Tag Archives: la familia michoacana leader

La Familia Michocana’s leader, “El Rojo,” captured

From time to time, we check in upon the ultra-Christian, ultra-wingnut decapitating Mexican drug cartel, La Familia Michoacana. Breaking: in another setback, LFM’s latest leader has been captured.

Leader of “La Familia Michoacana” captured in Toluca
Milenio online | 3-20-12

Elements of the Public Safety Secretariat (SSC) arrested Juan Carlos Coránguez Gonzalez, “El Rojo,” leader of La Familia Michoacana while staff of the same unit said six other suspected kidnappers, including a woman, were captured during an operation in the south of the state on the border with the state of Guerrero.

Juan Carlos Coránguez González, “El Rojo,” captured

Through its official Twitter account, the security minister, Salvador Neme Sastré, revealed the capture of “El Rojo”, but without giving further details about the operation . .

After La Familia had their founder and spiritual leader killed and had many of their faithful split off into Los Caballeros Templarios, the group hasn’t been as strong as they once were. A couple days ago, rivals of La Familia exacted tit-for-tat revenge:

Mexico police find 10 heads outside slaughterhouse

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities have found 10 severed heads dumped outside a slaughterhouse in a town in northern Guerrero state. They are still looking for the bodies.

A statement from the Teloloapan police says the heads of seven men and three women were left with a message that appears to threaten the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel. The warning says: “This is going to happen to all those who support the FM.”

Sunday, the cops went out looking for the bodies, and . .

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Gunmen ambushed and killed 12 police officers who had been sent to search for the bodies of 10 people whose severed heads were found in southern Guerrero state, authorities said Monday.

Guerrero state police spokesman Arturo Martinez said six state and six local officers were killed Sunday night on a road leading out of the town of Teloloapan. Another 11 officers were wounded.

These folks are a God-fearing bunch. As that guy is really crazy.


As La Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios battle it out, bodies are strewn across Southern Mexico

After last year’s killing of La Familia Michoacana’s notorious leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzales, by Mexican law enforcement, the ultra-Christian ultra-violent Mexican drug cartel split into two parts: a surviving La Familia faction, and Los Caballeros Templarios (the Knights Templar).

Violent fighting has erupted between the two factions as they seek control over the lucrative methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana drug trade in and exported from Michoacan and its neighbor states. The most recent fighting has been brutal, with dozens of message-laden bodies left scattered across Southern neighborhoods.

21 Bodies Found in South Mexico
Patrick Corcoran | 09 June 2011

Twenty-one corpses, seemingly killed by suffocation, were found in Michoacan, a state along Mexico’s Pacific coast known as the base of drug trafficking gang the Familia Michoacana.

. . turmoil among the remaining leaders of the Familia, which has been buffeted by a series of blows from the government in recent months, has precipitated a split, with former Familia boss Servando Gomez, alias “La Tuta,” taking a big chunk of the gang and forming a group dubbed the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar).

The portion of the group still calling itself the Familia is loyal to leader Jose de Jesus Mendez, alias “El Chango,” and the Caballeros have been battling it out for control of Michoacan, which is a valuable site of methamphetamine production as well as home to one of Mexico’s largest ports, in Lazaro Cardenas.

The most recent killings came over the weekend:

23 Bodies dumped in southern Mexico
June 21, 2011

The bodies of 23 murder victims have been dumped at various locations in the southern Mexican state of Michoacan over the past three days, an official told Efe.

Five men were found shot to death Monday in Paracho, a town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Morelia, the state capital.

The five bodies were left at three different spots in the town, each accompanied by a message claiming responsibility on behalf of Los Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar), a remnant of the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel, the state official said . .

On Saturday, the bodies of eight murdered men appeared on the streets of Lazaro Cardenas, a port city in Michoacan . .

The La Familia faction led by Jesus Mendez is battling the faction led by Servando Gomez and Enrique Plancarte, who formed Los Caballeros Templarios in March, journalists from Michoacan told Efe.

La Familia Michoacana began unraveling after the death in a shootout with Federal Police officers in late 2010 of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, known as “El Chayo.”

A total of 15,270 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and nearly 40,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

And now, breaking news: La Familia’s leader, Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, got captured by federales yesterday. In the war between the two ultra-Conservative Christianist drug cartels, the advantage swings to the Knights Templar.


Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, “El Chango,” leader of La Familia Michoacana, captured

After last year’s killing of La Familia Michoacana’s notorious leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzales, by Mexican law enforcement, the ultra-Christian ultra-violent Mexican drug cartel split into two parts: a surviving La Familia faction, and Los Caballeros Templarios (the Knights Templar).

In yet another blow to LFM, their remaining leader, Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, was arrested Tuesday.

Mexican authorities: Top cartel leader captured
CNN Wire Staff | June 22, 2011

Mexico City (CNN) — . . Federal police captured Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, also known as “El Chango,” in an operation in the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico’s national security spokesman said.

Spokesman Alejandro Poire called Mendez the “principal head” of La Familia Michoacana cartel and said his capture was the federal government’s “most overwhelming blow” to the group.

“This capture destroys what remained of the leadership structure of this criminal organization,” he said.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon praised the capture on his official Twitter account: “A large blow by federal police to organized crime. One of the most wanted criminals was captured. Congratulations.”

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office had offered a 30 million peso ($2.5 million) reward for information leading to his arrest, saying Mendez was the mastermind behind drug trafficking, kidnappings and killings.

