Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Who is La Línea?

By Buggs for Borderland Beat
Sources come from many to named, most are anonymous.

About four years ago I had heard that violence was erupting in towns around Sonora. These small towns were been targeted and many people were being killed. I had asked about a region in particular, Yecora, as to who were the people responsible for the murders and a wave of violence unleashed in the town of Tepoca, municipality of Yecora in Sonora. One response I got from a Mexican official was that it was numerous fragmented cells from both Juarez and Sinaloa cartel. He said they change teams more often than we think, causing a lot of infighting.

But it did not take me long to figure out that I had a lot to learn. It was not just Tepoca, but all of Sonora and it was just not one particular group, but many players and many fragmented groups that went with the direction of the wind, depending on who pissed off who. Although alliances change many times, the names do not.

It is known and has been said many times that a criminal group cell of “La Línea” is lead by Víctor Noé González Bournes “El 500”, and his brother Ever José González Bournes “El Águila.” This was the talk when I started snooping around trying to find more information on a robbery of “La India” mine where they stole 1,100 kilograms of pure gold, valued at millions of dollars in 2016.

This was the same time when the late “El Chupón” was in charge of the plaza in Sonora, specifically Agua Prieta (AP). El Chupon was an affiliate of Gente Nueva at the time before his execution. Because these fragmented cells are in close proximity to each other between the states of Chihuahua and Sonora, one would expect that they would rub elbows at times.

And they do.

Sometimes they forge agreements to be able to operate with the trafficking business or sometimes they try to make a move to steal a plaza. Sometimes these operatives get betrayed (ajuste de cuentas) or dissatisfied and look for greener pastures on the other side.

It has been like this for many years.

 Marrufo escorted by Mexican police during his presentation to the media in Mexico City.
One example of this is that of José Antonio Torres Marrufo, El Jaguar who had at one time been an operative for the Juarez cartel in the state of Chihuahua. One day El Jaguar along with another man were abducted by Juan Pablo Ledesma El JL, who was a trusted man and second in command of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, El Viceroy.   Both El Jaguar and El JL were part of the Juarez Cartel during the era of the Carrillo Fuentes' dynasty. Marrufo was slapped around and cut on the face, but eventually released. 

Marrufo never forgot, and decided to aligned himself with El Chapo and El Mayo to confront the Juarez Cartel. Marrufo along with Salgueiro Nevárez El Flaco, went on to form a Gente Nueva cell in Chihuahua. Marrufo, still with the scars on his face from El JL, got arrested in 2012 and extradited to the US, where he testified in the Chapo trial.

It was heavily rumored that in Maycoba, Sonora, the Bournes brothers had carried out a series of thefts of houses, thefts of vehicles, and had torched shops in order to spread terror (calentando Sonora plazas) to the residents of the municipality. It has been heavily rumored that the disappearance of two geologists in Sonora was also attributed to them. It is said that the Sonoran desert may hold hundreds of graves of people who have vanished from the face of the earth.

Juan Pablo Ledezma Rodríguez, El JL founder of La Lina

This armed group La Línea  was founded by Juan Pablo Ledezma Rodríguez, "El JL", and financed by the one of the founders and leader of the Juárez Cartel, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, "El Viceroy."

The objective of this armed wing was to fight the Sinaloa Cartel in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. But that was back then, things are very different now. Things have become so fragmented and people keep switching sides from La Línea and factions of the Cartel de Sinaloa.

But who are these people who make up some of the cells of La Línea that fight for control of the regions in Sonora and Chihuahua? Let's focus on La Linea, as the Cartel de Juarez or Nuevo Cártel de Juárez (NCDJ) has very little of a presence in name anymore. La Línea is believed to have morphed into a full cartel as did Los Zetas from the Gulf cartel and Los Templarios from La Familia.

What remains of NCDJ is said to be led by Jesús Salas Aguayo, "El Chuyín", confined in the Social Reintegration Center number 3 in Ciudad Juárez. In the mountainous areas of Chihuahua, the leader is said to be César Manjarrez Alonso, "El H2." In Namiquipa and Bachiniva, Chihuahua, consulted official sources named Gustavo Chávez Villa, "El Máster," as the local leader. But the names don't end there.

The criminal structure is sometimes hard to figure out because there is so much misinformation out there and people who switch side as if they were changes socks. Let's start with the names of people being whispered in the streets of Chihuahua: Víctor Noé, González Bournes “El 500, Ever José González Bournes El Águila, Fredy Calles Romero “El Cóndor 1 or El Tolteca,” Gildardo Palomino Nieblas “El G 3”, whose other identity is José Francisco Cárdenas Meza, Francisco Missael Valencia Villaescusa “El Misa”, also by an Army Lieutenant of the Hermosillo Garrison, Antonio Ramírez, and by Cesar Daniel Manjarrez Alonso "El H2" together with Eladio Chávez "El 01 or El Rojo." All rumored to form part of factions of La Linea in Chihuahua and in some aspects, parts of Sonora.

Other names include Jaime Aguayo Agüero "El Chicha," the brother of the late "Chupón" Rafael Félix Mata "El Fay or " 04" considered as the second in command of "El Aguila," José Ramón Moran “El Indio Cucharas”, Elmer Armando, father-in-law of “Pepe”, Wulliam Nevarez “El Bazuca”, Rene Agüero Ramos “El Caraveo or La Cria” and Alejandro Coronado Arizmendi “El Jany.”

In addition to Sergio Iván Rascón "El 11 or El Tapahuecos, are Nacho Arizmendi Agüero, Fabián Salas "El Peinadito," Guadalupe Ramiro Lugo Higuera, Blas Gabriel Lugo Higuera, Jesús Antonio Lugo Higuera, Luis Lugo Higera, Santos Teodoro Lugo Higuera, Eraclio Lugo Higuera, Orlando Lugo Higuera, Junior Lugo Higuera, Rey Herminio Lugo Higuera, as well as Diego Anfelio Lugo Higuera.

Others are Juan Calos Campos "El Pájaro," Miguel Ángel Coronado Caraveo "El Gordo," Layo Rodríguez, Carlos López Piñuelas "El 21," Miguel Valenzuela Olivias "El Miguelon," Osman Adrian Córdova “El Peque,” Alejandro Baez “El 14,” Luis Ángel Ruiz “El Luison,” Iván Rocha López “El Colorado de Santa Rosa” and Ramírez Caraveo " Numero 3."

Do not hold me to be exact as to what is current in the ever changing of these cells as it's hard to really know who is still in the game or who has been killed or who has been arrested in the constant evolution of the structure.

It is estimated that the La Linea cell group headed by the Bournes brothers, El 500 and El Águila are supported by Cesar Daniel Manjarrez Alonso “El H2” and Eladio Chávez "El 01 or El Rojo ,” also leaders of the criminal group La Línea and who have a presence in the municipality of Moris, Chihuahua. They are said to also be responsible for the hundreds of deaths in the region and in the Yecora and Tesopaco municipalities in Sonora, where they have left families homeless  and fleeing for safety reasons.

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