- El Guero Cleofas of CDG to be extradited to the United States
- Tamaulipas: 3 Texans Rescued after being kidnapped in Mexico
- Does Acuna have a serial killer?
- Guerrero: Los Rojos, Los Ardillos and ICDA are now dominant in Guerrero
- Faced With Insecurity, More Autodefensas Begin Arising In Sonora & Morelos
- 3 Sides war for La Paz
- Part 2: Narco Warfare Progression-50 Cal-RPGs-MANPADS
- Southlake lawyer’s sister sent beheading video to El Gato, as vengeance witness says
- Guerrero: Autodefensas Begin Forming To Tackle Organized Crime & Federal Police
Posted: 05 May 2016 02:47 AM PDT
Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso article
Subject Matter: Cleofas Alberto Martinez Gutierrez, El Guero Cleofas
Recommedation: See link to BB reporter Lucio R article on his arrest
Reporter: Patricia Davila
Cleofas Alberto Martinez Gutierrez "El Guero Cleofas", identified as second in command of the group "Los Metros", of the Cartel del Golfo, and detained by the PGR will be extradited to the United States, accused of crimes against health, criminal association and money laundering.
El Guero was arrested on 13th of March in Mexico City and according to investigations carried out by Federal authorities, is considered responsible for highway blockages and confrontations which occurred recently in the cities of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, as one of the command that heads and criminal organization that operates on the Northern frontier of the country.
His detention lowered the violence in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, where Federal forces took down nine alleged sicarios.
On 21st of March, the news outlet Zeta, from Tijuana, published the detention of Cleofas Alberto Martinez Gutierrez, carried out in Mexico City during the early hours of Sunday 13th of March, confirming the hypothesis of North American authorities who assure that there is a presence of the principal criminal organization in the capital of the country.
The alleged narco-trafficker captured is not the leader of the Cartel del Golfo, but he is number 2 in command of a cell called "Los Metros" that operate in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, where hours before the detention, Federal forces carried out operations to trap the leading members of said criminal clan with a total of nine sicarios taken down.
According to the news outlet, in November of 2015, the North American anti drugs agency the DEA, advised that the Cartel del Golfo operates in District Federal in competition against other organizations dedicated to narco trafficking like the Sinaloa Cartel, Knights Templar, Los Zetas, the Beltran Leyva Group, however, the Government of the capital deny it.
The detention was carried out by agents of the Federal Ministerial Police, with the assistance of international agencies and Interpol. The arrest warrant was issued by a Judge of the 14th District in Federal Penal Processes with base in City of Mexico and executed in the "Altiplano" Cefereso located at Almoloya de Juarez, State of Mexico, where said person can be found incarcerated.
On Monday the 14th of March, Renato Salas Heredia, Titular of the National Security Commission, informed of the detention of "El Guero Cleofas", in the hippodrome of City of Mexico. His apprehension unleashed a series of criminal attacks on the Northern frontier.
He said that the lines of investigation of the CNS, indicate with clarity that Martinez Gutierrez is allegedly responsible for coordinating a group of sicarios, kidnappers, and drug dealers in this locality.
The detained, 31 years old, was identified initially as Angel Ivan Martinez Gutierrez, but the authorities could establish his identity, but the authorities were already sure of his identity in "Los Metros", whose principal leader, Juan Carrizales "El 98", was captured a month before.
Original article in Spanish at Proceso
Posted: 04 May 2016 09:20 AM PDT
Lucio R. Borderland Beat Material from Zocalo and Facebook
Three members of a family who were kidnapped on April 13th, were rescued by a joint operation of the Anti - Kidnapping State Coordination (CEA), Tamaulipas Ministerial Police Force and the State of San Luis Potosi .
The Coordination Group Tamaulipas (GCT) reported that the coordinated action, which ended the yesterday, when authorities arrested two of the kidnappers and killed the ringleader, identified as Edgar Ariel Gallegos Gallegos, 45, residing in Ciudad Victoria.
The accomplices arrested were Juan Gabriel Idrogo Perez, 19, and Rucina Guadalupe Cruz Gomez, 27, who remain under investigation. It is presumed they participated in other kidnappings in various parts of the Victoria-Zaragoza-Tampico highway.The Tamaulipas state government said the three Mexican Americans from Dallas, two women and a man, were freed Monday from a criminal group’s camp along a highway near Ciudad Victoria.
The trio told Mexican authorities that they left McAllen on April 13 to attend a funeral in Ciudad Valles, when they were ambushed by gunpoint. The kidnappers demanded a ransom for their release.
When the kidnappers camp in Lazaro Cardenas ijido, in Zaragosa near Victoria was discovered, a shootout commenced which resulted in the killing of the ring leader.
