Thursday, March 26, 2020

Borderland Beat Lalo Podcast




Guillermo Eduardo Ramírez Peyro, a.k.a. "Lalo", was a former Mexican Highway Patrol officer and a paid informant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. "Lalo" also reported to the DEA. After infiltrating the Juárez Cartel, he worked with Heriberto Santillán Tabares and helped him murder people in Mexico. "Lalo" had foreknowledge of planned killings and claims that he informed his US handlers of the intended crimes. It has been asserted that US officials, including Johnny Sutton, the United States Attorney of United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, were aware of the murderous activities of the informant, but failed to intervene. Juanita Fielden, Assistant US Attorney, is a defendant in a lawsuit for wrongful death brought forward by families of victims of the "House of Death."

Buggs personally interviewed Lalo in a podcast on November 4, 2019 (you can view the full podcast at the end of the article).

Translation by Cruz “A” for Borderland Beat

PERSON 1/BUGGS
PERSON 2/LALO
PERSON 3/RADIO HOST. MARK ARAGON

MARK: And we are live gentlemen, it is all on you.
BUGGS: Okay we’re live?
MARK: Yeah, we are live.
BUGGS: Welcome to the podcast, Borderland Beat podcast. My name is Buggs and Mark Aragon who usually joins us is not with us today. He's directing the whole show here.
MARK: I'm up here watching.
BUGGS: He's watching. So, we have a very special guest with us tonight and I'll introduce him in a little bit. It's going to be a very interesting show, I think. We are going to talk about some old stuff way back then but before we do that, I just want to give a little bit of an update as to what's going on over there with some of the things at Borderland Beat. So, on November 4th, early in the morning, we started to get a lot of videos and messages from Agua Prieta that there was some confrontation that started at like 3 in the morning. There were some cars that were burning, they ended up finding two bodies and I started to get information, we did actually, the team that La Linea from Juarez was worried that a cell of Los Salazar had mentioned that they were going to cross into the state Chihuahua. So, La Linea had actually entered Agua Prieta and they got into some conflict with this cell of Los Salazar. I think, I can't confirm but I was told that the two men that were killed were La Linea hitmen, I'm not sure. So anyway, that happened early like 3 in the morning. There's a video we posted on our (Borderland Beat) blog and we also posted on our Borderland Beat page and we did a podcast that day.
MARK: Yeah, we were up.
BUGGS: So we had to take it down.
MARK: Exactly.
BUGGS: We ended up showing up an execution video but around 2 o'clock, that's when the incident of the LeBaron family happened. No one really started to get a lot of information till later in the day. In fact, we started to get a lot of information, but we were here in the studio doing this podcast. I did an update of the Agua Prieta incident because we already had it. But anyway, what happened was, a lot of information is not confirmed like anything, but we did listen to the press conference by the Mexican Government and military, they gave an update as to what happened. A lot of if matches to a degree what happened with us with the LeBaron family, there is a lot of information that people are talking about, things from the past. They were fighting over the rights of water and all kinds of stuff have surfaced.

BUGGS: We haven’t really seen anything that ties any of that to what happened on the 4th. So, what happened according to the Military was that La Linea saw the caravan, the convoy of the 3 SUV's that had the LeBaron family. Mostly ladies, women, and children and they for some reason engaged the vehicles and ended up killing up 9 of them. Some of the kids survived they kind of fled and everything. This is all on the Borderland Beat page, you can read a lot about that. What’s interesting is that it was the same day that the Agua Prieta incident happened, and we are right back to La Linea, they are claiming it was La Linea involved. Initially, there is a guy by the name of El Jaguar that belongs to a cell that is very close to Los Salazar. They are affiliated to the Sinaloa Cartel but mostly work independently. We've been talking to a lot of people that know a lot about this subject. That’s developing, today the FBI landed in Agua Prieta. They boarded a helicopter a federal police helicopter to go to the crime scene. So, they are going to be assisting with the operation apparently. We will keep everyone informed as to how that is developing and that’s where that is.
