sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, November 8, 2019

La Unión Tepito

It's good to review what the cartels are doing from time to time because the news media will not do that and as a result, the American public remains largely ignorant.

Today, I thought that spotlighting a small cartel that you may never have heard about would be interesting. La Unión Tepito is such an organization/cartel/cult.

A couple weeks ago, on 22 October 2019 Secretariat of Citizen Security of Mexico City (Secretaría de Seguridad Ciudadana de la Ciudad de México – SSC CDMX) of Mexico City, the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México – PGJ-CDMX), and the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico (Secretaría de Marina – SEMAR) conducted counternarcotics operations in in the Bravo district of Tepito, Mexico City. This coordinated raid took place because La Unión Tepito apparently is not paying off the Federal Government of Mexico, which has a policy of hugging, not fighting with cartels. The sub rosa message is that if you pay, you're hugged, if not, you're mugged. (yeah, I'm a poet, how about that?)

Over 30 alleged members were arrested while the group’s leader Oscar Flores aka ‘el Lunares’ (“The Moles”) escaped on a motorcycle. Authorities discovered two laboratories used to produce synthetic drugs along with 50 kilos of chemicals used in drug production, which had been constructed inside of a tunnel complex under Mexico City. (link - in Spanish)

The tunnel system ran under several residences in the neighborhood using false walls, hidden latches, and custom created tunnels. 2.5 tons of marijuana, 20 kilos of cocaine and 4 kilos of methamphetamine were seized. 31 suspects were initially arrested, however, 27 of them were released 3 days later by a judge that alleged the security forces fabricated evidence. The normal assumption is that somebody got to the judge.

Two days following the raid authorities announced that there was evidence to suggest that 120 police officers were on the payroll of La Unión Tepito. Those numbers are typical for a smaller operation. Many Mexican police officers are paid off by more than one cartel, supplementing their miserably small salary.

The Mexican Navy (SEMAR) discovered a tunnel that connected one of the properties being searched to a warehouse on a nearby street.  Half a million pesos, 5 hand grenades and over 13 automatic weapons were also discovered including the warhead from a rocket launcher. 

In one of the residences agents discovered numerous religious shrines and altars. Many of these contained human remains and traces of blood. More than 55 skulls, dozens of bones, and an unidentified fetus of human or animal origin were discovered. The newspaper El Heraldo de Mexico reported that according to a statement by a witness the members of La Unión performed quote ‘satanic’ rituals every third day to have good fortune in their illegal activities in addition to being immune to bullets. (more here)

The skulls found in some of the ngangas were victims of murder by the gang. Another shrine at the scene features numerous images of folk saints frequently found among traffickers including Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde. Ritual homicides have been documented in the U.S. and Mexico involving the torture and sacrifice of victims to Santa Muerte.