Mica for BorderlandBeat.com 

Previous Chapters 1

Initially, the plan for Chapter 2 was to introduce the restaurant La Leche. But after reading the comments, this audience wants the full unabridged version with a bit of history. Thanks for being patient readers.  

Dinner at La Leche
The kidnapping of Los Chapitos 
in Puerto Vallarta

Chapter 2 | Disco

Puerto Vallarta was once a peaceful holiday destination for cartel members and their families, protected by an unwritten rule prohibiting violence. In 1992, the Cartel de Sinola and Tijuana Cartel, also known as AFO, held a summit in Puerto Vallarta to negotiate and avoid war. However, this meeting is pure fiction and far from the truth.

As a cartel researcher, I was fascinated by this story, but I recently discovered that the truth differed from what I had initially believed. In reality, the Arellano family had visited Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Benjamín’s birthday and escape the heat from PGR and the military, who were under the control of El Mayo and El Chapo. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera was widely regarded as Mexico’s most influential drug lord then.

Benjamín and Eduardo

Before the nightclub shooting, the Arellanos had been in Puerto Vallarta for a week under the protection of General Adolfo Mondragon Aguirre who took Benjamín and his wife to a brand new hotel, which is now Sheraton PV, Ramón stayed at the Fiesta Americana, and Eduardo had a home in the marina where they went fishing several times during the week.

General Adolfo Mondragon Aguirre

General Mondragon’s role in providing intelligence on the Arellano family to their rivals, including Guzman, Zambada, and Salazar, played a crucial part in the infamous ambush that took place in Puerto Vallarta. Guzman, who was known for his strategic mind and cunning tactics, saw an opportunity to eliminate his competition and gain power and control over the drug trade in the region.

Guzman’s decision to ambush the Arellanos in Puerto Vallarta was a bold move that resulted in a decade-long war marked by unprecedented levels of violence. The incident at Christine’s Discotheque, where six people lost their lives, including innocent bystanders, was just one of many violent clashes that occurred during this period.

The mistaking of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo for Guzman would happen 5 months later at the Guadalajara Airport by AFO assassins was another tragic event that occurred during the conflict, highlighting the extent of the violence and chaos that had engulfed the region.

Christine Disco 1992

Christine’s Discotheque was one of the most popular nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta at the time, frequented by wealthy cartel members and tourists. Ramón’s choice to stay at the Fiesta Americana hotel, which was located next to the club, was likely a strategic decision, as it provided him with easy access to the nightclub and its patrons.

On the night of the ambush, Javier and Ramón Arellano were the targets, as Benjamín decided against attending the birthday celebration and stayed at the hotel instead. The attackers, disguised as police officers, stormed the club and opened fire on the guards and the crowd of 300 people. The chaos and confusion that followed resulted in six fatalities, including innocent bystanders.

Javier was abducted by Chapo’s men but was later released, while Ramón managed to escape through the ceiling vent. The entire incident was a testament to Guzman’s cunning and strategic thinking, as well as the intense rivalry and violence that characterized the Mexican drug trade during this period.

The former location of Christine’s Disco

Understanding the history behind the ambush and the broader conflict that ensued provides valuable context for the Chapitos Kidnapping story. As the brothers drove to celebrate Ivan’s birthday, passing by the same iconic building that once housed Christine’s Discotheque, they were likely unaware of the violent history that had taken place there.

The prime location of Christine Disco

The next chapter will focus on the restaurant, and I look forward to delving deeper into this fascinating and complex story. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

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