|Named after||Anthrax (Disease)|
|Founding location||Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico|
|Leader(s)||José Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa|
|Criminal activities||Murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking|
Los Ántrax is an enforcer gang of the Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Sinaloa Cartel. The group was led by the drug lords Jesús Peña (El 20) and Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa (El Chino Ántrax), and they are responsible for a number of homicides and for providing armed security services to Ismael El Mayo Zambada. The gang operates in the capital city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, where its members conduct homicides and violent attacks.
The name of the group is inspired from the disease anthrax, although the Sinaloa state authorities have never officially recognized the group's existence. The groups' logo is derived from Damien Hirst's sculpture, "For the Love of God".
Los Ántrax works as the security force of the drug lord Ismael El Mayo Zambada, who leads the Sinaloa Cartel along with Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán. Several homicides have been attributed to the gang, which was led by a drug trafficker named Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa (El Chino Antrax), now under U.S. custody, and his right-hand man Jesus Peña (El 20), who was believed to be hiding in the state of Sinaloa. "El 20" was arrested and is now under Mexican custody.
Tubutama, Sonora shooting
A fierce gunfight between members of the Sinaloa Cartel (with the backing of Los Ántrax) and the Beltrán Leyva Cartel (with the support of Los Zetas) left about 30 dead in the town of Tubutama, Sonora in northern Mexico on 1 July 2010. The drug gangs clashed just a few miles across the international border with the U.S. state of Arizona – an area notorious for being a smuggling route for narcotics and human trafficking. Eleven late-model, bullet-ridden vehicles were found at the scene, along with dozens of high calibre assault rifles. Some of the vehicles had "X" painted on their windows, a method often used by the Mexican drug trafficking organizations to distinguish the vehicles of rival drug cartels during armed confrontations.
Mexican Army torture allegations
Los Ántrax gained public attention on 26 May 2011, when a squadron of the Mexican Army that was patrolling a neighborhood in southern Culiacán spotted three vehicles with armed assailants. The encounter prompted a gunfight, but the Mexican forces managed to neutralize three members of Los Ántrax; they also liberated three kidnapping victims from a safe house in the area (a woman; a man who had his toes and ears mutilated; and a 5-year-old girl). Although preliminary reports indicated that the three gunmen killed by the army – Jesús Humberto Corona Guillén, Franklin Olguín Velázquez and Pedro Valenzuela Meza – had died from gunshot wounds during the shootout, the post-mortem reports indicated that the gunmen had been beaten and tortured by the soldiers before being killed, even though the official account of the event was that they "died in a gun battle."
Assassination of Arce Rubio
On 1 November 2011, during an indoor football game in Culiacán, Sinaloa, an armed commando interrupted the game and killed Francisco Arce Rubio, the leader of Los Ántrax. According to police reports, several armed men carrying AK-47s and handguns interrupted the soccer game at the Deportivo Jimmy Ruiz stadium and forced all of the players to lie face down on the field at around 11:00 a.m. Once they had subjugated everyone on the field, the gunmen executed one of the team's managers, and then went on to kill Arce Rubio (aged 30). After the double-homicide, the gunmen departed.
Arce Rubio was reportedly killed by rival members of Los Mazatlecos, a gang headed by Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, nicknamed El Chapo Isidro. Arce Rubio was also reportedly responsible for assassinating two nephews of Amado and Vicente Carrillo Fuentes in Sinaloa. Meza Flores and his gang are reportedly part of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, which disputes the drug trafficking corridors with the Sinaloa Cartel in western Mexico.
The weekend Arce Rubio was killed, the state of Sinaloa experienced at least 20 homicides possibly linked to the drug lord's death. In one incident, gang members hung three bodies from a bridge in the town of Guamúchil. In another incident at a volleyball court in Culiacán, unidentified gunmen killed 8 people and injured several others. Several other bullet-ridden corpses were found throughout the state that same weekend.
Chino Ántrax's arrest and other events
El Chino Ántrax was arrested by the Dutch police on 30 December 2013 at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands at the request of the United States, which contacted the Interpol to arrest him for charges relating to drug trafficking. On 20 February 2014, Mexican authorities arrested Jesús Peña (alias "El 20"), in Culiacán following a massive operative carried out to capture "El Mayo" Zambada. On 23 May 2014, Melesio Beltrán Medina (alias "El Mele") was killed at the Morelos neighborhood in Culiacán.
- "Lídera "El Chapo" a otras 4 células de "matazetas". Milenio (in Spanish). 14 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Atacan al "virus". Ríodoce (in Spanish). 27 February 2012. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "El juego final de "Poncho Arce". Ríodoce (in Spanish). 7 November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Pedraza, Iván (2 July 2010). "Sicarios de los Beltrán Leyva y Zetas atacan a gente del Chapo en Sonora". Milenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "21 die in Mexican gang gunbattle near Arizona border". MSNBC. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Mexico's drug war heats up near Arizona border". MSNBC. The Associated Press. 5 July 2010. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- Beckhusen, Robert (9 November 2012). "Mexican hitman claims cartels bought guns from US Border Patrol". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Identifican a secuestradores". Noroeste (in Spanish). 28 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Saltan dudas en enfrentamiento entre Ejercito y presuntos sicarios". Ríodoce (in Spanish). 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Fueron torturados". Ríodoce (in Spanish). 18 June 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Comando irrumpe en partido de futbol rápido y mata a jugador". Proceso (magazine) (in Spanish). 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "Asesinan a dos en campo deportivo en Culiacán". Organización Editorial Mexicana (in Spanish). 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "Destapa PGJE a "célula" La víctima". Noroeste (in Spanish). 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Castillo García, Gustavo (2 May 2012). "Los Beltrán Leyva declaran la guerra al Chapo por el control de Sinaloa". La Jornada (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Gerardo (5 November 2011). "11 Dead in Culiacan shootings". Borderland Beat. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Three Bodies Left Hanging Off Bridge in Northwest Mexico". Latin American Herald Tribune. November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Valdez, Cynthia (6 November 2011). "Sinaloa: ejecutan a 18 en dos días". Milenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "El Chino Ántrax sicario de El Mayo Zambada fue detenido en Holanda". Terra Networks (in Spanish). 3 January 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Lopez, Oscar (5 January 2014). "El Chino Antrax Arrested: Cartel Leader Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa To Be Extradited To US". Latin Times. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "Cae "El 20", líder de sicarios de "Los Ántrax"". aztecanoticias.com.mx. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "El Mele había sobrevivido a dos enfrentamientos". El Debate (in Spanish). 23 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.