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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Sinaloa Cartel's La Rana Linked to Murder of the Surfers and Other New Information

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

The Attorney General's Office (FGE) has found that “La Rana”, from the Sinaloa Cartel - Mayo faction, controls the region where the three surfers were killed and he is likely using it to unload drug shipments from South America.

La Rana and his brother Aquiles are also known to control the drug dealing in El Maneadero, where one of the perpetrators was found with a dealer-level of meth.

So no matter how you slice it - it comes back to La Rana and El Aquiles.

The Daily Beast published Sinaloa Cartel propaganda which alleges 5 the cartel group found and turned in the people who murdered the surfers. 

The Daily Beast ran the allegation as the article's headline despite there the claim being so implausible that it borders on being outright false. 

Note: This is a continuation of a story published last week. Please read the previous story which covers the murder of three surfers in Ensenada, linked here.

La Rana’s Subordinate Luis Zazueta Controls The Area Where the Surfers Disappeared


The local news publication Zeta Tijuana writes that cartel groups are using the Baja coast to unload “drug shipments arriving from countries in South America, which arrive by sea or by air.”


After the homicide of the surfers, the state Attorney General's Office (FGE) investigated the area where the surfers were attacked, focusing on the roads surrounding Punta San José, in Santo Tomás.

The FGE found “these dirt roads are controlled by members of organized crime, by drug cartels.”


The FGE said “the area that connects La Bocana with San Juan de las Pulgas and Punta San José is an area inaccessible to the general public” and that “only those that are protected or involved with criminals can safely enter the area.”


Although the FGE acknowledged the area is controlled by cartel groups in the state’s private Security Roundtable meetings (which Zeta Tijuana attends), the FGE has not yet acknowledged this publicly.


Instead, the FGE and its leader, Attorney General María Elena Andrade, insist in press conferences that there are no signs of cartel groups being involved in the homicides of the surfers.


The FGE investigation of Santo Tomas found that it was controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel – Mayo faction, more specifically naming “Rene Arzate Garcia, alias ‘La Rana’.”


La Rana, and his brother Alfonso Arzate Garcia, alias “El Aquiles”, are known to be some of the most powerful drug lords in Baja California. 

They are primarily known for operating in the city of Tijuana, but they also have a strong presence in Ensenada and a lesser presence in Tecate. They also have an alliance with los Rusos, the cartel group in charge of Mexicali, so the Arzate brothers have a hand in every major city in Baja California.

FGE investigators found that La Rana’s subordinate Luis Zazueta oversees Santo Tomas.


They described Luis Zazueta as “a low-profile criminal” and although he works under Rana, they said “he even works with other cartels. He is known in the area for recruiting criminals to rob ranches, he offers [the ranch owners] a set of conditions related to activities outside of the law.”

Zeta Tijuana states that the Sinaloa Cartel is operating  “on this coastline with no fear of law enforcement” and the only area where their reach is limited is the Ensenada port itself, “where different cartel groups [such as the CAF and CJNG] also operate.”


An Ensenada municipal police officer further confirmed this when he told Zeta Tijuana that he and his colleagues “have direct orders from CDS [shorthand for Cartel de Sinaloa] not to put patrols in all those areas.”


An FGE agent agreed with what the Ensenada officer said and added “Those thugs have always worked like that, robbing foreigners. That is what they do, robbery, cattle theft, burglary, and violent robbery - mainly of foreigners.”

The statement of this FGE agent, that the Sinaloa Cartel group in this area has “always” robbed foreigners, differs greatly from Attorney General Andrade’s claim that attacks against foreigners are “atypical," saying that Baja California has had “an influx of tourists and a similar case has not occurred.”

New Information About the Crime Itself


Zeta Tijuana describes two key “lookout points” where the Sinaloa Cartel has members watching incoming and outgoing traffic, monitoring for signs of law enforcement, cartel rivals, and hapless tourists who make ideal robbery targets.


One of these lookouts is “a tire shop located in the town of Santo Tomás on the way to the beach, where criminals act as punteros [drug dealers]”. The tire shop is said tp be operated by a gang known by the locals as “los Enanos”, or the dwarves.


The second look out spot is “on the way to Ajusco. It is through these two places that they monitor and control who enters and exits through their area.”

The FGE is investigating if the three surfers stopped in town and it was there that they were spotted by the perpetrators, who were “drawn to their tires.” The FGE believes the perpetrators “followed them to [Punto San Jose] lighthouse, where they were camping.”


The state Attorney General said the current hypothesis is that the perpetrators intended to rob the surfers, but the surfers resisted, so “the attackers took out a firearm and shot at the first person who resisted the robbery, then a physical altercation broke out.”


Zeta writes that in addition to the blood stains and tooth found at the campsite, investigators also found “a bloody shell casing, plastic bottles, […] and drag marks.”


Ari Gisel García Cota, one of the detainees, said in court that her boyfriend, Jesús Gerardo García Cota, visited her home during the evening of April 27, and he borrowed her vehicle, a white Ford Ranger pickup truck.


Forensic experts later determined that the three surfers had died that night, on April 27, which lends credibility to Ari's testimony.


The next day, on April 28, Jesús Gerardo returned to her home at about 1:00 pm. He drove up in her vehicle and he had a 2016 Chevy Colorado pickup truck in tow. He told Ari that he was bringing her some tires for her Ford Ranger.

