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Who Killed the Mexican Military in Badiraguato/Culiacan?

The Mexican media is rushing to judgment and claiming the sons of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman are responsible for killing a convoy of military persons who were taking a wounded man to the hospital following a shooting.

At a press conference, officials said :

The commander [Alfonso Duarte] said that the first attack was in the .....the municipality of Badiraguato, where monitoring the surveillance and combating drug trafficking, the military found a wounded man, identified as Julio Oscar Ortiz Vega, whom the military personnel led to the municipal head later to be moved to the square of Culiacan for health care.

[More...]

Duarte said it is likely that after the arrest of Julio Oscar, criminals have been communicated to wait and holing the military, so a second attack, where life lost five military elements in addition to burning arose vehicles. It was a surprising reaction, the intended transfer at that time was that the life of the detainee is safeguarded, so that night movement for attention, "he said in reference to the military did not request support.

Not so fast. General Moses Melo Garcia said the attackers were armed with "Barrett M82 weapons, grenades and automatic weapons."

Apparently they all agree there was a fight, one of the drug guys got injured, the police took him to the hospital, and then were taking him to a medical center of some sort. En route, the convoy was attacked and the injured man was spirited away.

According to the version of events of Melo Garcia, soldiers moved a wounded man from the mountains to the capital city to receive medical attention when they were surprised by more than 8 vehicles belonging to the suspected assassins.

He concluded by noting that the military wounded are being treated by paramedics Red Cross. On the state of the subject carrying military from the mountains, it is assumed that the killers took him along with the ambulance where he was taken, seriously wounding the paramedic who was driving.

This sounds very fishy. The person responsible for recent attacks in the area is reported to be Alfredo Beltran-Guzman, aka Mochomito, the 24 year old son of Alfredo Beltran-Leyva, locked up in prison in the District of Colombia, awaiting his life or 25 year sentence following his extradition and guilty plea.

In 2015, Beltran-Leyva's father in law was killed, and young Mochomito was really angry, blaming it on a brother of El Chapo's named Guano. Guano's real name is Aureliano Guzman Loera. The two of them have been fighting in the area for months.

Police think that the injured narco in the ambulance who gave a name of Julio Oscar Ortiz Vega, "Kevin." is using a false name. They say he could be Chapo's brother Guano. Which would mean that's who was in the ambulance when it was ambushed. Police figure he must be a really big guy for the cartel to use such firepower on him.

Or, maybe Mochomito's group was insistent on killing Guano and didn't want his life being saved at the hospital. Maybe they wanted to torture him a little before killing him so they ambushed the ambulance and stole him. The firepower and number of attackers is far more typical of Mochomito than El Chapo's sons.

The war in this area has been going on for years. Aside from Sinaloa and Beltran-Levya, there is El Chapo Isidro's group (he used to be with Beltran Leyva) and CNGJ. CNGJ may or may not be working with Mochomito.

Beltran-Leyva is very weak now, with Arturo dead, Alfredo in prison waiting for a 25 year (at best) or life sentence, and Hector in custody (also wanted in U.S.). The U.S.designated Chapo Isidro in 2013.

The Mexican government typically rushes to judgment. It first claimed Chapo Isidro was behind the attack on El Chapo's mother's house in June or July, and then changed it to Mochomito (Alfredo Beltran-Guzman.) Other groups say the two acted together.

The kidnapping of El Chapo's sons was first thought to be Chapo Isidro, then CNGJ, then Mochomito (again, possibly with help from CNJC.)

Most accounts have the new war being led by Alfredito against Guano, with Guzman-Loera being the ultimate target. I'm not sure why Chapo Isidro isn't mentioned more often. More here.

The national newspaper La Jornada published just a week ago that an armed group commanded by Aurelio Guzman Loera, El Guano, brother of El Chapo, had taken Huixiopa community, municipality of Badiraguato, which previously controlled the cartel the Beltran Leyva led by the head of sicarios, Alfredito Beltran "the Chamacón".

Today it is rumored that the confrontation in Culiacan between an armed group against soldiers who moved an injured person from Badiraguato, originated in Huixiopa where unofficial sources indicate that there are more injuries and deaths. This version has not yet been confirmed by state authorities.

Whoever the injured narco was (Julio Oscar Ortiz Vega (Kenneth) or Guano -- he was spirited off by the attackers. If he was Guano, and El Chapo's son's were the ones who carted him away, he will be taken for private medical treatment. If he survives, people will hear from him again. But if his tortured body is found by the road somewhere, then I think it's likely the ambush on the ambulance was carried out by Mochomito's men, rather than men acting on behalf of El Chapo's sons are responsible.

This seems less like a cartel war and more like a family feud, between Guzman-Loera and Beltran-Leyva. Beltran-Leyva's side is being led by Alfredo's son Mochomito (Alfredo Beltran Guzman), who is also known as the Desert Ant.

Los Chapitos (as El Chapo's sons are referred to) are easy targets. Since they are wanted in the U.S. on indictments in California (Ivan) and Illinois (Alfredo), they can't exactly hold a press conference to tell their side of the story. Hopefully some reporters in Mexico who follow these stories will look beyond the quick pronouncements of their government officials and do some investigating before declaring "case closed."

As to Alfredo Beltran-Leyva and his possible life sentence, another postponement was recently granted when his lawyers asked for a competency evaluation. I don't think it's right that the Government had him plead guilty to every charge, giving up his right to a trial, and then asks for the highest sentence the court could have imposed had he gone to trial and lost. Why bother pleading instead of putting the government to its burden of proof? Also, the Government is asking for a $10 billion forfeiture from Beltran-Leyva. The case is very interesting, if you feel like spending a few bucks to read the actual case documents on PACER, the case is in the District of Colombia, Case No. 12-cr-00184-RJL

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