To understand how he and his cohorts have been able to outwit and outmaneuver several military offensives against them, one must understand the geography of the area. Northern Sinaloa is in the heart of the "Golden Triangle" the term used to describe
's drug producing region. The mountainous region seems defiant of gravity, rugged and steep, beautiful and lush from a distance, it is hard to see the secrets hidden here and this place has many secrets. Mexico
High up in the Sierras, where isolation is a part of life, a culture emerged. One born out of self reliance and hardship, centered on the ruggedness of living in the harsh and unforgiving Sierras. The culture had little care for the authorities which offered them little in return. Outsiders are not welcome here, even without the cartel threats most locals would treat you the same, an outsider, someone who does not belong and is not to be trusted. A kind of Robin Hood bravado holds in the air, as the locals quietly praise those who went against the government. These criminals or outlaws were often related to many of those who called this place home. The locals never saw the harm in letting these men get one over on a government, which they only saw as inept and corrupt. Out of this environment were born many of the narcos you read about today.
Chapo Isidro was no stranger to the world of the cartels, having been involved since at least the early nineties. It is said Chapo Isidro began his climb up the cartel corporate ladder working under the Amado Carrillo Fuentes Organization. He was one of many who abandoned
Juarez after The Lord of the Skies died. He left and began working under the Beltran Levya Brothers. With time he proved himself to be a skilled sicario, capable of daring, cunning and bravado. A skilled tactician with an eye for details, Chapo Isidro has had many successful operations which have propelled him to the status of the outlaws of old. These small groups which outsmarted the government again and again, making a mockery of those who attempted to capture them are alluring to the poor and disenfranchised.
Many left the Beltrans when Arturo was killed to follow “La Barbies” faction but Chapo Isidro seems to have remained fiercely loyal to the Beltrans. There may also a connection between him and Vicente Carrillo Fuentes or Viceroy of the Juarez Cartel as well. Since Isidro Meza Flores worked for his brother, there is no reason to doubt the rumor. Due to the alliance with Beltran Levya and Los Zetas, one can assume they have continued to boaster this arrangment as both groups stand to gain from destroying the Sinaloan Cartel.
His group was the one of a few groups who starred in "The Battle" of Burrion where they confronted a group of sicarios backed by Chapo and Mayo. Some say some fifty trucks belonging to “Los Anthrax” a cell that operates under El Mayo Zambada went looking for revenge for the killing of Pancho Arce, they blamed Isidro and his Mazatlecos. Once again Chapo Isidro was the victor and it is said that many in that convoy never returned home. Isidro and his people earned the new title, "The Nightmare of Los Anthrax."
|X Marks the Spot|
His group also played a major role in the famous shootout in Tubutama
When the convoy approached a narrow pass in the road, gunmen from the Beltran Levya blocked off both sides of the road and unloaded an arsenal on the convoy. It was utter destruction, bodies laid strewn across the road, vehicles pot marked with bullet holes, tires flat, blood caked to the interior. Some of the gunmen were only able to make it a few feet from their vehicles before being cut down. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.
Also his group was responsible for the murder of King Castro one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, as well as the of the singer Sergio Vega (El Shaka.) The killing of the singer occurred only hours after he joked on the radio of avoiding another attempt on his life, he died on a highway as he was heading out to organize a show he was going to perform.
The group also ambushed a group of judicial police, leaving 7 dead.
|The Dead in Nayarit|
In May of 2011 there was a major clash of gunmen in Nayarit leaving another twenty nine Sinaloa Cartel gunmen dead. While not attributed to his group it bears all the hallmarks of a Chapo Isidro ambush. Authorities claimed the killers were Zetas, however accounts by those who knew of the situation, stated that is not entirely correct. While some Zetas were present, they were only assisting the Beltran Levya in the operation, which was being overseen by Chapo Isidro.
This group is also responsible for the ambush of the Secretary of Public Safety in Sinaloa, where they killed 11 PEP officers and 1 civilian, in a shocking display of power. This ambush shocked most of the country and forced the government to reevaluate the security of their officials.
There have numerous clashes in the mountains surrounding Choix that have been attributed to Chapo Isidro. This may well in fact be his last stand. He seems to have had internal conflict with a man called El Lemo, who apparently used to work for Isidro but now works for the Sinaloans. Much of the fighting in this area can be attributed to this, which has now claimed at least seventy lives in the past few months. It has become clear that Chapo Isidro has received help from the Los Zetas organization. The use of cloned vehicles, which arrived through the northern side of Sinaloa points a clear finger at Los Zetas involvement.
|Dead found in and around Choix|
They have also been blamed for the forced evictions of several families thought to be colluding with Sinaloa Cartel. They have also taken some families hostage, taken food and water and have basically been hiding in the surrounding mountains, coming down to resupply, then returning to their mission of rooting out the traitors, El Lemo in particular. The fighting around Choix has continued and the military has sent in a second offensive to try and root out the criminals. The outcome of this is likely to resemble the last attempt to root of Isidro’s men, with the criminal element vanishing into the mountains only to return again once the military has left.
Mexico and the have become famous, from Billy the Kid, to Jesus Maverde. Not to say Chapo Isidro is some robin hood like figure, quite the contrary, he steals from the poor, takes advantage of those most vulnerable, but history has a funny way of distorting the truth. He has earned his place within the cartel world, which often turns evil men into folk hero's; stories of those who fought against governments that most see as corrupt and inept, and to make something for themselves. This should in no way validate the atrocities of these men, but history likes repeating itself and Mexico has already laid the groundwork. United states
For more on this ongoing fight go here, here, here and here
For more on this ongoing fight go here, here, here and here