The Correas: who is the criminal group behind the Zinapécuaro massacre

The origin of this criminal cell linked to the Michoacán Family dates back to 2020, the year in which violence intensified due to the clashes with the CJNG

Agents of the Michoacan Attorney General's office stand at a clandestine cockfighting ring following the killing of at least 20 people on Sunday night during an attack, authorities said, in Zinapecuaro, Mexico March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Agents of the Michoacan Attorney General's office stand at a clandestine cockfighting ring following the killing of at least 20 people on Sunday night during an attack, authorities said, in Zinapecuaro, Mexico March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

The Correa Velázquez brothers, led by Daniel, alias el Tigre, were identified as the most recent drug trafficking group in Michoacán; hence the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has focused its forces on opening a new front in the eastern part of the state against the faction .

According to court records, extra-official versions and videos in the name of CJNG, this is a family that operates in Ciudad Hidalgo and Maravatío. Although it also extends to a dozen other municipalities such as Zitácuaro, Ocampo or Indaparapeo, on the border with the State of Mexico, according to a report by the EFE agency. These last demarcations are located in the mountain range.

According to records, the brothers with the surname Correa Velázquez in the area are Daniel, José Rubén, Hector, Ramiro, Jaime and Dimas. These people were sued by José Luis Esteban Trejo between September and November 2012 and later, from February to September 2013, before civil courts of Morelia and Ciudad Hidalgo, respectively.

On February 17, 2021, the cartel de las cuatro letras released a video showing how it cut a Correa Cartel operator's throat, while warning the war against him. Up to ten subjects appeared on the scene, masked with long guns and tactical equipment in the middle of the night. One of them held the machete steady while another claimed that the Correas abandoned “their people”, and then began to cut off the head of their victim

Infobae
Soldiers patrol at a clandestine cockfighting ring following the killing of at least 20 people on Sunday night during an attack, authorities said, in Zinapecuaro, Mexico March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Last year, the forces of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, el Mencho, published another clip where an alleged hit man from the Correa Cartel asked them to take care of his family. Set back in a tree, also in a night scene, this guy would have been executed. Images of the lifeless body were no longer shown.

On March 25, it was announced that the CJNG executed an alleged extortionist of the Correa brothers, who charged five pesos in quota for every kilo of chicken sold by merchants in Maravatío. According to the testimony, Daniel Correa Velázquez received payment for the extortion in Ciudad Hidalgo.

That's what happens to me for charging five pesos for the chicken in Maravatío,” said the young man about to cry because he knew he was threatened. The next scene showed his body lying, murdered.

However, the indication of the Correa Cartel dates back to at least the end of 2020, when they were accused of charging fees to merchants as tenants in eastern Michoacán. Its base of operations, supposedly, was in San Antonio Villalongín.

Infobae
Soldiers leave a clandestine cockfighting ring following the killing of at least 20 people on Sunday night during an attack, authorities said, in Zinapecuaro, Mexico March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

According to EFE reports, the Michoacán Security Secretariat accepted that the criminal group develops its illicits in the entity as a new group. Its criminal structure is allegedly based on a network that has been operating clandestine logging for two decades in the region.

Daniel Correa Velázquez and his brothers would be engaged in the production of marijuana, synthetic drugs, extortion, robbery, kidnappings and murders. Its allies, due to the geographical area in which they operate, are the Michoacán Family, currently headed in the State of Mexico by Jhony El Mojarro and José La Fresa, the Hurtado Olascoaga brothers.

Army agents and state police have undertaken various operations against the Correa Cartel since September last year. Security forces have detected at least four drug camps in forests in Zitácuaro and Ciudad Hidalgo. In the past half year, the units have arrested 310 people for multiple crimes, as well as seized 42 assault rifles and handguns. They still destroyed 43,600 marijuana plants.

In Ciudad Hidalgo, an element of the National Guard was injured after agents of the corporation faced bullets against alleged members of the Correa Cartel, one of whom was killed and three more were insured. The fray took place in Los Azufres, very close to the monarch butterfly biosphere. Nine stolen cars, five assault rifles, 20 kilos of marijuana and groceries were seized.

Federico M., the Ugly, was identified as head of the assassins of the Correa Velázquez brothers. This subject was arrested in the State of Mexico on March 18, the same day that 13 agents were ambushed and killed by assassins of the Michoacán Family in Coatepec de Harinas. El Feo is accused of executing a police commander in Michoacán, in addition to injuring another officer on February 27.

Infobae
Police officers keep watch at a scene following the killing of 19 people on Sunday night in an attack on a clandestine cockfighting venue, authorities said, in Zinapecuaro, Mexico March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Michoacán, like most of the country, has been living with a reality of daily violence. At this point in the country, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel has extended its tentacles to take control of organized crime. This was the state where Felipe Calderón's government unleashed the war against narco, since December 2006.

The region is disputed over the remnants of extinct cartels that have changed their names over the years, but have not been eradicated from regions such as the coast and border with Jalisco.

Those commanded by the Mencho face the council of the so-called United Cartels, which brings together the Viagras, the New Michoacán Family and the Whites of Troy. The disputed region is the port of Lazaro Cardenas and the borders with Jalisco.

Some of these factions pretend to be self-defence to justify patrols and weaponry. However, they intend to resist the ambitions of the CJNG and not lose the place to continue with illicits such as drug trafficking, the manufacture of drugs and extortion of lemon and avocado producers. Other groups identified are the Tepalcatepec Cartel, Los Reyes and remnants of the Knights Templar.

KEEP READING: