Two drug cartels are behind the surge in violence in Morelos

The government identifies “El Señorón” as the man behind the Cuernavaca massacre

Two drug cartels are behind the surge in violence in Morelos
Before the recent massacre, gunmen used the same modus operandi to kill eight young men between February and June - Photo: Justino Miranda/EL UNIVERSAL
English 06/09/2020 15:13 Justino Miranda / Corresponsal Actualizada 15:24
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La Familia Michoacana and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) are engaged in a turf war in Cuernavaca, Morelos. 

According to a report issued by the Public Security State Commission (CES), the war between the two bloody cartels started when local criminal organizations forged alliances with the two drug cartels to survive.
The local groups led by by Abel Maya and Francisco Javier Rodríguez Hernández, aka “El Señorón,” are the organizations that allied with the Michoacán and Jalisco cartels. 
The Morelos government identifies “El Señorón” as the man behind the Cuernavaca massacre, where gunmen killed 8 people and wounded 14 at a funeral. According to José Antonio Ortiz Guarneros, a state security official, the attack was an act of terrorism because the gunmen aimed to kill all those present at the funeral. 

Recommended: Gunmen kill 8 people at a funeral in Cuernavaca
Since last week’s massacre, the government deployed soldiers, the National Guard, and state and municipal police to the area. However, this didn’t prevent cartel gunmen to kill two men in recent days. 

The latest attack in Morelos

People witnessed two gunmen shot a man dead on September 3. Then the gunmen killed a taxi driver. According to insiders, one of the victims was a Colombian citizen who worked for “El Señorón.” In recent years, Colombian criminals have established themselves in Mexico, where they offer loans to small business owners; nevertheless, they impose high-interest rates and end up extorting shopkeepers. 

According to local police chiefs, the Antonio Barona neighborhood has become a battleground for the criminal groups led by “El Señorón” and Abel Maya, who aim to control Cuernavaca. Investigations suggest the two men killed in recent days worked for “El Señorón.” Their murder was a response to the Cuernavaca massacre at a funeral. 
Moreover, security reports suggest the extortion group known as “Los Colombianos” (The Colombians), have also allied with the CJNG. On the other hand, “Los Maya” collaborate with La Familia Michoacana. 
Furthermore, many other criminal organizations still operate in Morelos: Los Rojos, Guerreros Unidos, El Señor de la V, Los Linos, La Tripa, and El Temerario.

The report includes explosive accusations against politicians, the actions of the local cartels indicated “ties to federal and state lawmakers, mayors, judges, magistrates, prosecutors, police officers at all levels, prison guards, as well as state and independent government officials.

Recommended: Cuernavaca massacre: A local cartel is behind the deadly attack 

Massacre at a funeral

Before the recent massacre, gunmen used the same modus operandi to kill eight young men between February and June. One of the attacks was perpetrated by “Los Colombianos.”

According to police chiefs, the shooting signaled the intensification of a turf war between two local cartels, led by Abel Maya and a man known as “XL” or “El Señorón.” Both criminal organizations aim to control Cuernavaca and drug trafficking, especially the sale of crystal meth. 

Fear and anguish confused those present at the funeral, who provided contradicting testimonies to local authorities. 
Witnesses said the gunmen arrived in two trucks and killed three young men who were waiting for the bus. Then they targeted the mourners. They said the gunmen only stopped shooting because they ran out of bullets. 
According to official reports, the attack took place at 10:15 pm; however, authorities arrived at the scene until 10:40 pm.

Authorities used surveillance cameras to identify some of the gunmen and their license plates. 

The state prosecutor’s office confirmed the attack was perpetrated by a local criminal organization. The weapons used during the attacks have been recently used in other deadly attacks, such as the massacre of six young men on August 14. 

La Barona, a dangerous neighborhood

La Barona neighborhood, where the deadly attack took place, is considered one of the most dangerous areas in the state. 

Gunmen previously launched an attack in the same home where a family hosted a funeral, killing two people. 

The investigation indicates the cartel gunmen knew their rivals would be at the funeral and decided to attack. In the end, the criminals killed seven men and one woman, they also wounded 14 men and three women. 

However, the attack continued. The cartel returned to the area the next morning and shot a home located two blocks away from the crime scene. 

The local police expect the criminal group to retaliate against the gunmen.


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