Serafin Zambada Ortiz. She is often called “Teresita” (little Teresa) in order to distinguish her from a different daughter of Mayo named Maria Teresa Zambada Niebla.

Chavo and Teresa have at least one child, a son, together. She can be seen with their son in her lap or holding him while hosting his birthday party in various social media photos.

Unfortunately for Teresa, Chavo Felix is not discreet in his ongoing infidelity, and he, in fact, likes to brag about it with a frat-boy like machismo in narcocorridos. 

In 2016, Chavo commissioned a song from the band Los Tucanes de Tijuana. They produce the song El Chavo (video here), which has the lyricsmi novia trae pelo negro, y mi señora castaño” or “my girlfriend has black hair, and my wife has brown hair.” 

And just in case you somehow missed who this corrido was about, that same song ends with lyrics directly saying “y soy el yerno del Mayo” or “and I’m Mayo’s son-in-law.”

To make matters worse, this song was somewhat popular. The 2016 recording of the song has more than 6 million combined listens on YouTube and the song was later re-released in 2021 with El Fantasma, and that video garnered over 7.1 million views.

One might wonder… if even the daughter of Mayo Zambada feels like she has no power to stop her husband from publicly gloating about his infidelity, how much worse do the women with less powerful fathers have it in the narco world?

Too often the wives, girlfriends, and mistresses of narcos are treated as either objects of lust or the subjects of ridicule but if you look just a bit closer at what their lives seem to actually entail, a far sadder picture comes into view.

The Relationships of the Felix Gastélum Siblings

But Chavo isn’t the only Félix Gastélum who found a way to marry into the Zambada family. The relationships that his relatives forged gives important context as to how Chavo achieved his status in the cartel world.

Chavo’s sister Griselda Felix Gastélum is married to Ismael Zambada Imperial, alias “Mayito Gordo”, one of Mayo’s sons.

So, just to clarify, Chavo and Griselda, who are full-blooded brother and sister, each married a child of Mayo Zambada, the half siblings of Teresa Zambada Ortiz and Ismael Zambada Imperial.

Now, Mayito Gordo is believed to no longer work in the cartel world. He was arrested and extradited to the US in 2019. He agreed to a plea deal in 2021, and he was officially released from US prison in 2023. 

A woman who may (or may not, depending on who you ask) look like Griselda was spotted walking alongside Mayito Gordo at San Diego Sea World in a recent video which showed Gordo's life in the US, post-prison release. So the couple may still be together and living in the US right now but that is unconfirmed.

Meanwhile, Chavo’s cousin Eva Félix, who is related through his father’s side of the family, has a child with Serafín Zambada Ortiz. In 2019, Mexican intelligence confirmed that Serafin was living with Eva Felix and their child at a home in Culiacan. 

So Chavo and Eva, who are cousins, each had children the full-blooded siblings of Teresa and Serafin.

Honestly, the family trees of these upper-level cartel figures are such a bizarre web of consanguinity that one begins to wonder if a Habsburg-jaw-like deformity will soon crop up in their children.

Now, in all fairness, this practice of narco families using marriage/paternity as a way to consolidate power to a very small group of people isn’t in any way unique to the Sinaloa Cartel - it is seemingly practiced in the upper leadership of all Mexican cartels.

And some of the highest level positions with a cartel group seem to be given exclusively to people who fall within this small familial group. 

It's worth noting how businesses which pass leadership through nepotism tend to fare compared with businesses that pass leadership based on merit and ability, because, at the end of the day, every cartel is really a business enterprise - and a multi-billion dollar one at that.

But let’s move on to Chavo’s male family members and the women they’re attached to.

Chavo’s brother Wero was at one point married to Yamileth Bonilla Pérez and they had two daughters together. In December 2010, Yamileth was killed when she was just 19 years old in a mysterious attack wherein three armed men entered her home and shot her.