Ari reportedly asked Jesús Gerardo where the Chevy Colorado had come from, and he responded that “I just fucked up some gringos [Americans] because they had a lot of money.”

Note: The Attorney General later claimed “The evidence suggests they [the killers] did not know they were foreigners.” Ari's court testimony would seems to suggest otherwise.

Jesús Gerardo reportedly went on to change the tires on Ari's Ranger and the pair took the Chevy to a property where they set it on fire.

New Information on the Ranch Where the Bodies Were Found


The location where the bodies of the surfers were found is often referred to as a ranch, however, Zeta Tijuana writes it is merely two buildings and a well.

Zeta alleges that the FGE arrived at the “ranch” already knowing “where to look for the remains of the three foreign surfers.”

Whether this implies one of the three detainees told them about the location or if an unnamed cartel figure passed on the location is unclear.

The FGE reportedly was not warned that there would be a fourth body found inside the well where the three surfers had been dumped.

Currently, “investigators suspect that the fourth body could be the person who owned the ranch before it was taken over by cartel members.” Forensic experts determined that the man had been “murdered and thrown into the site more than a month and a half before.”


One of the buildings on the property appeared to be a house, with a bed, some armchairs, and a kitchen. Investigators looked through the house and “they found remains of fresh food, recently used clothes and some personal items, bottles and bags.”

This seems to imply that cartel members who work under Luis Zazueta had killed the ranch owner a month and half earlier, presumably because the ranch owner resisted the Sinaloa Cartel takeover of his property. Luis Zazueta’s underlings then lived in the dead ranch owner’s home and slipped away before the FGE arrived to search the well.


This also gives us some key information. If the ranch owner was only killed a month and a half ago, then this spot was likely safe for surfers to camp in just months earlier since the “ownership” of the property had only recently changed hands.


This invalidates the arguments of some online who allege the surfers “should have known” not to camp at the location.

Updates on the Perps


Zeta Tijuana states outright that the perpetrators were found because the family members of the surfers allowed law enforcement to track the location of the surfer’s cell phones.

By tracking Carter’s phone, police officers found Ari Gisel, who was walking in a small town south of Ensenada called Maneadero. When they searched Ari, they found she had a large bag of meth and Carter’s iPhone.


Ari’s boyfriend Jesús Gerardo García Cota, who is known by the criminal alias “El Kekas”, has been charged with kidnapping.

Ari and Kekas’s brother, Cristian García Cota, have been charged with drug possession. None of the detainees have been charged with homicide for any of the three surfers, nor has anyone been charge for the homicide of the ranch owner.


Zeta Tijuana reports that “local ranch owners, from Santo Tomás to as far as Uruapan, were already aware of the three detainees.”


They write that El Kekas is a known drug trafficker and he “is known for stealing wood, dismantling foreigners' mobile homes, stealing water pumping motors from ranches, stealing tires, and stealing vehicles.”

During the court hearing for Ari Gisel, Ari and her sister testified that she was the victim of domestic violence. They said that Jesus Gerardo “physically and psychologically assaulted her.” Are said that she knew that Jesus Gerardo had weapons and that he sometimes threatened to kill her.


Ari Gisel said that El Kekas "does very bad things". She also pleaded against being sent to prison, saying that she has a 4-year-old son.

It's important to note that El Kekas reportedly has an extensive criminal history which includes domestic violence charges, in addition to drug trafficking and vehicle theft. 

Which Cartel Controls Drug Dealing in Ensenada? 

As mentioned earlier, Ari Gisel, one of the three suspects, was arrested by Mexican law enforcement in El Maneadero, a small, satellite town outside the city of Ensenada.

Zeta Tijuana reported last year that El Maneadero “is among the regions with the highest criminal incidents in all of Baja California.” 

In 2022, the publication alleged the group in charge of Maneadero is Sinaloa Cartel’s El Aquiles and La Rana. 


They name one of their subordinates, Leopoldo Lizárraga Ochoa, aliases “El Polo” and “El Pantera”, as the man who was managing the drug dealing, extortion, and kidnapping in Maneadero. 

The article goes on to state that the Sinaloa Control is in charge of the narcomenudeo, or street-level drug dealing, of other neighborhoods in Ensenada as well, describing the control of each neighborhood as the following:

The Popular 89 Neighborhood of Ensenada

Group: Sinaloa Cartel

Leader: Julio César Hernández Armenta, alias “El Perro”

The Morelos 2 Neighborhood of Ensenada

Group: Sinaloa Cartel

Leader: José Luis Gutiérrez Caranda, alias “El Diablo”

The Centro Neighborhood of Ensenada

Group: Sinaloa Cartel

Leader: Sonia Isabel Ramírez, alias “La China”

The Villas del Real Neighborhood of Ensenada

Group: Sinaloa Cartel 

Leader: Luis Angel Urana Bolanos, alias “El Cirillo”

El Sauzal, town north of Ensenada 

Group: Sinaloa Cartel - Arzates

Leader: María de la Luz Segura Hernández, alias “La Rana”

This is important because Ari was arrested with a dealer-level amount of methamphetamine in El Maneadero.  

Each neighborhood of Ensenada is divided up as turf between cartel figures, each street corner seemingly has an owner. 

