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

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 31 AUG 2012

A protected witness at the trial of alleged drug trafficker Henry Fariñas provided grisly details of how Fariñas' organization would…

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 15 SEP 2011

In recent years Mexico's criminal groups have diversified from drug trafficking into crimes like extortion, a business which necessarily involves…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 3 FEB 2012

Mexico deployed approximately 4,000 troops to the western state of Michoacan, where rival criminal gangs are engaged in a heated…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.