Wero went on to marry a woman named Paola Inzunza and they had two daughters together but they later divorced. (Source)

Chavo’s brother “El Pelón” Félix Gastélum is reportedly married to Ale Beltrán. (Source

In 2018, Chavo’s father Panchon commissioned the narco band Los Nuevos Rebeldes to write a song titled Panchon Felix in which he announced that he would soon be out of prison. Panchon is now free and he recently fathered a new child, a half sibling of Chavo, with a much younger woman. Panchon reportedly stays in La Hidalgo, Culiacan.

Los Demonios 

At some point in 2017, a seemingly new Sinaloa Cartel drug smuggling group which reported under Chavo Felix began operating in Nogales, Sonora, near the US border. 

In July 2017, the US Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took notice of the new group, who appeared to be smuggling large quantities of meth, cocaine, and heroin into Tucson, Arizona, while also smuggling firearms and cash back down into Mexico. 

HSI came to learn the new group was known as “los Demonios” (sometimes called los Siete Demonios). The agency worked with the Mexican federal government to capture 19 members of the group between July 2017 and March 2018. 

Insight Crime has claimed that Demonios are a group which originally worked under the Chapo-side of the Sinaloa Cartel, and that they later switched to working under Mayo but the truth of the matter is that Chavo Felix has been telling the world that Demonios work under him in narco corridos since the year the group was founded.

Chavo Felix name-dropped them in a 2016 song by Los Tucanes de Tijuana and then stated it more explicitly in the 2017 song titled El Chavo Felix, released by the group Los Nuevos Ilegales, saying Culiacan, that's my home. I am also working on the border, I like to spend my time there. Los Demonios, my team is waiting and we’re cleaning the plaza." So it seems like who Demonios work under has been pretty clear from the outset. 

Despite the HSI initiated arrests, Demonios continued to grow and work drug trafficking routes into the US. 

According to Univision the group “trafficked heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine that they bought in South America and smuggled it to different parts of the United States such as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.”

Although Demonios are believed to operate in Nogales, it’s worth noting that the group isn’t believed to be the one controlling the city nor are they believed to be the only cartel group operating there.


The person allegedly in charge of Nogales is Sergio Valenzuela Valenzuela, alias “El Gigio”, who also falls on the Mayo side of the Sinaloa Cartel. The fact that Demonios and Gigio have the same cartel affiliation likely helps keep their arrangement running smoothly.

Vanguardia alleges the group focused in particular on smuggling routes which run through the US cities of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.  

In May 2018, the Mexican government raided 8 properties in Nogales, Sonora, and they managed to snag Josué Iván Torres González, alias “El Chango”, the alleged second in command of los Demonios

In April 2019, authorities raided a property not in Sonora, but in Culiacan, Sinaloa. Inside the home they found and detained Juan Guadalupe Jacobo Regalado, aliases "El Chepa” and “El J3”, who was said to be the leader of los Demonios at the time.

Mexican authorities will sometimes proclaim that an arrested cartel leader was higher ranking and more of a leadership figure than they really were in order to give the impression of being tough on organized crime, so it's fair to be skeptical whenever the official government press release declares that a cartel member to be the leader of a group. 

However, in this case with El Chepa, it really seems like he was the Demonios leader at the time simply because he was found hiding out in Culiacan, Sinaloa, rather than being down in the trenches with the hitmen in Sonora. 

His ability to move out of state when law enforcement pressure shifted towards him and his choice to seek shelter in the heart of Sinaloa Cartel’s bastion speaks to some level of rank within the organization. 

In September 2020, the federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) raided four Nogales properties and arrested ten alleged members of los Demonios, including José Silverio “N”, who they alleged had taken over leadership after Chepa. 

After the 2020 arrests, Demonios seemed to disappear from the public eye for years, with no major arrests made of Demonios members between 2020 and 2022.

“Mayo’s People Are So Low Key”

Chavo Felix seems to have adopted the character “El Chavo del Ocho” as a symbol which represents him in the cartel world. As an example, look at this hat which is sold by a shop which specializes in cartel branded accessories.

The hat shows Chavo del Ocho with bloodshot eyes, smoking, all while surrounded by stacks of dollar bills as he wears a gold chain bearing a style of hat, which symbolizes an association with El Mayo. 