Posted: 04 May 2016 09:03 AM PDT
Posted by DD for Borderland Beat
In the early hours of Sunday, May 1, a taxi driver traveling on the beltway in Acuna saw a woman's body laying in a pool of blood alongside the Beltway. He immediately called the police and when they arrived they found the body of Nidia Karina Maldonato Salazar.
The police reported that she was 24 years old, but various media sources list her age anwhere from 22 to 24. Local reliable sources in Acuna have told BB that she was only 19.
She was dressed in black shorts, pink blouse and black shoes, and had an apparent head wound. that appeared to have have been caused by a heavy blow to the head by a blunt instrument. Because of the pool of blood under and around the head had not dried the police suspected that death had come to the lifeless body very recently.
After cordoning off the scene and collecting the evidence, the body was taken to the Medical Examiners office for autopsy and then turned over to the family for burial.
Family members told police that Nidia had no problems with anyone and they knew of no reason why someone would take her life in this manner. The police said in a press conference that they had begun an investigation, starting with trying to determine her activities in the last hours of her life.
The fact of a dead body found on the street in Mexico is not usually occasion for a big news story. But when you start looking at the number of women who have been murdered in Acuna in the near past, perhaps it should be a big story.
Borderland Beat reported in December in a story, Femicides Sow Fear in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, about 2 women, in separate incidents whose dead bodies were found along the roadside and the people of Acuna were concerned about there being a serial killer on the loose. The police said the killings were unrelated and there was no serial killer on the loose.
Since the first of this year the authorities have recorded 3 femicides and Nidia Karina's death makes the fourth reported by the police. But those same local sources in Acuna question the accuracy of the police report.
The Director of a NGO with it's office in Acuna told BB that she knew of at least 10 women murdered in the city so far this year. One of her sources has close ties to the Mayor's office and considers that source 100.% reliable.
Though social media has not picked up on this in a big way, one comment on FB said "They are going to be like the dead girls in Juarez after awhile".
As regular readers of BB are aware news of violence and cartel activities is extremely difficult to obtain in areas where there is a heavy presence of cartels. This area of Coahuila is controlled by a cartel and is one of the worst in trying to get news of violence even in cases like the murdered women there is no evidence of their involvement in drugs or association with cartels.
Alejandro Hope posted in his newsletter yesterday some possible answers why that may be the case. I highly recommend you read his entire newsletter here, but here a few excerpts that may apply to this situation
"Silent night. As argued here at Silver or Lead a few days ago, some 2000 people were murdered in Mexico in March. That’s broadly equivalent to ten times the number of victims in the Paris terrorist attacks last November. And yet, no seems to care in this country. With a few exceptions violence has simply dropped off the radar of most media outlets.
the government has tried to regulate coverage of the issue by a) reducing the absolute amount of information on crime stories
A large portion of the crime beat is absolutely local in nature. National media outlets (or foreign ones, for that matter) will most likely not interest themselves in local dynamics. And that makes sense: the national press corps should cover national events. But that comes at the cost of not covering some big stories that unfold in the local space.
Case in point: Colima. Homicides in that state have increased by 388% over the past year and its murder rate is now the highest in the country. And yet, from the vantage point of Mexico City, we have absolutely no clue of what is going on."
The sheer number of women murdered in Acuna, the pattern of leaving the bodies beside the road, some of them similarly partially covered by a blanket should be enough to cause authorities to broaden their investigation to include whether all or some were committed by one perpetrator.
We all know that the governments continued denial that there was a serial killer in Juarez resulted in the death of hundreds of women.
Outside of the people in Acuna it seems that "absolutely" no one has a clue what is going on in Acuna. Borderland Beat will continue to shine a light on all the femecides taking place in Acuna and hopefully some of MSM will pick up on it and the publicity will force the police and other governmentagencies to take a serious look and investigate the possibility of serial killer is on the loose in Acuna.
Mexico: 7 Femicides Each Day
In some Mexican states, femicides are 15 times higher than the global average
An impunity rate of more than 95 percent in femicide cases fuels violence against women.
Posted: 04 May 2016 08:35 AM PDT
Lucio R. Borderland Beat sent in by "Daily Reader"
There has been a shift in cartel control of Guerrero. Whereas some groups have spread their territorial ground, at least one has advanced from a small cell to a full-fledged cartel. The shift occurred when Guerrero Unidos, once having a strong hold in key areas, became greatly weakened. G.U. became weakened after the Iguala massacre of 49 presumed dead, including 43 normalistas (students) still unaccounted for. The story went global and public pressure for answers unrelenting. This resulted in the killing and arrests of many G.U. leaders, as G.U. is the cartel pointed at as responsible for the killings. G.U. still has control, albeit tentative, of the much sought after drug hub Iguala. Despite federal and state forces present in Iguala, violence is far from unabated, in fact many of those on the ground report it has only become worse.