BUGGS: We have also had a lot of violence in Juarez, I have a lot of friends and family there and they have been reporting a lot of vehicles getting burned. Los Mexicles is a street gang that is in prison but also in the streets of Juarez. They have been associated with Sinaloa, responsible for a lot of that. Four of them were arrested 2 days ago. I don't know if that’s related to the LeBaron incident but it's interesting that that is La Linea area. I wouldn't be surprised if somehow, we find that that is somehow related and linked to that. Anyways there is also information on the Juarez incident in the Borderland Beat page. Yesterday the Municipal Police went code RED, meaning they were ordered not to go on the streets because of all the violence. Another thing that happened is that there is a lot of rumors floating around, I've been getting a lot of messages, we have, that Sinaloa is going to try to enter Guanajuato looking for El Marro, so that’s another thing that we have been monitoring real close. We have a lot of information and also on the Borderland Beat page, let’s keep in mind some of this information is fluid, non-confirmed, nothing is confirmed over there. Many times, we have the Government which made a lot of comments over what happened in Culiacan and we find out that a lot of that was not even true. Many times, even with the Military sometimes the information is not even true. One of the things they said was that they didn't plan the operation on Ovidio, the son of El Chapo. That they just happened to come across him and later we find out that it was a planned operation and there is a lot more information about that. One of these days we will sit down, and we can bring up a lot of information about that. On one of the other podcasts, we did go into a lot of detail so if you want to find out more you can go to the Borderland Beat Vlog and you can also go to the Borderland Beat Blog Page and you can probably find all of that information.
BUGGS: So, we are back to tonight, we have a very special guest and what’s going to happen tonight is that we are going to do this show in Spanish. So, what I'm going to try to do is translate later. Maybe we can put out a transcript of the interview in English so that a lot of people that don't speak Spanish can understand what happened. We will try to translate it for the people that don't speak Spanish.

BUGGS: We have with us Guillermo Eduardo Ramirez Peyro, did I say that correctly?
LALO: That is correct.
BUGGS: And they used to call you Lalo?
BUGGS: Or they call you Lalo still?
LALO: They call me Lalo
BUGGS: The reason why we want to speak with you tonight is because of everything that happened some time ago in Juarez and El Paso. It has been some time since all of that passed and a lot of times, we forget what happened in the past but all of that is very interesting and you were in the middle of what happened.
BUGGS: I said we are going to talk about some of the things that he was involved with back, I'd say since 2003 and on. There was a lot of activity that was going on. I did make some notes, I'm going to ask him some questions and like I said a lot of it is going to be in Spanish. If there is anything of importance, I will try to translate it into English.
BUGGS: What was happening...I'm going to ask you questions and that way we will start from the beginning but the reason, what was happening is that you were working for.. that you were a member of the Juarez Cartel during that time.
LALO: During what time period exactly? It's important to know when.
BUGGS: During any period of time.
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: At one point in time you were a member of the Juarez Cartel?
LALO: Yes, I infiltrated the Juarez Cartel.
BUGGS: But you were also working with ICE, right?
LALO: Initially I... 
BUGGS: You worked for them.
LALO: You could say I Infiltrated the Cartel on ICE's request.
BUGGS: Of ICE..okay.
LALO: In fact, ICE didn’t even exist. It was the investigation office belonging to the Customs department.
BUGGS: At that point in time they were still not called ICE.
LALO: They still didn’t exist.
BUGGS: They did have an investigation department, but it wasn’t called ICE.
LALO: No.
BUGGS: And with that department is...who you were..
LALO: It was the investigations office of the Customs department.
BUGGS: Okay, let’s talk a little about you. What do they call you, do they call you Lalo?
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: Okay, well thank you for that. I'm going to call you Lalo. Let's talk a little bit about... Take us back a little. Where do you originate from?
LALO: From Mexico, I am Mexican.
BUGGS: What part of Mexico?
LALO: From Mexico City.
BUGGS: From Mexico City?  You lived in other places? You lived in Juarez of course but in other places...
LALO: Yes in Juarez, Durango, Guadalajara
BUGGS: Okay, and someone. We had had information or I read something that you were policemen in Guadalajara.
LALO: Federal Highway Police/Patrol yes. Not in Guadalajara
BUGGS: It wasn't in Guadalajara.

LALO: No it was in Mexico, well it was on a federal level, but that branch no longer exists.
BUGGS: Where were you stationed when you worked for the police?
LALO: I was in Mexico City.
BUGGS: How did you end up in Juarez?
LALO: Well, it happened after I had left the police. Given the prestige that that corporation/branch had, it was very...unfortunately the way things work in Mexico is after being a police officer what typically follows, is joining a criminal organization.
Especially after being a Federal Highway Police/Patrol since they were as I said, so prestigious and well trained. They invited you to form part of these organizations and that is how I arrived in Juarez City.
BUGGS: Did you leave the police department of your own free will or were you laid off?
LALO: No, they laid me off.
BUGGS: So you immediately began to work for the Juarez Cartel or another organization?
LALO: No, I was invited to Juarez around the time of Amado's passing. We arrived in Juarez but we arrived during a very problematic time. I arrived in Juarez when the whole conflict for the territory started after Amado's death.
BUGGS: Who was fighting for the territory?
LALO: The Arellanos were trying to enter.
LALO: Amongst themselves.
