Members of the Virgin Cartel arrested in Apatzingán region with firearm and ammunition

The arrests resulted from an operation carried out in the municipality of Apatzingán, in which the National Guard and the Mexican Army participated.

In the state of Michoacán, two alleged criminal operators involved in extortion and kidnapping were arrested. They were allegedly part of the criminal group known as the Cártel de la Virgen (Virgin Cartel ). In addition, authorities seized magazines, cartridges, a gun, and a pickup truck.

The pair of apprehensions resulted from an operation deployed in the Apatzingán region on Saturday, July 8, in which elements of the Civil Guard of the Ministry of Public Security (SSP), the National Guard, and the Mexican Army participated.

During these actions, the uniformed officers entered difficult access roads. When they entered the town of El Molinito, part of the municipality mentioned above, they noticed the presence of two individuals in a white Jac Frison T8, model 2023 pickup truck.

Due to the suspicious attitude of the individuals, the authorities proceeded to conduct a routine check, after which they found a Colt .38 Super pistol, three magazines, and multiple cartridges of the same weapon, which were secured to be included in the investigation file.

Entre los detenidos se encontraba un adolescente de 17 años de edad (Foto: Guardia Nacional)
Among the detainees was a 17-year-old teenager (Photo: Guardia Nacional).

The two subjects were detained. Based on journalistic reports, it was possible to determine their respective identities. One of them was 24-year-old José Alonso “N,” and a 17-year-old adolescent.

Both are allegedly members of the Cartel de la Virgen, whose operations base is in the Acahuato community, located in the municipality of Apatzingán. Intelligence reports indicate that the leader of this organization is Ricardo Madrigal “N,” alias El Barbas and/or El Señor de la Virgen.

The name of the criminal group, which is dedicated to kidnapping, homicide, extortion, and the disappearance of people, among other illicit activities, has to do with the Virgin of Acahuato, whose apparition dates back to 1743. During the government of Silvano Aureoles Conejo, the Cartel of the Virgin became more powerful in Acahuato.


However, it is not the only criminal group in the Tierra Caliente and Michoacan regions. Insight Crime reports indicate that the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) has the greatest presence in the state.

En la zona de Tierra Caliente se ha registrado la presencia de Los Viagras (Foto: SSP de Michoacán)
The presence of Los Viagras has been registered in the Tierra Caliente area (Photo: Michoacan SSP).

The “Cartel of the Four Letters” and the Cartel of the Virgin are followed by Los Viagras and La Nueva Familia Michoacana, who are in a bloody dispute for the control of drug trafficking routes, illegal mining, as well as the sale and distribution of drugs.

This war between cartels has caused the forced displacement of hundreds of people from various communities in Tierra Caliente due to constant armed attacks, extortion, and threats against their integrity.

The situation of violence in Michoacán was reflected on June 29 with the murder of former vigilante leader Hipólito Mora, who was ambushed in the town of La Ruana along with three of his bodyguards, identified as Saulo Gamaliel Alcantar (Civil Guard officer), Roberto Naranjo Andrade (municipal police) and another unnamed.

The Attorney General, Adrián López Solís, informed that at least 25 people who fired more than 1,000 shots participated in the attack. The aggression was of such magnitude that the vehicle in which Hipólito Mora was traveling was completely burned.

It is presumed that Los Viagras was behind his murder, according to reports issued by the state Attorney General’s Office. This group emerged under the guise of a vigilante movement but later became involved in criminal activities. Today, it has a feud with the CJNG.