Security consultant: Escalation of violence between cartels to control Vallarta likely

This Friday, after a confrontation between elements of the Mexican Army and alleged criminals, Saúl “N”, alias El Chopa, alleged lieutenant of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel in Vallarta, was shot dead, in addition to the arrest of his driver Moisés “N”.

Saúl “N” La Chopa was known as one of the CJNG commanders with operations in Puerto Vallarta and who was engaged in criminal work and the trafficking of weapons. His name recently came to light, after he was linked to having been in the Distrito 5 bar, on the day of the assassination of the former governor of Jalisco, Aristóteles Sandoval, on December 18, 2020. It is believed that he met with José Manuel “S”, “Manu Vaquita”, manager of the bar, minutes before Sandoval’s murder.

Manu Vaquita ordered his restaurant to be cleaned and dispose of any evidence of the assassination of the Governor before authorities arrived on the scene. He was arrested last week with obstruction.

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La Chopa appears as lieutenant of Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytán “El Sapo”, head of the Jalisco Cartel in Vallarta, who in turn has several collaborators: Carlos Rivera alias La Firma, Francisco Javier Gudiño Haro La Gallina, financial operators such as Sergio Armando Orozco Rodríguez El Chocho, among others. Several of them are also wanted by the United States government.

After the violent incidents recorded in Puerto Vallarta that led to the arrest and death of Chopa, the reinforcement of security by elements of the Army, Navy, and National Guard continues to increase in Puerto Vallarta.

“From the death of this lieutenant, it is very likely that there will be an escalation of violence between criminal groups for control of Vallarta. It is a municipality that is currently ‘hot’, we can say it since the disappearance and murder of real estate businessman Felipe Tomé in 2020, after the murder of former Governor Aristóteles Sandoval, and now these incidents”, said Luis Razo, specialist and consultant on issues of security.

This weekend, 400 elements of the 102 Infantry Battalion arrived at the port to reinforce security. During the last two weeks, Puerto Vallarta presented a hotel occupancy of between 90 and 100% occupancy due to the Holy Week and Easter festivities, the season in which these violent incidents were recorded.

The commander of the 102 Infantry Battalion, Julián Otero Radilla, mentioned that in addition to the elements, 51 armored and artillery vehicles circulate in the municipality to reinforce security tasks. These elements will support the base of the National Guard in the municipality and the elements of the 41 Military Zone and the Eighth Naval Zone of the Navy.

Puerto Vallarta, since 2012, has become a bastion of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, achieving control of the municipality despite the attacks for control of other criminal structures such as the Sinaloa Cartel.

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