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Surgical assault on the Apatzingan prison
Everything was millimetrically
calculated. Los Zetas operation
to free members of the cartel from
Gulf was perfect. Effectively it was
neutralized the body of custodians.
No one saw anything on the run, no
The year is just beginning and El Winnie Pooh, El Cachetes, El Meme and El Tlapa and
assigned a delicate and surgical job, as are most of those who perform for Los Zetas
Óscar Guerrero Silva, Daniel Pérez Rojas, Manuel Alquisires and Enrique Ruiz Tlapanco their names
respectively they move to Michoacán to meet Carlos Rosales Mendoza, partner
of the Gulf cartel for the compadrazgo with Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, leader of the organization
stopped last year.
At the meeting, held in a safe house, they plan to release three of the
members of the Rosales Mendoza group who have been detained for more than a month in the
Apatzingán prison; in addition to kidnapping two members of the Valencia cartel, their
rivals, who are also held in that jail. They already have the details of the place, their
characteristics and personnel they will face; then, determine which team and how many agents
will need They refine details.
Any Sunday, early and routine work day. At seven in the morning on January 4
of 2004, the 20 custodians are ready; about 15 minutes later the list pass reports that all
they are present. They find out then what position each one will cover during the next hours and
they retired to relieve the positions and weapons with their companions who had 24 hours of vigilance.
The director and the two heads of custodians pass the list of inmates who, trained in the courtyard,
They respond with their second last name. Without news, the start of the day is reported.
On Sundays there is a lot of movement because prisoners receive visits from 10 in the morning
until half past four in the afternoon, except for those women who stay for the conjugal visit and
They will go on Monday very early. That Sunday 210 people arrived. The prison was crowded.
Inmates play in the yard, talk, eat sitting anywhere because there is no
dining room and then dismiss their relatives. At six in the afternoon they enter their rooms, in
Order pick up your dinner and you must sleep.
"Everything was normal, I did my paperwork, the rondines and the relays were made. Everything normal: the
phones and radios worked, all in santa paz, "the head of custodians will comment later, the head of custodians, Guillermo Moya
So it is until the morning of January 5, when a custodian breaks the calm:
"Group leader" shouts loudly.
The custodians are put on alert, as it is the sign of some strange movement around the prison.
Some look out and listen to the engines first, in seconds the blue lights are visible and
Red turrets. They add about 10 vans that surround the prison.
It's three o'clock in the morning and the night ends up blurring when some 60 uniformed people come down from
Vehicles carrying their weapons and flashlights. It seems that they are military, municipal police and the
Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI), thus they dress, thus they behave: with discipline, order and
Logistics. When leaving the pick up, Suburban and Cherokee trucks that have radio antennas, they shout:
revision! Some measure about one meter 80 centimeters and the exercise that delineates their
body; others are robust and measure about 20 centimeters less. There is everything.
Two members of the command wear a suit and have a short weapon in hand, the rest appears
perfectly uniformed. The majority will later remember the custodian José Luis Villanueva at
declare on January 9 they wear olive-colored uniforms military type, two of them with degrees of
Sergeant First and Cape; others have black uniforms with the acronym of AFI in the
dark back and balaclava; the rest use denim pants or dress with t-shirts
gray and other black with the legend PGJE (Attorney General of the State) in the
yellow back, and some wore black bulletproof vests.
"Stop and turn around," shouts a man with a very serious voice dressed in military uniform to
two custodians who sought to relieve their peers in the watchtowers; at the same time
Cut cartridge the rest of the command. Juan Maya Magaña and Martín Esquivel, the two guardians,
they remove their rifles and submit them.
"I went barefoot with the pure pants will later tell Guillermo Moya, there we don't have a gate,
They are windows with bars nothing more. I look out the window to see who it was and threatens me
one dressed in military, hooded and with a rifle, tells me not to move, to throw the gun that
because it was a review, but with mother’s groans. "
Teach me the job Guillermo asks one of them.
Open the door, son of your fucking mother sentence with a rough and irritated voice one of the hooded.
Teach me the trade; If it's a review, show me the trade, Guillermo Moya insists without getting another
One of the custodians, Moya will justify later, "opened the door for fear that they would harm
the two custodians who were outside and himself. "
More than 10 troops are introduced to the center shouting "Review!". After crossing the first
Blacksmith's door subject the first guards and place them against the wall in the
management office; They arrive at the principal's bedroom and meet him with his work team. They take
all gun chargers and take them, break the wire of one of the phones and
they disconnect the intercom radio.
Guardians in watchtowers are prohibited from moving.
"I was in tower seven, my partner threw the lights up and shouted at him no
I made no move. They talked very calmly, not startled or anything, so I
I was confused, I did not even know what to do, "said Ricardo Villagómez, the custodian.
