NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Many Mexicans weren't surprised when Mexican drug kingpin Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, also know as "El Chayo," was reported killed Sunday in a shootout with Mexican authorities.
Never mind that he was supposed to have been killed already in 2010.
Indeed, less than a month ago, vigilantes in the Mexican state of Michoacan were claiming Gonzalez, who used to be in charge of a violent quasi-religious cartel known as "La Familia," was alive and running a violent quasi-religious cartel called "The Knights Templar," according to a Feb. 13 report on the website Vocativ.
That same article discusses Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, also known as Ignacio Colonel Villareal, who was one of the top-ranking members of the Sinaloa Federation, possibly on par with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. El Chapo was arrested last month.
According to Vocativ, Coronel was "known as the 'King of Crystal' for his domination of the crystal meth trade," and was in charge of Sinaloa's "operations in much of western Mexico from his base in Guadalajara." Describing the mysterious circumstances around Coronel's death, Vocativ recalls:
On July 29, 2010, more than 150 soldiers, backed by helicopters and armored vehicles, descended on Coronel's luxury home in a leafy suburb of Guadalajara's Zapopan district. The Mexican army said Coronel died from six gunshot wounds after resisting arrest, but forensic experts weren't called to the crime scene until 17 hours later, and then they were strictly forbidden from discussing the autopsy with the press.
Though many news reports accepted Mexican authorities' word without question that Coronel was killed, the possibility he remains alive is openly discussed in Mexico with a couple of ballads dedicated to the idea. One is called "Morir y Existir" (Die and Exist) and another is "Nacho Colonel, Vivo o Muerto?"
Vocativ also discusses Colonel's mentor, Juarez Cartel boss Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who supposedly died during plastic surgery but in fact may have "faked his death in order to slip quietly into retirement."