The design turns a beloved children's character into a drug-addled narco, showing the same level of refined taste as a Spencer’s Gifts. But, well, someone had to fill the market void for apparel worn by edgy middle schoolers.

And just in case there is any lingering doubt that this design is really meant to represent the narco Chavo Felix, his alias is conveniently embroidered on the back right side of the cap.

But how can we be sure that they mean Juan Carlos Felix Gastelum and not some other cartel figure with the same alias? Don’t worry. The website lists out the hat as “El Yerno”, or in English the son-in-law

Examples of Chavo Felix using the character Chavo del Ocho as his personal symbol go back to at least 2016. And there are a bevy of other examples of hats in which Chavo Felix co-ops the character.

Chavo Felix even had one of his firearms blinged-out and customized with Chavo del Ocho, as shown below.

Chavo is reportedly friendly with the likes of Larry Hernandez and the band Enigma Norteno - friendly enough that when the father of Ernesto Barajas, the main singer of Enigma Norteno, died, Chavo sent flowers to the funeral.

In December 2021, Enigma Norteno released a narcocorrido for Chavo Felix which was titled La Super Del Barril and the band made a relatively-pricey music video for the song.

The lyrics of the song plays with how the character Chavo del Ocho is known for hiding out inside a barrel, then flips it to be a “super barril”, referring to a firearm common in Mexico: the Colt 1911 chambered in .38 Super. 

.38 Super rounds became popular in the country due to old laws which forbid civilians from using military caliber rounds like 9mm and .45ACP.

This resulted in alternate caliber rounds, like the .38 Super, becoming the norm. The laws have since changed, making .38 Super illegal, however the caliber remains popular in Mexico to this day.

The lyrics also make mention of a lifted Ford Super Duty truck, which is also shown in the music video. 

And inside that Super Duty, they show Chavo Felix’s blinged out Chavo del Ocho gun alongside two Chavo Felix “Super Barril” hats - merchandise which was released soon after the song and sold through one of the unofficial Sinaloa Cartel hat shops: El Morro Caps.

The same shop is the authorized distributor of Markitos Toys hats as well, so it seems that hat shops don’t have pick sides in the ongoing Mayo vs Chapitos war. 

The music video also features a Mercedes G-class (G wagon) and a Rolls Royce Phantom. Both vehicles presumably belong to Chavo Felix. These two vehicle models are two decidedly not-"low key” choices within the luxury vehicle world.

Chavo Felix also seems to have adopted the number 8 and the 8 ball (both the billiards ball and the term for 3.5 grams of cocaine) as further symbols of himself within the cartel world. He had a different firearm customized with an 8 ball, as shown above.

Los Rusos & Penasco

It’s reported that Chavo Felix also manages Sinaloa Cartel – Mayo activity in Puerto Penasco and Mexicali.

Chavo first began mentioning Penasco, a port located on the Gulf of California, in his corridos by at least the year 2016.

Penasco, along with similar spots like San Felipe and Santa Clara, acts as a key point in some drug smuggling routes that involve boats which get loaded with drug shipment at ports located farther south, in states like Sinaloa. From there, the boats will travel up the Gulf and stop at Penasco, where the shipments are unloaded and taken to holding locations, to be later smuggled across the US-Mexico border or possibly shipped to locations in the Asian Pacific, via locations like the Port of Ensenada.

Chavo often mentions “Charly” along with Penasco, so Charly might be the operational manager of the port, reporting under Chavo, but there’s too little information on Charly to really make this determination.

He’s also believed to control Mexicali, to some degree. The primary operating group in Mexicali is los Rusos, which is led by Alfonso Peralta Medina, alias “El P1”. 

Some have suggested that P1 reports directly under Chavo Felix while others suggest that Rusos operate somewhat independently, but in conjunction with Chavo Felix.

Chavo Felix began mentioning Mexicali in his corridos by at least 2019.

His Recent Criminal Activity

There seems to have been a recent resurgence for some Chavo Felix’s affiliates. 

After years of seemingly falling off the map of Mexican law enforcement, los Demonios was mentioned by the Mexican government during a press conference in September 2023.

