Members of the Specialized Unit to Combat Kidnapping (UECS) arrested Jose Artemio "N", alias El Michoacano and/or Rabias, identified as the leader of Pueblos Unidos, four months after he led the unusual escape of nine inmates from the Social Readaptation Center of Tula, Hidalgo.
El Michoacano was arrested on Monday morning, April 18, at a home on Arcos de Belén street, on the corner of Luis Moya, in the Doctores neighborhood. Also arrested was his brother and collaborator Gerardo "N", alias "El Shrek", who had an arrest warrant for the crime of kidnapping in Puebla.
"It is known that the detainee had already resumed his criminal activities, allegedly leading cells of the criminal group Pueblos Unidos with struggles against the CJNG for territorial control, generating scenarios of violence," a bulletin reported.
It was 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1, at the Social Rehabilitation Center in Tula, Hidalgo, when an armed commando - on board a tank- flouted the prison's security measures, unleashed a shootout, and threatened the guards to free the Michoacano.
The first obstacle before the capo's release was the prison's fences, which they tore down with a truck used to distribute gas, modified in tankette style. Along the way, there were several broken bars and open padlocks. Some of the images revealed on Wednesday showed three vehicles in flames -two of them car bombs-.
According to the details, two units were detonated near the Tula-Tepeji regional hospital, and one more was set on fire in the El Llano neighborhood, near the vicinity of the prison. In their flight, the commando left tire punches on the highway.
El Michoacano had been arrested on November 26 in Texcoco, State of Mexico. His task within the criminal gang consisted of the theft of hydrocarbons, drug dealing, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and robbery.
His brother is Mariano Maldonado Mejia, the M1 captured in 2018 for leading the Los Emes group, dedicated to kidnapping migrants in Mexicali, Baja California (in the north of the country). According to authorities, this man is also on the list of escaped inmates from the prison.
Originally from Pachuca, Hidalgo, El Michoacano designed 2018 a criminal structure that operated in that state located north of Mexico City. There he managed to consolidate a string of criminal activities that extended to six municipalities in Hidalgo and the neighboring states of Querétaro and Michoacán.
The group operated under the shadow of society until last month when El Michoacano used a video to challenge Hidalgo state authorities and threaten the region's oil tankers. According to the state government, the recording was a milestone in the criminal leader's capture.
Before his arrest, Jose Artemio Maldonado was part of the Los Emes criminal cell, which monopolized the kidnapping of migrants in Mexicali. Los Emes, founded by the Maldonado family, operated in the center of the country. There, they contacted people interested in crossing into the United States and transferred them to the cities of Tijuana or Mexicali, where they kidnapped them and hid them in safe houses until the victims' families paid a large amount of money for their release.
Elements of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC), through the National Anti-Kidnapping Coordination (CONASE); the National Intelligence Fusion Center (CENFI) - Regional Intelligence Fusion Centers (CERFI) Center; the Attorney General's Offices and Specialized Units to Combat Kidnapping of Hidalgo and Michoacán, as well as the Secretariat of Citizen Security (SSC) of Mexico City, participated in their capture.