“Char” for Borderland Beat
This article was translated and reposted from RIODOCE
The name of Mario Alberto Lugo Lara, known as Mario Calabazas, does not appear in the DEA or FBI files, nor among the federal government’s priority targets, but he did appear on flyers distributed in Mocorito and Guamúchil last Thursday, in which he is accused of “treason”.
“Mario Calabazas your whole family is suffering because of you! You already did so much damage to the population! We are not going to stop! We are coming for you! Traitor rat,” reads one of the flyers thrown on the streets of Mocorito and Guamúchil, after confrontations, burning of vehicles and homes, including at least two owned by Lugo Lara, were reported in the San José de las Delicias syndicate, municipality of Sinaloa, which forced the displacement of at least 300 people.
These flyers were allegedly distributed by the Beltrán Leyva clan, led by Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, El Chapo Isidro, and to which Mario Calabazas belonged, at least until 2022, according to internal Sedena documents.
In addition to shooting and burning the homes of Lugo Lara and other residents of San José de las Delicias on July 28 and 30, it is known that Chapo Isidro also kidnapped relatives of Mario Calabazas, but this information has not been confirmed by any authority.
Thus, from being collaborators, Chapo Isidro and Mario Calabazas became enemies, and the former is currently hunting the latter, who has reportedly fled to the mountains to save his life.
A Sedena document, dated August 2016, titled “Executive Agenda III RM”, hacked by the Guacamaya collective, indicates that Lugo Lara, also nicknamed L, is part of the Beltrán Leyva’s organizational chart, and had under his command the control in the municipality of Sinaloa. Another 2020 document, in which he is already nicknamed Mario Calabazas, places him as an operator in the municipalities of El Fuerte and Guasave, but several sources consulted indicate that Los Calabazas operate in Guasave and Sinaloa municipality.
Los Calabazas are an armed wing of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, which until 2009 was part of the Guzmán Loera-Zambada García organization. The break between the two criminal organizations occurred after the arrest of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, El Mochomo, in Culiacán, in an operation that was considered a betrayal by Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán. The following year Arturo Beltrán Leyva, El Barbas, was murdered in Cuernavaca, Morelos, weakening the cartel founded by him and his brother.
After the fall of both leaders, Chapo Isidro took over the leadership of the Beltrán Leyva, and subsequently founded the Guasave Cartel, and one of its armed arms was Los Calabazas, which was commanded by Carlos Jesús and/or Jesús Carlos Carlos Salmón Higuera, el Macaco, who was found murdered on September 2, 2018 in the Estación Naranjo syndicate, after having escaped from the Aguaruto prison on July 22 of that same year.
El Macaco was arrested for the ambush he organized and executed along with Juan Pablo Osuna, El Cien, on July 9, 2012 in the town of Tetamboca, El Fuerte, in retaliation for the fight against the “Mazatlecos,” a group of drug dealers and enforcers of the Sinaloa Cartel. Six policemen were killed and a commander and four other elements were wounded.
After the death of Macaco, Mario Calabazas took over the leadership of the armed wing of Los Calabazas in the mountainous area of the municipality of Sinaloa, from the town of the same name to Estación Naranjo, in Guasave.
Los Calabazas’ mission was to confront rival groups of the Guasave Cartel and they also participated in several ambushes, such as the one that took place on March 13, 2011, in a funeral home in Guamúchil, where five people who were attending a wake were killed. Some of them were relatives of Macaco.