Cartel Executions Strike Mexican Border State Beach Resort

AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards
AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

The ongoing struggle between the Sinaloa Cartel faction known as Los Salazares and the Beltran Leyva Cartel led to a new wave of violence as gunmen executed six victims in one day near a beach resort.

Escalating violence has spread from border cities to the once quiet beach resort towns of San Carlos and Nuevo Guaymas, Sonora. The region is considered a  popular spot for U.S. tourists. The first execution took place along a heavily traveled road where three men riding in a van were intercepted by cartel gunmen in an SUV. The gunmen got out of their vehicle and began firing at the van and struck the three occupants. Two of the victims died at the scene while a third one was wounded, a local news outlet reported.

 The second cartel attack took place in the neighboring municipality of San Carlos where at least 10 gunmen riding in two SUVs pulled up to a house and murdered a 32-year-old pregnant woman. The gunmen also kidnapped the victim’s 40-year-old boyfriend and shot the woman’s mother in the leg before leaving. Authorities found the body of the 40-year-old man than a mile from where they kidnapped him. Both of the murder victims are believed by authorities to be involved in street-level drug sales.

Another cartel attack also took place in San Carlos where a team of cartel gunmen wearing military style clothing, carrying tactical weapons stormed a house–killing two men inside, a local news outlet reported. The house appears to have been a stash spot belonging to a rival cartel. The two murder victims appear to be cartel kidnappers.

After the gunmen murdered the kidnappers, a woman being held against her will was able to escape and contact law enforcement. One of the various kidnapping victims in the house was shot and rushed to a local hospital.

The ongoing violence is attributed to a dispute between Los Salazares and a cell of the Beltran Leyva Cartel once led by the late Trinidad “Chapo Trini” Olivas Valenzuela. The fighting was initially focused in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, and the surrounding towns but spread to the beach resort area of San Carlos.

Law enforcement and intelligence sources on both sided of the border consulted by Breitbart Texas revealed that the likely successor as the regional boss for the Beltran Leyva Cartel in the state of Sonora is a drug lord wanted by U.S. authorities named Sajid Emilio “El Cadete” Quintero Navidad, who is also the cousin of drug lord and fugitive Rafael Caro Quintero. Federal authorities identified Quintero Navidad as a top boss in Sonora and link him to ongoing murders and kidnappings as part of their territorial dispute. The drug lord is a former member of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Federal authorities continue hunting for Caro Quintero after he was released under suspicious circumstances, Breitbart Texas reported. Caro Quintero is wanted in the U.S. for his role in the murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. 

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)


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