Pancho Villa ReturnsMay 20th, 2007 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime, Politics
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THE BORDER REPORT
“Villa is everywhere, but Villa is nowhere.”
AGUA PRIETA, SONORA – That was the message from Gen. Black Jack Pershing to Washington in the days after the U.S. ordered him to hunt down Pancho Villa in Mexico.
It was a violent time; the Mexican Revolution was underway and finally Gen. Alvaro Obregón repelled Pancho Villa in Agua Prieta. Some believe he did it with the help of the Americans who lit up the town with searchlights from their side of the border.
It’s not too different in eastern Sonora now except that the boss most likely involved isn’t being repelled, say officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mexican Federal Attorney General’s Office.
This slice of the border is a tricky place; some of the most important events that led up to the Mexico we know now started in Agua Prieta, from the drafting of the Mexican Constitution to the only known spy in the Fox Administration.
It’s also the place where the accepted boundaries of narco-trafficking organizations come together.
The Juárez Cartel, under Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, is strong here; but the Sinaloa Federation,the conglomerate of Sinaloan narco-families, is also present.
Then there’s this guy, Francisco Hernandez Garcia, aka El Dos Mil.
The 36-year-old narco-trafficker has his roots with the Enriquez Parra family, Los Numeros. Two years ago, Los Numeros owned the plazas, the staging points along the northern Sonora border with Arizona from which the cocaine and marijuana came in. In one recent case, sealed by a federal judge in Tucson, three members of Los Numeros were arrested after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents ran surveillance on their stash houses for two years. In one of their stash houses in Phoenix, investigators found more than 200 pages worth of ledgers detailing the sale of tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana. In a second house, the Feds seized more than $200,000 cash.
The Enriquez Parra brothers are finished now; Daniel Irene was shot dead in Tijuana in January 2005. Raul, the oldest brother, was beaten with a hammer and thrown out of an airplane in October 2005. Idelfonso was popped by the organized crime investigations unit of the Mexican Federal Attorney General’s Office in November 2006. Wilfrido is on the run. Wenceslado Teran, their most loyal hitman, was shot dead in March 2007 in Ciudad Obregon.
U.S. Justice Department agents believe the remaining members went to ground, hiding in Tucson. Others went to work for Dos Mil.
Nobody knows where he was born, or rather, nobody is saying where he was born, but since the fall of the Enriquez Parra family, he’s worked out of Cananea, and started making inroads into Agua Prieta after the Paredes Machado family was wiped out in a machine gun attack there at Los Tulipanes Restaurant May 2004.
Sometime in the past seven months – during the 2006 mayoral election – he was supplanted in Cananea by the Sinaloans.
Tuesday night, Drug Enforcement Administration officials believe, he came back.
“One possibility that we’re strongly looking at is that he attacked Cananea in order to draw attention onto the Sinaloans,” said a DEA agent familiar with the case. “If the military were forced to come into Cananea, that would hinder the Sinaloan’s flow of narcotics up to the border from eastern Sonora. In a sense, he’s using the Mexican Army to take on the Sinaloans. I expect we’re going to see an increase in dopeloads to the west, in Nogales and Sonoyta, because of this.”
The message from Mexico City was carefully conveyed; the killers came from Tamaulipas, the home base of the Gulf Cartel.
But Mexicans use what I consider a beautiful phrase for these things. The material author and the intellectual author. We know now that the gunmen who lay siege on Cananea were from the Gulf Cartel, the material authors. But was Dos Mil the intellectual author?
The Mexico City message matched that of Gov. Eduardo Bours and it all sounds like the gunmen were from outside of Sonora, part of that “daisyroach effect” from a successful Mexican government hunt for narco-traffickers.
But evidence is pointing into Sonora itself.
Last winter, Dos Mil contracted eight Zeta hitmen to lay siege on law enforcement throughout Sonora, particularly in Hermosillo. Thirteen police officers died and five gunmen were captured. State and federal investigators told me that Dos Mil had contracted Zetas to do the hits in a revenge for being supplanted to the north.
God knows the DEA has been wrong before; sometimes dangerously so. It’s also possible Dos Mil was the intended target. But if history has a lesson to teach us here, it is this: these violent uprisings, they have a nasty habit of coming back.
Dos Mil is everywhere, but Dos Mil is nowhere.
This thing is not over.