Mexico's New Generation Jalisco Cartel Coordinates Chaos in Bid to Free Comrades
On August 9, members of SEDENA as well as local security forces from Jalisco and Guanajuato attempted to arrest a group of armed men traveling in a convoy of around 20 vehicles.
However, the security forces had unknowingly interrupted a meeting between two high-ranking commanders of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (C.J.N.G), Ricardo Ruiz “El RR” Velazco and Gerado Gonzales “El Apa” Ramirez.
The operation initially resulted in the capture of 12 vehicles, one makeshift armored vehicle (commonly referred to as a “Monstruo”), and 34 firearms. Six CJNG members were arrested, and one member of the cartel was killed. After order in the area had been re-established, security forces had captured, in total, 40 firearms, 10 grenades, 14 vehicles—10 modified with makeshift armor—three motorcycles, and one drone containing explosives.
The operation caused others within CJNG to believe both ranking cartel members had been captured, leading to the backlash seen in multiple cities in Baja California and Guanajuato in August, where CJNG unleashed flurries of violence, burning stores, and torching cars (creating barricades commonly referred to as “narcobloqueos”), damaging infrastructure and attacking security forces and civilians in an attempt to force authorities to release the captured commanders, a common tactic known as “heating up the plaza” (“Calientando La Plaza”).
Some locations where CJNG deployed narcobloqueos include San Isidro & Rio Blanco; San Isidro & Valle de San Isidro; San Isidro & La Grana; Saltillo & Chicharo Road.
While vehicles were stopped and set alight for blockades, stores were also attacked during the incident. They were as follows: 25 Oxxo stores in Guanajuato; 20 in Irapuato; three in Celaya; two in León.
No injuries were reported.
Ricardo Ruiz Velazco, "El RR" or " El Tripa," is a high-ranking member within CJNG’s command structure working under Juan Carlos "El 03" Gonzales, leader and founder of Grupo Elite, a CJNG cell initially formed to combat Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRDL), Los Viagras, and La Familia Michoacana. While operating as a leader within CJNG, El RR also worked as the head propagandist of CJNG, being responsible for communications released on behalf of the group.
Though it is unknown to what extent El RR had a direct hand in CJNG communications, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, Secretary of National Defense, confirmed that Gonzales had direct involvement in the production of the most well-known Grupo Elite communication.
While maintaining his role as a head propagandist, El RR also held a leadership position within the cell Grupo Elite, heading operations in Guanajuato and Zacatecas. El RR initially operated in Jalisco, and later moved to Michoacán after being connected to the 2013 assassination of Jalisco’s Secretary of Tourism, Jose Gallegos Alvarez. On the 9th of March, 2013 Jose was assassinated by members of CJNG who intercepted him on his way home, as a consequence of allegedly laundering funds for Los Caballeros Templarios as communicated by CJNG.
Miren pendejos, el secretario de Turismo anda lavando dinero para los putos de Los Caballeros Templarios y el señor, si llega al lunes, va a llegar de número uno a la Federal y ya ahí va a corromper a las autoridades y Los Templarios van a entrar a trabajar a nuestra casa como si nada y con la protección de todo el gobierno, así que ese secretario no puede pasar de este fin de semana.
Look, assholes, the Secretary of Tourism is laundering money for the fucking Knights Templar and, sir, if he arrives on Monday, he's going to be number one at the Federal and there he's going to corrupt the authorities and the Templars are going to enterto work at our house as if nothing had happened and with the protection of the entire government, so that secretary cannot make it past this weekend.
The backlash started in Jalisco and eventually spread to Baja California on August 13th, 2022. An uncommon but severe escalation of violence for Baja California, CJNG initiated it in order to pressure the Mexican government to stop their advances against CJNG cells, such as Operation Code Black, the joint operation between the US and MX governments to combat CJNG.
As in the confrontations in Jalisco, members of Grupo Elite had formed a reported 24 narcobloqueos within Baja California: 14 in Tijuana; four in Ensenada; three Tecate; three in Playas de Rosarito; two in Mexicali.
While the violence was spread around Baja California, CJNG focused their efforts in Tijuana, with multiple narcobloqueos being set within the city as well as declaring a lockdown in a narco-communication that had been disseminated not only in Tijuana but Parral, Chihuahua, and Colima via news reports and social media.
The communication stated:
Just to make you aware there will be a curfew this Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning on Friday at 10:00pm at night until Sunday 3:00 am. We’re going to make chaos so the fucking government will free our people we’re Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion we don’t want to hurt good people, its best that you don’t go outside we’re going to pick up anybody we see during those days on the streets fully CJNG.
As a result of these events local, state, and federal forces convened to launch an operation focused on maintaining security in these areas and removing criminal forces on the ground. Jointly, 3,000 elements of SEDENA and GN (National Guard) as well as an additional 2,000 police members were deployed in Tijuana.
The resulting violence had majorly shut down Tijuana, with multiple businesses closing and the streets largely empty except for scenes of burning vehicles. Montserrat Caballero, Mayor of Tijuana, had urged citizens to continue their daily activities saying, “Us tijuanenses will continue, with a pacifist manner, our activities because no delinquent will come and cut our freedom and our peace.”
As a result of the operation, 17 individuals were captured by members of SSPC (Secretaria de Seguridad y Proteccion Ciudadana), who were involved in the incidents occurring in Baja California. Seven were captured in Tijuana, four in Rosarito, four in Mexicali, and two in Ensenada. Three of the individuals were positively identified as CJNG operators with one confessing they were being paid $3,000 pesos for every vehicle burned ($149.72 at the moment of writing).
While this event was a successful show-of-force (which is what the tactic of “calientando la plaza” mainly is, in a sense), it seemed they did not have the power or resources to simultaneously counter the large deployment of security forces and cause enough initial violence to pressure the government into any consideration of a potential prison release. It appears CJNG strategically chose Tijuana and other locations around Baja California, as its closeness to the border along with the fact that the area is a well-known location would significantly increase the effectiveness of their operation. While the fiery scenes did succeed in getting both the eyes of Mexico and the US alike, the effort was not enough.
The idea that CJNG lacked enough resources to pull off the attempted coercion is due to two factors, one being that the group’s resources and manpower are stretched incredibly thin by having a presence in 28 out of 32 states in the nation. Certain areas the group deems essential are receiving the most attention and resources while others fail to obtain essential manpower or equipment to properly enter areas. This has been reportedly backed by claims from Vocero, a CSRDL (Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima) member interviewed by Grillonautas2, who claims when entering CJNG-controlled territory in Guanajuato the few members actually operating were too poorly equipped to actually hold and defend any real estate.
The second factor is the ever-increasing instability affecting the group both externally and internally: CJNG has faced fragmentation involving Los Pajaros de La Sierra and Cártel Independiente de Colima (AKA Los Mezcales), while internally the group faces uncertainty due to Nemesio’s failing health causing multiple members of the cartel’s leadership to see opportunities to either seize control or make an exit. While a successor has been chosen by Nemesio, Julio Alberto Castillo Rodriguez, husband of Nemesio’s daughter Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzales, other members of the organization are refusing to recognize him as a leader. This leaves the pressing question of what will occur once Nemesio passes away, and ultimately the long-term future of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, largely unanswered.