So, if Ari is carrying a quantity of drugs like that in El Pantera's turf, it may imply a connection. It's certainly an avenue that's prime for further investigation by law enforcement.

Daily Beast Claims that the Sinaloa Cartel Turned The Perps In, There's No Evidence That's True

In a new article from the Daily Beast, the writer Luis Chaparro claims he spoke with a Sinaloa Cartel member who said the detainees “were low-level robbers acting alone. But we handed them over."

"We learned that the cops were looking for the gringos and they also began looking for those who were responsible. We called the authorities to let them know where to find them.”


This claim, because it was published as a headline in a major US publication like the Daily Beast, has been picked up and spread by other publications like SkyNews, NewsNation,, and The republishing of the claim has only further amplified its reach and lent it an undue amount of credibility.


The allegation is seemingly disproven by a bevy of credible sources which state the perps were found through law enforcement tracking their phones.


The Daily Beast article briefly covers this, quoting a Baja California investigator who said “We tracked down the devices, until one of them was turned on and we had a location. That’s when we found this woman who was in possession of the American’s cellphone.” But the Daily Beast article never really addresses, nor even acknowledges, that this directly conflicts with the claim made by the cartel member. 


The Daily Beast presumably published the cartel member’s quote because they thought there was some chance that the Sinaloa Cartel had turned actually the perpetrators in, presuming that Baja law enforcement hid the cartel’s aid by making a false claim about cellphone tracking.


But the Daily Beast article, by choosing to quote just one investigator, misrepresented just how many varied sources have stated that the perpetrators were found by law enforcement through tracking a stolen phone. Let’s review some of the sources:


May 1, 2024

At 9:30 pm, the local Facebook group Patrulla646 reported that “one of the cell phones of the missing persons was turned on and it was tracked to the area of Maneadero, where a woman identified as Ari N, of about 25 years of age, was detained in possession of the phone.”


Just half an hour later, English-speaking, primarily American locals reported on TalkBaja that “the cell phone of one of the surfers was tracked and found around Maneadero in the possession of a woman.” Note that Ari was detained on May 1, so these reports came just hours after it happened, long before law enforcement released any statement.


May 2, 2024

State prosecutor Socorro Ibarra told reporters that three people were being investigated for possibly being connected to the case, but Mexican officials made no comment which mentioned cell phone tracking. Therefore, all the allegations of the cellphones being tracked are still coming in from independent sources and not merely repeating an official statement.


So, on May 2, the Australian Broadcasting Company published an article which quoted local journalist Oliver Quintero who said that “the woman who was arrested was reportedly found in possession of a stolen phone” and “that is actually how [the three people] were found."


That same day Zeta Tijuana reported that “Ari Gisel García Cota was found to be in possession of a victim’s cell.” (Note that Zeta Tijuana is not a publication which gives in to cartel pressure - this is the same publication which bravely named cartel figure La Rana in connection to the crime. If they believed the Sinaloa Cartel had turned in the perpetrators, they would have indicated that in their reporting.)


May 3, 2024

Former FBI agent Phil Andrew told 7News that “one of their [the victim’s] phones was found in the hands of a third party.”


May 6, 2024

The very first time Baja law enforcement made a statement confirming they had found one of the surfer’s cellphones in the possession of a detainee came on May 6, when the Attorney General gave an interview to Aristegui Noticias.


The Daily Beast article fails to offer an explanation as to why so many different sources, from local Americans to former FBI agents to local reporters, all said that the perpetrators were found through cellphone tracking.


And, look, its good to sometimes doubt the Mexican law enforcement version of events when it comes to cartel-related incidents.


There are plenty of reasons to doubt the credibility of statements made by Mexican law enforcement. They are frequently influenced by cartel groups and they may misrepresent the influence that cartel groups wield over their investigation.


Sometimes, there is even reason to doubt the credibility of US federal law enforcement when it comes to cartel issues because the US has previously retracted statements in order to appease Mexican officials.

(For an example of this, look to July 2022, when the DEA retracted a statement about their involvement in the arrest of drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero after Mexico’s President AMLO declared the US was not involved in the arrest.)


But there doesn’t appear to be a lot of reason to doubt the credibility of all the sources listed, who all said the perpetrators were found by police through tracking the surfers’ cellphones.

Please consider just how many people would have to be actively covering for Baja law enforcement in order for this Sinaloa Cartel claim to be true.

Also consider that since the very beginning of the investigation, Mexican law enforcement has had to coordinate and information share with the US FBI and Australia’s DFAT, as well as the Australian and US embassies. 

And keep in mind that the Australian Prime Minister  was making public statements of concern on May 3, long before the bodies of the surfers were found, so the pressure on Baja law enforcement to keep the investigation on the up-and-up was likely bearing down on them - lest they cause an international incident.

So, let’s ask ourselves. Is it likely that Baja law enforcement chose not to track the cellphone number of Carter Rhoad, which was provided by the US, and they instead relied on the Sinaloa Cartel to find the perpetrators – all while knowing that their investigation would be scrutinized by US and Australian law enforcement, along with the press from both countries?


Or is it more likely that the Sinaloa Cartel is spreading propaganda meant to make them look like “good guys” and the Daily Beast irresponsibly repeated their claim because it created an enticing headline which draw in views?


