Sanctions recently imposed by the United States and Mexico on CJNG members allegedly linked to two high-profile murders demonstrate that the criminal group is one of the few remaining with a traditional hierarchical structure.
On April 6, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against Carlos Rivera Varela, alias “La Firma,” and Francisco Gudiño Haro, alias “La Gallina.”
According to OFAC, both individuals helped to orchestrate contract killings in the coastal region of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco state for the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG).
OFAC also identified Alejandro Chacón Miranda, a travel agent based in the city of Guadalajara, as a CJNG collaborator. Chacón Miranda allegedly arranged trips for the cartel and facilitated drug shipments logistics. These three individuals received orders from Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytán, alias “El Sapo,” a CJNG leader based in Puerto Vallarta.
One week before the US announced the sanctions, Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera – UIF) blocked bank accounts belonging to Rivera Varela, Gudiño Haro and Chacón Miranda. https://ba44437864562cfe41b4ff165293b8fe.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
According to Mexican news reports, the UIF also stated that the three individuals were linked to two high-profile hits on politicians: the murder of former Jalisco governor, Aristóteles Sandoval, and the attempted murder of Mexico City’s police chief, Omar García Harfuch.
The former governor was murdered in a bar in Puerto Vallarta in December 2020 and García Harfuch was attacked last June by at least twelve hitmen along one of the Mexican capital’s busiest thoroughfares.
Photos and videos published after the attack revealed the weaponry to which the CJNG has access: .50-caliber Barret sniper rifles and FN SCAR assault rifles manufactured in Belgium, normally used by US special forces.