Some of the group force Guillermo Moya to open the two doors that lead to the area of
population. From the third gate the head of custodians does not have the key, to solve the setback one
of the alleged agents appears with a large torch, but they decide to turn it off and cut off the
padlocks with tweezers. Each door is under the guard of a command agent and others
10 are introduced to the patio.
"Órale sons of his fucking mother, to the wall," shouts one of those who wear a military uniform, while his
companions gun the inmates with their AR-15 rifles and goat horns.
"Get everyone out of the rooms," orders another military assumption.
When they are already in control of the prison, the inmate Nicolás Torres, Alberto Guízar will later
(member of the Gulf cartel) approaches them and one of the uniformed asks: "Where are they?
your compasses? "
Without having time to respond, the alleged agent identifies Marco Aurelio Bejarano Hernández
and Juan Carlos García Martínez (both from the Gulf cartel) and orders that they be handcuffed. They place at
Fourth: "We already have the cool guy, we already have the good guy," he says while pointing to Cipriano Mendoza.
Remy, member of the Valencia cartel, who is handcuffed and pushed away.
Two of those who wear an AFI uniform kick the door of one of the marital visiting rooms and
Angrily they call who is inside. A few seconds later the inmate Antonio Orozco appears.
"Why don't you open the door, son of your fucking mother, if we were talking to you," says one of
The alleged agents.
"I'm with my wife," replies a little fearfully Antonio.
"We can see ... Let's go," says the hooded man and has crouched outside the prison. In the galley
The inmate's wife, who was on a conjugal visit, is left alone.
Eleuterio Guzmán, La Botella (member of the Valencia cartel) intends to hide in the
galley five, but one of the command discovers it and stops him with a shout: "You are also the
cool. "The wife and takes it.
That phrase seems to be the key to leaving the penalty and going at a rapid pace. Seconds before, the assumptions
agents pile up some 20 inmates at random and take them as a shield ahead during their
flight; They also encourage a massive escape: "You have two minutes to leave because you are going to
explode (the criminal), "shouts one of them.
The command is grouped outside the prison, board their trucks and leave. In the path
his cell phone ringing will later declare the intern Mauricio Flores, who for minutes
they kidnapped, in all cases they simply respond: "Everything is fine".
Some inmates leave the prison and a custodian fires his rifle from watchtowers,
pretending to stop the stampede. Three stop and one more is injured, others follow
The prison authorities notify the Ministerial Police, the AFI and even the Army of what happened.
The first arrive in less than 15 minutes, just two municipal patrols that are in charge
of the injured inmate and who dies in the hospital. The bulk of the police arrive about 40 more minutes
afternoon and the local Public Ministry appears an hour later, until 04:15 hours, according to the first
report that appears in the file.
The rest of the corporations take a little longer. Just two federal agents arrive almost one
an hour later and the army appears more slowly. The agent of the Public Ministry, Santiago
Quintero Rosales, is the first to investigate what happened. At 04:20 hours he begins a diligence
inspection throughout the prison to get evidence, which takes 25 minutes because at
04:45 hours the agent was already in the Forensic Medical Service, located in the General Hospital
Regional, to certify the death of Fernando Coria, the inmate who was injured.
No police or military realized the route of escape of the command, although the testimonies
of the inmates point out that the trucks crossed part of the city, first down the Avenue
Francisco I. Madero, where they made a stop to abandon prisoners who did not
interested and only stay with the five hitmen. Then they left for the unit
These are the last data of the command that participated in this operation, which will be known
hours later they were Los Zetas: "No one saw where they went. They became an ant eye, so many
vehicles, so much armed person. The Military Zone is about two kilometers (from the prison), but the
Army does not support in those cases, (although) they also spoke to him and did reach the end, like 45
minutes later. At each exit there is a booth of the municipal police where there are guards, they are
pending all that and nobody saw them pass, "says Guillermo Moya in the interview.
In the end the operation only leaves them an acid taste: "It was pure professional people review Cecilio
Talavera, they went for them as they would, to rescue them. Unfortunately we did not do
shots, so maybe they also didn't shoot, but if we had repelled the aggression,
now there would have been dead. "'
Thanks for the throwback! I read somewhere that this was some sort of “practice test” to get Osiel out of La Palma prison. I’m on my phone now but let me see if I can find it.
This post was updated on .
Have you also heard about an operation led and conducted by Z-1 in the summer of 2001 to free el Cholo from the Police Department detention center? I even read somewhere else that el Erotico Z-15 did also practiced there, It was an operation where the Zetas equipped with gasmasks used tear gas to storm the Police facility
I (somewhat) recall that event. I will have to read more on it.
Meanwhile, I was able to find the source from the United States Government Printing Office that I was talking about:
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