Sinaloa Cartel's Recent Push of the Good Guy Propaganda

The Sinaloa Cartel was pushing similar propaganda just last month when the Chapitos faction claimed that they had handed over a fugitive white supremacist named David DeWayne Young to authorities after discovering him hiding out in the Mexican state of Sonora. 

Óscar Balmen, the reporter who repeated the cartel’s claim about DeWayne Young, neglected to offer any further details nor any evidence to support his claim. Balmen did not even state if information came from a source, such as citing “a cartel member” or “the local town gossip”. 

The government press release states that two Mexican agencies (INM and AMIC) found David DeWayne Young through their own surveillance and field work. 

Óscar Balmen also claimed that the Chapito brothers were not “pleased” with DeWayne Young and detested his views. Balmen failed to mention that the leader of the Chapitos, Ivan Guzman Salazar had openly flaunted his love for German Nazis. 

For anyone confused by the idea of a Mexican person loving a white supremacist group like the Nazis, please note that some Mexicans engage in a type of colorism which classifies other Mexicans as either white or non-white, depending on their skin tone and features. 

Here's something important to remember: Ivan Guzman Salazar had one of his guns customized to depict a Nazi eagle through gemstones and precious metals. 

Ivan then showed off his Nazi gun, along with a number of his cars, by having them featured in the music video “Ivan El Mayor”, which he personally commissioned. The gun can be seen here within the video. 

So what are we left with? A claim made citing no source, with no supporting evidence, which directly conflicts with statements by officials - a claim which runs counter to aspects of Ivan's personality that he has chosen to shamelessly flaunt before the world. 

The Stories That Go Untold

The most frustrating part of articles like the one from the Daily Beast or the story claimed by Oscar Balmen, is that these paid journalists are giving attention to unsupported theories of “maybe the narcos are the good guys sometimes” instead of covering the cases which cartel propaganda is seeking to counteract.

The cases in which cartel members attack civilians. 

The Daily Beast article quotes a cartel member saying that the Sinaloa Cartel turned in the perpetrators because they didn't need “unwanted attention” in the area.

But it does not bother explaining what it is that the Sinaloa Cartel is hiding in the area - all of the incidents where Sinaloa Cartel members exerted this exact kind of brutality not onto tourists, but onto local Mexicans. The stories which are routinely ignored by the national media. 

Take, for example, when, in December 2023, Sinaloa Cartel hitmen arrived at a house in Maneadero. The hitmen shot two men, who were involved in drug trafficking, to death inside the home and then proceeded to abduct the deceased men’s girlfriends. These women are named Claudia Isabel Rojas Beltrán and Alondra Peres. 

Arrest warrants were issued for the CDS hitmen who were believed to be involved in the homicides and kidnapping. The hitmen were identified before the judge as: 

Cristian Ricardo Méndez Bravo, alias “El Tecato”

Jorge Eduardo Castaneyra Varrita, alias “El Varita”

Miguel Ángel Morales Gaytán, alias “El Vaquero”

Leonel Torres Alcázar, alias “El Pecas”

Zeta Tijuana alleges that these hitmen work under Sinaloa Cartel’s El Pantera - who, as mentioned earlier, works under El Aquiles and La Rana. 

If the cartel figures were the “good guys” that they pretend to be, then surely the girlfriends of the deceased would have been left unharmed. 

But they weren't. They weren't even given a quick death and killed on the spot like their boyfriends.

No. The women were kidnapped by the Sinaloa Cartel hitmen for a purpose.

At best, the women were interrogated for information - at worst, they were tortured and sexually assaulted. Their remains have not yet been found.  

This is the brutality that the Sinaloa Cartel, and all Mexican cartel groups, are afraid will be unearthed if their region garners “unwanted attention.”

These are the stories they try to bury with their "good guy" propaganda.

Sources: Zeta Tijuana, Australian Broadcasting Company, BajaDock, El Manana, San Diego Union Tribune, CBS News, The Daily Beast, Aristegui Noticias, SkyNews,,, Patrulla646, BajaNomad, Reuters,, Australian Broadcasting Company, Zeta Tijuana, 7News, CBS, BBC

Ensenada Drug Dealing Sources: Zeta Tijuana Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4


  1. Thanks Hearst. This is the information that we were all waiting for. Many of us believed that there was cartel involvement but there was insufficient information in the public domain to say it. You do a great job of making sense out of a large amount of information. Char, Sol, Morogris and the rest of the crowd is catching up to you. I believe that this is going to be a really great site.

  2. Not really surprised here they caught them so quick you knew something was up

    1. I mean they killed 3 people over some tires, straight bums

    2. Yep and people look up to these bums and they just like CJNG

    3. Mexicans and Latinos always have a love affair with caudillos. The Maximum Leader.
      There is strong support for Donald Trump with many Mexicans. I suppose the paleface Mexicans like Hitler.

    4. Broke ass low level motherfuckers. Back in the day when there were real cartel bosses they wld of ordered the death of these lames for heating up shit.

  3. Luis Chaparro is a huge CDS nuthugger so no wonder why he spreads propaganda.

  4. Why risk this attention over a robbery of three innocent people? Something is not right here. Over a truck this all happened? Under the baja bosses? Makes no sense. Those surfers must have been doing something

    1. Obviously you skipped through the article and jumped into the comments.
      All you the one that only reads the title?

