Crime and Violence

Leader of the New Juarez Cartel captured

Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, SEGOB.
Photo: SEGOB.

09/03/13 – On August 31, the Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal, PF) captured Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, “Betty la Fea,” who, according to the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR), had assumed the leadership of the so-called New Juarez Cartel (Nuevo Cartel de Juárez, NCJ). Betty la Fea (47) was arrested when he was alone in the Riviera Nayarit resort area in Bucerias, Nayarit, a few miles away from the city of Puerto Vallarta in the State of Jalisco. Eduardo Sánchez, spokesperson for security of the Mexican Government reported that the PF seized two AK-47s and a Magnum pistol caliber .357, rounds of ammunition, communication devices, and two packages of what appeared to be cocaine during the arrest, an arrest in which no shots were fired. Betty la Fea was later taken to the Special Office of Investigations on Organized Crime (Subprocuraduría Especializada en Investigación de Delincuencia Organizada, SEIDO) at the PGR.

The leader of NCJ had been followed by the Mexican Government since the beginning of the Peña Nieto administration, which took office in December 2012. Working in collaboration with five state governments, authorities were able to pinpoint Betty la Fea’s location after monitoring his financial transactions. Sánchez reported that authorities also arrested Alejandro Arias Barrera (37) in a simultaneous operation in Zapopan Jalisco, in the Metropolitan Zone of Guadalajara. Arias Barrera allegedly belongs to the same criminal organization as Betty la Fea, and both men are on the Peña Nieto administration’s list of 122 priority suspects.

Alejandro Arias Barrera, SEGOB.
Photo: SEGOB.

The NCJ is believed to have emerged in the recent past following the severe weakening of the former Juarez Cartel in part due to operations by the Mexican government and also by its intense fight against the Sinaloa Cartel to control one of the most lucrative drug trafficking routes between Mexico and the United States. The battle for the route, which connects Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas, caused a dramatic increase in violence on the Mexican side, making Ciudad Juárez one of the most violent cities in the world in 2010.

As previously mentioned, Betty la Fea was believed to be the outright leader of the NCJ, a position he assumed after his brother, Vicente “El Viceroy” Carrillo Fuentes, stepped down due to medical issues. El Viceroy had assumed the head of the Juarez Cartel following the 1997 death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, “El Señor de los Cielos,” his other brother and the founder of the Juarez Cartel.


Carrasco Arizaga, Jorge. “Cae Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, ‘Betty la Fea’, jefe del Cártel de Juárez.” Proceso. September 1, 2013.

“Mosso, Rubén. “Cae Alberto Carrillo, líder del ‘Nuevo Cártel de Juárez’.” Milenio. September 2, 2013.

Vicenteño, David. “Cae el hermano de ‘El Señor de los Cielos’, Alberto Carrillo Fuentes.” Excélsior. September 2, 2013.

“Conferencia de Prensa.” Secretaría de Gobernación. Sptember 3, 2013.

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