The head of the National Guard, David Córdoba Campos, announced that a member of Demonios had been arrested on August 31 in Nogales. No further details about the person arrested or what they were being charged with were given, not even a first name nor a photo with the eyes hidden, as is typically done. 

Just a few months ago, in December 2023, Samuel Fuentes basically “announced” to the public that he was still active in the narco world and that he was still working as Chavo’s right hand man via the narcocorrido “El Bronco de la Barba” or the bronco with the beard. 

Chavo Felix also made mention of Fuentes in a 2023 corrido by Canelos Junior, saying “I thank the man with the beard for always watching my back.”

The Suppression of the Press

Where did this widespread, oft-touted impression of Chavo Felix being so “low key” even come from? 

Well, maybe it's because his name rarely appears in the articles of prominent Mexican cartel news publications such as Riodoce or Zeta Tijuana. Somehow, even when those publications cover stories clearly connected to Chavo Felix, they go out of their way to avoid naming him. 

Take for example Claudia Ochoa, the mother of three of Chavo’s children. Many publications mentioned Chavo Felix at some point in covering her various press conferences and her untimely death.

Riodoce wrote a total of six articles (one, two, three, four, five, six) covering Claudia Ochoa. Riodoce mentioned Chavo Felix in zero of those stories.

Similarly, Zeta Tijuana wrote two articles (one, two) covering Claudia Ochoa. Chavo Felix is mentioned zero times. 

The truth of the matter is that Borderland Beat has found zero Riodoce articles which mention Chavo Felix. Zero. 

Somehow Mayo’s son-in-law, who can be seen standing alongside either Chino Antrax, Pancho Arce, Claudia Ochoa, or Mayito Gordo in various well-known photographs has never been mentioned by the Sinaloa-based publication which primarily focuses on organized crime and the drug war.

Or look to the way los Demonios is covered. Mexican authorities, prompted by US HSI, have been raiding and arresting los Demonios for years and yet the Mexican press has avoided mentioning Chavo Felix’s name in their articles on the group. 

Simple ignorance of his involvement becomes less and less plausible when you remember that all these years Chavo Felix has been directly communicating that they are his group in songs:

“Los Demonios number more than a hundredfold” El Chavo - Los Tucanes de Tijuana, 2016 “Los demonios, my team awaits” El Chavo Felix - Los Nuevos Ilegales, 2017 “Protected by los Demonios” La Super Del Barril - Enigma Norteno, 2022 “Here I am, escorted by a group of Demonios”

Chavo Félix - Codiciado, 2023

And that's only a small selection of the times his corridos mention Demonios.

Somehow Mayo’s son-in-law, who can be seen standing alongside the likes of Chino Antrax, Pancho Arce, Claudia Ochoa, or Mayito Gordo in well-known photographs has never been mentioned by a Sinaloa-based publication which primarily focuses on organized crime and the drug war. 

And this does not reflect poorly on the journalism of Riodoce in any way because - rightly or wrongly - there is a commonly held belief that very high-level cartel figures use threats of violence to keep Chavo’s name out of the press. 

If this is true, then these publications are doing the right thing by pulling his name from their articles. Mexico is known to be the deadliest country for journalists outside of a war zone for a reason.  Prioritizing the safety of their writers is a good thing. 

It's the environment in which a cartel group could ever credibly threaten the lives of journalists that's the problem. 

The Mexicali Problem

But can we be sure that any suppression of the press is going on? What evidence is there?

In 2022, Borderland Beat spoke to locals in Mexicali who said that Chavo Felix was in town. It was seemingly common knowledge in the city. He was reportedly splitting his time between Mexicali in Baja California, and Sinaloa. 

Locals said that Chavo allegedly did not travel to other cities in Baja California like Tijuana or Rosarito because he was concerned about rival cartel groups and he preferred the safety of a place where his cartel controlled the police.

So, how can this be common knowledge in the area and yet Chavo Felix goes unmentioned in articles covering Mexicali?

There is a bloody territory war going on between los Salazars and los Rusos which has left well over a hundred dead and yet, in the press, all the bloodshed has been tied to P1, the leader of los Rusos with P1’s alleged boss, Chavo Felix, never mentioned. 

