CJNG leader in Aguililla, El Gatillero, was arrested after a clash near Rafael Alvarez, Michoacan

Mexican forces detain El Gatillero after clash; drone attack rumors in Michoacán spark controversy. Multiple arrests highlight rising tensions.

In a recent clash involving the Mexican Army, the National Guard (GN), and the Michoacan Civil Guard, against the notorious Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), a significant capture was made. Gonzalo “N,” known as El Gatillero, believed to be the chief enforcer for this criminal faction in the Aguililla municipality, was apprehended.

The confrontation commenced as members of the Inter-Institutional Operations Base (BOI) were on patrol near Rafael Alvarez town. “When they were patrolling the area, the uniformed were attacked with high-powered firearms, for which they repelled the aggression,” commented the Michoacan Public Security Secretariat (SSP Michoacan).

Following the skirmish, 22-year-old Gonzalo “N” was detained, and found in possession of a long firearm, 7 magazines, 170 rounds, and tactical gear. The BOI, a joint force, comprises members from the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena), the National Guard, and the state’s Civil Guard.

Photo: SSP Michoacán
Photo: SSP Michoacán

The broader picture

El Gatillero is suspected of involvement in a plethora of federal and regional offenses, including extorting local lemon producers and businessmen. Insiders informed Infobae Mexico that Gonzalo “N” is a top assassin serving directly under CJNG leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, popularly known as El Mencho.

The Tierra Caliente region in Michoacan has recently witnessed a string of arrests targeting CJNG and Los Viagras members, accompanied by escalating tensions and incidents between criminal elements and state forces.

Other significant arrests

On September 11, three alleged operatives of the “Four Letters” cartel found themselves in custody following a BOI-led operation in the “La Ruana” region. The arrested individuals were identified as José Luis “N” (El Chango), Luis Alberto “N” (El Chivo), and Jesús “N” (El Chamán). Allegedly, they operate under Heladio Cisneros Meneras, known as La Sirena, an ally of Los Viagras. This group, primarily responsible for the escalating violence in the La Ruana, and Buenavista regions, and adjacent areas, is also implicated in extorting lemon farmers and other businesses.

The Michoacán SSP disclosed that these suspects were taken into custody on a country road close to Tenencia de Felipe Carrillo Puerto “La Ruana.” The authorities also seized from them three high-powered firearms, 14 magazines, 260 rounds, and assorted tactical equipment.

Two of Los Viagras' top authority figures could be behind the massacre in which Hipolito Mora was killed. (Twitter/@UnidaddeInteli5|Special)
Two of Los Viagras’ top authority figures could be behind the massacre in which Hipolito Mora was killed. (Twitter/@UnidaddeInteli5|Special)

The drone attack controversy

A day prior to these detentions, the La Ruana region was abuzz with rumors of a drone assault at a location where Guadalupe Mora, sibling of Hipolito Mora, was stationed. Initial reports hinted at possible casualties.

Guillermo Valencia, the chair of the State Directive Committee of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Michoacán, publicized the incident. “Lupe Mora, Hipolito Mora’s brother, was giving a speech in the main square when the first bombing in La Ruana suffered a drone attack,” he broadcasted on his X account, the platform formerly recognized as Twitter.

However, the state’s Public Security Ministry contradicted these claims, asserting no injuries and highlighting the robust security framework in place. Their statement elaborated, “There is a permanent inter-institutional deployment of more than 100 troops performing various operational tasks in the Tenencia de Felipe Carrillo Puerto ‘La Ruana’, aiming to ensure the safety of the population and prevent any unlawful act.” They further assured the public of the region’s safety, emphasizing that the security forces have the community’s situation well in hand.