It’s a significant win for the federales, Calderon, and the people of Mexico:

La Familia Michoacana are extremely twisted, violent and right-wing (see here). The numbers of people that have died at the hands of the Christianist beheaders may total in the thousands.

I wouldn’t bet against their former brothers, now rivals, the Knights Templar, tipping off the federales to Mendez Vargas’ whereabouts in order to eliminate him. Both factions are well-tied to police and other law enforcement personnel.


Federales kill Nazario Moreno Gonzales — “El Chayo” — leader of La Familia Michoacana

As a result of running gun battles between La Familia Michoacana and Mexican government forces that raged week-long across the western state of Michoacan, a serious blow was dealt to the Christianist drug cartel Thursday. The head and spiritual leader of La Familia, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez — El Chayo — was shot and killed.

Nazario “El Chayo” Moreno, one of the purported founders of “La Familia” drug cartel, was thought to have died during a battle this week with security forces, said Alejandro Poiré, the Mexican spokesman on security matters.

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, the leader of Mexico’s La Familia drug cartel, was shot and killed yesterday by authorities in the western state of Michoacan, government security spokesman Alejandro Poire said today.

Moreno, known as “El Chayo,” was a founder of what the U.S. government calls “one of Mexico’s newest and most violent drug cartels.” The Mexican government had Moreno on its most- wanted list, offering 30 million pesos ($2.4 million) for information that could lead to his arrest.

The extensive fighting underscored the government’s growing willingness to fight the ultra-violent cartel. El Chayo’s death is a big victory for Mexico, its people, and President Felipe Calderon. The horrible intrastate violence came at a steep price, though: a number of people were injured and killed, civilians included.

The conflict in Michoacán included shootouts between federal forces and cartel gunmen in 12 cities across the state. Among the dead: the teenage daughter of a city mayor and an eight-month-old baby who authorities said was hit by a stray bullet.

This week’s sweeping battles took a toll on security forces. Five federal police were killed along with three people believed to be drug gang members, Mr. Poiré said.

The damage done to La Familia Michoacan as a result of El Chayo’s death is yet to be known, but is likely significant. La Familia was famous not only for its extremely violent ways — beheadings were a trademark of the group — but also for its demands that members follow an extremist Christianity inspired by American John Eldredge.

A favorite of James Dobson and his ‘Focus on the Family,’ Eldredge wrote and taught about a brand of Christian men’s life that emphasized machismo. Eldredege claimed that the essential nature of men, as personified by Jesus Christ, is one of being ‘Wild at Heart,’ the title of his book that made the dubious case.

El Chayo took Eldredge to heart, and reinforced the ‘wild’ idea to its members. It was he who created the disciplined but contrasting behavior of a drug gang who were quick to ambush and kill policemen, assassinate cartel rivals whose severed heads became public calling cards, but also to read and take to heart both Eldredge’s incitements as well as El Chayo’s: he wrote his own ‘bible’ and proudly distributed it freely to members and Michoacanas.

We will see how effectively his lieutenants can carry on his spiritual philosophy and teachings. With La Familia Michoacana, the personal imprints of ‘El Mas Loco’ certainly fueled its quick rise to success, notoriety, and vast riches. Within the world of the cartels, eternally at war with the government of Mexico and its people, we hope they fail.

[sources: Business Week, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Momento 24.]

ADD: Here’s a Google-and-me translated sketch of the notorious life of La Familia’s now dead leader, Moreno Gonzales:

“El Chayo,” boss who brought “divine justice” to Michoacan with AK-47s, killed
Julián Rodríguez Marín | Dec. 10, 2010

(EFE) – He was considered a messiah by his countrymen, but Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias “El Chayo,” cartel leader of La Familia Michoacana, was more likely to bring “divine justice” to his enemies.

Also known as “El Mas Loco,” Gonzales was killed yesterday in a lengthy shootout with Mexican security forces in his native Apatzingan, one of his strongholds in the southwestern state that served as a base, Michoacán . .

According to sources, as leader of the cartel, Gonzales evangelized members into La Familia by recruiting recovering drug addicts in clinics opened, ironically, to treat addictions to the drugs he dealt.

Once clean, they were prohibited from using drugs and alcohol and became part of “The Family.” Prayer meetings and target practice were parts of their discipline.

The group took a major leap in the scale of drug smuggling in 2004 through an alliance with the powerful northern Gulf cartel operating in his name and under the name “The Company.”

La Familia offered loans to farmers, businesses, schools and churches, and provided social support to the area’s most disadvantaged.

This won some support among sectors of Michoacán, which offered the cartel a large network of informers and collaborators, including politicians and police . .

According to several experts, La Familia’s core businesses included dealing cocaine, marijuana and designer drugs in Mexico and to the U.S., and frequently employed kidnapping, beheadings, torture and extortion among their violent tactics.

In 2006, several gunmen threw five heads onto the dance floor of a nightclub, along with the message: “La Familia does not kill for money, does not kill women, does not kill innocent people, only those who deserve to die. Know that this is divine justice.

After a series of challenges by the Government, which offered a reward of 2.4 million dollars for “El Chayo”, La Familia suffered a series of setbacks in 2009.

In August of 2009, President Felipe Calderón, a native of Michoacan, sent thousands of soldiers and police to the state in retaliation for the killing of twelve federal police and to check the growing brazenness of the cartel. One year and four months later, “El Chayo” was shot and killed.