It almost seems as if that's a luxury afforded to Mayo’s son-in-law. A degree of distance, a separation, a way of keeping his hands clean.

Consider the following list: 

Corrido de Chavo Felix - Enigma Norteno, 2010

Video, Lyrics

El Chavo Felix - Gerardo Ortiz, 2011

Video, Lyrics

El Chavo Felix - Jesus Ojeda y Sus Parientes, 2012

Video, Lyrics

Caminos Recorridos (Chavo Felix) - Enigma Norteno, 2013

Video, Lyrics 

El Chavo - Gerardo Ortiz, 2013

Video, Lyrics

Soy Chavo y No Viejo -  Los Nuevos Rebeldes, 2014

Video, Lyrics

El Chavo - Los Tucanes de Tijuana, 2016

Video, Lyrics

El Morrillo de la Hidalgo (Chavo Félix) - Enigma Norteno, 2016

Video, Lyrics


Amigo de Amigo (Chavo Felix) - Los Alegres del Barranco, 2016

Video, Lyrics

El Chavo Felix -  Los Nuevos Rebeldes, 2017

Video, Lyrics

El Chavo Felix - Los Nuevos Ilegales, 2017


Chavo Felix - Grupo Accion, 2019

Video, Lyrics

El Chavo - Grupo Edición Especial, 2020

Video, Lyrics

Los Demonios - Colt Romeo, 2020


Chavo Felix - Los Elementos de Culiacan, 2021


La Super Del Barril - Enigma Norteno, 2022

Video, Lyrics

El Sera y El Chavo - Grupo Arriesgado, 2022

Video, Lyrics

Los Demonios del Chavo- Los Juniors de Mexicali, 2022


Chavo Felix - La Receta, 2023

Video, Lyrics

Chavo Félix - Codiciado, 2023 

Video, Lyrics

Chavo Félix - Canelos Jrs, 2023


Why would a man who has this many songs written about him not be mentioned in almost any news articles prior to this week?

Chavo Felix is a man who wants you to know his name. There's no other explanation for why he has commissioned this many corridos. Chavo Felix must want a particular kind of fame and recognition.

But someone is also making sure his name isn't tied to the crimes committed by those working under him.

It's time to stop mistaking a cartel’s intimidation of the press with being “low profile”.

Early Years Sources: Europa Press, La Jornada, Noroeste, Vanguardia, Proceso, El Periodico de Mexico, El Universal, El Cartel Mexico, El Siglo, Reuters, Wikileaks, Noroeste,

Chavo’s Relationships Sources: IB Times, Premier Culiacan

Family’s Relationships Sources: Telemundo, Buchon Farandula, Premier Culiacan, Telemundo

Demonios: Breitbart, Vanguardia, FGR Mexico, Sipse, El Chavo Lyrics, ADN40, El Diario de Sonora, Quadratin, El Sol de Mexico, De Primera Noticias, Radio Formula, Univision

Update: A reader sent in a photo they claims shows Chavo and Rojo. Thank you to the reader.


  1. Hearst you must really be into narcos to take your time to do all that lol

    1. FR deadasss I disnt even get halfway & I rhought this wasa Dea/Hsi report

      Dudes fuckin cookd after this article lmaooo

      Feds probably rubbing their hands as to how good this is put together lol

    2. And so must you to have read this article. Save your remarks.

    3. 11:27 - I mean, in order to be a BB contributor, one has to be at least interested in the topic, don't you think? That's not a bad thing at all. I feel like any regular reader at BB is "into" narcos, crime, cartels, or the drug war as a whole. Be glad that people like Hearst, Sol, Socalj, Char, Morogris, Buggs, and others exist...

    4. Uhhh you aren’t familiar with this site I take it? Lol

    5. 12:22 I agree with you, if it wasn't for Sol and many contributers as you mentioned, I would be in the dark, of what is going on in Mexico. Well sometimes I have to skip a video Sol puts on , as I want to eat a good breakfast. Best of all no's Free!

