“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

On the second day of testimony against Genaro Garcia Luna, “El Grande” testified about the war between the Beltrán Leyvas and the Chapo/Mayo faction of the Sinaloa Cartel starting in 2008. He also spoke of the operation to kidnap Garcia Luna.

The Kidnapping of Garcia Luna  

After the split between the BLO and Sinaloa Cartel, the two factions began a bloody war. Shortly after the arrest of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva “El Mochomo”, his brother Arturo Beltrán Leyva suspected Luna of working with Mayo, Chapo, El Azul, and Nacho. So, kidnapped García Luna to prove “nothing is impossible.” “García Luna had stopped answering Arturo’s calls, even those made through Luis Cárdenas Palomino, his right arm within the Ministry of Public Security,” said “El Grande”
“El Grande” was put in charge of the plan to intercept Luna’s convoy. Arturo specified that he wanted zero bloodshed. A checkpoint was set up of around 10 armored vehicles with “El Grande” stepping into the middle of the road as Luna’s armed escort of around 27 agents came into the area in order to show that their intent was not to attack the official. “They picked him up on a highway in the state of Morelos that goes to Cocoyoc and took him to an office (safe house) to see Arturo,” said Villareal Barragán. Luna’s escorts were stripped of their weapons and blindfolded for 4 hours. Luna was asked by Arturo who he sided with in the war.

He was then released. Arturo kept bribing him with $1 million monthly payments.

Arturo Recorded Meetings with Mexican Officials

The cross-examination of “El Grande” ended with him revealing that Arturo Beltrán Leyva often made recordings of his meetings with corrupt officials, including “some” with García Luna. But the US government doesn’t have these tapes. “That’s what Arturo said, I know there were tapes but I never had them in my possession…I never stored them myself.”

He also testified about the various arsenal that the cartel had in their possession. There were AK-47s (some gold-plated), AR-15s, and grenade launchers. Some weapons were marked “Property of the US Government.” They also had bazookas or “some sort of missiles, but these were Russian-made or came from other countries.” Among other supplies that the Sinaloa Cartel would have acquired thanks to García Luna were surveillance cameras, phone call inhibitors, and wiretapping equipment.

Record 20 Ton Cocaine Seizure was Faked

“El Grande” referred to a setup in which the authorities had allegedly intercepted 20 [26] tons of cocaine in the Port of Manzanillo and which belonged to Arturo Beltrán Leyva. However, the cocaine was a mixture of sugar, flour, acetone, ether, and anise to make it shine. Police and marines discovered the drugs in 2007 in a cargo container aboard the Hong Kong-flagged ship Esmeralda, which sailed from Buenaventura, Colombia. Initially, they stated that 12 tons were discovered, but an additional 14 were found a total of 26 tons of “cocaine.”

Cocaine was found in more than 21,000 packages and authorities were still searching for more drugs.

Mexico’s government called it the largest drug seizure in the country’s history. Now, we know that it was either completely faked or inflated numbers due to the fake cocaine.

Truce Between Los Zetas & Sinaloa Didn’t Include “El Chapo”

A truce meeting between cartel leaders in 2006 was described. The leaders of Los Zetas were present, along with the Sinaloa Cartel bosses, with one notable exclusion, El Chapo. The leaders split up the territory. “We reduced crime…everything was calm,” stated Grande. But that truce lasted less than a year.
Grande testified that he tried to kill the later Los Zetas leader “Z-40” Miguel Treviño Morales, who he believed was responsible for the kidnapping of his brother and murdering his brother-in-law. “The truth is, I didn’t like him,” Grande said. He hunted him for years, searching “every day, not just weekends.”

Tirso Martinez’ Testimony a “Waste of Time”

The next cooperating witness against Genaro García Luna is Tirso Martinez Sanchez “El Futbolista.” Tirso was also a witness against El Chapo, testifying about a cocaine route to the US that used railroad train cars. He claims that he smuggled 50-60 tons worth up to $1 billion. Tirso spoke for almost an hour and a half about how he moved cocaine on trains from Mexico City to Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, but everything would have happened between 1997 and 2001, that is, in a period unrelated to that of García Luna.

Tirso Martinez pioneered smuggling cocaine by rail into the US.

The prosecution told the judge that in the early 2000s Tirso’s boss offered to introduce him to García Luna as someone friendly with the cartel, but it is unclear whether that meeting ever actually happened.

Tirso was asked by the prosecution about his history of alcohol and cocaine use. His story on why he quit drugs for a time around the year 2000: “There was one time at the cockfight arena when I got really drunk and started kissing a friend of mine’s wife.”

Tirso was nicknamed “El Futbolista.” as he owned several soccer teams in Mexico. They included: 
Los Venados de Yucatan was bought for around $600-700,000. La Piedad was bought for $2.2 million and sold in 2004 for $10 million. The Mexican soccer federation bought him out completely in 2006 for $10 million after discovering his identity as a trafficker.
Tirso testified in “El Chapo’s” trial but is being restricted in his testimony here.
Judge Cogan has granted the defense motion to block some of the testimony by prosecution witness Tirso Martínez against García Luna, calling it “a sideshow and waste of time.” “The Court is not going to allow the jury to hear what amounts to a rumor of defendant’s guilt” the Judge stated.

Sources Keegan Hamilton, Proceso, La Silla Rota, ProcesoDeseret