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Leader of Unión Tepito detained on October 30 in Mexico City

Reports indicate that on October 30 federal troops and local police carried out security operations against the Unión Tepito cartel in two households in the Santa Fe and Narvarte districts of Mexico City, arresting eight. While in Narvarte security agents engaged in a shootout with criminals, in Santa Fe police managed to apprehend the ringleader of the group, known as “El Pistache” with ease, while he was dinning in a high-end apartment. In the raids police seized drug stashes, weapons, and ammunition. A list detailing presumed police collaborators working under the payroll of the group was also found. Subsequently, on November 1 authorities announced the detention of “El Rata”, one of the suspects linked to Unión Tepito involved in the shooting that took place on September 14 in Mexico City’s Garibaldi Square. That day, the arrestee and two accomplices approached a bar in the square dressed as Mariachis before opening fire at diners, presumably to kill rival gang members. The criminals subsequently fled the scene in three motorbikes.

These developments represent a blow to the Unión Tepito cartel, which is known for distributing drugs in nightclubs and establishments in well-off areas including Polanco, Santa Fe, Narvarte, and Zona Rosa. It is possible that the group bribed elements in the security services to receive warnings foretelling upcoming operations. This assessment is highlighted by the relative ease with which the assailants who hit Garibaldi Square managed to escape a central area despite heightened security presence, and the fact that the group’s ringleader operated from a luxury apartment in a business district. In this respect, the information gathered by security services could potentially lead to further detentions and uncover corruption within police force. That said, the detention of the suspects will not necessarily have a major impact in overall security, as the rival group Fuerza Anti Unión could potentially benefit and strengthen its influence in the capital.

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