As for Cartel Jalisco New Generation, their operational control is primarily along the upper coast, adjacent to Lazaro Cárdenas port and Michoacán. Michoacán is the birthplace of CJNG’s premier leader El Mencho, a territory he sought after, and subsequent to the crumbling of Caballeros Templarios, he now has prominent control of. To read the full story, in Spanish, use this link…..L.R.
From El Sur Guerrero: Los Rojos, Los Ardillos and el Cártel Independiente de Acapulco are now the dominant criminal groups in Acapulco, and Guerrero, according to a report published last Friday in Mexico’s newspaper, EL Universal, “Three Cartels Disputing Control of Acapulco.”
The report was based on investigation of the (federal) Criminal Agency of the attorney general (PGR), Information and Analysis to Combat Crime, dated March 8th.
The document also claims that there are 5 other groups operating in Guerrero; Guerreros Unidos, La Familia Michoacana, Los Granados, La Empresa, and Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG). The report attributes these eight groups to the high episode of violence, and homicide that has erupted in the past couple of years. Guerrero now holds the undesirable title of most violent state in Mexico.
That is the new setting of drug trafficking in Guerrero, and surprisingly, the PGR has reclassified the status of Los Rojos, and Los Ardillos, groups that used to exercise its activities in the area from Chilpancingo to Chilapa de Álvarez, for which in recent years they have fiercely clashed for control.
Even more surprising that the PGR grants to the cartel category, Los Ardillos because of its modus vivendi, belonging to a group that plagued the region of Quechultenango, where they originated, their leaders are the brothers of former PRD local deputy (something on the lines of congressman) Bernardo Ortega Jimenez .
Unlike Los Rojos, created from BLO (Beltran Leyva Brothers) having more leeway state wide, Los Ardillos seemed constrained to their place of origin, but took advantage of the passivity, or complicity, of the authorities, which allowed them the spread out and appear in Acapulco.
This action corresponds to the governments of Ángel Aguirre Rivero and Rogelio Ortega Martínez, whose governments date the migration and mutation of Los Ardillos into a cartel.
But, the PGR report is incomplete. The state prosecutor, Xavier Olea Peláez said in January of this year, that Guerrero now has about 50 operating criminal groups but said that none of them is a large organization but rather "small cells" formed by five or six people.
Also missing in the report in the large group of Cártel de la Sierra. The commander, at the time, of the eighth naval region, (he later became public secretary of the state) released a map
Four years ago, in November 2012, Sergio Lara Montellanos, then commander of the Eighth Naval Region, (who later became secretary of Public Security of the state), released a map of the criminal structure of Guerrero that included gangs in the neighborhoods of Acapulco.
In the premier level, were included Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. On a second level were regional criminal groups, which the Navy called "street gangs or superpandillas" among those listed were La Barredora and its enforcer group, el Comando del Diablo alsoLos Rojos, Los Pelones, La Familia Michoacana and Guerreros Unidos. The Ardillos were not on the list at that level.
On the third level the Navy listed, groups of less than five members.
In a course of four years, there has been a significant change in the criminal structure primarily in Acapulco but also the state. However, among the changes of the Navy map is the striking growth of Los Ardillos, and that regional criminal groups have became a threat of larger scale criminality in the state.
Posted: 03 May 2016 06:59 AM PDT
Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
With the increase of incidents of common crimes and the inaction from officials to fight against insecurity, citizens of Sonora and Morelos are beginning to organize themselves in order to confront criminals.
Members of 11 citizen groups, from eight municipalities of the eastern region, meeting in Yecapixtla, decided to give an ultimatum to the state government to restore security to their families, whose lives have been disrupted with the waves of executions, extortions, robberies, and kidnappings registered in the area.
Since the weekend, they gave the head of the state, Graco Ramírez, 30 days to put a stop to these crimes, which have become constant in the municipalities in the East, according to members of Grupo Relámpago, an organization that the residents of Tetela Del Volcán formed to defend themselves, officially recognized by the authorities.
Failure to improve the security atmosphere, 11 clusters of residents of eight municipalities in the region will rise up in arms to take over the protection of their families, in a similar movement of the autodefensas of Michoacán, in 2013, led by José Manuel Mireles, who is currently in prison.
“We will not hand over a couple of pesos to organized crime; we prefer to use that money to buy weapons,” said one of the group representatives, a kidnap victim, who requested anonymity for security reasons.
He announced that in recent times, the people have been victims of crimes that until recently was not registered, the so-called floor tax, that is, the imposition of quotas to families and merchants so that they won’t be bothered, by the criminal groups.
In the Eastern region, they won’t charge floor tax. Let it be clear: we will defend our children and families by any means necessary…There’s determination in all of the organized groups of the region,” he said.
In addition to extortion, the residents have detected an increase in crimes such as car and cattle theft, at the expense of farmers in the region.
Among the organizations that could join the emergence of autodefensas in Morelos, there are the producers of cecina of Yecapixtla, who have lived through the ravages of crime, said the same source.