    2. Looks like Rosarito and Ensenada are no longer safe to travel and you would think they would not bother the tourists. RIP the 4 that lost their lives.

    3. At 1:42
      My daughter C.L. 17
      has went with relatives to a nearby Ensenada town for the weekend with relatives. of December 2023. All went fine it was heading back that Rosarito police stopped the Toyota Prius 2004.
      They were stopped for tinted windows.
      The regular tint that comes when you buy a car.. they wanted mordidas sure enough to avoid conflict money was given.


    4. @112 uninformed comment. You, and others, presume this level of coordination on all crime and such simply does not exist. Every narco knows you “shouldn’t” mess with gringos but it doesn’t seem to dissuade everyone - as my Mexican wife tells me, you never know whose path you’ll cross - be careful always.

  5. Wow very informative article. Hearst thanks you leave no stone unturned. They were camping at a spot, that used to belong to the rancher they killed. These punks want the easy life even if it regards killing innocent tourists.

  6. CDs just getting man handled in Nayarit

    1. They’re in Nayarit now? Damn getting closer and closer to Jalisco

    2. 3:12 cds mz sicarios are already uploading pics of them in Jalisco. Nayarit area they are in towns like nothing

    3. Just remember, it used to be a cds plaza first, if anything cds are the ones that took that L
      They trying hard to get nayarit back though but I doubt it

    4. Any other cartel kills random people and they are labeled terrorists and shit by Sinaloa nutthuggers.
      Sinaloa cartel does this and the dead people had to have done something wrong or been involved in shit is how the story always goes by CDS cheerleaders.
      Never ends.
      I'm not cheering on any cartel either fyi

    5. 8:10 it hasn’t been a CDS plaza since BLO split from them, Jalisco did what CDS couldn’t and took it from blo not by shooting it out but by buying out the government and having them clear the way

    6. As a tourist CJNG runs a better plaza any ways love Riveria Nayarit and PV ones things for sure the Snitchs never getting any where near those plazas and man is Mazatlan a shithole

  7. Wow, what a ton of work that must have been! Thanks for all of your efforts!

  8. Excellent reporting on this story, thank you


    This is the telegram where they put all the snitches informants

  10. This article actually captures the undeniable reality of life in much of Mexico. High levels of insecurity. “No-go zones.” Control over entire regions. Halcones. People dispossessed of property. Control of local authorities.

    1. Don't forget robbing tourists! That was the killer's business and there are 1000s like them. If they hadn't murdered the surfers and just scooped their vehicles, valuables and cash you would never have heard nada about it like the masses of tourists who are robbed each and every day!

    2. Do you think the surfers would have lived if they hadn't resisted?

    3. @BigNuts I don’t live in a tourist area I live in Tamps. I comment, within reason, on things I know. @Laststraw - yes I do believe they’d be alive. And this is where cultural knowledge and experience is so important for travelers.

    4. @laststraw. Yup, no resistance and they would be still alive. One of the biggest problems for tourists is mistaken identity by a narco gang where they shoot first and ask questions later. It's a roll of the dice to comply or try to escape. Of course, the international publicity and heat from killing out of country tourists from this case will make the criminals think twice before killing tourists--if they aren't whacked silly-crazy on drugs. This case is anolgous the the american blacks killed in Matamoros with the big international heat and the cartel turning in their own. Plenty of places to vacation other than Mexico as it is a roll of the dice.

    5. They victimize tourists but don't kill them is how it goes. Who are the victims going to tell? The tourists will come back to San Diego with their tale but no one cares. The local police, who are on the plaza bosses payroll? The State Department?

      Thats why the punteros are there, in part, to ID potential targets. Get the car. Get their money. Not supposed to execute. but you see they had a plan for when they did. Burn the bodies, stash them in one of the spots.

    6. 11:46 did those lowlife POS burn the victims bodies? I see their truck was but haven't read they were also burned.

    7. I could have gotten that wrong

      blurring reporting about burned cars and burned campsites and dragged bodies and the two from 2015 in Sinaloa

  11. of course, the narco gangsters ratted on the perps. Score points with the authorities and take the heat of their area of operation. Whether the narco info was before the cell phone lead or after they dropped their names the narcos were involved from the getgo. I have no doubt the authorities asked the narcos for help to take the heat off their and Amlo's ass! Hey, tourists no worries Mexico is safe and has magical unicorns that fly!

  12. I finally got a IG follow back from
    Emita Emma Coronel that mexican smokeshow she is 😍 I slid in her IG she replied "hi" I am not giving up until I smash emita while lil ol mr.701 is in Colorado crying like a lil girl

  13. I do think the local plaza bosses arranged all this. It's why they won't say La Rana or Aquiles. Only ZETA is running with that,

    1. I respect your opinion on this stuff, J. But can I ask for your thoughts - why would Zeta be willing to say Rana and Aquiles are connected to the homicides, and yet they just blindly go along with reporting a "hoax" about finding the perps through tracking the phone number given by the US?

    2. my thought would be there probably was some tracking of a phone or something like that, but no ones getting arrested, or bodies aren't being found if Rana and Aquiles and their local plaza boss don't say it's ok.

      The phone trace could have easily led to an arrest and an instant release. Or a phone sitting somewhere in a tire shop or whatever.

