By “itzli” and “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat

Following a shooting at a Celaya barber shop, photos show a narco message allegedly left by the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) that references a rival criminal leader who was assumed to out of picture until now. 

Police responded to reports of gunfire at a barber shop in the San Miguel neighborhood of Celaya, Guanajuato around 3 p.m. on January 4th. When they arrived they found that the gunmen had fired at two young men who were injured inside. One of them died, but the other survived. 

Locals did not see the attackers, but rushed over to find the injured men after they heard gunfire. Police found pistol casings on the floor inside, which may suggest the attackers arrived and fled on motorbikes.

The gunmen left a narco message signed by the CJNG Grupo Elite faction on the floor at the scene. The CJNG Grupo Elite are the CJNG’s main force in the state of Guanajuato, lead by Ricardo Ruiz Velasco, alias “El RR”. The content and structure of the message fits with others left by this criminal cell.

The message reads as follows:

This happened for supporting that bitch Mamey, and will keep on happening to all those who support those filthy ones, Celaya and all of Guanajuato belong to Senor Mencho.


A Duplicate Messages
A nearly identical message was left by the CJNG after a similar attack exactly one month before. In that event, gunmen charged into an upholstery shop in Celaya, Guanajuato on December 3, 2022, killing three men and leaving the message, as reported by Borderland Beat.

Another such message was left a the scene of a killing taking place in Celaya December 7, as shown in a video posted by Info Roja Mx on Twitter.
The Guanajuato Context

Guanajuato is Mexico’s most violent state by a large margin, with 2,984 homicides according to the most recent government crime data for 2022. Once a peaceful state, it was propelled to the top of Mexico’s murder count list due to an ongoing war between the CJNG, and the Cártel de Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRL). These two groups, bolstered by alliances with other groups, fight for control of the states drug dealing market and fuel theft, said local security expert David Saucedo to Borderland Beat.

Who is “Mamey”?

With at least two messages in about a month referencing “Mamey”, it can be reasonably assumed that he and his followers are becoming a focal point of CJNG/Grupo Elite killings in and around the Celaya, Guanajuato area; all available evidence points to “Mamey” being a notable Cártel de Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRL, Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel) member who first came to many people’s attention in February 2020, when he appeared on a CJNG Grupo Elite banner offering a reward of 100 thousand pesos for him, as well as five other individuals, as reported by Borderland Beat, 80 of which were hung across 28 municipalities, as part of “RR” campaign against CSRL.

A few months later, in July 20202, “El Mamey” was arrested, as reported by Borderland Beat and was described as head of the Celaya plaza. However, the importance of “El Mamey”, whose real name is either Emmanuel or José Guadalupe, may have been greater than being a head of plaza implies as reports at the time of his arrest vary, with some describing him as an operator for the CSRL and others going as far as naming him as the right hand man of José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, alias “El Marro”, who was the leader of CSRL at the time.

Following his arrest, “El Mamey” was handed over to the Fiscalía General de la República (FGR, Prosecutor General of the Mexican federal government). On August 31, 2022 it was reported that a federal judge had ordered his release and Mario Arturo Coello Muñoz de Cote, president of Coparmex, predicted that there would be an increase in violence because of this.

It is also worth noting that two weeks prior to this report, Guillermo Mendoza Suárez, the son of Celaya mayor Javier Mendoza Márquez, was killed in an armed attack, as reported by Borderland Beat, an event that CJNG Grupo Elite would go on to deny connection to, also reported by Borderland Beat

Around that time a threatening audio message spread online justifying the killing and we are actively trying to find a copy again as it can be readily assumed that the the killing of “El Pirri”, as Guillermo Mendoza Suárez was known by, was ultimately linked to “El Mamey”.

Furthermore, the saga of CSRL member turned enemy Zermeño, who was killed in November 2022, as reported by Borderland Beat, and other incidents in and around the Celaya area since August may be looked at through the lens of the release of “El Mamey” from prison, as the return to power of older members of the CSRL is likely to cause changes and conflicts with individuals whose power has increased in their absence.

Sources: AM Noticias, December Security Update, Interview with security expert David Saucedo (@David_Saucedo_ Twitter La Opinion, 90 Grados, Zona Franca