“Redlogarythm” for Borderland Beat with special thanks to “Huaso” for the tip off

    On July 28th it was announced by the Public Security Secretariat of Hidalgo that during an operation that took part in two different communities of Cuauhtepec de Hinojosa -San Juan Hueyapan and Santa María Nativitas- and in which three houses were raided by elements of the State Public Prosecutor Office, the National Guard, the SEDENA and State police three individuals one of whom was identified by the initials H.A.M.A. During the raid authorities seized drugs, four vehicles -one of them being a Camaro sportive-, 18 tanks with capacity for 200 liters and 3,600 liters of combustible.

The Mustang seized during the operation against Los Cenobios

    Interestingly enough the individual known for the H.A.M.A. initials was identified by the alias of “El Peluche” who, it has been said, happens to be the second in command of Los Cenobios criminal group.

The three individuals captured during the operation, one of the two men-it hasn´t been possible whom- is El Peluche.

    Based in the municipality of Cuauhtepec de Hinojosa, in Hidalgo´s Southeastern region, Los Cenobios organization has been publicized during the last years as one of the area’s most prolific criminal structure. Their portfolio has traditionally been is composed of intensive oil theft operations conducted over the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline but comprises drug retailing too -nothing surprising given the fact that most of the criminal groups operating in Hidalgo are no longer small cells of locals devoted to the depredation of the pipelines but well structured and even better armed conglomerates that buy drugs from bigger groups to sell them locally-.

    Once led by Marín Cenobio Chávez aka El Marino/El Pelón –identified in June 2020 as one of Hidalgo´s top 17 priority objectives and detained in August 2021- the organization was later led by El Marino´s brother Hugo Antonio Cenobio Chávez aka El Aries, who was detained in April 2023 and became famous after his capture was aired during one of AMLO´s “mañaneras”.

Hidalgo´s 17 priority objetives. June 2020. In a red circle, Marín Cenobio Chávez aka El Marino, the leader of Los Cenobios

August 2021. El Marino is captured

Two photos of Abel Cenobio Chávez aka El Arias, brother of El Marino. He too was captured in April 2023

    On June 20th 2022 the head of the SEDENA, Luís Crescencio Sandoval, confirmed during a “mañanera” the capture of Carlos N. aka “El Guille”, another high ranking criminal boss of Los Cenobios.

The mughsot used on the mañanera of June 20th 2022 to publicize the capture of Carlos N aka El Guille, a top Los Cenobios´ boss

    Another blow to the group came last month, on June 16th, when during a massive operation conducted simultaneously in the towns of Guadalupe Victoria, Centro, Santa María Nativitas, Jocoxpa and Texcatepec one of the bosses of Los Cenobios identified by the alias of El Juguete was captured. He was linked to at least 11 homicides in the area. At the time it was said that he was the leader of the group although the Cenobio brothers -El Marino and El Aries- are believed to be directing the group from inside prison.

Individuals captured on the June 16th operation. One of them is El Juguete

Weapons sezied during the June 16th operation against Los Cenobios

    Cuauhtepec de Hinojosa is, after the municipalities of the Valle del Mezquital region of Western Hidalgo, the State ́s most vital point for the oil theft market. Even the former mayor, José Gerardo Olmedo, who vanished from earth in December 2022 and the town ́s current mayor Manuel Fermín Rivera Peralta, are part of the huachicol activities according to internal SEDENA reports.

    The history of the market for stolen oil in the State of Hidalgo is long and complicated and has been researched extensively in an investigative article published by Borderland Beat. What had traditionally been small and locally based groups of entrepreneurs that had worked under the yoke of Los Zetas during the early 2000s gained a notable degree of independence that helped them to establish contacts with other bigger criminal organizations -including major drug trafficking organizations from outer Hidalgo- to whom they started purchasing drugs to be distributed locally and high caliber weapons. The result has been a notable increase in the degree of violence while local and State authorities deny the existence of organized crime operating in Hidalgo, a region which has evolved to be Mexico’s largest market for stolen oil.

Sources: Nmas, La Silla Rota, El Heraldo, La Silla Rota, Sintesis, Vía Libre, Eje Central, Effetá, La Silla Rota, Borderland Beat.