    3. I agree with you that Rana and Aquiles had to give approval to the arrests and told police where to find the bodies.

      I guess, to me personally, that's a quite different than that propaganda claim of "they handed over the killers to the cops", which is the Daily Beast article's headline.

      But, yes, I think you're right, J.

    4. Hearst:
      I believe the woman advised them that the bodies were in the well, or at least she told them that the males killed the surfers and threw them into a well and the males provided the exact location of the bodies. I can understand your thinking that the cartel must give permission to give up the location of the bodies, but I don't believe that this was the case.
      Many people here overlook the fact that the vast majority of police in Mexico are honest. I believe that it is fair to presume that the police acted honestly unless proven otherwise. SEDENA, SEMAR, the NG and the honest police in Mexico are the true heroes in Mexico's war on organized crime, and I believe that they should be given credit for their honesty, courage and sacrifice in their efforts to bring peace to Mexico.
      It's reasonable to conclude that the cartels actions affect how law enforcement responds. Most cops in Mexico don't cross a line in order to stay alive. This isn't corruption. This is just surviving in the environment that the police are in.
      It sounds like the arrest of the female was contemporanious with locating the phone through the cell signal. It appears that the arrest of the two males was based on information given by the female. It appears that the bodies were located based on a statement by the female that they were thrown into a well with the males verifying the exact location of the bodies. I don't see anywhere that Rana or Aquiles gave approval for the actions of the police. If you have evidence that this is true, please post it here.
      We are all making educated guesses based on publicly available information. I don't believe any of us here has privy to inside information. My opinion is no better than anyone else's opinion on this site.
      Hearst, I always appreciate your comments because you view things differently than I do. You always give thoughtful and well reasoned explanations for your beliefs. It also appears that you are above average intelligence.
      In forming an opinion about a topic it is always prudent to hear a different opinion or the other side of the story. Only a fool will refuse to listen to someone's opinion whose opinion is different than his own. I have learned in life that reasonable minds can differ when presented with a specific set of facts. Even though I don't agree fully with your analysis, I appreciate you taking the time to express your opinion here.

    5. How about J and Detroit debate this out and I'll watch from the sidelines. 🐥

    6. The entire Ensenada plaza is top down corrupt. So is TJ- so is Rosarito- It’s all on the Zeta piece. They don’t even patrol that santo Tomas beach area because the plaza bosses say so. They have punteros everywhere. Their operativos are the only things that matter down there.

      The planes, the boats, its a transshipment point. it’s a smuggling area. It’s like something out of a De Mauriner novel on the English coast. Even the military is up on the game. There’s checkpoints up and down the highway, never any seizures. It’s all a protected area.

    7. She was giving statements in court so since she was caught with their cellphone, she likely cooperated and gave up the other guys and at least an area/location if she was told by her bf where it happened.

    8. The tweekers KNEW that cellphones could be traced, but simply couldn't resist the appeal of possessing an iPhone 10..😿

  14. also gave up the bodies, so theres no more law enforcement presence, and the Americans back off. That search could have gone on for weeks. They could have even disappeared the bodies into the ocean, or some other method.

  15. but i guess yeah, contextually, some of the other reporting is leaving out that it's their team, low level but still their team

  16. La rana has been in power in Tijuana for a long time it’s crazy

    1. Rana and his brother akiles had a falling out a few years ago, and were at each other's throats for a time, but I guess that's been resolved..
      If you're a gringo that boards horses anywhere south of the movie studio area of Rosarito, they WILL steal your nags and launder them through Tijuana taco stands, be advised 🐎

    2. Tijuana has always been a crazy zone, no one is safe at night I don’t care who’s in charge

    3. Except when Arellano Felix had control of that plaza back in the 90s everything was cool

    4. @8:10 don’t kid yourself… AF was in control but it by no means was safe… if you mean cool compared to 2010’s then that would apply…

      -Holden D. Cash

  17. If La Rana or whoever controls this area of BCN ever finds himself in a USA courtroom they shouldn't be surprised when these murders are brought up.

    1. They may end up on a new US indictment

      Targeting upper level Sinaloa plaza bosses and connecting aquiles to the killings and shootings of Chato in San Diego

      Prosecutors could maybe maybe get an indictment on this but they would need extradition of the lower guys which won’t happen is my guess

      So what they will do is include it on the indictment without actually charging like the Caiman one

      And say in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which is controlling the plaza of Ensenada to trans ship poly drug loads to the US through the Tijuana corridor
      The defendants asserted control of the plaza which included the robbery and killing of three tables and San Diego residents

    2. Yes as "aggravating factors"

  18. The Tijuana Plaza has no law and order - that’s why Cartel heavy weights stay the hell out. The go hide in Sinaloa or Jalisco.

    1. Jajajajajajaja 😂

    2. 530 or Southern California

    3. @1:50 La Neta!!!

      -Holden D. Cash

  19. Great read. So much information that we have all been eager to hear

  20. El Rana is innocent his hiding in Juarez

  21. Thank you very much for all of your efforts. The reality is that cartel activity is blowing up all across the US as well.

    It would be great to have this level of investigation into all of the US-based cartel operations. The reality is that general US law enforcement is neither trained, equipped or even motivated to go after the cartel rat lines to, from and through every city in the US.