  2. This dude has been active and a big player for MZ for about 15 years now .

    1. Safe to assume his days are numbered

    2. 12:10 you never know . His boss has been on the most wanted for a couple of decades. If I'm not mistaken there is even. $15 million bounty and let's be honest. He probably going to die of natural causes so you never know

  3. No wonder Mexican government want him cause the U.S wants him 😂

  4. Is he under indictment in the US
    one that is unsealed

    He wasn't named in Narco Polo when all his other guys were. So that says something.

    Chino, Los Antrax, Los Aquiles, Los Atlantes, Limon Sanchez, Serafin, Mayito, Mayito Flaco, Ivan, El Mago, Cheyo, but not him.

    1. He's not indicted in the US as far as I know.

  5. The operation wasn’t for him it was actually for El 20

    1. Nab it was for 21

    2. No it was for 22

    3. El 20 is in charge of security for El Gigio in Nogales

  6. El Wero Felix Gastelum should be El Pork Chop Felix Gastelum

  7. Great article, Team!

    “Félix Gastélum”

    More proof that these narco families intermarry?

    1. The whole "keep it in the family" saying is alive and well there. I was eating with a few young people and they were talking in Spanish about hooking up with their cousins, and knowing I understood somewhat and looked at them funny they got quiet and looked at each other and were like, yeah Americans don't really do that. Obviously there are some trailer dwelling, backwoods places in the south where you find some mongoloids that definitely have swimming in there own gene pool for generations.

    2. Only in cartel news do people consider it "culturally insensitive" to point out the scientific reality of what happens when you intermarry within a very small group for multiple generations.

  8. Chavo felix run up the fades I'll whoop his ass

  9. Sounds like the end is coming for Chavo Felix.

    1. 12:42 Chavo too wealthy and well connect. Romours are he bribed his way out with the Marines. Which if it was to be true goes to show his pull

    2. The operation was too big to bribe he got away because he had a helicopter

  10. Great article! I thought Ale Beltran married Oscar Limon..another one that supposedly keeps a "low profile" but his corrido touts "linea directa con el del sombrero"

    1. Some claim she married Pelon and others claim Omar. I don't know what to make of it.

    2. maybe an ex of Pelon and current wife of Oscar..with these characters you never know, they all date and f each other so you never truly know. Great work regardless!

  11. the narco "Hugh Hefner" of culiacan....they should make a "Romantic NOVELA"!!!!

  12. Soy un buen Chavo

  13. Emma Coronel Aispuro is a smokeshow

    1. Connor todavia ESTA mencho en Redwood City?

    2. 354pm nah pri esta metido en tu mente y sin pagar renta chavalon

    3. Emmita me chupo todo el caldo del weso! me dejo sin palabras! me dijo que salude al Connor 👋 hola wey!! jajaja

  14. That was an awesome read!
    They fuck each other, they marry each other, kill each other and the cycle starts again. Not sure if i fell sorry for the girls that paid with their lives for those fuckers.
    But nevertheless, Thank you very much for your time, work and dedication.

  15. Damn this dude had many women, but he’s literally below average looking who would’ve knew. But then again who would say no to someone that would end you without hesitation.

    1. If you go by what the songs say he’s a very charismatic guy lol he’s definitely putting up numbers

    2. Pues no tiene fama de asesino. Solo de traficante y mujeriego a comparación de otros

    3. @4:06

      A mi nadie me repela
      Porque no nos entendemos
      Cuando mi pistola truena
      Es porque ya estuvo bueno
      Conmigo nadie se enreda
      Porque en caliente lo arreglo

    4. 2:13 Dinero mata carita dicen por hay

  16. Excellent report once again 👏👏. Hopefully the links i have posted have helped y'all out a bit .


  17. Siempre siempre siempre ha Sido mujeriego.
    Estuvo "comprometido" con Florid, si así se llama, Florid y la Ochoa salió embarazada de el. La tía Mireya Félix una chavo ruca de CLN que se hace y hace arreglos para retrasar el envejecimiento le dijo a Claudia q se casar y asegurará su futuro, hasta con la prima de Claudia se metió. Con Sandra Patricia León se casó por la iglesia y boda, Claudia fue la burla de Culiacán en ese tiempo y le decían que ni con todas sus cirugías lo retuvo.

