"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat
A month before State Investigation agents from the Baja California Sur Attorney General's Office arrested Juan Manuel Beltran "El Alacran", they had already located him in Ciudad Constitucion. They had also located his security chief, a man nicknamed "Coyote.
They knew that the criminals were protected in some way, because they moved around the municipality with impunity. What they didn't know was that members of the Navy commissioned to the Public Security Directorate of Comondú were protecting - and tried to free - "Alacrán".
On the afternoon of December 5, when state agents arrived in Ciudad Constitución to comply with the arrest warrant for kidnapping and for the crime of outrages against authority (for a beating of municipal agents), which was granted against Juan Manuel Beltrán "El Alacrán", criminals and authorities in his service tried to free him.
Juan Manuel Franco Silva, "El Alacrán".
Without firing a shot, when he got out of his vehicle to enter a safe house, "El Alacrán" was apprehended. The state agents of the PGJEBCS who were investigating him were listening to the criminal's radio communications. Family members or henchmen who witnessed the arrest, alerted by communications about the arrest and requested reinforcements to free him.
A Kia car arrived at the scene of the arrest with four men armed with handguns. They shot at the state agents' vehicles, even from the moving vehicle, and then tried to block the path of the state police, got out of the car and shot at the authorities.
The state agents repelled the aggression, and the criminals fled on foot, leaving the Kia vehicle behind. The state agents managed to capture one of them who, wounded, did not manage to escape. On the same radio frequency used by the criminals, they heard an alert that "reinforcements with "long weapons" were already on their way for those with small arms.
Within minutes, a white Lobo pick-up truck arrived at the scene and parked next to the Kia. Without insignias or logos, two men were driving it. They were armed with two handguns and two long guns. The co-driver, dressed in a white shirt, got out of the pick-up and fired at the state agents, who repelled the aggression.
The man in the white shirt shouted at the state agents to "hand over the boss" in an attempt to free "Alacrán".
In response, the PGEBCS agents repelled the aggression.
The driver of the Lobo also got out of the pick up and began to shoot, but took cover with the vehicle. This man was wearing a shirt with Municipal Police insignia.
At the end of the confrontation, the elements of the State Agency managed to immobilize the criminals who came to the rescue of "Alacrán". They were two members of the Municipal Police of Comondú, one of them belonging to the Mexican Navy, specifically as bodyguard of the director of Security, also a member of the Mexican Navy, Lieutenant Commander Julio Heladio Clavel Nicolás.
One of those identified as bodyguard of the lieutenant commander, the one in the white shirt, was wounded in the confrontation. The other, the one wearing the official municipal police shirt, was killed.
Lieutenant Commander Julio Heladio Clavel Nicolás, Director of Public Security
Municipal Security of Comondú
When the state agents were guarding the scene, Lieutenant Commander and Director of Security of Comondú, Julio Heladio Clavel Nicolás, arrived and without any communication, proceeded to take two handguns and a long gun; he also collected several shell casings from the scene and took them with him, along with other unidentified objects that he took from the white Lobo pick up.
At press time, Juan Manuel Beltran "El Alacran" remains in custody with an extension of time. The same applies to the criminal who was wounded at the scene of the arrest and confrontation, and the marine who was injured in the same shooting encounter aimed at freeing "El Alacrán". The latter two are charged with the crime of attempted murder.
The other two detainees, apart from "El Alacrán", are "Fortino Zamora Vargas, part of the criminal group (injured on board the Kia), and Luciano Juárez Rodríguez, a marine who is not registered in the systems as active (he appears as inactive in the National Guard); the former hospitalized in the IMSS, and the latter in the general hospital".
Regarding the director of Public Security of Comondú, Juan Heladio Clavel Nicolás, he will be accused of manipulation and theft of the crime scene.
The criminal wounded in the confrontation confessed to his captors that both marines were known to the criminal group, and that, from the Municipal Police, they were in charge of the "spy" service, that is to say, of warning the criminals of "El Alacrán" when there were operations intended to arrest them.
Of the two members of Juan Heladio Clavel Nicolas' bodyguard, the one identified as a marine is Jose Eduardo Tavera Martinez, who died in the confrontation.
Although the State Government has handled the case in a discreet manner, as the death of a marine in "crossfire", it was not such, but a clear and direct confrontation of the marines assigned to the Comondú municipality, to free "El Alacrán". The investigation of the facts, which began after the arrest of Juan Manuel Beltrán by state agents, and which was headed by the PGJEBCS, was handed over to the Attorney General's Office of the Republic, to investigate the participation of the marines and the municipal police of Comondú with the criminal group.
On the same Monday, hours later, the PGJEBCS sent a press release stating that a male person identified as Juan Manuel "N", nicknamed "El Alacrán", accused of the crimes of outrages to authority and kidnapping, was apprehended, through a special operation carried out by elements of the State Agency of Criminal Investigation, assigned to the Unit of Attention to High Impact Crimes in the municipality of Comondú.