    1. Hum bug🤔
      Not motivated you say son.
      Wake up we have DEA highly motivated in catching bad hombres.

  22. Almost all of Chapos kids and also the mini lic click all seem like a bunch of bottoms.
    Bunch of rich, feminine homos playing badass

    1. Mini lic is free making podcasts in LA

    2. Mini Lic vs Jake Paul 2025

    3. 10:10 Jake Paul about to get hit so hard to the body he's going to shit himself! Iron Mike going to retire that pretender!!

  23. I thought 98% of all murders don’t get solved in Mexico? I guess this is part of the 2 % that does ?

    1. The victims influence what cases get investigated and resolved.

    2. More like who the leader is in the country the victims are from is the influence for which cases get investigated and resolved. It's well known that police and especially the State Attorney General's office don't put an ounce of effort into investigating when locals or more MX nationals go missing or end up dead. It's tourists that usually make the news. But do you honestly think the President of Ethiopia would have enough influence to light a fire under Mexico's feet to resolve it? At least that's my opinion. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  24. I feel that this kinda shit is done by some random act, usually perks are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meixo is getting pressed by foreign countries to act. Mex government needs the smoke and mirrors so they name suspects. The bros won't get touched!

  25. Such a shame . Looking at the photos of the surfers gave me the feeling that they were good guys that had a joy for life . I cannot say this for most . Most people will criticize and secretly envy the joy someone has for a rewarding life , because that person themselves, does not enjoy their own existence. The whole “Misery enjoys company “ saying is very much true . Did the surfers really resist the robbery ? To be honest , I don’t think so . The ones that tend to fight back from being robbed , are people whose ego’s are so inflated , that they see people viewing them as “ a coward “ , for allowing it to happen . And from the photos , I don’t see inflated egos in the surfers . If anything it’s the exact opposite. I remember when I was in a federal holding facility in ‘07 , there was an older (50-60yr)black man who was the definition of a career criminal . His “gangster ego” was so inflated that he would tell all the other inmates that we all were b*tch’s for taking plea deals on our cases . For those that know anything about the federal system, they know that if you take the Feds to trial and lose(around 99% conviction rate), they will make an huge example of you. All the inmates knew this , even him. But his ego of being “real G” wouldn’t allow him to do anything but take his gun case to trial . They offered him a 5 year plea (with his criminal history most would see this as a blessing ) and he wouldn’t take it . With the amount of time he had already been in jail , he would of been eligible for halfway house in 6 months . He wouldn’t take it because “ a real muthaf*cka doesn’t take pleas” . Well, took it to trial , lost and got 45 years 🤦. He was the type of person who would resist a robbery , 100 out of a 100 times , regardless of how many people had guns pointed at him . That is the ego I am talking about . While we all have tough guy ego’s to some extent … a person with a loaded gun pointed at you , demanding your possessions , is not worth trying to be Rambo

    1. 🤔😂🤦‍♂️🤜🤛

    2. 9:56 well put in logic.
      Some people don't realize how bad their egos are until they get incarcerated. Case in point..this bad ass white guy with long hair and a beard along with his Asian girlfriend in their late 20s, were on the fwy in Orange Co. CA. Some how a car with a lady an her son on a child seat in the back, heading to preschool, cut the other car , low and behold Road rage was developing by the second, the mother flipped the bird at them the Asian , Took out the semi automatic loaded gun from the glove compartment , the driver fired the gun as the other car was at the front, bullets strike the back trunk, bullet strikes the kid in thr back, he dies .
      Now he's incarcerated.

  26. Hearst, you are truly the best, I appreciate and respect the amount of unrelenting work you do.
    DAMN it, Louis Chaparro, his credibility is so DAMN questionable. I've lost any remaining faith I had in him. It's pretty bad when I of all people had to correct him via a phone call re errors he made when on Sean Ryan Show. Louis, you had best post a correction or at a minimum a VERY LARGE ASTERICS on the daily beast. The sad part is that main stream media is lapping up his version of events, saw variations posted on multiple sites 🐙h yes, this is being FWD to him

  27. This is the only reason I don’t take my family vacation to Mexico, no way in hell.

    1. Que la chapiza an considerado aser alianza con las 4 letras pero no le tienen confianza al Mencho , la garra y el 03 .. segun la alianza seria para eliminar al mayo que ya esta todo visco, renco y mal de los riñones el viejillo. Segun reportes en infobae , silla rota y proceso

  28. These dudes will be dead soon, they heated up the Plaza and brought grief to the BC Gov't and the Plaza owners over a set of tires. It wasn't a smart move, even for meth heads.

    1. IDK shit, I just think about this stuff sometimes...but I'm wondering if the whole tire-presentation to the gf/novia was because the dude needed validation after killing the foreigners. I imagine he felt guilt or at least dread that there were now 3 foreigners surely to bring heat.

    2. He should be tortured in public with medical assistance to keep him alive as long as possible to make an example of him for any aspiring degenerate tweakers. Assuming they fought back, I'm of the belief that if you're gonna do it against a gun you must do it with swift and brutal violence, but easier said than done getting woken up in the middle of the night. RIP to Los Tres Amigos.

  29. would the austrailian investigators have any ability to conduct on the ground investigations in BC?

