Cartel Gunmen Stage Cancún Kidnapping in Cloned Federal Police Gear

cancun cops

The attempted kidnapping of a Gulf Cartel cell boss by rival hitmen dressed in cloned police uniforms left one dead and the intended target wounded in Cancún.

Police in Cancún responded to a shooting Wednesday around 7 pm local time, where investigators determined that a team of roughly eight cartel gunmen dressed in cloned Federal Police uniforms and tactical gear attempted to either kidnap or potentially execute an individual later identified as the leader of a cell of the Gulf Cartel. The gunmen, sporting forged federal police identification, arrived in a white Suburban and pretended to perform a police raid in the Zona 92 section of Cancún. The cartel gunmen were reportedly met with gunfire from bodyguards belonging to Raúl M.A., aka “El Sincler,” the alleged leader of a Gulf Cartel cell known as “Los Pelones.”

During the shootout, a gunman was fatally wounded and left behind after the fake police retreated into the Suburban and fled, according to local media reports. El Sincler was wounded in the upper thigh and later transported to hospital under heavy security. Officials feared follow-up attacks during medical treatment. Region 92 is approximately eight miles from the main hotel tourist section of Cancún.

According to Breitbart News law enforcement sources, El Sincler is in charge of street-level drug sales in and around the lucrative tourist hotel zone. He was captured in 2015 in Mérida by investigative agents of the state police, but two years later was released under orders from a judge. Amateur video circulating on social media depicts the moments immediately after the Wednesday shooting. A cartel gunman dressed in a cloned Federal Police uniform can be observed mortally wounded laying on the pavement.

Breitbart News reports extensively on the ongoing violence in Cancún, which is attributed to turf wars between the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), Los Zetas, Gulf, and smaller groups loyal to the Sinaloa Cartel.

Cancun Homicide Cases Per Year

  • 2018 — 546
  • 2017 — 227
  • 2016 — 61
  • 2015 — 37
  • 2014 — 21

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.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at


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