With the increase of incidents of common crimes and the inaction from officials to fight against insecurity, citizens of Sonora are beginning to organize themselves in order to take on criminals.
In states like Michoacán and Guerrero, the autodefensa groups emerged to fight federal crimes, such as organized crime and drug trafficking.
In Sonora, these civil groups organized to defend themselves, mainly from gangs and criminals who engage in committing ordinary crimes. They do it, so far, without weapons.
According to official figures, household robberies, extortion, homicides, and injuries have increased in the state.
Insecurity is the main problem facing the newly elected governor, Claudia Pavlovich.
Household robberies soared 129% in the first three months compared with the same period last year.
In February of this year, 243 thefts were reported, while in the same month last year, it was 99.
Posted: 02 May 2016 11:33 AM PDT
Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Zetatijuana BCS Report
Subject Matter: Fight for the plaza of La Paz, BCS
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required
In the last crime map elaborated by authorities both Federal and Military, they confirmed the presence of cells from the Cartels of Sinaloa, Beltran Leyva Organization in a de facto alliance with Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and Los Zetas, and the Arellano Felix Organization, who are all fighting for control of the narco trafficking plaza of La Paz, Comondu and Mulege.
Reporter: Zeta Investigations
Nothing slows the bloody war between criminal cells of the cartels of Sinaloa, Beltran Leyva in a de facto alliance with Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and Los Zetas, and the Cartel Arellano Felix, neither the meetings of the Group for Coordination, nor public safety summits, or triumphal speeches made of the merit or the operations carried out the length and breadth of the State of Baja California Sur.
These criminal organizations, with the backing and protection of Police Chiefs, live in an intestinal fight for control of the narco trafficking plaza, according to declarations made by Melissa Margarita Calderon Ojeda "La China" to SEIDO.
In all the number of violent crimes and intentional homicides has risen to 35 in the first seven months of the administration of Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis, at the last recount.
The spiral of violence has particularly been centered on the city of La Paz, but day by day, it has extended, since 28th of September 2015 to 22nd of April 2016, to Comondu and Mulege, which, provoked the Government of the United States on Friday the 15th of April, for the second consecutive year, to emit an alert to persons travelling to and those that planned to travel to the State.
"The State Department of the Government of the United States advises United States citizens of risk of travel to certain places in Mexico, due to security threats from the organized crime groups in the country. United States citizens have been victims of violent crimes, like homicide, kidnapping, car theft, and robbery on the part of organized criminal groups in various States of the country", read the alert.
On the official website of the State Department of the Government of the United States expound that " this travel advice substitutes the travel alert given out on 19th of January of 2016, in order to actualize the security information, the assessor of public restrictions to personal travel", list the dangerous States for travel:
* Baja California
* Baja California Sur
* Nuevo Leon
* Mexico City
* Quintana Roo
(Otis: that will be a serious problem for holiday makers, at least Quintana Roo and BCS, also surprised that Veracruz is not on the list.)
In the case of BCS, according to the Department of Interior in Mexico, Baja California Sur registered a peak of homicides at the end of October of 2015. Many of those homicides had occurred in La Paz, where they have produced an augmentation of acts of public violence between these rival criminal organizations.
The alert was down played by the Secretary for Tourism, Genaro Ruiz Hernandez, who said he had expressed his disagreement before the Consul of the United States in Tijuana, William A. Ostick in respect of this alert.
From his point of view, Baja California Sur is a quiet region, secure and free to travel to each one of its five Municipalities.
The Crime Map
Notwithstanding the vitriolic argument about the travel alert, in the last crime map elaborated by both Federal and Military authorities, confirm the presence of criminal cells of three drug trafficking Cartels. The most visible chiefs are:
*Jose Guadalupe Rivera Lopez "El Javier" or "El Javy", and the brothers Damian and Eduardo Vilaavicencio Arce, of the Sinaloa Cartel. The former operates in San Jose del Cabo, and the latter in Vizcaino and Guerrero Negro.
*Luis Antonio Montoya Beltran "Don Carlos" or "El Montoya", representing the de facto alliance between the Beltran Leyvas, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and Los Zetas.
*Julio Cordero Duarte "El Julion" on the part of the Cartel Arellano Felix.
In parallel, according to a member of the Group for Coordination of Public Security, they have information on the presence of a group of criminal cells of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, headed by a subject with the nickname "El Noly", though this data has not been corroborated.
The Director of the State Ministerial Police, Bibiano Rigoberto Burgoing Garcia, alleged to be linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, during a week when the violence levels have been intensifying, was authorized to take vacation by the PGJE prosecutor Palemon Alamilla Villeda, who in the middle of a gun battle, suspiciously disappeared from the public scene.
The first attack was registered around 8pm on Friday the 15th of April, when an armed commando chased and attacked with gunfire 3 men in a white Volkswagen Jetta.
