September 18, 2013
Chapo Guzman ordered the killing of Rodolfo Carrillo, the brother of Amado Carrillo, marking the split absolute between the Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels. Nine years after the death of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes, the groups sinks into oblivion….
“Let’s pray – said the father of the St. Francis of Assisi church, of Navolato, for the eternal repose of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes”. He mentioned five more people, whose families or friends should pay, the same as the Carrillos, the 50 pesos charged for being mentioned in the sermon.
No one in the family was there, not at least in the evening mass, because also the same amount had been paid for an equal mention in the mass at seven, occurring in the morning.
Navolato is one more day. Not even the interred remind us that this Wednesday marks nine years since the murder of the golden child… Not even because they ate from his hand. In the main square, opposite the Church, a hellish Jukebox spits “cocks” everywhere in the voice of Chenchito, which seems strange while children and women hurriedly pass the kiosk.
The narrow streets begin to darken and patrols of the State police increase, all agents with their faces covered. By their apparent ferocity, anyone would say that they could put an end to the underworld in a week, but they end their days getting drunks and extorting drivers without a license.
“They are dogs – says a man who stumbles upon the reporters – they stopped me days ago, as I came from my work and had no identification.” “They pick up people and they carry them to the river, there they beat them. They take you if your ordinary, but never detain a “heavy”, a pure malandrincillo [bad guy], and if they do, they release him again”.
In three or four decades not much has changed in the city and those who want to form new municipalities should look at this in this mirror. Navolato has not ceased to be a town with five or six blocks of paved streets, ragged in their services, with a police force that had to be rescued by the state government because they had no uniforms.
There is less violence that two or three years ago, when the dead were thing of every day and every night and where the murder of policemen reached frightening levels.
But it is an off town.
“There, in that living room, he began the war that went on to extend to all of Mexico”. The man points his index finger towards the Alameda Palace Ballroom, located almost opposite the social security office.
It was the day of the students, in May 2003, and in the salon a Conference of youth of the Colegio de Bachilleres (Cobaes) celebrated, led by Julio César Carrillo Leyva, son of Amado Carrillo Fuentes.
Sergio Castañeda Medina was there, a trigger-happy man then working for Jesús Ríos Félix, el Licenciado- detained in August 2005 by the army, a confidant of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, el Chapo.
He stopped his car opposite the Alameda Palace and boys started throwing cans of beer. A famous killer, el Guacho or el Doce, as he is known in the underworld, threatened to return.
And he did it with reinforcements, but the son of the Lord of the skies had already requested support.
A shootout took place which did not yield any dead, but left various. Starting from there, Julio César Carrillo began to operate with a lower profile and months later disappeared.
But the Valley had begun to ignite with that spark. Navolato was a space where years the supporters of Joaquín Guzmán and the Carrillo Fuentes had lived side by side, with the Carrillo Fuentes predominant. The Municipal police was manipulated by Rodolfo Carrillo, it was he who was in the Town Hall, whether the PAN or the PRI. He personally carried out meetings with agents and commanders where he gave them instructions. He had equal power in the Ministerial police, absolutely controlled by the Carrillo Fuentes clan.
A month after this confrontation, elements of the Ministerial police wanted to detain in Navolato Rogelio García Martínez, el Kelín, a gunman of Chapo Guzmán, but he faced of with them and he died. Months later his brother Guadalupe died in similar circumstances.
These facts and others of similar magnitude were related to the animosity between the gunmen of Guzmán and the Carrillos after the party at Alameda Palace, the same rivalry that to this day has not been settled. The killing continued on both sides and both sicarios and police fell.
On 15 June 2004 the Commander of the Ministerial police, assigned to Navolato, Sidarta Alfredo Walkinshaw Salazar, was killed, as he was in a meeting on the premises of the police headquarters.
But the climactic event was the assassination of Rodolfo Carrillo that occurred on September 11, 2004 at Cinepolis Plaza.
The afternoon of dogs
In September 2004, more than 15 sicarios armed with AK-47s and FAL rifles killed three people in the parking lot of the Cinepolis. One of those gunned down was Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes. Another was Giovana Quevedo Gastélum, his wife. The third death was a worker from the parking lot where the shootout occurred.
