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UNIDENTIFIED ASSAILANT INJURED A LAWYER ALLEGEDLY ENGAGED IN ORGANIZED CRIME AT PLAZA ANDARES, AND JOINT GROUP OF AGENTS FROM FESC, SEDENA, AND NATIONAL GUARD ARRESTED THE LEADER OF SINOA CARTEL

June 6-12, 2024 | Issue 23 - NORTHCOM and Extremism Teams

Kiara Alexander, Marta Vanti, Hae Lim Park, Joseph Pollard

Christina Valdez, Editor; Alya Fathia Fitri, Senior Editor


Police Respond to Attack in Plaza Andares[1]


Date: June 6, 2024

Location: Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico

Parties involved: Jalisco State Prosecutor’s Office; Zapopan police; Zapopan residents; Leopoldo Ignacio Castellanos Torres; Journalist Richardol Ravelo; Plaza Andares security personnel; Plaza Andares de Zapopan workers; unidentified restaurant worker; Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG); remnants of the Sinaloa Cartel;

The event: An unidentified assailant injured lawyer Leopoldo Torres and a restaurant worker before fleeing the scene during a targeted attack at Plaza Andares. Torres was dining at a restaurant when a hitman appeared out of the bushes and attacked him. Torres, implicated by Ravelo in a local network of organized crime and corrupt local government engaged in money laundering, drug trafficking, and other criminal activities, was the primary target. The motive for the attack remains unclear, and local authorities are investigating the incident.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The attack against Torres is very likely to negatively affect local civilians' perspective on public safety in Zapopan. The busy atmosphere of the attack’s location will likely have civilians question the response capabilities of local police and security personnel, very likely eroding their trust in these institutions. Local residents will almost certainly avoid large-capacity public places in Zapopan until the perpetrator and any affiliates are apprehended.

  • The attack on Torres is likely due to his alleged connections to money laundering and drug trafficking, underscoring the persistence of such criminal activities in Jalisco, which are unlikely to cease despite increased security efforts. These criminal activities will likely continue to thrive, driven by deep-seated corruption and connections within the state. The involvement of high-ranking officials and complex criminal networks, such as CJNG and remnants of the Sinaloa Cartel, will likely make eradication efforts particularly challenging.


Date: June 10, 2024

Location: San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Parties involved: Sinaloa Cartel; faction of Sinaloa Cartel, Los Chapitos; criminal cell of Los Chapitos, Los Gorilas; Attorney General Office (FGR); National Guard (GN); Secretariat of Citizen Security of Baja California (SSCBC); State Citizen Security Force (FESC); Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA); Óscar Federico known as El Gorila; Carlos Eduardo, Roberto "N", Jonathan Eduardo "N" 

The event: FESC, SEDENA, and GN operatives arrested the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in the Gulf of Santa Clara region and three other members in San Felipe. A joint group of agents from the FESC, SEDENA, and GN conducting routine duties noticed El Gorila, Carlos Eduardo, Roberto, and Jonathan Eduardo carrying weapons outside of a house. During the arrest, the authorities seized several weapons, including two pistols, two rifles, and cartridges. Authorities transferred members to the FESC facilities in Mexicali. Los Gorilas is part of the Sinaloa Cartel, and in October of 2023, they publicly declared they would not produce or distribute fentanyl.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The arrest of El Gorila will almost certainly impact the organizational nature of Los Gorilas, causing significant challenges for their drug trafficking logistics. The remaining members will very likely struggle to coordinate the production and smuggling of illicit drugs across states without their leader present, prompting a significant loss of revenue for the criminal cell. The loss of revenue and leadership absence have a roughly even chance of causing internal violence between the remaining members, prompting public safety concerns.

  • Law enforcement will very likely continue to conduct routine checks and increase surveillance in San Felipe for any remaining presence of Los Gorilas. Law enforcement will likely search for any other El Gorila residences or properties in the area, likely being on alert for individuals in possession of firearms and other weapons. There is a roughly even chance that an increased law enforcement presence will result in lower crime rates in the area, as Los Gorilas and other criminals will likely lay low to avoid detection by law enforcement.

  • The arrest of El Gorila will very likely result in a power vacuum in the Gulf of Santa Clara region as the Sinaloa Cartel attempts to reassert control. In the meantime, narco-traffickers unaffiliated with the Sinaloa Cartel will likely try to fill this gap, likely engaging in fentanyl trafficking. It is almost certain that cartel violence in Baja California will increase, posing a significant risk to local civilians and law enforcement personnel.  

 

[1] Police Cars, generated by a third party database

[2] Reportan ataque directo contra dos personas en Plaza Andares en Zapopan, Jalisco, Infobae, June 2024, https://www.infobae.com/mexico/2024/06/06/reportan-ataque-directo-contra-dos-personas-en-plaza-anderes-en-zapopan-jalisco/ (Translated by Google)

[3] Blow to "Los Chapitos": "El Gorila" fell, head of the Sinaloa Cartel square in the Gulf of Santa Clara, Infobae, June 2024, https://www.infobae.com/mexico/2024/06/10/golpe-a-los-chapitos-cayo-el-gorila-jefe-de-plaza-del-cartel-de-sinaloa-en-el-golfo-de-santa-clara/ (Translated by Google)

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