The three occupants had been travelling along Calle Independencia, between Jaime Bravo and Jalisco, in the well populated Francisco Villa en La Paz Colonia, and according to preliminary investigations of the PGJE, the sicarios chased their victims aboard a rented automobile, and when they closed with the vehicle, one of them opened fire on the three occupants.
Of the three occupants, two of them ran, the driver and a rear passenger, the front passenger was killed in his seat, the sicarios jumped over the vehicle and chased the two fleeing men, leaving 20 spent 9mm cartridge cases.
According to the PGJE, the victims were identified as Sergio Sanchez Estrada and Jose Alfredo Castro Escobedo, the first was wounded the second died at the time.
According to an investigating agent of the PGJE, the deceased turned out to be an alleged sicario recently recruited by the Sinaloa Cartel, of who, four days earlier, that is to say the 11th of April, was detained in possession of 58 cartridges of 9mm ammunition, when driving on board a green Chevrolet Avalanche.
He was put at the disposition of agents of the Federal Public Ministry of the PGR.
However, as happens in these cases, an Agent of the Federal Public Ministry of the PGR, suspiciously authorized his release, and four days after he was executed.
The second armed attack, was to happen two days after, on the night of the 17th of April: the narco trafficker Samuel Beltran Garcia "El Sammy" or "El Teco" had gone into an Oxxo convenience store with his wife in the Paraiso del Sol Colonia, in the south of La Paz.
The sicarios were travelling on board a white rented automobile, and as observed, attacked the victim, killing him in the main doorway of the establishment.
In the middle of this bloody war, during a reconnaissance of the Serrana zone of Comondu, the Mexican Army reported the discovery of eight plantations of marijuana at a point known as Las Minitas.
Elements of the 17th Regiment of Motorized Cavalry moved into this zone after reports of armed people and location of the plantation, of which there 37,000 plants, in a total of 5760 square meters, which were later cut down and incinerated.
Another Security Alert
Because of the problems of insecurity that have presented themselves recently in Baja California Sur, in particular La Paz, the State Department of the United States gave out a new alert for visitors to the various municipalities of the State; mentioning two of the principal tourist destinations of the State, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas in Los Cabos, stressing that the capital had maintained the violence provoked by criminal groups headed by cells of organized crime.
They refer as well that, since October of 2015, La Paz had been counted in the highest indices of violence, for the American Union to recommend that visitors take maximum care. The Mayor of La Paz, Armando Martinez Vega, lamented the new alert given out on Friday the 15th of April.
"It is a complicated issue, we have made the effort to give a personalized attention to Cruise Ship lines that have been coming, with good relations, we have been with the Ambassadors, the Consuls, attending to them directly, and are abiding with their suggestions".
"But lamentably this is out of our hands, we are planning a strategy with the Governor, and today La Paz is waking up", mentioned the Municipal President, he then recognized that unfortunately this weekend there were two violent acts that continue to affect the security of the city, he remains confident in the arrival of the Police Mando Unico, that in his perception, will give respite to the citizens in questions of security, as the current strategy had failed at the moment to keep the peace.
Martinez has respect for the Group for Coordination of the State that is presided over by the Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis, " with the agreement that was signed to bring in the Mando Unico, we have been following the strategy advised to us, we have been reinforcing each sector, we are moving forward, unfortunately its a complicated topic but as Municipal Government we will be following strategies that the State Government advises us to.
Already there is one sector, sector 2, that operates under this Federal disposition. However, these are not the only problems they are presented, recently armed attacks have soared, which concerns the citizenry.
On the morning of Monday the 18th of April they registered an assault on a person who was about to deposit $200,000 in a bank, those responsible fled on a motorcycle. Talking about the subject of the theft, according to official data issued by the PGJE, in almost 15 days of the month of April, they reported 31 vehicle robberies in La Paz, in the same time frame, in January there were 43, in February 82, and in March 51 reports of the same crime, that adds to 207 from the start of the year until 15th of April which gives an average of two vehicles robbed per day.
"We have been doubling our efforts with what we have, today we are aiming to support SUBSEMUN which is now FORTASEG, which cannot full deploy, last year half were deployed by default, today were are asking for a full deployments, to have better units, better equipment and join the State strategy", said the Mayor of La Paz.
In a similar manner, Lorena Hinojosa Olivas, President of the Camara Nacional de la Industria de Restaurantes y Alimentos Condimentados of La Paz, lamented what these alerts represented, already they are principally affecting the economy.
"Its lamentable that they issued these alerts, above all because its our principal market, North American tourism is our principal market, speaking of divisions, that they do not desire any of these alerts, we understand, that in the case of the United States authorities, they have obligations to issue alerts to their citizens, but we here in Baja California Sur will enjoy our moment of tranquility in inverted commas".
