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Proceso: Anabel Hernández
In Michoacán authorities have focused on fighting the subordinates of a self-defense leader, Miguel Ángel Gallegos Godoy, El Migueladas, who, according to an intelligence report prepared by the federal government earlier this year and obtained by Proceso, is a character who has kept a low profile and accumulated enormous wealth for one simple reason: allegedly, he is the true boss of bosses among the state's drug capos. While José Manuel Mireles has broken with Gallegos Godoy, the government talks with him and with other self-defense leaders presumably involved in drug trafficking.
Over the past 15 years in the heart of the Tierra Caliente [Hot Country], Michoacán, a man of great economic power, passing as a businessman, has forged a drug trafficking empire based on heading up the various criminal groups that have developed in the state. This doesn't have to do with one of the drug capos named by the federal government, but their alleged leader: Miguel Ángel Gallegos Godoy, alias El Migueladas, who since 2013 has been part of the leaders of the so-called self-defense groups.
Information collected from self-defense members indicates that the situation that has existed for several days in Michoacan, causing severe tensions, is due to a rupture between the El Migueladas and José Manuel Mireles. Allegedly, El Migueladas had already tried once to oust Mireles from the armed movement.
According to a detailed federal government intelligence report drafted early in 2014 and that Proceso has been able to consult, El Migueladas was the "real boss of the organization" of The Knights Templar. Below him was Nazario Moreno González, alias El Chayo or El Loco, whom the Felipe Calderón government falsely declared dead in a clash with federal police in 2010, but according to the government of Enrique Peña Nieto now definitely died in a March 10 government action.
The structure of Gallegos Godoy had three "rings":
Servando Gómez, La Tuta, who has not yet been arrested, led the first ring;
Enrique Plancarte Solis, a character the federal government declared "killed" on March 30 in Queretaro led the second; and
Ignacio Andrade Renteria, El Cenizo [The Ash], who has also been apprehended and was in charge of the territory of Lázaro Cárdenas [municipality that includes the key Pacific Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, now under federal control].
In turn, each one had a criminal substructure.
The intelligence report, whose authenticity and contents were confirmed by several sources, was prepared from statements obtained from Irma Castillo Rodríguez, alias La Changa, following her arrest by Federal Police last January 29 in a synthetic drug lab in the municipality of Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro; and from members of the Council of Self-Defense in Michoacán [CAM]. La Changa is accused of having been in charge of Knights Templar operations in San Juan Nuevo and Tancítaro.
According to available data, Alfredo Castillo, the special commissioner appointed by Peña Nieto in Michoacán on January 15, 2014, is familiar with document's contents, as are other officials responsible for combating drug trafficking and restoring order in the state.
Until today the federal government has concentrated on fighting those who were subordinate to El Migueladas, while they were also engaging in dialogue with him and other self-defense leaders involved with drug trafficking, such as Luis Antonio Torres, El Americano; Juan José Farías Álvarez, El Abuelo [The Grandfather], and his brother Uriel Farías Álvarez, identified in a recent report by the PGR [Attorney General's Office] as active members of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (Proceso 1931).
Originally from La Huacana, Michoacán, Miguel Ángel Gallegos Godoy conceals his alleged criminal activity with the profile of a successful businessman. The government document states that Gallegos Godoy holds considerable economic power, as well as properties in Michoacan and Jalisco, and he travels frequently to McAllen, Texas.
According to information confirmed by several sources, El Migueladas has stripped legitimate owners of properties along a corridor that includes orchards and warehouses that provide millions in profits, plus income from massive extortion and drug trafficking activities attributed to him. The territory controlled by Gallegos Godoy includes the municipalities of La Huacana, Parácuaro, Apatzingán, Múgica and Churumuco.
It is claimed that after a break with Nazario "El Chayo" Moreno González [head of La Familia, said to have been killed in 2010, but found and killed this March], and his subordinates, El Migueladas became the main 'granddaddy' and patron of the self-defense groups, and not just in La Huacana. To implement the plan to snatch the territory, he would have united with former members of The Knights Templar, such as Luis Antonio Torres González, El Americano, and alleged members of the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación who are also part of the self-defense groups, including Juan José "El Abuelo" Farías Álvarez and his brother, Uriel Farías Álvarez, El Paisa.
The Farías Álvarez brothers, who have supremacy in Tepalcaltepec, were arrested in 2009 by the PGR, accused of organized crime and then released. However, an intelligence report prepared by the PGR in 2012 classifies them as operators of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel.
While the government of Enrique Peña Nieto announces that the principal Michoacán capos are either in prison or dead and thus states that it has fulfilled the people's security demands, El Migueladas continues to gain power and territory in the state.
On social networks of the self-defense groups, it is said that the mixture of former members of The Knights Templar and members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is called in Michoacan Cartel H3.
