Escalation of cartel violence to control Vallarta likely


This Friday, after a clash between elements of the Mexican army and suspected criminals, Saúl “N”, alias El Chopa, alleged lieutenant of the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel in Vallarta, was shot dead, in addition to the arrest of his driver Moisés “N”.

Saúl “N” La Chopa was known as one of the CJNG commanders with operations in Puerto Vallarta who was engaged in criminal labor and arms trafficking. His name was recently revealed, after being linked to having been in the Distrito 5 bar, the day of the assassination of the former governor of Jalisco, Aristóteles Sandoval, on December 18, 2020. He is believed to have met José Manuel “S”, “Manu Vaquita”, manager of the bar, a few minutes before the murder of Sandoval.

Manu Vaquita ordered his restaurant to be cleaned and cleared of any evidence of the governor’s assassination before authorities arrived on the scene. He was arrested last week with obstruction.

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La Chopa appears as a lieutenant of Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytán “El Sapo”, leader of the Jalisco cartel in Vallarta, which in turn has several collaborators: Carlos Rivera alias La Firma, Francisco Javier Gudiño Haro La Gallina, financial operators like Sergio Armando Orozco Rodríguez El Chocho, among others. Several of them are also wanted by the US government.

After the violent incidents recorded in Puerto Vallarta that led to Chopa’s arrest and death, the reinforcement of security by elements of the Army, Navy and National Guard continues to increase in Puerto Vallarta .

“From the death of this lieutenant, it is very likely that there will be an escalation of violence between criminal groups for control of Vallarta. It is a municipality that is currently “hot”, we can say it since the disappearance and murder of real estate businessman Felipe Tomé in 2020, after the murder of former governor Aristóteles Sandoval, and now these incidents “, said Luis Razo, specialist and consultant on security issues.

This weekend, 400 elements of the 102 Infantry Battalion arrived at the port to reinforce security. For the past two weeks, Puerto Vallarta has exhibited hotel occupancy between 90 and 100 percent occupancy due to Holy Week and Easter festivities, the season in which these violent incidents were recorded.

The commander of the 102 Infantry Battalion, Julián Otero Radilla, mentioned that in addition to the elements, 51 armored and artillery vehicles are circulating in the municipality to reinforce security tasks. These elements will support the base of the National Guard in the commune and the elements of the 41 Military Zone and the Eighth Naval Zone of the Navy.

Puerto Vallarta, since 2012, has become a stronghold of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, taking control of the municipality despite attacks for control from other criminal structures such as the Sinaloa Cartel.

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