He remembers those facts have reached some businessman, especially in Los Cabos, who have asked him to turn a deaf ear towards the current situation in the capital, since events have decreased in large proportion, but to date still continues, they have suggested that we need to act before it becomes unstoppable.
"We don't want, for any reason, to be a State like many in Mexico, where the criminal organizations charge piso de cobro to businessman and we are talking mainly of the restaurant sector, extortion's, kidnappings, which are already well known here in the southern part of our State, this is a focus of attention, when they should be saying La Paz is in permanent peace, but there are crime hot spots and they have to be attended to, warned the restauranteurs representative.
Original article in Spanish at Zetatijuana
Posted: 02 May 2016 06:36 AM PDT
Lucio R. Borderland Beat Republished from Small Wars Journal
Yesterday we published a post of an overview and links to background information supporting this article. Read that post by using this link...
Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #28: Redeye MANPADS Seized from La Linea in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua
by Robert Bunker
Key information: “Tigers, weapons, and cars seized from La Linea in Chihuahua.” Borderland Beat. Friday 22 April 2016, http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/04/tigers-weapons-and-cars-seized-to-la.html. *Translation of La Opción de Chihuahua article by Texcoco De Mora:
Wounded criminals, criminals killed by police, six detainees, powerful missile launchers, Barret rifles, thousands of bullets, more than 20 stolen vehicles, drugs, tactical gear, cash and exotic animals were seized by the General Office of Chihuahua during an operation in several points of the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes.
Under the operation “For The Safety Of Casas Grandes” agents of the Attorney General seized powerful weapons such as rocket launchers, Barret rifles, over a thousand 300 cartridges, lots of tactical equipment, vehicles reported as stolen including modern sports cars, drugs and exotic animals, in addition to the arrest of six subjects, a cell belonging to organized crime…
Who: La Linea cartel operating in Chihuahua state, Mexico.
What: A Redeye MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System)
in the possession of armed personnel belonging to La Linea. This system is part of a much larger group of weapons, ammunition, personnel protective equipment, and vehicles seized from a cell belonging to this cartel between 15 and 19 April 2016. Included in these seizures were assault rifles (Romanian 7.62 x 39), a machine gun (Browning .30 Cal), and a 50-caliber Barrett rifle (M107A1). This operation was conducted by militarized police belonging to the Fiscalía General del Estado (State Attorney General’s Office).
When: Saturday 16 April 2016.
Where: Recovered inside a stolen Blue GMC Yukon XL 2005 parked on the street outside some apartments by Jesus Urueta and Mata Ortiz streets, in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Why: The seizure was a component of the operation “For the Safety of Casas Grandes” (“Casas Grandes Seguro”) being conducted by the State Attorney General’s Office (Fiscalía General del Estado) against La Linea cartel.
Analysis: This cell appears to be an element of the larger Grupo Bravo de NCDJ (Nuevo Cártel de Juárez). While no NCDJ logos were evident in the state police photos released, the seizure of the tigers—common NCDJ mascots—at the safe house at 4610 Plan Alemán street on Tuesday 19 April 2016 suggest a direct link. Further, this cartel enforcer unit commonly wears death imagery such as a skull bandana worn over the face. One of the operatives seized in the operation in a released photo is seen wearing a Santa Muerte pendant that is indicative of NCDJ death imagery/dark spirituality.
The fact that La Linea/NCDJ has in its possession a MANPADS—even an older Redeye system from the late 1960s—is cause for much concern. Until this time, no visual conformation has existed that the Mexican cartels actually possessed a MANPADS unit. While an older Soviet MANPADS—likely an SA-7— was recovered on a local beach in Playa Bagdad in Matamoros, Tamaulipas in May 2009, it was not physically in the possession of a local cartel such as Cartel del Golfo or their Los Zetas enforcers. Further, a photo of it has never been released. The Redeye system with its infrared red (IR) targeting and high explosive warhead is capable of shooting down Mexican military and federal police helicopters. It has an engagement range from about .5 km out to 2.7 km. This is the same system the U.S. initially provided fifty of to the Mujahideen in 1984 to be used against the Soviets during their invasion of Afghanistan. If more of these MANPADS, or even newer ones, should begin to show up in Mexican cartel arsenals, federal and military helicopters would be under increasing threat of destruction. Already, in May 2011, La Familia cartel in Michoacán engaged and damaged both federal police and military helicopters with .50 Cal Barrett rifles in two separate incidents. Later, in May 2015, the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) engaged two Mexican military helicopters with Russian rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs)—shooting one down.
With the addition of MANPADS, a cartel commando unit could create interlocking levels of anti-helicopter air defenses derived from small arms and Barrett rifles linked to RPGs and then to MANPADS at increasing stand-off distances. The emergence of such a non-state opposing force (OPFOR) air defense system has long been a concern of my associate David Kuhn—a stand-off weapons expert—as it related to Terrorism Early Warning (TEW) group planning in the early 2000s, concerning terrorism potentials in the United States. The fact that the beginnings of such air defenses could now be established by some of the Mexican cartel commandos is significant and must be given serious consideration by Mexican federal authorities.
