A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"El Chapito," alleged successor to "El Sillas" for Arellano Félix cartel, captured in Tijuana

Octavio "El Chapito" Leal Hernández has been arrested in Tijuana. Leal was considered to be the successor to Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, also known as "El Sillas," who was arrested in November 2011. It was believed that they reported to Fernando "El Ingeniero" Sánchez Arellano, believed to be the head of the remnants of the Arellano Félix cartel. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

10-year-old killed during shootout in Tijuana

A 10-year-old boy died during a shootout between the occupants of two vehicles in the Infonavit Presidentes neighborhood in Tijuana's Cerro Colorado district Thursday night, El Mexicano reported. Media reported that Steven Rosales Delgadillo was one of several youths gathered near the Jaime Torres Bodet school. Story, El Mexicano. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, Sol de Tijuana. Authorities said the shootout was between small-scale drug traffickers and that Marco Antonio "El Bombero" Salazar Torres, 39, admitted that he had fired the fatal shot.  Also detained, the media said, were Gerardo "El Vaca" Gallegos Saenz, 36; Patricia Rosales Delgadillo, 38; Ana Díaz Llamas, 42; María Margarita Moreno Noriega, 27; Víctor Eduardo Gámez Rico, 29; Diego Alonso Ramírez Valenzuela, 38; and Julio César "El Gato" González Álvarez, 30, reported to be injured when he jumped from a fourth floor to escape capture.
Media also reported that a taxi driver whose taxi was used as a getaway vehicle for criminals who robbed a jewelry store in eastern Tijuana was killed.

Two nephews of "El Mayo" Zambada flown from Tijuana to Mexico City

Two nephews of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and their bodyguards, captured Wednesday with 20 kilos of marijuana on Avenida Revolución in Tijuana, were flown to Mexico City, Frontera reported. Arrested were Omar Ismael Zambada Apodaca, 23; Sergio Rodolfo Cázares Zambada, 28; Raúl Palacios López Portillo, 32; and Cristian Villalpando Castañeda, 28. "El Mayo" is a leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Omar Ismael Zambada Apodaca is the son of Jesús "El Rey Zambada" García, the younger brother of "El Mayo" who was arrested in Mexico City in 2008. Sergio Rodolfo Cazares Zambada is the son of Águeda Zambada García, an older sister of "El Mayo." Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Mayu 1: Nephews placed under 40-day arraigo, or detention without charges. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Kidnapping victim, kidnapper die in vehicle crash following police chase; two other alleged kidnappers survive accident and are arrested

Businesswoman Mayela Cardona Martínez died when the vehicle her alleged kidnappers were transporting her in crashed Thursday in Tijuana. Cardona, in her 40s, owned the Jasso market on Del Soldado street in the Valle Verde neighborhood. She was kidnapped as she was opening her business and driven away in her own vehicle, a Chrysler Town and County with Sonora plates. Police wound up pursuing the vehicle; the driver lost control around La Encantada bridge, Frontera reported. The kidnapper who died was identified only as Martín. Arrested were Adrián Hernández Galván, 23, reported to be the driver, who was injured and taken to a clinic. The other man arrested was Omar Marín Salas, 28, originally from San Luis Río Colorado. He said he was contracted for the job in Mexicali by the dead man. He said he was going to be paid 15,000 pesos ($1,150), and said the woman owed the family of the dead kidnapper money, Frontera reported.
In eastern Tijuana, many owners of small markets in eastern Tijuana have been kidnapped and held in exchange for small ransoms. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Pair arrested in kidnapping of would-be migrant

Two people were arrested in the kidnapping of a would-be migrant after the migrant escaped their custody in Tijuana, Frontera reported. Martha García Navarro, 46, and Faustino Solís Tobias, 41, were arrested in the kidnapping of a man, 38, who had hoped to illegally cross the border into the United States. The man managed to escape from a home in the Terrazas del Valle neighborhood and contacted police. He also called his wife, who told him she had just been called and told she would have to come up $5,000 in order for her husband to be freed. El Sol de Tijuana reported that the wife lives in the United States. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Sol de Tijuana.

