NUEVO LAREDO, Tamaulipas – A ruthless crime boss who was recently released from a Mexican prison is now forging an alliance with one of the nation’s most violent cartels to take over this border city abutting Texas. Despite being wanted in the U.S. on a multi-count indictment, Mexican judicial authorities released the boss this year, effectively giving him a clean record.
Known in the criminal underworld as “Chelelo,” Eleazar Medina Rojas is an old-time boss tied to the original Los Zetas Cartel who was previously arrested in Nuevo Laredo by the Mexican military. At the time of his capture in January 2016, authorities seized several weapons and a kilogram of cocaine. Officials sent Medina to the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco where he was expected to serve several years but was mysteriously released in June.
The sudden release came as another slight to U.S. law enforcement since Medina is a fugitive wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is named as a co-conspirator in a criminal indictment with infamous bosses Osiel Cardenas Guillen and Miguel Angel “Z40” Trevino Morales.
Law enforcement sources and intelligence officials consulted by Breitbart Texas say that during his time in Puente Grande, Medina Rojas held meetings with key leaders from Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) to secure an early release.
In recent years, CJNG became one of the top organizations in Mexico by forcefully taking territories once held by the Sinaloa Cartel. Violence spread from drug trafficking routes like Tijuana to once peaceful beach resorts like Cancun and Baja. Unlike other cartels, CJNG drew concerns from intelligence agencies due to their recruitment of former Colombian terrorists and the implementation of their tactics, Breitbart Texas reported.
Medina also brokered an alliance with the CJNG to create a Zetas/CJNG hybrid that would allow them to take control of Nuevo Laredo, a border city currently controlled by the rival Los Zetas faction Cartel Del Noreste (CDN).
The alliance is meant to dethrone current CDN boss Juan Gerardo “El Huevo” Trevino Chavez, thus giving CJNG one of the most important drug trafficking routes into Texas. Instead of trying to take the city by force, Medina has allegedly been working to get key CDN operators and leaders to switch alliances.
Medina has been on the radar of Mexican military and police intelligence agencies since 2006 as a shrewd operator who worked to corrupt border officials with hefty bribes and executions. While operating in Nuevo Leon for the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, Medina managed to establish a working relationship with the regional head of the Beltran Leyva Cartel, Hector “La Burra” Huerta Rios, to work in his territories with complete impunity.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Aranda from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report.