Significance: Anti-Helicopter, Cartel Weaponry, La Linea, MANPADS
 Robert Bunker, Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #14: Anti-Aircraft Mounted .50 cal. Machine Gun and Surface-to-Air Missile Recovered in 2009 (Archival). Small Wars Journal. 27 September 2012,
 Robert Bunker and Jacob Westerberg, “Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #19: Sniper Rifle Use in Mexico.” Small Wars Journal. 16 July 2013, http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/mexican-cartel-tactical-note-19-sniper-rifle-use-in-mexico.
 Joshua Phillip, “Mexico Police Unprepared for New Military Tactics From Cartels.” Epoch Times. 6 May 2015, http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1348151-mexican-drug-war-reaches-new-level-as-cartels-turn-to-military-style-attacks/.
 For an interview I provided discussing Mexican cartel acquisition and likely use patterns concerning surface-to-air missiles (SAMs)/MANPADS, see Chivis Martinez, “The Changing Mexican Drug War Brings New Challenges.” Borderland Beat. Sunday 23 December 2012,http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2012/12/the-changing-mexican-drug-war-brings_23.html?m=1.
Posted: 01 May 2016 11:11 PM PDT
El Gato, the cartel boss who ordered a hit on a Southlake cartel lawyer in 2013 later received a video of one of his relatives being beheaded, according to testimony in federal court Friday.
Rodolfo Villareal Hernandez, a Beltran Leyva cartel “plaza boss” known as El Gato, received the video from the lawyer’s sister, said Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Campano, one of the men accused of stalking the lawyer before he was killed at Southlake Town Square.
Ledezma-Campano, who pleaded guilty to interstate stalking earlier this year, testified for a total of about six hours in Fort Worth federal court Thursday and Friday.
His father, Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, and his uncle, Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes, are on trial this week for their involvement in the death of Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa.
All three men were indicted in 2014 on charges of interstate stalking and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. Prosecutors said this week that the men used GPS trackers and rented an apartment in Grapevine to find Guerrero, watching him closely until his death.
Ledezma-Campano’s testimony for the last two days — given in exchange for prosecutors dropping the conspiracy charge — revealed the background, buildup and aftermath of the plan to kill Guerrero.
El Gato vs. Guerrero.
El Gato wanted to find and kill Guerrero because he believed Guerrero was responsible for the death of his father, Ledezma-Campano said.
But the defendant described the vendetta as a boiling point, not an isolated incident.
The two men and their families had feuded for years, Ledezma-Campano said, going back to their small hometown of China, Mexico, near the U.S. border. El Gato referred to Guerrero only by a derogatory nickname and demanded that others to do the same.
When El Gato received the beheading video after Guerrero’s death, it only made him madder, Ledezma-Campano said.
After that, Gato had Ledezma Cepeda try to find Guerrero Chapa’s relatives living in the U.S., according to the son.
Guerrero Chapa’s sister, Dariela Chapa, is listed as a possible defense witness in the case. Her whereabouts were not disclosed Friday.
As recently as Feb. 23, Guerrero Chapa’s brother-in-law was found shot
to death in Monterrey, Mexico.
Contact information for the dead man, Moises Tijerina De La Garza, was found in
Ledezma Cepeda’s emails, court records show.
Beltran Leyva ties
Ledezma-Cepeda, according to his son’s testimony, had a working and personal relationship with the Beltran Leyva cartel.
He was close friends with one of its founders and knew El Gato through his work as a private investigator in Monterrey, Mexico.
When El Gato thought a local police chief was a “snitch,” he instructed Ledezma-Cepeda and Ledezma-Campano to place a GPS tracker on the chief’s car, the son said. The chief was later killed.
In Guerrero’s case, El Gato received the “green light” from a higher-up Beltran Leyva leader before the search began, Ledezma-Campano said.
Ledezma-Campano delved deeper into how the lines between law enforcement and cartels are often blurred in Mexico.
El Gato, Ledezma-Campano said, was a former federal police officer before becoming a “man of trust” for a Beltran Leyva leader.
El Gato’s former partner, a man Ledezma-Campano knew only as Pelon, helped in the search for Guerrero. And both Ledezma-Campano and his father had been employed by Mexican police departments.
Ledezma-Campano also revealed that his father was a leader in the Grupo Rudo, or Rude Group, which served as an alliance between Monterrey-area law enforcement and the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Ledezma-Campano described Mexican police as “cartels with a badge.”
Clorox and Captain
Ledezma-Campano revealed more about the men suspected of shooting Guerrero at Southlake Town Square: Clorox and Captain.
The hit men, Ledezma-Campano said, are El Gato’s bodyguards. They returned to Mexico after the killing, he said.
