“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat
A criminal cell has been identified in Baja Sur, allegedly identified as “Los Menores”, a group identified with operations from Sinaloa and led by the sons of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, arrested in 2016.
“Los Javieres,” “El Colores” and “Fuerzas Especiales Dámaso” are some of the violent cells of the Sinaloa Cartel that have had a presence in the southern part of the state and that attacked local groups just after the capture of major Sinaloa capos such as “Chapo” himself and Dámaso López Núñez “El Licenciado”.
“As already happened after the arrest of ‘El Chapo’ and after the fall of Dámaso (2017), Baja California Sur felt the ravages of the war between the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco, this time is no exception, they could take advantage of the arrest and generate movements to seek control, either from Jalisco or an independent who is waiting for the moment. We should not get ahead of ourselves, the smallest one fell, important, yes, but not essential to maintain the organization,” a state investigative agent warned ZETA after the arrest of Ovidio Guzman Lopez on January 5, 2023 in Sinaloa.
Just two days before the capture of the man nicknamed “El Ratón”, according to criminal case CSL/25/2023, a narco message signed by “La Chapiza”, alleged criminals at the service of “El Chapo” Guzmán and his sons “Los Chapitos”, was found on the bridge of Desarrollo La Ballena in Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos municipality.
The discovery was reported at approximately 07:55 hours on Tuesday, January 3 by elements of the Municipal Police, however, a surveillance camera captured a citizen taking pictures of the same since 06:00 hours.
“The investigations are advanced, we do not see any major impact of the message or consequence, but we are keeping an eye on it. There are already lines of investigation and we have identified the person who placed it,” said the State Criminal Investigation Agency.
While for some security agencies the appearance of the narco-message does not represent a problem, it should be emphasized that after the fight for the plaza, according to unofficial reports from the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena), the terrain of Los Cabos would be divided as follows: Cabo San Lucas for Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) and San Jose del Cabo for Sinaloa.
Sedena intelligence sources indicate that the Sinaloa Cartel has operations in La Paz, San José del Cabo, Comondú, part of Loreto and Mulegé; however, members of the CJNG have also been identified in the south and the Beltrán Leyva organization in the north.
“Not as such, but all the corporations have been instructed via the chain of command to be alert. Since the arrest occurred in Sinaloa, we are in constant tours, attentive to any incident, suspicious and fearless. Because at any moment we can return to 2016 and 2017, when everything got out of control,” said a member of the State Public Security Bureau.
THE SINALOA PAYROLL
The relevance of the capture of Juan Manuel Franco Silva “El Alacrán” on December 5, 2022 not only represents the disarticulation of one of the most violent groups in the northern zone – comprised of Comondú, Loreto and Mulegé – it also uncovered police protection.
Not only did a little peace return to the municipality, but information was obtained that compromises the security and tranquility of the corporations, the control and confidence of the institutions, criminal transactions with members of security and other public servants.
“After the arrest, we obtained relevant information that links ‘El Alacrán’ with different municipal, state and even federal public officials in Ciudad Constitución, they all protected him, they even warned him that we were coming for him the day of his arrest. We collected evidence of payments of up to one million dollars to police officers, high-ranking municipal and federal officials, and the information for his arrest is already being collected,” confirmed a source.
The evidence collected showed that the criminal sent “Christmas bonuses” to public officials residing in Comondú and were distributed according to their rank: 15,000, 20,000, 30,000 and up to 100,000 pesos received from the hands of organized crime, as thanks for the protection they provided.
“It was already unsustainable for the criminal group itself, it was too much the abuse of control they maintained, so much so that they moved with impunity that they were not afraid to circulate through the streets armed, they were uncontrollable because they paid the high command, and that was broken when they beat the police. Even on the day of his arrest, a federal official told them that we were coming for him and halfway through the operation there were already pickup trucks around the site, that was the fear that the hitmen would arrive with long arms,” said the member of the Security Table.
Comondú is an example of the impunity enjoyed by organized crime in the state, the cell of “El Alacrán” operated kidnappings, homicides, drug sales, alcohol, and extortion of businesses and fishermen. Although it has been an open secret, the authorities did not act. Many of the officials were on the payroll.
“It seems that the police are afraid of criminals, that in Baja California Sur it is not possible that the police are at the service of crime, we know that for a long time it has been a tradition that they charge a certain percentage to criminals, it has been seen, but that now they have them on payroll is worrying”, is the slogan from the Citizen Council of Attention to Victims of Crime.
The municipality of Comondú, located two hours away from the Capital via highway, also entered into the project of keeping an agent of the Secretary of the Navy, Lieutenant Commander Juan Heladio Clavel Nicolás, in charge of Municipal Public Security.
But it was precisely his escort who tried to rescue “El Alacrán”, a Navy agent died defending criminals and the director of Security himself took evidence of the incident, which casts doubt on his reliability.
“How are we doing in terms of Control and Confidence, the failed police officers are in an office outside the operational area, they are going to be dismissed. Who watches the surveillance cameras that monitor the city, who gives notice when a crime is committed to the units? These reports are not provided by the government, everything is opaque. We are not willing to continue being victims of the same authority,” said the Citizens’ Council.