Before dawn on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 a banner was hung on a pedestrian bridge in the small town of Loma de Juárez, just south of the city of Colima.

The banner was reportedly removed by police authorities and handed over to the Ministerio Público, apparently soon after it was hung. 

While local media has refrained from posting images of the message or, in the case of Colima Noticias, posted a blurred out version, an uncensored copy is being shared on Twitter and various blogs.

The Message

Your motto: remember that everyone floats. Commander J.C.I.C., this is a message directed to you. Mr. RR wants you to reintegrate back to the clash group. Kindly make an appearance on the 7th of February 2023 at the location where you killed the two from the PGR. So think about it. We do not want to expose you and for everyone to find out what you did with the CJNG. Everyone floats. If not, people will find out that you were the one who cleaned Colima of the fucking mescales. Just like in Celaya, Guanajuato, where you participated with Grupo D.F.E. Elite of RR

As translated by Morogris

Itzli’s Analysis

The handwritten banner claims to be a message coming from “Señor RR”, the alias of Ricardo Ruiz Velasco,a high ranking member of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG, New Generation Jalisco Cartel), also known as “Doble R” and “El Tripas”, who is reported to lead CJNG operations in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Aguascalientes, and San Luis Potosí from Ixtlahuacán del Río, Jalisco, directed to “Comandante J.C.I.C.”.

The exact identity of “Comandante J.C.I.C.” is left purposely unclear. It can be readily assumed that J.C.I.C. are the initials of his full name and, apparently, he is a former member of a “grupo de choque”, literally “clash group” which can be identified in terms of a strike team or task force within law enforcement, often used to suppress organized protests.

In the message it is alleged that J.C.I.C. is a corrupt law enforcement agent who previously worked in Celaya, Guanajuato and aided Grupo Elite, a wing of the CJNG that, under the leadership of “RR”, has waged a bloody war against the the Cártel de Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRL, Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel) in and around the city of Celaya.

Furthermore, J.C.I.C. is said to have been involved in the fighting between the CJNG and Los Mezcales (misspelled “mescales” in the message), a CJNG group in Colima that broke away under the leadership of José Bernabé “La Vaca” Brizuela Meraz.

At the very beginning, it is pointed out that the motto of J.C.I.C. is “todos flotan” and this phrase is repeated again, this time underlined, as part of a threat to expose everything he did with the CJNG. “Todos flotan” appears to reference the dialogue of the character Pennywise from the movie IT, in which he states “they all float down here”.

The very heart of the message is a polite threat asking J.C.I.C. to show up on February 7, 2023 at “the location where you killed the two from the PGR”. It is unclear what exactly this is referencing as I have been unable to find an incident in which two agents of the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) were killed in Colima. The closest found were a murder-suicide by a PGR agent against his wife in September 2015 and the kidnapping and subsequent release of two PGR agents in January 2019.

Outside of Colima, it is possible that the reference to the killing of PGR agents actually took place in Campuzano, Guanajuato, in  March 2021. At that time three members of the Federal Ministerial Police (Part of the Fiscalía General de la República (FGR), which took the place of the PGR beginning December 20, 2018), were found dead in a van, with a message written on the windshield attributing the killing because they were extortionists.

It is also possible that J.C.I.C. is being called to meet in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, as there was an incident on October 27, 2021 in which two members of the Federal Ministerial Police were killed while transferring a prisoner from his cell. 

The suspect was originally identified as Fernando Sánchez Olivera, but it was later realized he was actually Jonathan Alexis Cabrera Rivera, a former municipal police officer from Manzanillo, Colima, who would go on to be arrested in January 2022 in Tecomán, Colima. He, and several other police officers, were alleged to have been part of the kidnapping for ransom and subsequent death of 19 year old Mayra Yazmín González López, of Manzanillo in August 2021.

Assuming this is the case, J.C.I.C. may be a new alias that he is using, having been released last year and subsequently spending time in Celaya, Guanajuato before returning to Colima, where he is now being urged to either rejoin the police or, possibly, the reference to “grupo de choque” is actually a cell of corrupt police officers that were involved in kidnapping.

There is a bigger, more important question: is this message truly from the CJNG and “El RR”? The poor grammer used and the fact that it is handwritten has already caused commentators to question its authenticity. Furthermore, the nature of the information revealed in the message is a double edged sword and can cast CJNG in a negative light, although it may be that the message was never expected to reach a wider audience.

Online speculation alleges that the message is part of a disinformation campaign on the part of Rafael Guadalupe “El Changuito” Félix Núñez, a former member of Los Ántrax who operates in the state of Colima for the Cártel de Sinaloa (CDS, Sinaloa Cartel). 

However, there is a third possibility: the message was actually written by the remnants of Los Mezcales. Visually the banner is reminiscent of their handwritten rambling messages, although, to be fair, so are some messages attributed to “El Changuito”. More importantly, the author of the message, assuming the words to be fairly truthful, shows a level of knowledge of police collusion with the CJNG, something that Los Mezcales, having formerly been part of the CJNG, would be aware of.

Sources: Diario de Colima, Doujinshi, Vallarta Daily, Vallarta Independiente, Javier Alatorre