In 2013, they were staying in the Fort Worth area and had GPS trackers of their own, working separately from Ledezma-Campano and his father.
They pulled up behind Guerrero’s Range Rover in a white Toyota Sequoia. One of them got out and fired a handgun several times through the passenger seat window, killing Guerrero, authorities have said.
During cross-examination Friday, Ledezma-Campano told defense attorney Wes Ball that Clorox got his nickname because he “cleaned everything with bleach” after doing jobs for El Gato.
“I don’t know if that’s an endorsement or not,” Ball said.
Shopping trip arrest
Ledezma-Campano and Ledezma-Cepeda were arrested at the U.S. border in September 2014.
Both men had gone back and forth across the border before, as test runs, so they weren’t concerned as they drove from Monterrey to Texas to buy diapers and baby clothes for Ledezma-Campano’s newborn child.
They reached the Anzalduas International Bridge and pulled up to the border crossing, Ledezma-Campano said.
A police officer told Ledezma-Cepeda there was an issue with his visa, and then took him to an office for questioning. Ledezma-Campano stood outside the office and smoked a cigarette. When he went inside to check on his father, an officer handcuffed him, too.
Cepeda-Cortes was soon arrested at his home in nearby Edinburg.
Posted: 01 May 2016 05:00 PM PDT
By: Ángel Galeana | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
The mayors of San Miguel Totolapan and Copalillo warned that the residents of their municipalities have begun to organize themselves in order to create autodefensa and community police groups with the intent to tackle organized crime, and the federal police.
Interviewed separately on the premises of Casa Guerrero, they reported that the residents of their municipalities are creating civilian police forces, as has happened in other municipalities in the state, although for different purposes.
The PRD mayor of San Miguel Totolapan, Juan Mendoza Acosta, said that residents of the municipal capital have begun meetings to create autodefensa groups “against the federal police” because the people are outraged by their actions, and he said that he will participate, bearing a weapon.
—“Is there a possibility of creating an autodefensa group in your municipality?”-He was asked.
—“Of course there is, look, the people are outraged, they’re outraged with the federal police, which is in charge of the Department of Public Safety in the municipality, the truth is, they’re not doing their role as they should, the people are outraged with them, and they are the first ones who are going to arm themselves against them,” he said.
He also added that federal police detain people with arrest warrants, but then they free them “and the people are against that, and they have a reason to, I am supporting the citizens, the truth is, I agree that this needs to be eliminated.”
—Are you going to arm yourself?
—Of course, I will support the citizens, we are tired of it…I won’t lead them, but I am with them.
Mendoza Acosta called on authorities to “make sense” of San Miguel Totolapan, because it’s a “red flag” not only in the state, but in the country.
He acknowledged that there are soldiers and federal and state police permanently but their actions are “ineffective because of the halcón network that exists in the municipality.”
“Criminals have their halcónes, and the truth is, they mock the law…we need to eradicate the halconeo in order to move forward on the issue of crime,” he said.
He noted that those who are engaged in the activity of sending information about the operations of security forces to criminal groups are “running on full power”, and for them, the security strategies implemented by the three levels of government are a “joke”.
Questioned about the two teachers from the primary school Vicente Guerrero, in the community of Valle Luz who were kidnapped on April 11th, he said that he doesn’t know the motives or the kidnappers. “San Miguel Totolapan is the border of two criminal gangs, which I don’t know the names of and they are in dispute of lands, and the truth is I don’t know who they were.”
He acknowledged that in his municipality, teaching has been affected by these criminal groups, and dozens of schools, especially those that are located along the mountainous area, have had to suspend their classes. “They have it teaching hard, I think it is the economic issue, these criminals work for money, and they are only happy that way.”
Moreover, the mayor of Copalillo, Getulio Ramírez Chino, who on March 22nd suffered an attack where two municipal police officers in charge of his security died, said that around 80 residents of the 22 communities of his municipality are organizing themselves to create community police groups, but without weapons.
He said that the communities have always been guarded by their own police force, but this time, they are starting to make it in a formal way. He detailed who they have already been given uniforms and boots, but no weapons, which he considers a danger since they won’t have the possibility of defending themselves from an organized crime group.
He exemplified that in the community of Tlalcozotitlán, residents have set up a security checkpoint that serves to prevent crime in the area.
He said that after the attack that he suffered on March 22, he no longer feels safe in Copalillo, because it borders with four municipalities “and we don’t know where the blow will come from.”
He said that one of the most dangerous roads is the one that connects Copalillo with Puebla, for which he has asked the authorities to install a security module, but have not heeded his call.
“I think that bad people circulate through there, because the road is alone, if you go in the night, you won’t see a single car, I have always insisted that a security module be place in the limits of Guerrero with Puebla, but nothing was put,” he reproached.
Source: Bajo Palabra