LALO: So, the person that invited me over there. The day I arrived in Juarez City to see him. His death the day before I arrived to meet him was published in the newspaper and in the middle of all that conflict; there were a lot of people executed. People who felt safe because they belonged to the Cartel. They were now divided, and you could say vulnerable. Everyone wanted to leave and at that moment I had just arrived, I told them: "Well I really have no place to go. I will stay here and try to be at the front of whatever you guys need. If you guys give me the opportunity and trust, well I'll take it." That is how I ended up staying in Juarez for a while.
BUGGS: Was Vicente Carrillo Fuentes the head of the Cartel at that time?
LALO: Yes, tentatively. It was still premature. At that time there were factions that were fighting for the title of control.
BUGGS: Alright, how did you become part of the Cartel?
LALO: That was years later. I...
BUGGS: When you were there before, what were you doing?
LALO: When I was with those factions, there wasn’t really much work and I got desperate and I dedicated myself to selling vehicles. I started to travel in those vehicles called ONAPPAFO. I'd buy an American vehicle, id turn it into an ONAPPAFA you’d take it to the interior of the republic and I would sell it. So, I dedicated myself to that business more or less. I did better in that business than in the disorder involving the Cartel. However, my name was still remembered by some of the people and after I was working with the Customs Service. A little while ago I said the wrong name, I said Customs Department but its Department of the Treasury. Someone sent me a message and they invited me to join them once again. He remembered me and everything he invited me to participate with them.
BUGGS: Who is he?
LALO: This person was Heriberto Santillana.
BUGGS: Okay we will talk about him a little bit more shortly.
BUGGS: So you started to collaborate with the Juarez Cartel was it around the same that you started to collaborate with US Customs?
LALO: No it was later.
BUGGS: I read something that stated that you went to the border to make contact with Customs to...
LALO: Yes, that is correct. I was struggling with the ONAPPAFO business. I read about SEAT hiring people and due to my vocation and experience, it seemed plausible to go speak with them to see if they were interested to see if we could reach some agreement but when I got there they referred me to someone, a special agent of the Customs Services investigations office by the name of Raul Bencomo. After talking with me he invited me to join their team, he told me, he put the cards on the table. First, I couldn’t have a criminal record nor pending cases with the law, whether it is in Mexico or the USA. He told me that he was going to request a series of authorizations that were a bit complicated and took a while to obtain but that they finally would arrive so that I would be authorized to collaborate with them. So, at first, we got one authorization and then another until we got to an authorization that allowed me to be an operative. Given the nature of the investigations, you can imagine that this was not the job of an informant. This wasn’t something like handing out a set of license plates or names or phone numbers. It was a matter of entering; infiltrating and they started to get to know me during this period...
BUGGS: As an agent, right?
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: Because they use to call you agent 913
LALO: 913 yes.
LALO: Once they started to get to know me and see the veracity of my cases and what was happening, they gave me the opportunity and ask for permission from Washington which was authorized. That permit arrived around May of 2001.
BUGGS: So, what did you do? What type of work did you do for them?
LALO: Well to start off, I had to find my own cases. They didn’t refer any case to me in the beginning. Afterward, I'd find my own cases and we'd do different operations.
BUGGS: Cases that you had, that you knew, that you were...
LALO: Well truthfully, I didn't really know. I simply went out spreading the word of infiltrating. I spread the word on the street that I was trying to commit criminal activities and then we studied the veracity of the information that I obtained and depending on the interest and seriousness of that information we would follow-up and make a case. This is something that could be called "controlled deliveries, identification."
BUGGS: Did you record a lot of the...
LALO: Yes, we did record.
BUGGS: How dangerous is that? Being in that situation inside of a Cartel, as dangerous as the Juarez Cartel.
LALO: It's not necessarily inside a Cartel, plainly put, it’s with minor criminal organizations, well it’s dangerous. I can't really tell you back then that I didn’t know but everyone died, sooner or later. All of them would be killed.
BUGGS: But they knew...
LALO: They would all be killed. They didn't die. All of them would be killed.
BUGGS: So, you did know that?
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: That that could also happen to you.
LALO: I was aware of that.
BUGGS: So, you just gave information.
LALO: Sorry.
BUGGS: Go Ahead.
LALO: To add to your question because it is interesting.
BUGGS: Go ahead.
LALO: Once I was part of the Cartel, the amount of danger you are in doubles because of the simple fact that you are a Cartel member, it makes you a target of rival Cartels and you already have to deal with the dilemma that they will want to kill you or kidnap you to torture you and extract information about...
BUGGS: That’s what they do.
LALO: The Cartel you belong to.
BUGGS: That’s what the Cartels do a lot when they capture rivals.
