In Michoacán, Mexico, a lavish celebration marked the 15th birthday of the daughter of Heraclio Gerardo Martínez, known as “El Tío Laco“, an alleged regional leader of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) and a close associate of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, “El Mencho”.
The extravagant event, which took place on September 25 in Tinaja de Vargas, the operational center of “El Tío Laco”, was a public display of his power and wealth.
A Display of Opulence and Power
The party, a grand affair with nationally known comedians and artists in attendance, featured luxurious decorations, including a carousel and a central dance floor where a quinceañera doll was projected with Disney’s “Cinderella” animations.
A highlight of the event was a drone show, displaying “Nicole” (the daughter’s name) and “HBD” (Happy Birthday) in the sky. Social networks were abuzz with videos and images of this grandiose celebration, which only became public knowledge in mid-November.
Extravagant Gifts and High-Profile Entertainment
Among the gifts received by Heraclio’s daughter was a pink Mercedes Benz van, worth an estimated 4 million pesos, and a black Razer all-terrain vehicle. The entertainment lineup was equally impressive, featuring comedian Teo González and artists such as Pancho Barraza, Julión Álvarez, and Alfredo Olivas.
Notably, the band Los Alegres del Barranco, known for a narcocorrido about Heraclio Martínez titled “El Tío Lako”, also performed.
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Security Measures: A Mix of Civilians and CJNG Members
While guests enjoyed the festivities, a mix of armed men, some in civilian clothes, others in black or military-style attire with “CJNG” vests, guarded the venue.
The celebration, according to the event’s program, lasted from 3:00 p.m. until the following morning, concluding with Los Alegres del Barranco’s performance.
The Aftermath: A Manhunt for “El Tío Laco”
Almost two months following this opulent display, Michoacán authorities conducted an operation in Tanhuato to capture “Tío Laco”. Although he evaded arrest, the authorities found exotic animals, including a lion cub, a panther, and a tiger, at a property in Tinaja de Vargas.
Escalating Violence in the Wake of the Party
The manhunt intensified with a confrontation on November 16 in Ocotlán, Jalisco. Alleged CJNG members clashed with Public Security agents, a conflict believed to be a response to the government’s efforts to apprehend Heraclio Guerrero Martínez. Since 2011, he has led the “Los Guerrero” criminal cell.
Despite his low profile in criminal activities, “El Tío Laco” remains one of the Michoacan government’s priority targets, especially after the flamboyant public display at his daughter’s quinceañera, which has drawn significant attention to his operations and lifestyle.