With the complaint of the offended party, the criminal investigation agents began their work and obtained different elements of evidence, which led to know the identity of the probable responsible of the crimes of outrages to authority and kidnapping, for which the Control Judge determined that the necessary elements existed to issue the arrest warrants against him.
"The respective arrest warrants were served on the afternoon of Monday, December 5 in Ciudad Constitución by members of the PGJE's High Impact Crimes Attention Unit," reads Bulletin 844-2022.
The agency reiterated that during the arrest carried out in the streets of the Renero subdivision, a subject fired a firearm at the agents, "so they were forced to repel the attack, with the established security protocols, which led to the subduing of the accused".
It is reported that in said confrontation a male person was killed and one injured, however, details are omitted, such as the fact that the individual who died was an active marine and bodyguard of the general director of Public Security, Preventive Police and Municipal Transit of Comondú.
"The PGJE continues with the investigations and reiterates its commitment to the citizenry to carry out actions that give certainty to the rule of law and to bring those who violate the legal order to the attention of the corresponding authority," the press release simply states.
Information from an element of the Investigation Agency reveals that "El Alacrán" is identified as the criminal leader of a cell of hired killers that operates in Ciudad Constitución, municipality of Comondú and Loreto.
"El Alacrán", originally from Sinaloa, is the brother of Daniel "N", nicknamed "El Tiburón", who is a fugitive from justice. In his absence, "El Alacrán" commands a group of 15 to 20 armed people who are at his service.
The criminal leader is linked to several files under investigation, including the homicide of 55-year-old teacher Alfonso Noé "N" and the injuries against the teacher's son, 31-year-old José Antonio "N".
These victims were shot at in the early morning of March 6, 2021 at their home in the Vicente Guerrero neighborhood, in Ciudad Insurgentes, municipality of Comondú. Following these events, two people, identified as Felipe de Jesús "N", brother-in-law of "El Alacrán", and Omar Humberto "N" were arrested and charged.
THE AGGRESSION AT THE MICHELATOS BAR
"Don't disrespect me again," the criminals said to the officers as they were beaten on the night of Sunday, September 25 in Ciudad Constitución at the Michelatos Bar.
A video circulated on social networks showing how a group of alleged hitmen, made up of at least nine people, generated panic among the population and assaulted Municipal Public Security agents.
Following the violent events of Monday, December 5, authorities linked "El Alacrán" to this altercation.
On Sunday, September 25, after receiving a 911 emergency call, municipal police officers went to the Michelatos Bar, where they reported a group of people for disturbing the peace inside the premises.
A recording showed how the delinquents hit the officers in the face with high caliber rifles.
Inhabitants of Ciudad Constitución confirmed that this was not the first time this had happened and that the presence of armed men inside the bar was constant.
The police officers were identified as Gabriel "N", Salvador "N" and Alberto "N", one of them is the General Commander of Comondú; the three policemen were hospitalized in the Clinic of the Institute of Services and Social Security for State Workers (Issste) with wounds that took more than 15 days to heal.
As a result of this event, the Specialized Unit for the Investigation and Prosecution of the Crime of Commerce of Narcotics Destined for Final Consumption and elements of the Subprocuraduría de Atención a Delitos de Alto Impacto in Comondú arrested two persons identified as Victoriano "N", nicknamed "El Tocallo", and Abelardo "N", nicknamed "El Becerro".
In the operation they secured: a transparent plastic Ziploc type bag containing a green and dry vegetable with the characteristics of the narcotic known as marijuana; a black and gray rifle type firearm with a magazine loaded with 15 rounds; a black rifle type long gun with the legend Colt Defense Hartford Conn USA, as well as Colt M4 Commando, cal 5.56mm with magazine loaded with 15 rounds; a gray and black pistol type firearm with Smith & Wesson Made In Usa Registered Trademarks Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass A87299939, model 469, 9mm caliber with magazine loaded with 5 rounds; and a Ford Pick Up vehicle, F150 Triton line, white, 1998 model.
Victoriano "N" has a record for kidnapping in Nogales, Sonora. He previously served an 8-year sentence in the Cereso, in 2019 for the crime of kidnapping.
FGR WILL INVESTIGATE THE CASE: GOVERNOR
The Governor of the State of Baja California Sur, Víctor Castro Cosío, stated to the media that the case, by decision of the Security Table, is now in the hands of the Attorney General's Office (FGR).
It will be the federal authority who will determine whether or not there was crossfire between ministerial agents and marines, or what kind of confusion arose.
"The FGR has already taken over the case to prevent the investigation from remaining in the hands of the PGJE; it was decided in the Security Roundtable. They will let us all know, when we have all the expert studies; then we will have information that will surely correspond to the Attorney General," he reiterated.
He emphasized that the arrest of "a person who generated violence in Comondú" was achieved, which caused a "hard" response from his accomplices.
"He had a court order, we were working every week because I told them that we do not want impunity. And well, they came to back him up and wanted to take him away from the authorities, armed with long and short weapons," he responded.
"This generated a shootout to defend themselves. Unfortunately, in that crossfire we are investigating because a municipal police officer died in Constitución and another one is in a very serious condition," he concluded.