Would-be migrants robbed of $5,000 in La Rumorosa, decide to return home to Nayarit

Would-be border crossers from Nayarit state reported that they were robbed of $5,000 and all their identification in La Rumorosa. Cristina and Carlos Ávila said they were to pay $5,000 to cross the border so that they could meet with a relative in Las Vegas, but instead were robbed of that money and more in La Rumorosa. They said that without identification, they were not able to even acquire the funds to return to Nayarit until making it to Rosarito, where officials offered them help. They were to begin their journey home by bus today (Friday). Story, Frontera (PDF).

Another violent day in Mexico

• Six people killed in Guerrero, one dismembered
• Former police chief, another person kidnapped in Zacatecas
• Two killed in Cuernavaca, one of them decapitated
• Bus robbed in Tamaulipas
Stories, Frontera (PDF).



Thursday, April 26, 2012

3 tons of marijuana seized in Puerto Peñasco, but no suspects arrested

The Mexican navy seized three tons of marijuana near the Puerto Peñasco hotel zone in four trailers and a vehicle, but no suspects were arrested, El Mexicano newspaper reported. The military reportedly got a tip about an armed group in the area, but while finding no such group, found the marijuana. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Alleged kidnapping gang presented to media in Monterrey

Authorities presented members of an alleged kidnapping gang in Monterrey. It was the third such group presented in the region in the last week. Nuevo León state authorities said the leader was Francisco "El Abuelo (The Grandfather) Gómez Luna, 59. Authorities also presented:
Claudia Lizeth Loera Sifuentes, 22; Fortunata Narváez Pérez, 27; Víctor Manuel Méndez Gómez, 52; José Ernesto Hernández Lara, 27; Miguel Casarín Aguilar, 23; Evelyn Aidé Luna Castillo, 20; and Denisse Tania Estefanía Gallegos, 20. Authorities said they were detained in García. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

1 of 3 fugitive policemen turns self in

43 police have been dismissed since October and 52 are under internal investigation, official says

One of three fugitive policemen sought in the disapperance of 30 kilos of marijuana turned himself in Monday, Tijuana media reported. The policeman was identified as Isidro Omar Beltrán Cárdenas.
Police official Ricardo Garduño said that from October 2011 to date, 43 police have been dismissed for irregularities; he said only seven police were investigated in 2009. He also said 52 police officers are subjects of internal investigations.
Story, Frontera (PDF).

Police commander kidnapped in Ahome, Sinaloa; 8 killed in Durango

A police commander was kidnapped Monday morning in Ahome, Sinaloa, while eight bodies were found in Durango state. The police commander was identified as Cipriano López Solano.
Found shot to death along a Durango road between Topia and Santiago Papasquiaro 96were Gil Ángel Nevárez Ávalos, 38; Martiniano Israel Díaz, 43; Néstor Arellano Soto, 48;
and Manuel de Jesús Reyes, 49. All were from Garame de Abajo.
Two men shot to death in the Bermejillo community of Mapimí were identified as Édgar Roberto Alvarado Montelongo, 30, and Ignacio Montelongo Cárdenas, 36. They were shot by men traveling in seprate vehicles. In Durango city, Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez González, 27, was shot to death by two men aboard a motorcycle. Meanwhile, José Gerardo Alvarado Hernández, 19, was found strangled along a road in Pueblo Nuevo. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Man held on kidnapping and organized crime charges after businessman for whom $1 million ransom was sought is freed

Ricardo "José" Martínez Meza has been ordered held on kidnapping and organized crime charges in Tijuana after having been in preventive detention known as "arraigo" for more than three weeks. Martínez Meza, 41, originally from Guerrero, is the alleged leader of a gang that kidnapped a 67-year-old businessman March 15 and sought a $1 million ransom for his release. The military freed the businessman and detained four suspects March 23, and detained Martínez Meza on March 24. Four others also were detained. Under arraigo, an organized-crime suspect can be held without charge for 40 days; the 40 days can be extended another 40 days more before formal charges have to be filed.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF).

No violent deaths recorded in Tijuana for week

Fontera's Insecurity Barometer registered no violent deaths in Tijuana for the past week. Three police were arrested, and three others are being sought, in the disappearance of 30 kilos of marijuana from a 650-kilo pot haul from a raid on a house on Tuesday (April 17). The three police found with 30 kilos of drugs in their police vehicle apparently were among 26 drug-possession cases registered in Tijuana during the week. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Story on the police and the 30 kilos of marijuana.
El Mexicano editorial on the police arrests (PDF).