HomeMexicoNazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias 'El Chayo'
MEXICO

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias 'El Chayo'

EL CHAYO / LATEST UPDATE JULY 24, 2019 EN

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo" or "The Craziest One" (El Mas Loco) was a founding member of the Familia Michoacana and later a leader of the Knights Templar criminal organization. He was falsely reported killed in a confrontation with security forces in 2010, and this claim was debunked when, on March 9, 2014, government officials confirmed his death in a shootout in the Pacific state of Michoacan.

History

Moreno is believed to have been one of the original commanders of the Milenio Cartel, and contributed a great deal to the Familia's cult-like reputation. He was a devout evangelical, allegedly inspired by Christian writer John Eldredge’s “Wild At Heart.” Members of the Familia were reportedly required to study a book of Moreno’s own quasi-spiritual writings entitled “Thoughts,” which includes New Age maxims like “Don't view your obstacles as problems, but accept them and discover in them the opportunity to improve yourself.” Moreno also cited religious fundamentalist Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez and motivational speaker Miguel Angel Cornejo as inspirations.

El Chayo Factbox

DOB: March 8, 1970

Group:  Familia Michoacana

Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking, extortion

Status: Killed

Area of Operation: Michoacan, Mexico

He is rumored to have been born in Apatzingan, Michoacan, and to have migrated to California for several years, working in Palo Alto, Fresno and San Jose. He reportedly trafficked marijuana at the border of Tamaulipas and was arrested once in McAllen, Texas, on drug trafficking charges. As a member of the Milenio Cartel, Moreno may have been the driving force behind the rebellion that ejected the Zetas from Michoacan. In a rare media interview with leading Mexican magazine Nexos, he emphasized the Familia's “social work” in the state, and justified the group’s control of the local drug trade by declaring, “what we want to do is regulate it, so that the people are not exploited.”

Moreno was reported killed in a police shootout in Apatzingan, Michoacan on December 12, 2010. However, years after his reported death, rumors continued to circulate that the cartel leader was still alive, and working on behalf of the Knights Templar criminal organization, which emerged as a Familia Michoacana splinter group shortly after El Chayo disappeared. These rumors were stoked when an alleged financial operator of El Chayo was arrested in Michoacan in February 2014.

Criminal Activities

El Chayo was a high-profile drug trafficker who had experience working with the Milenio Cartel before leading the Familia Michoacana. El Chayo's Familia Michoacana was also involved in kidnapping, extortion, as well as racketeering.

Geography

El Chayo was based in the Familia Michoacana's headquarters of Michoacan.

Allies and Enemies

Despite being a leader of Familia Michoacana, El Chayo was rumored to have begun working for splinter group the Knights Templar -- which counted Servando Gomez, alias “La Tuta” among its top leaders -- after his reported death in 2010.

Prospects

The mystery surrounding El Chayo's 2010 "death" was brought to an abrupt end when Mexican marines and members of the army killed the drug trafficker in a shootout on March 9, 2014 in Tumbiscatio, Michoacan. Government sources said fingerprint tests had proved beyond doubt that the dead man was El Chayo.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL CHAYO / 11 DEC 2010

After the death of its top leader, the Familia Michoacana is injured, but it is far from done. The government's…

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 6 NOV 2012

Nearly 90 percent of methamphetamine laboratories discovered in Mexico in the past decade have been located in…

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 12 NOV 2010

Gunmen armed with AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles and riding in a convoy that included at least ten…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…