In the firefight one of the bodyguards of the drug dealer was wounded, who turned out to be none other than the Commander of the Ministerial Police of State (PME), Pedro Pérez López, who the then Governor Juan S. Millán Lizárraga had authorized leave with pay, and a “good element” had publicly called him an “effective Commander”, and a successful man who managed to fight organized crime.
Minutes after the confrontation an intense pursuit of the assassins was generated in the nearby towns of Bacurimi, Bellavista, Culiacancito, El Tamarindo, El Pinole and El Rosal Enfermo, where in clashes, five gunmen were killed and two more were wounded and transferred to a hospital as detainees.
The next day, three corpses of the alleged killers were found stacked in the bed of an armored truck in the town of Navolato. One of those executed was the former Commander of the State Ministerial police, Jesús Antonio Sánchez Verdugo. Victims, carrying magazine pouches and a fragmentation grenade, were tied hand and foot, with traces of torture and the coup de grace.
The investigation of the shooting was drawn by the then Attorney for specialized investigation into organized crime (SIEDO) of the PGR. To take charge of the investigation, a group of ten agents, between members of the Federal Public Ministry (MFP) and of the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) arrived from Mexico City.
The response of the political and social sectors of Sinaloa was immediate. The leaders of the Confederation of agricultural associations in the State of Sinaloa (Caades), Association of farmers of the Culiacán River (AARC), Cámara Nacional de Comercio (Canaco), camera national of the industry of transformation (Canacintra), the Mexican Chamber of the industry of the construction (CMIC), political parties and even the Church, through the Bishop of Culiacán, demanded the then Governor Millán stop the violence in the State.
Farmers and businessmen called for dismantling, cleaning up and forming new police intelligence groups and said that if local authorities could not cope with this problem they should ask for the participation of the army.
The State Board of public safety (CESP) complained publicly that their recommendations and approaches to combat insecurity had not been taken into account by the institutions responsible and criticised that the “federal Government neither sees nor listening to Sinaloa in security”.
In the midst of the scandal they resigned their positions of director and Deputy Director of the PME Jesus Antonio Aguilar Iñiguez and Martiniano Vizcarra Burgos, respectively. According to their statements, “not impede” investigations carried out by the PGR on the case.
But the federal prosecutor’s Office already was investigating alleged links between these men with drug trafficking.
Interviewed on the fact, the then Governor Millán Lizárraga said that “throughout the country is happening a rearrangement and clashes between drug traffickers, are hardened so it is without a doubt the crime of Carrillo sources will have its aftermath”.
And he was right. The next week they killed 16 people. It was then that thousand 200 elements of the Mexican army and Navy arrived in the city with the Mission of strengthening the measures of crime prevention.
After the death of the golden child, revenge and violence was unleashed, such as the murder of Miguel Angel Beltran Lugo, Ceja Güera, originally from La Mojonera, in the municipality of Sinaloa, during a clash between inmates at the maximum security prison of La Palma; of the five suspected gunmen of the Sinaloa cartel, executed with AK-47 rifles in a residence of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas and the murder of Arturo Guzmán Loera, El Pollo, brother of El Chapo Guzmán, also inside the prison of La Palma.
Moreover, federal security elements were investigating links with drug trafficking from the former heads of the Sinaloa police. After raiding 18 residences of Jesus Antonio Aguilar Iñiguez, in Mazatlán and Escuinapa, Culiacán, and Navolato, the PGR confirmed in a newsletter the relationship of the police chief with the criminal organization dedicated to drug trafficking led the Carrillo Fuentes brothers.
Arrest warrants against Jesus Antonio Aguilar Iñiguez and Martiniano Vizcarra Burgos were issued, but they were already gone. Imitating the attitude of their leaders, 60 elements of the PME resigned and fled before the water reached their neck.
With the passing of nine years, the strength of the Carrillo Fuentes brothers involved in the drug trade seems decimated. The Sinaloa Cartel, with the support of the army and the Federal Police, took the Juárez plaza under the rule of Felipe Calderón.
Its leader, Vicente Carrillo, seems to have lost control of the operations of the cartel and among the names which the PGR has released as successors of the Viceroy, is Julio César Carrillo Leyva, son of the Lord of the skies.