LALO: Yes, they extract all of the information.
BUGGS: They just don't kill them. Even nowadays that happens.
BUGGS: Did you also work for other agencies like DEA or ATF when you were working for the Customs department or did you just work for them?
LALO: Well, we worked with them, but I received my orders from the Customs Department and then ICE.
BUGGS: Your handler was Bencomo?
LALO: Yes, I always belonged to Customs and we did...
BUGGS: Conferences?
LALO: For example, we always worked with the Secret Service, with ATF, with DEA, with the police from El Paso, TX and from Las Cruces, NM just to mention a few.
BUGGS: Okay. Let's talk a little about what was happening over there in Juarez. When you formed part of the Cartel you were working under the command of Heriberto Santillan...
LALO: Tabares
BUGGS: Heriberto Santillan Tabares
LALO: That’s correct.
BUGGS: He was your...?
LALO: He was my boss.
BUGGS: Your boss?
BUGGS: How high up the totem pole was he?
LALO: In the beginning, he was in the nationwide group that belongs to the Cartel and in the end, he was able to position himself in the local group belonging to the Cartel in Juarez.
BUGGS: Did he work closely with Vicente?
LALO: Yes, he had a direct line of contact with Vicente.
BUGGS: Did he direct everything or were there more people?
LALO: No, there were more people there. The Cartel is...
BUGGS: Different...
LALO: It is composed of cells.
BUGGS: Different cells.
LALO: Yes, we in Juarez city ended up forming the control group but we still received our orders from the cupola.
BUGGS: Were there any state police involved?
LALO: There were a lot.
BUGGS: A lot. Okay. So, let's talk a little bit about it, let me check the time. So, let's talk a little about the fact that there have been a lot of reports a lot that has been reported. I have read a lot, I read a lot about everything and I started to read a long time ago about what happened, in magazines and books and all of that. One of the things that were spoken a lot about was House of Death, can you tell me a little about what that was or what that means.
LALO: Well look, what I can tell you about what people have read and what has been said unfortunately was a bit of manipulated information in order to taint the investigation we did. House of Death was a house one of many houses in Juarez city.
BUGGS: Do you know if the house is still there or not?
LALO: I imagine it is, as far as I know, the house is still there. The difference is that there were bodies removed from that house. I pointed out that house with the purpose of it drawing more interest in the investigation because I told them that this would be one house of the many that exist. I said that I was not going to talk more than I needed to nor am I going to complicate things...
BUGGS: It's like a stash house. Did someone live in that house?
LALO: Yes, it wasn’t like a warehouse or safe house to keep people in. It was a house exclusively used to take people to torture or simply be killed without the need to be tortured.
BUGGS: And who were these people? The people that they took there.
LALO: Well it was whoever needed to be taken there.
BUGGS: The people that they took there.
LALO: It was people that... just whoever needed to be taken there.
BUGGS: Rivals?
LALO: Not necessarily. It was people that perhaps never processed their permits to work in the city. Or it was the same people that belong to the Cartel but made errors.
BUGGS: Or people that were operating independently?
LALO: Yes, that’s what I'm telling you, people that didn't process their permits to work in the region. People that belonged to the Cartel or people that didn't even have anything to do with the business, but they were with someone that was going to be detained and was taken along with the target.
BUGGS: So, of the things that I have read, they said that you were the person in charge of that house.
LALO: You could put it that way, of several, of many more.
BUGGS: About how many executions took place there?
LALO: I had knowledge of 13 executions there at that house.
BUGGS: 13?
LALO: At that house.
BUGGS: And all the victims were buried at that location?
LALO: Precisely.
BUGGS: Okay.
BUGGS: Can we speak about one of the victims?
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: The first was a friend of Heriberto, what was his name? Fernando?
LALO: Fernando. Yes.
BUGGS: What was his name? Fernando what? Do you recall?
LALO: Truthfully, no. Fernando.. something.
BUGGS: I had it...
LALO: Reyes. Fernando Reyes.
BUGGS: Yes, Fernando Reyes, correct. He was a lawyer, right?
LALO: No.
BUGGS: He wasn't a lawyer?
LALO: No, his nickname was "El Licenciado."(the graduate)
BUGGS: Oh.
LALO: But he wasn't a lawyer.
BUGGS: So what I read, I'm not sure if it's true but I'll tell you what I heard and I hope you can talk to us a little about that. What I heard was that he wanted to cross a shipment of marijuana and he was looking for someone to help him.
LALO: No, he already had the shipment of marijuana on the other side of the border.
BUGGS: Oh, he had already crossed it over?
LALO: He wanted to take it to New York. That is what he needed, a form of transportation to take it to New York.
