Thursday, October 30, 2008

Narcos Infiltrate the Mexican Military

from Reforma
translated from the original Spanish by Kristin Bricker

A list of over 20 military agents allegedly for hire was found in one of the Beltrán Leyva brothers' safe houses in Culiacán, Sinaloa.

The information that was in a house belonging to Alfredo "El Mochomo" Beltrán Leyva, detained this past January 21, reveals that the Sinaloa clan had in its possession files from the Assistant Attorney General's Office for Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SIEDO in its Spanish initials) and from the Sinaloa Attorney General's office about investigations that were in process.

There was, for example, a two-page official letter from the SIEDO and a bundle of 148 pages of proceedings that the assistant attorney general's office was carrying out, documents which bore the official seal of the State Attorney General's Office.

But the most revealing finding in the search of the house at 1970 Juan de la Barrera, in the Burócratas de Culiacán district, was a professional notebook with red and blue pages, and yellow letters on the cover which say WOW. It was the Sinaloa Cartel's payroll for 2002 to date.

The Beltráns' notebook, with many different paystubs, mentions payments to the "Cousins," the name the drug traffickers gave to a network of military agents who allegedly passed on information about operations. For example, the Major of Military Justice Francisco de Jesús Pérez Chávez is listed with a payment of $150,000.

To Humberto Ramiro López Cornejo and Humberto Solís Galicia Barragán, a deposit of $70,000 each; for Alberto Cortina Herrera a sum of $75,000 is written; and to Pedro Sergio Jonguitud Barragán, $100,000.

Four of the five agents assigned to the Ninth Military Zone, located in Culiacán, as well as Ricardo Ramírez León, were detained on January 26, one week after the military captured "el Mochomo."

Those military agents were detained in April and are imprisoned in Occidente, Jalisco, charged with organized crime and crimes against the public health, in the category of collaborating to facilitate the trafficking and sale of drugs.

But they aren't the only ones mentioned in the list. Another page indicates payments to a Second Lieutenant "Calleja Bendaño" and specifies a bank account for depositing $100,000.

In another notebook there's another, larger account of people with military ranks who were also allegedly receiving money. There are others who don't have a military rank indicated.

That list mentions Captain Bernal Román Parra and a Captain Pacheco, as well as Second Lieutenants Izat Rodríguez Meza and Édgar Villatoros de los Santos.

There were also the following names: Gabriel Álvarez Guevara, Gregorio Pérez Manjarrez, Francisco Javier Mejía Rodríguez, Efrén Lugo, Óscar Pardo Jiménez, Juan Carlos Facundo López, Cristóbal Santiago Luna, Cesáreo Martínez Cruz, and Óscar Ramos, whose name has a note that says "El Rojo por Tapia". Their military ranks aren't listed, although they are on the same list.

The notebook contains entries that date from 2002. Second Lieutenant Fidencio Hernández Martínez, Lieutenant Marco Antonio Vázquez Herrera, and José Inocente Santana García, all members of the 65 Infantry Battalion, are also listed. They were imprisoned in 2002 for protecting drug cultivation on Sinaloa's border with Chihuahua.

After finding this information, the Mexican Military proceeded to capture some of its agents and handed them over to the Federal Attorney General's Office (PGR in its Spanish initials). It was the only institution that has initiated proceedings against its own.


Arturo, Héctor y Alfredo Beltrán Leyva built their drug empire in Sinaloa, Morelos, and Mexico City with bribes and complicity.


January 21
Alfredo Beltrán is captured in Culiacán. A week later, five military agents accused of leaking information to the Beltrán cartel fall.

January 22
In Mexico City, eleven members of a cell that operated out of houses in Coyoacán, San Ángel, and El Pedregal fall, with bullet-proof vests that said FEDA (Arturo Federal Forces). [translator's note: the REDA is the private army of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, head of the Sinaloa cartel.

April 30
Following a confrontation that lasted over 45 minutes in Culiacán, 13 alleged Beltrán hitmen are detained; three more die in the confrontation.

May 7
Three ex-military agents are detained along with another seven Beltrán hitmen following a confrontation on the Cuernavaca-Acapulco highway. Arturo Beltrán allegedly managed to escape.

May 8
Édgar Millán is executed in Mexico City, allegedly under the Beltrán Leyva family's orders. [translator's note: Édgar Millán was Mexico's top federal drug cop. He was executed just before US Congress voted on Plan Mexico. His assassination was an important lobbying tool utilized by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in convincing Congress that Plan Mexico was necessary and desired in Mexico. Millán's assassination was obviously an inside job: his assassins knew which of his multiple houses he would be staying at that night, they knew how to evade his bodyguards, and they appeared to have entered his house with keys.]

May 9
Édgar Guzmán Beltrán, son of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, is executed in a shopping center parking lot.

May 27
Eight federal police die during a confrontation with Beltrán hitmen in Culiacán.

July 14
Car bombs explode in front of a house in Culiacán where a Beltrán cell was at the time. The cell managed to escape.

September 14
Military and federal agents seize over USD$26 million from the Sinaloa Cartel.

October 27
The PGR makes known a red of high-ranking officials and AFI [Federal Investigation Agency] agents who were leaking information to the Beltrán family.

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