Meet Francisco Jaramillo Valdovinos, AKA El Serio, CJNG leader in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero

"El Serio", associated with CJNG, remains enigmatic in Guerrero, with ties to local politicians and narcotics ballads revealing his history.

Francisco Jaramillo Valdovinos, more commonly known by his alias “El Serio,” is a name that resonates in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero. Some corridos, traditional ballads, depict him as “fine and a very good person.” Despite maintaining a low profile, there are whispers and rumors that suggest his ties to the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) as their regional boss.

Jaramillo Valdovinos’s identity is shrouded in mystery, with few concrete details available to the public. He’s known by several aliases including “El Seriecito” and “El Chico.” However, beneath the veil of secrecy, “El Serio” is no stranger to grandiose celebrations. Various videos have surfaced on social networks showing events linked to him, complete with musical bands, horses, and even the sound of machine-gun fire.

Journalistic investigations have revealed connections between Jaramillo Valdovinos and notable figures in Guerrero. He is allegedly related to Gregorio Portillo Mendoza, the former Morenista mayor of Zirándaro municipality. Gregorio’s family has its own share of controversy.

His brother, Marcelino Portillo Mendoza, and nephew, Rogelio Portillo Jaramillo, have both been accused by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of drug trafficking conspiracy. Reports from Proceso suggest that the Portillo brothers are closely associated with “El Serio” within the CJNG. Their primary adversaries in the region are the La Familia Michoacana cartel.

The life of “El Serio” is laced with tragedy, as revealed through the narcocorridos dedicated to him. One such video from November 2021 allegedly showcased Jaramillo Valdovinos singing “El Seriecito de Guerrero” alongside the musical group Los Dos de Tamaulipas. The ballads sing tales of a young “Chico,” whose father was killed before his birth.

As a boy, he became accustomed to the world of firearms, ranching, and marijuana cultivation. Banda Los Costeños, in their rendition titled “El Seriecito,” narrate how he ventured north during his youth, profiting from marijuana plantations, and upon his return, was warmly welcomed by his community.

While “El Serio” is known to be guarded and selective about his inner circle, he shared a notable bond with Leno Vega, or “Comandante Leno,” an operator of the Gulf Cartel. Unfortunately, their bond was cut short when Leno Vega met a tragic end in 2021 in Tamaulipas due to internal conflicts within the cartel.

In August 2020, buzz spread across local Guerrero media outlets about the alleged capture of “El Serio” by National Guard agents in Guayameo. Yet, conflicting reports on social media imply his possible release. Moreover, sightings of hitmen identifying as “Gente del Serio” or “Seriesada” have been documented, leaving his current legal status a subject of speculation.