Sunday, March 4, 2012

In Cancún, Los Pelones happily deliver drugs by taxi and death on demand

"Servicio al domicilio, como quieras"

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Government officials in Quintana Roo state say that two organized crimes groups, Los Zetas and Los Pelones, are locked in a bitter turf war. Los Pelones began as a local murder-for-hire squad in Q.R., run by a former Mérida resident. But since his arrest in December (he's allegedly admitted to 30 contract killings in Cancún in 2011), underlings have been fighting to replace him and become the new jefe (boss) of the group. In the interim, the group has expanded its operations to include drug trafficking and gun running.

The last two murders the boss carried out (personally) the day he was captured were the victims in the photo. They were killed by bursts of AK-47 fire on a Cancún street. He told the police it was all a big mistake and apologized. The Pelones boss was actually trying to kill a third man who was visiting with these two, but that guy saw what was coming, took off like greased lightning and managed to get away. The motive? The intended victim had punched his pregnant girlfriend a few days earlier. One of the woman's other boyfriends didn't like it, and so he retained Los Pelones to dispatch the gentleman who has no idea how to treat a lady. But Providence -- and snappy legs -- favored the domestic abuser. After those .9mm rounds whistled by his head, the guy may still be running - to the border.

Authorities say there have been seven organized crime executions in Cancún since Jan. 1. They attribute five of them to Los Pelones. It's the result of infighting, they believe.

Meanwhile, Los Pelones are automating their narcotics trade. Nowadays they commonly haul their products around in taxicabs, apparently in an effort to blend in better with city traffic and thus avoid encounters with police. They can sell right on the street that way, or to fares they pick up. One of the narco-taxis was stopped yesterday (Mar. 3), and resulted in the seizure of what local authorities referred to as 939 "doses" of cocaine and crack (cocaine in rock form as opposed to powder), in bolsitas (plastic baggies). No indication of the gram weight, but probably enough to keep the customer flying high for a few hours. Four Pelones were arrested with the drugs.

May 31 - Crimen arrasa con el gremio taxista:
May 28 - Los Zetas, al mando del sindicato de taxistas:
May 14 - Sindicato de taxistas, fuera de control:
May 7 - Delincuencia arraigada entre taxistas:

This, by the way, is why taxi drivers sometimes meet a violent end:
Five taxi drivers executed in Monterrey:
Murder of another taxi driver has Mérida police on edge:

More posts on Los Pelones:
U.S. spring breakers staying away from Cancún this year:
Why are Los Zetas spies hanging out near Cancún hotel zone?:
Memo to independent drug retailers - stay out of Cancún:
Mexican armed forces stage drug raid in Playa del Carmen tourist zone:
Mexico's Riviera Maya in the hands of drug cartels and extortionists:
Brutalized bodies of two men found in Cancún:
Double AK-47 execution in Cancún:
Los Pelones hit man with Mérida connection admits to 30 executions in Cancún:
Fomer police officer executed in Playa del Carmen:

While having a morning smoke, these five cabbies were descended upon by a sicario hit squad in Monterrey, just 100 miles south of the U.S. border. They died where they fell.


  1. Is "jeffe" correct slang for boss? I always thought it was "jefe".

  2. You're right, Darin, and I'm embarrassed. Thanks for correcting me. I really do know the word (it's so common here), but sometimes when I'm going back and forth between languages my brain lands on another planet. Now I'll have to go back and track down my other misspellings of the word.

    By the way, keep an eye on my use of the subjunctive too, OK? Thanks for writing.