“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

The 56-year-old communicator spent more than 24 hours abducted, He revealed that his captors warned him to ‘lower’ the topics he covers.

At least three criminal groups operate in Zapopan.

Safe and sound. This is how journalist Jaime Barrera Rodríguez was located during the early hours of this Wednesday, who was last seen on the afternoon of March 11 in Zapopan, Jalisco. In his first statements, the communicator revealed that his captors didn’t ask for money in exchange for his release; instead, they left a warning: he has to stop covering certain topics. In this regard, the question arises: what criminal group could be behind these events?

According to the chronology of the events and public police reports, the renowned Jalisco communicator attended his radio program at the Megaradio facilities, located in the Jardín de San Ignacio neighborhood and, around 2:00 p.m. on Monday, he left from the building to leave in his vehicle.

It was then that, as revealed by the head of the State Prosecutor’s Office (FE) of Jalisco, he was intercepted by a group of three or four men, one of whom had a long weapon.

Jaime Barrera. 

The story of the collaborator of Televisa Guadalajara, El Informador and Canal 44 indicates that he was forced to get into another vehicle blindfolded and with his hands tied. Immediately afterwards, he began to be questioned about why he wrote what he writes and who he works for.

“What I told you, I don’t write on behalf of anyone or under anyone’s orders, I write what I believe is journalistic (…). I think it was a bit of intimidation,” he shared in a brief interview with Azucena Uresti for Grupo Formula.

In other meetings with the media, he indicated that, shortly after 24 hours held in a warehouse, his captors took him to the municipality of Magdalena, Jalisco, where they released him with a warning.

“If he didn’t do certain things or didn’t calm down, they already knew where I lived, who my children are, where I travel through.”

In this regard, he highlights that these events were recorded almost a month after the communicator published the column ‘The US persecutes him, in Autlán they allow him to roam freely’; a text in which he directly talks about Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias ‘El Mencho’, leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

‘El Mencho’, leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel

The CJNG, main suspect

According to data from federal authorities updated until the end of 2022, the criminal organization that has the greatest presence in Jalisco is the four letter cartel, its illicit activities have been tracked throughout the entity.

Among the 125 municipalities in which the CJNG operates is Zapopan, the municipality in which journalist Barrera Rodríguez was abducted. But these aren’t the only ones.

Various investigations indicate that in the city there is also a presence of Los Cuinis, the financial arm of the CJNG headed by the González Valencia family, and the Nueva Plaza Cartel, a criminal group that was born as a split from the same organization, but is currently its rival.

Despite this, multiple media outlets already point to the CJNG as being directly responsible, since it is the one that has been attributed the greatest number of crimes of the three groups, in addition to the fact that Zapopan is one of the cities where they have created a business network for laundering their profits.

Likewise, as journalist Héctor de Mauleón refers in his most recent column, Jaime Barrera Rodríguez had recently written about the leader of this criminal organization.

“He then wrote the lines that, according to state sources linked to the investigation, could have caused him to be kidnapped when he left his radio program (sic),” he said.

So far, the authorities have not arrested any of those responsible or referred to which criminal group could be behind the illegal detention of the communicator.

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