HomeNewsBriefNarco Funeral Draws Attention to Los Salazar in Mexico
BRIEF

Narco Funeral Draws Attention to Los Salazar in Mexico

MEXICO / 20 AUG 2019 BY MARIA ALEJANDRA NAVARRETE FORERO EN

The murder and lavish funeral of a violent clan boss linked to the powerful Sinaloa Cartel has shown the outsized influence of Los Salazar in a strategic region of Mexico. 

Sergio Alberto del Villar Suárez, alias “El Napoleón,” the well-known plaza chief of the Sinaloa Cartel's “Los Salazar” cell, was killed on August 8 in the city of Hermosillo in Sonora state, while he was at a restaurant with his family, Milenio reported

His funeral became a controversial affair as it was celebrated with "narcocorridos," ballads glorifying the actions of drug traffickers. A police motorcycle escort also accompanied his funeral procession along with luxury vehicles, as can be observed in a video published by Milenio.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profile

Del Villar Suárez was also free despite having been arrested on October 5, 2018, during an intense operation by municipal and state police forces in the city of Hermosillo. He was accused of being responsible for the murders of several members of the city’s public forces.

A day after the killing, Los Salazar sent a message to Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich, threatening to target her family. "Madam governor, you did not respect the agreement, we have located your entire family ... and this will be paid in blood."

InSight Crime Analysis

The immediate threat of retaliation against state authorities by Los Salazar, as well as a police escort at the funeral of its leader, shows the virtual impunity with which the group feels it can operate.

The exact motive behind Del Villar Suárez's murder is still unknown, but his death has shone a spotlight on Los Salazar, one of the most violent cells of the Sinaloa Cartel that plays a crucial role in the group's control of the strategic border state of Sonora. 

Originating in the northern state of Chihuahua, the group was founded by Adán Salazar Zamorano, alias “Don Adán.” He arrived in the city of Navojoa in Sonora in the 1990s to participate in the production and distribution of marijuana crossing Mexico’s northern border into the United States.

Don Adán entered the Sinaloa Cartel as a deputy for leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” along with his sons, Jesús Alfredo, alias "El Muñeco," and Adán, alias "El Indio."

Following the arrests of Adán in 2011 and Jesús Alfredo in 2012, and Adán's subsequent murder in 2016, the brother of "Don Adán," Crispín Salazar Zamorano, assumed leadership of the organization. He is now also behind bars. 

SEE ALSO: Sinaloa Cartel News and Profile

The clan’s importance lies in the dominance it maintains in Sonora state and parts of Chihuahua, which border the US states of Arizona and New Mexico. From the cities of Navojoa and Hermosillo, it maintains control of drug and migrant trafficking routes through this part of northern Mexico.

A report by Mexico's National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information for Combating Crime (Centro Nacional de Planeación, Análisis e Información para el Combate a la Delincuencia - Cenapi) identifies this group as part of the Sinaloa Cartel's military arm. The report ranks it among the cartel’s 10 most important cells, along with Gente Nueva, Los Cabrera, and the Poniente Cartel. 

Its criminal actions are such that Mexican authorities in 2015 blamed this group for the forced displacement of at least 1,200 people from Sonoyta municipality in the state of Sonora, as well as around 300 families in Las Chinacas in the state of Chihuahua.

The group is also implicated in the disappearance of journalist Alfredo Jiménez Mota in 2005 and the murder of Miroslava Breach in 2017. Both were investigating ties between the group and politicians and local security forces. 

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

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 31 OCT 2010

Mexican authorities are making it seem as if Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias “La Barbie,” is cooperating with them following their…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 20 MAR 2013

A new study found that nearly half of United States firearms dealers are economically dependent on demand from Mexico, while…

EXTORTION / 6 SEP 2011

A diplomatic cable released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks offer further evidence of the climate of corruption that exists around the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…