In his heyday, he was known as “El Cholo,” a prominent gangster and alleged leader of the Nueva Plaza Cartel, a criminal organization based in Guadalajara, Mexico.
But in the end, he was simply Carlos Enrique Sánchez, his body left wrapped in plastic on a park bench in downtown Tlaquepaque, the Mexican state of Jalisco – yet another casualty in the bloody cartel wars in the United States. Mexico.
A former member of the notorious Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), El Cholo was once considered the right-hand man of El Mencho, one of the most wanted drug lords by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
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But El Cholo split from the cartel in 2017 after allegedly ordering the assassination of Marcos Hernández, a cartel financial operator who informed El Mencho of the thefts El Cholo allegedly committed, according to Jalisco-based Mexican security sources. who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.
El Cholo formed his own gang, the “Nueva Plaza Cartel”, financially supported by the Sinaloa Cartel, one of CJNG’s greatest enemies. CJNG and the Nueva Plaza Cartel have fought over the years to control the western states of Mexico.
In a video that went viral on the internet, heavily armed men kept a handcuffed man talking to the camera.
“My name is Carlos Enrique Sánchez Martínez, aka El Cholo,” the man said on the video in Spanish. “I met (Mexico City Police Chief) Omar Garcia Harfuch in Mexico City to ask for help, as we are both enemies of CJNG.”
The man claiming to be El Cholo ended the video by advising his supporters to stop following him.
“You guys who still stand behind me stop doing it and get on with your family,” he said. “Look how I ended up.”
Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Solis said all indications suggest the man in the video is Carlos Sánchez Martínez, or El Cholo.
In June 2020, Harfuch accused CJNG of an assassination attempt that seriously injured him and killed two of his friends. “Our nation must continue to confront cowardly organized crime,” he tweeted.
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El Cholo was not so lucky. On March 18, the same day the video went viral, a body was left on a park bench in Jardin Hidalgo, a park near Tlaquepaque town hall.
The body was wrapped in plastic, glued with two knives that pinned signs saying, “The traitor, El Cholo.”
Jalisco’s attorney general’s office said the families identified the body as El Cholo.
Authorities said an investigation was underway into the vehicles and people who participated in the launching of the body in the main square.
Such practices are not new to CJNG, known for its bloody murders, dismembered bodies, and video recording of their actions.
“Sadly, decapitated bodies, corpses hanging from bridges and remains with narco blankets are part of the daily landscape of violence that is experienced in many parts of the country,” said David Saucedo, a security analyst based. in Mexico.
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In the first two months of 2021, Jalisco officially recorded 494 deaths.
On December 18, the former governor of Jalisco, Aristóteles Sandoval, was shot dead in a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. Last year, Mexican authorities found 559 mass graves in a country with more than 80,000 people missing. Authorities recovered nearly 1,100 bodies – 433 in Jalisco.
More violence was expected after El Cholo’s death, with experts predicting a dangerous offensive by the Nueva Plaza cartel against the El Mencho cartel.
Instead, a surprising but tense calm loomed over the city, security analyst Saucedo said. “We expected an aggressive reaction from the Nueva Plaza cartel, but there was none. It seemed the cartel was okay with the murder.
But it’s clear El Mencho was sending a message, Saucedo said.
“To leave the body in broad daylight is to intimidate enemies,” said Saucedo. ‘El Cholo’ was not killed in a clash; he was captured, interrogated, tortured and ultimately murdered. “
“This is a message from El Mencho to his own people: any CJNG member who dares to rebel or separate from the organization will have this end,” he added.