BUGGS: Oh okay.
LALO: That is what he needed.
BUGGS: So, what happened to him? Before you tell me that, was he related to Heriberto?

LALO: The day they presented him to me, he presented him as a friend since kindergarten.
BUGGS: Okay. What happened to him? Tell us why was he picked up? And what happened to him?
LALO: In essence, he did not get picked up, he entered that house on his own free will and Santillan gave the order to kill him in that house.
BUGGS: Who was there in the rooms, you were there and who else was there?
LALO: There were some agents from the State Police there.
BUGGS: And Heriberto wasn't there?
LALO: Well, he went inside the house with him but at the moment of his murder he stepped out.
BUGGS: Okay.
LALO: He went to a store that was around the block.
BUGGS: So, the State Police already had orders to execute him.
LALO: Exactly.
BUGGS: Why did they want to execute him?
LALO: To steal the merchandise that he had given to Heriberto for him to transport.
BUGGS: Okay. How did they kill him?
LALO: Well at first, they bent him, they tried to asphyxiate him with that silver-colored tape.
BUGGS: Duct Tape
LALO: They couldn't. Yes. They couldn't. Then they tried to strangle him with an electrical cord.
BUGGS: Wait, did they put the tape on his mouth so that...
LALO: Around his entire head.
BUGGS: His entire head? Okay.
LALO: Then they tried to strangle him with an electrical cord which ended up snapping and finally they placed a bag over his head so that he would suffocate.
BUGGS: Okay. Did you record all of this? Because someone told me that you...
LALO: Audio only.
BUGGS: Only audio.
LALO: Yes, I made an audio recording.
BUGGS: Weren't you scared recording in those types of situations?
LALO: Of course, anyone would be scared but it was my job.
BUGGS: Okay.
LALO: That was our bread and butter of every day. That's why I did it. That's why I signaled that house as an example. Because I didn’t see any interest or seriousness from the American authorities. Obviously, the Mexican authorities did show seriousness because they were there to commit the homicides. The American authorities were not showing the necessary interest or seriousness and that’s why I brought it to them to like kind of rub it in their face. As if to say: "Look, this is what I'm living every day and you are just here playing or are uninterested or placing any seriousness into what is happening in my country."
BUGGS: And you reported all of that happened...
LALO: Immediately.
BUGGS: To them. Including giving them the audio.
LALO: Yes sir.
BUGGS: Okay. So that is clear.
BUGGS: I have read a lot but some time ago. In the book that I wrote, I wanted to put a little... but a lot of information comes from the things that I have read. So, I do not know if it's true or not.
LALO: I do know and it's not exactly how things are. They are manipulated.
BUGGS: Have you read the...
LALO: Well I haven't had the opportunity to read your book because they had just delivered it to me today.
BUGGS: Okay
LALO: The truth is that I didn't want to as to not influence what we would discuss here.
BUGGS: Yes of course. That is true.
LALO: But everything that I have read, and I have had multiple conversations with reporters. I have told them: "You know what, these things didn't happen like this. They happened like this."
BUGGS: And they don't publish them.
LALO: In fact, one of them didn't believe me but I gave them the opportunity of speaking with Raul Bencoma. This person told Bencoma: "Well you know how these people are, they always lie." and Bencoma said: "You know what? Lalo isn't like that and he is not lying. What you just told me is what really happened."
LALO: In fact, this (female) reporter, she is a woman, felt bad and then she started to help me when I was dealing with the situation against the US government.
BUGGS: When you were here in the United States.
LALO That is correct, I was fighting with the US government.
BUGGS: Okay, very well. I'm looking at my notes, I don't want to miss anything. So, did you do an interview with Bill Conroy?
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: Okay. I read his reports and his book. Are many of the things that he wrote factual?
LALO: Well they gave him the twisted version of how things happened.
BUGGS: Did someone filter information to him?
LALO: Yes, yes...
BUGGS: Because he was saying that the government also tried to threaten him indirectly.
LALO: Yes
BUGGS: When he reported that.. a lot about that.
LALO: Yes, he published an article about that but the information that he received is the information that the majority of the people that have internet and in all of the media outlets which was the information that someone from the government prepared in order to contaminate the investigation that was made, to discredit it and to try to close the matter per se. A great doubt exists as to what the government really tried to do with all of that tangling that there was with the DEA, especially with Sandalio, with Raul Bencomo who was finally fired, not for something that even had to do with me. They fired him because of a situation having to do with another informant. They accused him of not paying another person.
BUGGS: They used that excuse.
LALO: That excuse. Exactly. To discredit Bencomo as well.
BUGGS: Does the name Luis Padilla ring a bell?