  18. Parte 2
    Sandra Patricia León era la mejor amiga de Teresa Zambada y le baja al esposo, aunque el chavo siempre ha Sido muy codicioso y pues dejo a Sandra cosas que le dió mucha risa a Sergio ochoa Félix y Claudia. Solo que Sergio desde q es pastor ya NO recuerdo lo burlón y mal.intemcionado que era.
    Se casó con otra en sonoro Bianca o blanca no recuerdo su nombre. En fin muy mujeriego.
    El papá de él es el que daba dinero para los hijos con la Ochoa y ya los metió al negocio con la bendición de su tío el pastor doble cara ya que traen radios, sin estudios y la misma pinta y cortada de tijeras que la mamá y sin negarlo del papá

  19. La droga lo bajo de peso. Siempre fue cachetón gordo y panzón. Y no es tan faramalloso como otros.

    Y dudo q se haya metido con Yuri
    Aunque siempre le gustaron malandros a esa mujer.
    Y con Aislinn no'mas salió panzona y ya, desde q la levantaron hace mucho se volvió reservada.

  20. Sounds like Hearst wants a limited edition Chavo Felix baseball cap.

    Soy bueno a la buena, malo al que le busque
    Alegre, tranquilo y muy divertido
    Amable, sencillo, amigo del amigo
    Soy de Culiacán

  21. Lo de Yuriana fue una venganza por q ella pasaba información. Es decir, sacaba información del cds para decirle al chino y este coperara con las autoridades.
    Por eso al día siguiente que llegó de verlo en prisión la levantaron violaron y mataron.
    Por cierto a la Claudia Ochoa le dió mucha risa y gusto

    1. La pusieron Valeria Alcalá y Debra rico ellas coperaron

  22. A Claudia se le pasó la mano con la divulgación de su desmadre.
    Ah por cierto con el que se murió es David de Zapopan, el esposo de la comadre de la Jenny Zetter. Por eso se pelearon ellas 2. Jenny defendió a su amiga.

  23. I'm Not from Sinaloa... So who cares about them spoiled punks. BLO is coming back

    1. IDK if you're from Russia either.

  24. Great work. I know Chavo from Peñasco. He has legitimate businesses there. I thought Comanche worked for Rojo. They say Rojo was killed. I have a picture of Chavo Felix and Rojo together so how can i get it to bb?

    1. You can email it to me at and I'll add it to the bottom of this article.

      I would love to hear more about Comanche.

    2. Don't know how true it is 5:19 but they say that Chavos god son 02 leads los Rojos now . According to some people 02 is the one that got Chavo out of the operation recently

    3. it doesn’t look like chavo at all bro

    4. Sorry but that is not el chavo felix in the last picture with “el rojo”

  25. Ok Hearst. These guys all used to spend a lot of time in peñasco. It is a transhipment point with associated activities. They send loads thru Sonoyta and Lukeville and everybody knows this. Said that BP works with them. Also common knowledge. Comanche is a big tall white looking guy ans scary as fuck. He is from peñasco. Worked for Rojo and i know him well. All the guys in that crew used to be drug addicts and violent as hell, uncontrolled. Killed a lot of people and threw them in piles near las conchas and burned up the rest in safe houses. They also run prostitutes and illegal gambling houses, illegal liquor too.

    1. Thank you for the response. I appreciate it.

      I found something while trying to research him and I've always wanted to know - so, in 2016, Vice did an interview with the head of a Sinaloa Cartel trafficking cell based in Nogales who goes by the alias El Comanche.

      Is this the same Comanche? I know you're talking about someone in Penasco and the article is talking about someone in Nogales, but people move around over the years.

    2. Dont think so, he is local to peñasco and head of sicarios for rojo, who people say is dead now. These guys do money laundering and protection rackets as well in peñasco. Rojo had all kinds of businesses not drug related. Us Julio Madueno still trafficking? There are so many people in this business its hard to keep track.

