‘El Alexis’, Leader of La Union Tepito, Killed by Deliveryman in Jalisco

“MX” for Borderland Beat

El Alexis was 28 years old at the time of his death. 

Alex Martinez (‘El Alexis’), a high-ranking figure in La Union Tepito, one of the leading criminal groups in Mexico City, was killed earlier this week in Jalisco.

The sicario responsible for the attack was disguised as a DiDi deliveryman. He pulled him next to the vehicle El Alexis was in and shot him from point-blank range while on a motorcycle. His bodyguard, nicknamed El Chelito, was injured in the attack. The murder was carried out in Paseo del Valle, an upscale neighborhood in Zapopan municipality.

Investigators say El Alexis held a leadership role in the gang and was linked to extortions, protection money, and credit card cloning. In addition, authorities suspected that he was responsible for the murder of his girlfriend Karina Morales, as reported by Borderland Beat.

El Alexis was known for posting his extravagant lifestyle on social media. He owned a luxurious apartment on the eigth floor of a building in San Jeronimo, a suburb in southern Mexico City. El Alexis posted pictures online where he showed off his trips to Spain, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and China.

In June 2018, El Alexis was victim of an assassination attempt. During that attack, high-ranking La Union Tepito gang member Juan Iván Arenas Reyes and/or Manuel Iván García Llerenas (‘La Pulga’) was killed. El Alexis, only 26 years old at that time, survived by ducking on the back seat of the car.

He was transferred to the Red Cross. But shortly after he was admitted he ran away.

“Who was El Alexis? What role did he play in the organization? Those were the questions we asked ourselves at that time,” an investigator said. Nothing else was known of him until months later.

In March 2019, he was arrested and then released on bail. Shortly after leaving prison, gunmen shot him and his parents while they were driving through the State of Mexico. El Alexis and his father survived but were wounded. The third attempt on his life earlier this week was his last.

El Alexis was inside his BMW when the gunmen pulled up next to him and shot him
Authorities found 10 bullet casings at the scene

Borderland Beat analysis 

La Union Tepito is a dominant criminal force in Mexico City. It is named after Tepito, an infamous neighborhood in Mexico City known for its counterfeit market and robberies. It is often used as the backdrop for TV shows and movies, depicting it as a lawless zone ran by cartels. Most of the high-ranking members of La Union Tepito are from this neighborhood or have business ties to the area.

The gang was formed in the mid-2000s by Francisco Hernández Gómez (‘Pancho Cayagua‘) and Armando Hernández Gómez AKA (‘El Ostión Cayagua‘), in alliance with former members of Los Zetas, including Ricardo López Castillo (‘El Moco’) and Omar Romero Romero (‘El Colosio’).

These four criminals formed “a resistance group” which they called La Unión Tepito. As reported by Borderland Beat, this gang has been detected in the following municipalities in the Greater Mexico City area: Alvaro Obregón, Azcapotzalco, Benito Juárez, Coyoacán, Cuauhtémoc, Gustavo A. Madero, Iztacalco, Magdalena Contreras, Miguel Hidalgo, Tlalpan, and Venustiano Carranza.

La Unión de Tepito controls the sale of counterfeit goods in Mexico City. This business generates millions in revenue every year. The gang buys the merchandise in China directly by sending representatives and then resells the products to vendors in Mexico and/or charges a fee to those who sell Chinese merchandise in their turf.

In the Mexico City area, La Union Tepito currently competes against the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). The CJNG has an alliance with multiple gangs rival to La Union Tepito, including the Anti-Union Tepito.

Sources: Milenio; VxT; El  Universal; Noticaribe; El Financiero; Borderland Beat archives