In some media, such as Reforma newspaper and the Sin embargo news portal, it is noted that Gallegos Godoy has a criminal record and once belonged to The Knights Templar. When the information was published, Estanislao Beltrán, then the official self-defense spokesman, challenged that evidence be presented against El Migueladas and other self-defense leaders accused of involvement with organized crime.
According to the intelligence report obtained by Proceso, El Migueladas is much more than a repentant former Templar: he was the boss of bosses of The Knights Templar. He has been part of organized crime in the state for at least fifteen years, since the days of Carlos Mendoza Mendoza, El Tísico [The Consumptive], when he took part in the formation of La Empresa [The Company], which soon became La Familia Michoacana that, in turn, spawned The Knights Templar.
Gallegos Godoy has maintained a low leadership profile that has allowed him to go from group to group. La Changa's statements brought out his apparent true role. Allied with members of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel and with the help of the federal government in legitimizing the self-defense movement, he has managed to snatch territories from his former subordinates.
Rupture With Mireles
Those involved in the self-defense movement, who requested anonymity to safeguard their safety, stated that the split that has occurred between the self-defense leaders of Michoacán is due to a rift between El Migueladas and José Manuel Mireles.
Apparently, El Migueladas, the Farías Álvarez brothers, El Americano and others are in favor of disarmament by the self-defense groups in support of the position of special commissioner Alfredo Castillo, but the group led by Mireles is opposed to disarmament.
The underlying problem is that Mireles's faction sees that The Knights Templar cartel is not dismantled and fears that disarmament only applies to his group but not to that headed by El Migueladas.
Last week, in an interview with journalist Carmen Aristegui and without mentioning names, Mireles declared that he had been threatened with death by self-defense members and that the movement had split between those who "fight against drug trafficking" and "criminal infiltrators." Mireles criticized the fact that Commissioner Castillo speaks to just two of the 33 self-defense groups. It is known that Gallegos Godoy is one of them.
Web of Complicity Involves Government Officials
Although the Secretary of Government Relations [SEGOB], Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, has told the people that many members of The Knights Templar have been arrested, La Tuta and other major operators remain at large.
According to the government report, Servando Gómez and Andrade Rentería both have extensive organizational structures, which include:
Samer Servín Juárez, El Inge, responsible for payroll and accounting for stolen property;
José Alberto Rodriguez Carrillo, El Magui, in charge of laboratories for manufacturing synthetic drugs;
Roy Ríos, El Troyano;
Alejandro Plancarte, El 81, whose function is to send drug shipments to Minnesota and Atlanta; and
Isidro Birrueta Montejano, El Chicano, who was territory boss in Tepalcaltepec.
Osorio Chong also mentions Armando Arzate, businessman in Lázaro Cárdenas; Alejandro Nixon Hernández, who according to the document works with Arzate and is responsible for making cocaine purchases in Colombia and laundering drug money. ...
The intelligence report establishes that, allegedly, Marco Trejo Pureco, local deputy of the 72nd Legislature in Michoacán for District XX of Uruapan, was at the service of Enrique Plancarte. Trejo Pureco is the son of businessman Manuel Trejo, owner of a cable television company in Uruapan, in addition to hotels and restaurant. Manuel Trejo has been identified as one of the richest men in the state of Michoacán.
Trejo Pureco is president of the Commission of Tourism of the Congress. In January 2013 he was sworn in as president of the National Council of Legislators in tourism during an event headed by Secretary of Tourism, Claudia Ruiz Massieu. In August of that same year, at the side of Jesús Reyna [now confined under arraigo for alleged drug ties], then acting governor of Michoacán, Trejo Pureco opened the XL National Guitar Fair in Paracho.
Local media have broadcast that Fausto Vallejo, Governor of Michoacán, made Trejo Pureco responsible for engineering adoption of Peña Nieto's energy reform by the Michoacán Legislature.
Under a coalition of PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution] and the Green Ecological Party of Mexico, Trejo Pureco's brother, Mauricio Trejo Pureco, is mayor of San Miguel de Allende.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
Just checked out the Mexico Voices blog. I've seen you post some of their work here before, DD. I just never went to the blog. I read some of the contributors bios. They're good, I just bookmarked them. Thanks for sharing. I can read Spanish but I'm just really impressed with what they're doing.
About Michoacan.... Man, it's just turning into a sad situation. You got people like Hernandez really taking a close look at the whole movement.
"Apparently, El Migueladas, the Farías Álvarez brothers, El Americano and others are in favor of disarmament by the self-defense groups in support of the position of special commissioner Alfredo Castillo, but the group led by Mireles is opposed to disarmament."
This is confusing. Mireles was defending Abuelo a week or so ago when he was on Arestegui. Now they're making it sound like he (Mireles) is the odd man out, again?
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