    3. Isn't there a Comanche around Culican. Supposedly in charge of MF security? Could it be the same guy ?

    4. 6:47 I also thought Comanche was the security for M flaco. He was on the radios with nini when he said he was obeying orders from papa major

  26. Doesn’t look like chavo at all

  27. More needed to know what is going on in Nogales. Seems like a big area, as always, but more so now that the west side is heavily contested and the east side is controlled (a bit more) until you get to AP.

    1. El Gigio with MZ and his security crew run bh El 20 runs east side of Nogales last time i checked. AP run by Paredes family.

      OS, but really importante to do an article on BLIND MULES. Cartels surveilling americans visiting México and then planting drugs under their cars and then they cross into USA then followed and drugs removed. Was big in Juarez, now done all over.

    2. 7:05 Los salazar are also in nogales

    3. Nogales, Sonora is divided in half by the train tracks, the west side is run by Los Salazar and the east side by los Gigios (Mayiza)

  28. This is one of the most in depth articles I’ve read on here. Wow. Wonder if we can get more exposes on other cartel leadership. Like Menchos son-in-laws. They say he’s got quite a few that work for him as well.

  29. He doesn't need los mayos. He has the duros trained by sicario006...Faze Rug...look it up on youtube.

  30. I wonder whos the third guy in sombrero with Comandante Fuentes and Zambada

  31. Sinaloa Mayo clan Puro dedos y amantes de la DEA

  32. That picture of him barbecuing , if you pay attention to the back you can see they’re cooking meth while barbecuing haha classic

    1. It’s agustin Felix tequila distillery his uncle and we’ll known operator down to South America he became powerful in the 90s has a corrido by chalo o and still hits hard in the politics side as well as chemical precursors

  33. Excellent article. Chavo is an effed up jealous idiot if its true about killing his ex for being with another man. Ams here he has multiple affaris..SMDH I don't care who he is. He should been locked up for murder!! But KARMA is real amd his day will come if he killed this woman and the kids not thinking of her kids!

    1. Eso fue un chisme. Nada q Yuri con el Chavo F.

    2. That was just an unsubstantiated rumor. Chavo and Yuri ever even dating each other is just a rumor as well. It may never have happened.

      His dating history is meant to be a minor part of this article. I only wrote it to give a little context to his reputation as a womanizer.

    3. Yeah , it's easy to be a womanizer when you have large amount of dough! Plus let's not forget, the regions these guys run. Total Narco culture influence. In these areas you could be at the bottom of the pyramid such as an halcon and get a nice piece of ass. Send these guys to a country with little narco influence/ culture and let's see how many women they pull!!

  34. So does his pops get his spot back when he gets out?.... or does Chavo tell him there is a new sheriff in town?

    1. His father is already out. He was released in approximately 2017-2018.

      It doesn't look like Panchon resumed his previous position, to me. But that's just my personal opinion.

  35. HEARST,

    This is a masterpiece.



  36. Damn Miss Hearst,
    I knew by how well the article was written that this was well researched, without reading the author’s name. I was thrown off only by your personal interjections, which you usually keep a personal hands off, approach to your writing, which is so precise, informative and engaging work that shows how much hard work you and dedication you put into your work. But then, i read the last sentence, and it tied it all together. Journalism having the right to free speech without threat or terror is a fundamental right and necessity of any great democracy. Thank you always for what you do.

    1. Thank you for understanding.

      I try to avoid personal interjections because it can be distracting from the information. And I've received some heavy criticism for my interjections in this article.

      But I can't really explain just how much researching the murder of journalist Alan García Aguilar impacted me.

      Or what about Luis Martín Sánchez, Luis Enrique Ramirez, or Alfonso Margarito Martínez?

    2. Sometimes watching a simple video of a guy being so very normal can really change the way you view a story.

    3. Thank you very much for stating that. Far too often, when absorbing so much information, you get lost in the fact, that these are still human beings, and not just words in an article or publication. Seeing an individual live a day-to-day life, that we all attempt to do, gives a different perspective to the stories being written and read. Thank you always and please know that your work is greatly appreciated always.


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;