Around 7:00 AM on Tuesday, February 14, two men were hung alive from Las Granjas bridge in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, alongside a large banner, signed by "Comandante Toro", which denounced robberies, thefts and rapes.
While it may be a coincidence it seems this act struck a nerve, as since then there have been major military operations seeking to find and arrest Julián Manuel Loisa Salinas, alias "El Toro", the current leader of Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel. While there have been numerous unsuccessful operations in the past, it appears this one may be different.
There have been reports of several shootouts and a number of hitmen of Los Metros killed. Strong rumors have emerged that among those killed in recent days were a high ranking member of Los Metros known as "El Arin"/code name "M35" and the second in command of "El Toro", Luis Alberto Blanco Flores, alias "El Pelochas".
I thought I'd share some more background on Luis Alberto Blanco Flores, alias “El Pelochas” which is quite interesting I think.
He was arrested back in July 2010 trying to enter the US illegally together with famed Oscar Castillo Flores, alias “El Apache” AKA L-8 and José Ezequiel Galicia González, alias “El Nino”. They all belonged to Grupo L and El Pelochas was originally L-28.
El Apache was the brother of Alberto Castillo Flores, AKA El Beto Fave AKA L-7, at one time plaza boss in Matamoros, who was ordered killed by Tony Tormenta, because he presumably allowed El Apache to work both for CDG and Los Zetas. Tony Tormenta also had El Apache's father Oscar Castillo, alias “La Capra”, killed. The Castillo family had worked with the Gulf Cartel for generations, and El Apache was enraged and started working for Los Zetas after that.
El Apache was killed in CDG-Zeta clashes in 2012 after he was returned to Mexico. Meanwhile his other brother, Omar "El Omarcillo" Castillo Flores, got killed in the US by 3 sicarios and El Apache's wife was apparently abducted from a Brownsville mall.
In addition, 15 bodies with Z painted on them, were dumped on the highway to Matamoros, all belonging to Castillo's group, and some time after, 12 people arrested in San Fernando, also belonging to the same group, was killed in a state prison. It seems Grupo L was hit hard back in 2010.
El Pelochas pleaded guilty to illegal entry and was also deported back in 2012. One would think that he would be labeled a zeta, running away with his boss, El Apache, but Tony Tormenta was long gone, and he found new work under Juan Francisco Carrizales Lara AKA L-98 or Metro 98. After Carrizales got arrested, Pelochas became plaza boss of Rio Bravo for Toro untill he was killed by government forces.
On a sidenote, José Ezequiel Galicia González, alias “El Nino”, tried to commit suicide with a plastic spoon or knife while incarcerated in the US. Hitmen from Escorpiones had burned down his house.
Great rundown, I've always found the history of that family fascinating in how many well documented notable incidents took place. It is worth noting that, before his death, the increasing power of "El Pelochas" was not without controversy. Rivals accused him of still being a Zeta and not to be trusted.
Great work BJEFF, i've thought about it in the past but never brought it up because of the amount of work it would take but, I think it would be very interesting to make a post listing the known members of Los Metros and depending on the success of that even take it further with the Cyclones, Escorpiones, Panteras, R's and L's. I myself did not realize that La Hamburguesa was M-9 or that Beto Fave was L-7. By chance do you happen to know who would have been considered L-1 or Laredo-1. Bjeff or Itzli, do you know if El Gringo ever went by a "M" call sign? I knew he was a member of Grupo Delta but I thought I remembered reading he had a Metro call sign as well. Do you know anything about Alan Alpizar Cordoba known as Comandante Fiscal or the Rivera Navarro brothers, supposed long time CDG Commandantes?
@Plata: I have tons of lists like that. It is a good reference when things pop up in the news since The Gulf cartel is so splintered and confusing at times. I published one on the Metros until I realized that I had mixed Grupo Marinos/Grupo M of Mario Alberto Cardenas Guillen with Los Metros. They go with the same claves.
Los Lobos as you refer to, is surrounded with much confusion due to lack of intel and bad reporting, some reports said it was a subsidiary of Los Chachos and some said it was the Valencias (now associated with Los Cuinis and CJNG), but we now know for sure it either was or became a very recognized group within the Gulf Cartel.
I know it drew members from various gangs in Nuevo Laredo. When Osiel's people entered NL, they struck a deal with some of them, and especially the Flores Soto organization, which was instrumental to winning the city eventually, as well as having the police force in their pockets. Mario Alberto Flores Soto AKA El Meme Flores AKA El Cero Dos AKA El Comandante Chacas became the leader of Los Ls, but his clave was L-2.
I am uncertain as to who L-1 was, but my theory is that the Grupo Lobos was started by Juan Manuel Muñoz Morales, who was the attorney general in the city, and who was attacked in a famous incident on Aug. 1, 2003. It has been reported that he was chased by Los Negros or Los 600s as they were called, however, after the confrontation, there were 5 zetas or lobos arrested, who came for a rescue in AFI jackets, and the story goes on that Muñoz Morales released the 5 fake agents claiming they were part of his staff, and then continued to try to release five other members in a different place, who where definitely part of Los Lobos, also claiming that they were part of his staff, among them L-3 Eric Rolando Perez Perez, which led to both the gang and Muñoz Morales being arrested by real agents. In Muñoz Morales' home they found illegal guns and ID codes and documents linking him to Los Lobos, and he was sent to La Palma.