LALO: Yes, yes, I think he was a DEA informant that was assassinated at the House of Death.
BUGGS: The House of Death. Do you have information as to whether or not he was picked up in El Paso?
LALO: No, they picked him up in Juarez City along with Omar Zepeda. Who in fact was the person that the Cartel was after. He was working for the DEA and he was infiltrating Omar Zepeda to take information for the DEA, but he did not count on the fact that Omar wasn't part of the Cartel. The Cartel found out and when they picked him up, he was with him and they took them. They took 3 people then.
BUGGS: How do the Cartels know all that information when they execute someone.
LALO: Presently I do not know but at that time the Juarez Cartel had the most complete interception system in Mexico, even better than the government.
BUGGS: In Juarez?
LALO: In Juarez City, yes.
BUGGS: Technology.
LALO: Technology. There are houses that we used to call caves. There are people in these houses that their only job is to listen to calls from cell phones, public phones, hotel phones. The State Police is going to the hotels to check license plates. It's a very complete network of information. I think that at that point in time it was the best thing available in Mexico.
BUGGS: At that time?
LALO: Yes.
BUGGS: A lot of people say that that gentleman, Luis Padilla wasn't involved in any aspect of organized crime.
LALO: As far as I know, Luis Padilla was working for the DEA in order to get some charges dropped.
BUGGS: That is something that I also heard. But he didn't have...
LALO: Which I should mention wasn't the case with me. Many have said "oh yeah well you got arrested" I was arrested after 3 years of me working for Customs and I did that intentionally because I was already fed up with their bullshit.
BUGGS: When they got you with a marihuana charge?
LALO: The government. Yes, I got a vehicle. I intentionally went to the checkpoint. That vehicle was nothing but red flags. Mexican license plate, it wasn't mine, I didn't have papers. I was going to get busted. That was on a Saturday night. I arrived in front of a judge Monday morning. I declared myself guilty, I said this was the end of ICE of the Cartel I don't serve anyone. I get to rest, it's over. I am fed up.
BUGGS: You wanted to get out.
LALO: Yes. On Tuesday morning at 6 AM, they tell me to grab my things. I get out and 2 federal agents are waiting for me. They put me in their vehicle handcuffed they get me out of there. After exiting the facility, they stop, they remove the handcuffs and say: "Lalo forgive us, what happened? What's going on? Let's go to El Paso." I got there and I told them, I said: "Look, I am fed up that you guys aren't taking this seriously and that my life is in danger and also the life of other people, my people. And during all this time you guys keep burning me and keep setting everything we do up for failure and putting me in the worst situations possible. I told them I don't want to anymore. So, they told me to continue and that they would put in more effort. Blah blah, they convinced me.
BUGGS: For you to continue.
LALO: After that was when I came back with the recording of Fernando Reyes. That's why I told you that I did it and with that house. So, they could take the matter more seriously. So that they could see what I had to live because they were always with their group. They were always protected, armed, with their tactics with all their "top of the line" that they supposedly have. I would cross the border alone and over there it was just myself against anything that came my way. I got tired of that, after 3 years I was hysterical and that is what I did. I said well if they aren't going to take things seriously, I am going to make them.
BUGGS: Was your entire family with you when you were living in Juarez? You and your family or was your family not there?
LALO: No.
BUGGS: It's very dangerous right? Have your family...
LALO: That is correct. They lived somewhere else.
BUGGS: I was going to ask you when you were arrested, they didn't press any charges?
LALO: Yes I went and pleaded guilty.
BUGGS: So they charged you but...
LALO: But they dropped them.
BUGGS: They let you go. They didn't...
LALO: Yes, two federal agents went and took me out of jail and they took me...
BUGGS: They didn't process you.
LALO: No, they threw out the charges.
BUGGS: It was a time when the DEA was very unhappy about having...
LALO: That is another lie, the DEA kept participating in a lot of the meetings that we had after that. They kept going, DEA Mexico which was the ones in Juarez and DEA El Paso.
BUGGS: They were present...
LALO: Yes, they were present.
BUGGS: During the briefing.
LALO: During the...
BUGGS: When they were giving out information.
LALO: Exactly and when we were planning what was going to happen.
BUGGS: Let's talk a little bit... I was trying to see, I mean we can talk all night but we don't have all night.
LALO: Well...
BUGGS: I was going to ask you something. You said that the Juarez DEA...
LALO: Also, the ones from El Paso.
BUGGS: And also, the ones from El Paso Texas. It's in the book. I put a lot of relevant information about police forces. From Mexico and the United States. Those are what I take a lot of interest in. So, there was an incident and before speaking about that. What can you tell me about Commander Loya? He was the...
LALO: Well he was the commander of the night shift of the State Police in Juarez City.
