Testimony from a captured leader of a Mexican drug gang contradicts the official story of the death of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias ‘El Chayo,’ fueling rumors that the Familia Michoacana leader is still alive.
After arresting Mario Buenrostro Quiroz, the alleged leader of a Mexico City-based drug gang known as “Los Aboytes,” local police videotaped an interrogation session with the suspect, which is standard procedure for law enforcement officials in the country. The interview (see below) proceeds routinely at first, with Buenrostro identifying several others who participated in a drug trafficking plot, until he begins to talk about his experience with the diminishing Familia Michoacana drug gang.
After identifying himself as a member of the Familia, Buenrostro declares that Moreno, who federal officials claimed to have killed in a firefight last December, is still alive. Additionally, Buenrostro says that Moreno is now at the head of the Familia splinter group known as the Caballeros Templarios, and has named Servando Gomez, alias “La Tuta,” as the group’s second in command.
This is not the first time that Moreno has been rumored to be alive. In June of this year, a series of narco-banners were hung up in three municipalities in the state of Guerrero, all of which bore messages proclaiming that Moreno was alive and in charge of the Caballeros Templarios. These rumors have been staunchly denied by the government, which maintains that Moreno was killed on December 9.
In all likelihood, the rumors are part of a propaganda campaign on the part of the Caballeros Templarios. The group has been feuding with the Familia in recent months, so by claiming that group’s founder as a member, they could be attempting to win more prestige for their organization.