It must have been a coordinated effort because all the kidnappings and uprooting is said to have started just after Muñoz Morales came to Nuevo Laredo.
Apart from that, I don't know about Gringo or the other CDG Comandantes, but I will definitely look into it when I have the time.
Thanks for the reply, Bjeff. Some very interesting information. I did not realize Los Negros were also known as Los 600. One more quick question for you. Back in 2001, when Los Chacos controlled the NL plaza for Armando Valencia and the Mileno Cartel, it was said that Osiel paid a fee to Los Chacos inorder to pass 2 tons of cocaine through the NL plaza only to have it seized by the AFI in a betrayal by El Chaco. I believe it was even stated that El Coss and Z3 were part of the contingent actually moving the load. Was that event the final straw that led to Los Zetas takeover of the NL plaza? Lastly, when the Mileno cartel and the Valencias controlled NL were they allied with Chapo Guzman?
@Nutcase: I am well aware of Oscar Nava Valencia and his moniker and I think maybe that is why the newspapers at that time mixed it up. At the time of Muñoz Morales' sentencing, the arrestees of Los Lobos from the aug. 1 shootout, were reported to be part of Chapos crew. However, there is a tiny chance they are right, but we know for sure that Los lobos ended up with the Gulf Cartel afterwards.
@Plata: To answer that would require direct contact with the players involved. I don't know about piso, but Jesús Albino Quintero Merez "El Beto", who was apprehended in 2002, asked for permission to land his planes in Osiel Cardenas territory, and he was allowed to do so without paying. Osiel was more concerned with coordination to avoid detection so I am not sure if that was normal at that time.
What triggered the Nuevo Laredo expansion, I have no idea, and I am not sure the central players even know. Nuevo Laredo at that time was a hub of corruption, where the various police forces schemed with drug traffickers and there were at least four bigger local operations there, Los Chachos, Los Tejas, Los Flores Sotos and Los Ortiz Medina, where the latter 3 became partly absorbed in Los Lobos.
One theory is that it all started Sep. 26, 2002, when armed gunmen fired shots at a the Nuevo Laredo Policía Ministerial commander, Arturo Pedroza Aguirre, without harming him. Former State Police, Fernando Manuel Moreno Martinez, now working for Pedro Perez Ibarra, head of the NL Trade Union, was behind the shooting because Aguirre had previously arrested Moreno Martinez without charge and later released. It was a power struggle to prove who was in charge.
Aguirre had previously worked in Matamoros and applied the same method of arrest without charge to two big guns in CDG in 1997, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén and Hugo Baldomero Medina Garza. Police do so to force protection or extorsion.
Furthermore, Dionisio Román García Sánchez, had been killed by a command just prior to Moreno Martinez arrest. Moreno Martinez had been a partner to El Chacho. Things pointed towards Aguirre, but he in turn pointed towards a familiar character and local drug trafficker, Edgar Valdes Villarreal, and players were put in motion.
Bjeff is doing a much better job than I would at explaining all this but I thought I'd share some of my old notes:
Los Chachos- gang that started as cross-border automobile theft ring. Later turned to drug smuggling, based out of Anáhuac, Monterrey, and Reynosa. Originally associated with Golfo Cartel under the leadership of Juan García Abrego. Later appeared to align with Tijuana Cartel. One of two gangs that controlled Nuevo Laredo by early 2002. Another report stated that Los Chachos were partners of Armando Valencia Cornelio, leader of the Milenio Cartel. Allowed Golfo Cartel to pass two tons of cocaine through their territory prior to payment of “derecho de piso”. José Dionisio “El Chacho” Román García and top lieutenant Juvenal Torres Sánchez assassinated in Monterrey in May 2002 by the Golfo Cartel. Reportedly reorganized under the command of lieutenants José Angel Fernández, Raúl Emmanuel Cárdenas Castillo, and Edgar Valdez Villarreal. Following the arrest of Osiel “El Mata Amigos” Cárdenas Guillén in March 2003, were asked to rent 15 to 20 houses for the Milenio Cartel in order to fight for the plaza of Nuevo Laredo.
Mako, according to my notes I had El Karis as the leader of Los Lobos. I guess I was more wondering if he was considered L-1 and the groups origins. Obviously, like Bjeff stated no one knows for sure but the actual players themselves. I had El Karis listed as getting his start under manuel vazquez mireles "el cabezon" long time compadre of Osiel. Some other notes I also had written down was that most of Los Lobos were killed off after Beto Fave, by TT's Los Alacranes and Los Escorpiones.
I'm wondering if this is group Z40 and Z50 belonged to when they were CDG? I know both of them went by L40 and L50 originally, but I'm not sure if that was strictly because they were from NL. Id also like to find out when Los Cobras become Los Lobos or Vice versa? I also had written in my notes that "L's" or "Cobras" were newer cartel members who carried the weapons to protect CDG/Zeta leaders as well as take the fall if they were arrested. So I'm a bit confused. It seem obvious the group started in Nuevo Laredo but I have also read numerous times they started in Matamoros.
Bjeff, thanks for the link! That was a great read. It took me a while to find, but I found the article I was basing my original question on. It's actually a decent read and translates relatively well with Google.