BUGGS: Of Chihuahua
LALO: He was in command in Juarez City
BUGGS: And he worked with Heriberto.
LALO: He was his nephew, actually.
BUGGS: He was...
LALO: He was in some way related to him through marriage.
BUGGS: But he helped him with the operations?
LALO: Well yes, not only with Heriberto but he not only put him in the position so that he could be under the command of the Cartel. It is a very common situation that the Cartel ends up placing. Key elements in the different corporation's whether it is military or police so that they can keep an eye out for Cartel interest.
BUGGS: I read somewhere, I don't recall where and it's in the book. Someone told me and I honestly don't remember. This was so long ago that I don't remember the information. There was an incident where one of the persons that had been executed gave information of the address of one of the DEA agents.
LALO: Well that was Luis Padilla.
BUGGS: Luz Padilla?
LALO: Luis Padilla. (clarifying)
BUGGS: Luis Padilla. (reaffirming)
LALO: And that was the error that the DEA always tried to cover up because... I mean I can't believe it. The fact that you would tell an informant where you live.
BUGGS: But hey, did he tell them that they were DEA?
LALO: No, when he saw that they were being tortured. When they took them to the House of Death with Omar Zepeda. He asked Santillan to get closer to him. I wasn't present but the following were words of Santilla and those were recorded. So, when he signals Santillan to get close, he gets close to him and he tells him: "Hey, I know where there is a house where drugs are stored. He gave them the address and the state police were sent to investigate.
BUGGS: The Police belonging to Loya?
LALO: Yes, to investigate the house. They arrive there and to tell you the truth there is a lot of versions of what happened, but the truth is that that house was Homer Glen I think was the agent's name and his wife and kids are there. So, when they see the insistence of these people he tries to get them out and they end up cutting him off. the State Police stop him.
BUGGS: When they were leaving.
LALO: Yes. They were in a bulletproof suburban and I think he just barely put the window down. He told them that he was DEA and then he asked his partner for backup.
BUGGS: He had a certificate from the consulate?
LALO: Something like that and the partner was the one that identified himself as a member of the consulate when he arrived there.
BUGGS: Both had identification from the American Consulate.
LALO: The reason I found out is because I oversaw all Cartel affairs in the United States. They asked me to investigate the names and corporate ties that these people were giving and to verify if it was real. They quickly realized what was going on after I passed along the names. They asked me to explain to them why we had those names. I explained the situation to them and that is when they decided to evacuate Juarez.
BUGGS: Did the police realize that they were DEA at the time of the detention?
LALO: Well Homer Glen did identify himself as a DEA agent.
BUGGS: Because I received information that indicates that they never identified themselves. That they worked for the DEA but that they worked for the Embassy. That they were diplomats.
LALO: No, the one that said he was a diplomat was the other person Rene something, I do not recall his last name.
BUGGS: Yes, the partner.
LALO: But Homer Glen said he was DEA and that is why they passed me the names so that I could verify.
BUGGS: Just to clarify, the police didn't want to get involved with someone that is from the DEA right?
LALO: Well truthfully it is not about them wanting to or not. It's about what order is going to be given by the Cartel.
BUGGS: From the very top? From Vicente?
LALO: Exactly.
BUGGS: So, either I read it or someone told me, I don't recall but they were supposedly going to take the agent and his family to the house.
LALO: Yes, that was the idea.
BUGGS: That was the idea?
BUGGS: No one that is taken to that house comes back alive right? Or have they ever taken someone to the House of Death to be interrogated and they walk out alive?
LALO: No, not that I recall. Once you are taken to that house, it is with the purpose of ending your life. On one occasion they asked me to bring in some people for interrogation and to not even prepare anything because we were just going to interrogate them but, in the end, they killed them. So, I cannot say that anyone has walked out alive.
BUGGS: So, they would have executed the family of the DEA agent had they taken them there...?
BUGGS: What happened to Commander Loya? At one point in time, the Federal Police arrived from Mexico to Juarez to investigate everything going on.
LALO: Well, the federales were always there.
BUGGS: But they brought the special agency.
LALO: Well yes, they set up their smokescreen. I never understood why they didn't make any arrest first... If they wanted to do things right. Why didn't they arrest people first and then go recover the bodies? I mean it's not as if the dead were going to run out of the house and try to escape when they saw that they were arresting the people.
BUGGS: Well could it have been perhaps because of the corruption?
LALO: Well yes, but the problem there is that it not only implicates the corruption of the Mexicans but also the Americans because they were coordinating that operation. The US government should have demanded the arrest and then later ask why we do we have these bodies. They put on the whole act with the bodies so that everyone would bail and have enough time to leave.