    1. Its not about the ability, they have for sure, but might not get the authorization from the mexican gov. I would assume that they may be allowed to send some guys and check some evidence but mostly bullshit talk. Increase the political pressure is the way to go.

  30. Awsome reporting HEARST. Your one of the reasons why BB is the best. I totally agree with you. There is no such thing as a "good cartel". They are all scumbags. When I was a superhero named Nuffy I fought all cartels equally. They are all bad. I also believe that Zeta Tijuana hit a home run with their article. Everything in there is what I suspected from the start. How can this not be cartel related? CDS controls that area. Nobody is allowed to go solo without their authorization. They also have hawks or alcones everywhere. Keep up the good work HEARST. Nuff Said!!!

    1. 10:28 I totally am the real nuffy.

    2. No no no I am the real Nuffy, you guys are wanna be nuffies.

  31. No no no no I am I am the real the real Nuffy.
    I may Sutter a little, but but I'm I'm the real one.

  32. I just watched the video for "Ivan El Mayor" . Wow! I would stick that Hitler gun iny mouth and squeeze the expensive tripper if that was the song and video meant to immortalize me. Dudes look like fucking bellhops dancing on a Beach. Here's a song (my Spanish is rusty) ""Ivan Archivaldo es
    en lo más bajo" He for sure playing with peckers if that horseshit video is meant to make him look like royalty.

  33. Check reviews on Google Maps. Punta San Jose was known as a sketchy spot years ago. A couple was robbed and had their camper truck shot up 5 years ago at this exact spot.

  34. LE in Spain broke up Sinaloa networking group. Seized 1.8 tons of meth.

  35. Hearst, your research abilities and the way you write up articles that makes them so easy to understand and follow along are Off. The. Charts!!! I am so happy you did this follow up. Thank you.

    Now, to comment. In regards to the cell phone, I had read somewhere that the girl was located because investigators triangulated one of the vic's cell phone like 3 days before I saw the first story about CDS giving up the locations of murderers. But you are absolutely spot on about it conflicting the "good guy" report. Funny thing is I didn't even pick up on it, at first.

    After reading through the comments on here tonite, I tend to agree on that the phone tracking is what led investigators to the girl and "maybe Sinaloa is who shared their location(?). What I don't understand is why the FGE is not charging them with murder. I'm sure they charged them with the meth because of the pressure from AUS and US, but why stop there?? I'd think that neither Australia or the US would sit well with MX stopping at the lesser charges, not the mention the victims families.

    Good call on"paid" journalists giving into propaganda. I think here in the U.S it's because it's all about being the first to break a story. In Mexico, it's probably (likely) influenced by cartels. Isn't it ironic how you, Sol, Char, Socalj, and the others put more effort to post factual stories as volunteers than most, if not paid journalists? I appreciate ALL OF YOU!

    P.S. I'm serious, y'all really need to put a "👍" option for the comments section! 😊

  36. Excellent coverage of what went down. Dam, I was supposed to go fishing in Santo Tomas next month. I had stopped at that tire shop after my tire was flattened going down that rocky ass road.

    1. I believe it is the road and area mentioned in the book God and Mr. Gomez.

  37. Great article HEARST, so much detail, and background context.
    I don't think it's necessarily just one or the other when it comes to the phone being tracked OR them being given up- Police can be as factional as organised crime, some involved with cartel people and some not, so its possible that both are true, and the info reported by seperate sources about the tracked phone came from trickle down, or ramshackle press conferences , or differing info being given by different sources, without anybody covering anything up for the authorities. The men could have been hiding out in a place the girlfriend knew nothing about for example, and been arrested after a tip off once it was leaked she"d been caught.
    Powerful final section, including the naming of the still missing women- things like that need repeating.

  38. Like a record on repeat, nothing good comes with fucking with Americans overseas by organized crime. Puts too big a bullseye 🎯 on their back.

  39. Skin colour who gives a fuck seriously , sheep ?

  40. Mexican manos and their clothes, sheeittt..
    Is this a racist observation Hearst ? Dios me perdone si es

    1. What are you talking about? The only time I mentioned clothing in this story was the quote about clothes in the "house" near the well.

  41. I was in Baja California for the Super Bowl weekend, past rosarito but before Ensenada, we stopped on the side of the road off the coast for some fish tacos , not even a few minutes in a guy opened the passenger door of my friends tahoe so I approached him in English, but then switched to Spanish and he got offended but I basically told him what was he doing opening the doors to the truck , by then the people I was with circled around him and asked him to empty out his pockets , which he did & as that was going down I looked to my left and right to see if he was with anyone, SURE ENOUGH I noticed a Nissan armada with Arizona license plates on stand by. Once it was all said and done the guy goes “you see I didn’t take anything “ but he had this evil/f you stare in his eyes and proceeded to walk away towards that Nissan armada , got in the Nissan as I suspected, the driver then comes close to us and burns rubber picking up dust from the side of the road and take off ! !! Locals told us they look for California and other state license plates to target and if it’s a truck it’s a plus , they use them to dump bodies in and what not from what I was told and also was told cds runs that area ,

    1. Sounds like you were in Primo Tapia or La Misión, don't know about using the stolen trucks for hauling dead bodies, but they sure come in handy on the ranchito..
      You and your buds outnumbered them, or at least were enough guys to make a fuss..
      Every trip south of the border a roll of the dice these days..


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