BUGGS: But by the time the federal police arrived and had removed the bodies they had already arrested Heriberto?
LALO: Heriberto yes but not the people involved in Juarez.
BUGGS: They never got them?
LALO: Not that I know of, never.
BUGGS: And you don't know what happened to Commander Loya?
LALO: I would be lying, I can only speculate.
BUGGS: Because they went to look for them, but he disappeared.
LALO: Everyone vanished once they saw that the bodies were found.
BUGGS: Someone told me that they killed him. Have you heard that?
LALO: I haven't heard any of that, but I wouldn't doubt it because something that was left really clear to me is that errors are paid with your life and what happened there was their error.
BUGGS: I've realized with Cartels and you probably know best how many of them work. Like for example, I've had a lot of information about past events where something happens in the hierarchy of the Cartels at like Vicente's level or El Chapo. And they realize that a Cartel is drawing a lot of attention to itself and what they have done in the past like El Chapo has done and we saw a lot of during his trial in New York. That a lot of times they turn them in. Either they pick them up and make them say what happened and admit they were involved, or they execute them. Or because of the police corruption and their involvement, they just hand them over to the police. Did something like that happen in Juarez in the end when everything crumbled?
LALO: Not really because they didn't turn anyone in. The only person that was captured was Santillan and that was because of the operation we did but from this side.
BUGGS: But they also arrested Vicente in the end.
LALO: Vicente... I saw the video, Vicente turned himself in. If you look at the video. Vicente says he doesn't know the person that is with him, but he gives him orders and gives him permission to talk. Vicente always said one thing. I'm going to stop my operations, I'm going to wait for the legal protection against extradition and then the whole show is over and that's how I see it. That's why he hasn't been extradited.
BUGGS: Did Vicente later start a war with El Chapo, but it wasn't like that when you were there?
LALO: No, we were always twinned with the Sinaloa Cartel. I'll say it again, Vicente stopped certain activities.
BUGGS: El Chapo was Vicente's friend?
LALO: We were there as a control cell and we gave all of our support to the person, I, in fact, met a lot of people that Mr. Zambada sent, and we were there to give them all our support unconditionally. We got along well.
BUGGS: Vicente got along well with Mr. Zambada?
LALO: Yes, I honestly think that all of that having to do with El Chapo and all those situations. I feel that you know a show, you know keep the common folk preoccupied with something trivial. That was the circus given to the people so that the rest could be at ease and make all of their arrangements like Vicente with the extradition protection or Mr. Zambada who has not been messed with. His son did get extradited but he is young, perhaps a short sentence and things get fixed. I feel as if it was never really a war. Juarez and Sinaloa have always worked together hand in hand.
BUGGS: At that time.
LALO: That is correct.
BUGGS: Well I'd like to thank you for being here and talking with us.
LALO: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak the truth. That is important I will not get tired of saying it over and over. What is on the internet is not only not factual, but that information has been manipulated in order to discredit the investigation that we did which was an investigation that lasted 4 years and took lives, resources, and a lot of sacrifices.
BUGGS: You gave a lot of information that helped against the war.
LALO: Well basically I don't know where else they got information to battle against the Juarez Cartel at that time. We were the ones that practically debilitated them.
BUGGS: I read or someone told me I really don't remember. Where they arrested a US agent that was collaborating that was corrupt. That you were part of...
LALO: Not just one, there were several cases of corrupt agents.
BUGGS: So, a lot of people don't think that the corruption doesn't happen or reach agents here in the US.
LALO: I think that this investigation was interesting and has been discredited mainly because of that. During this investigation we found out and it was through the grapevine, not something that we made up. I was always recording and there were meeting and during those meetings there were topics that were brought up in which a lot of people spoke about the corruption in the DEA and the corruption in Mexico all the way up to the presidential level. That is what was scary about this investigation. That you could see that the corruption is rampant in both countries.
BUGGS: Of Course, well we are running out of time. So again, I want to thank.
MARK: We're not going to talk about the spider? The Spiders?
BUGGS: The spiders. I want to thank Lalo for joining us today and giving us some very important information. I'm going to try to translate some of that information and maybe put it in context so that we know what he said. A lot of good points were made. Some clarifications of some of the things that for me at least...
BUGGS: Hey how many people did you say they found... about 13 bodies?
LALO: By my count yes, they killed 13 people there and they removed 12 bodies but as far as I know there is another body there.
BUGGS: So, there is another body there somewhere? Who would bury the bodies? Did you bury them?
LALO: No, I had people for that.
BUGGS: So, you had people to help you?
LALO: Yes, I had people that dug the holes and moved the bodies and all of that.


This podcast contains graphic violence, discretion is advised.




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