Gulf Cartel regional boss ‘Chuy Lavadas’ is arrested; he faked his death in 2019

“MX” for Borderland Beat; TY “Itzli” and “leChef”

Jesus Adalberto Gonzalez Avitia (“Chuy Lavadas”), a high-ranking Gulf Cartel member in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, was arrested by state policemen yesterday. He had only lasted about a month as the “self-declared” plaza boss of Rio Bravo. Authorities arrested him along with Hector (“El Orion”); they were in possession of several firearms, bags filled with narcotics and two bullet-proof vests.
In August 2019, media outlets reported that Chuy Lavadas was killed near the Reynosa and San Fernando municipalities. He was identified as a high-ranking member of Los Metros, a Gulf Cartel faction based in Reynosa. Pictures of what investigators thought was his corpse circulated on social media. However, Chuy Lavadas faked his death to confuse authorities and rival gangsters.
In May 2020, citizen journalists in Tamaulipas reported that Chuy Lavadas was alive and had declared himself the regional boss of Rio Bravo. They said that he was planning to create his own cartel faction.
Criminal career
Chuy Lavadas’s criminal career was marred by alliances and betrayals. He reportedly started his criminal career as a sicario (hitman) under Gulf Cartel regional boss Samuel “Omega 2”. After his boss’s death, he worked out of the Rio Bravo plaza and help oust Rafael Cardenas Vela (“El 900”), who then fled to the U.S. in 2011 and was arrested.
He then worked under Reynosa-based kingpin Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino (“X-20”) as a member of Los Panteras. This faction, mostly based in Reynosa, was at war with Los Ciclones, another Gulf Cartel faction in Matamoros.
Chuy Lavadas faked his death in 2019; pictures of this corpse wrongly identified as his circulated online
In May 2014, Chuy Lavadas’s colleague Juan José Rodríguez García (“Pantera 11” AKA “Juan Perros, Jr.”) was arrested. Chuy Lavadas then joined Los Metros faction under Juan Francisco Carrizales Lara (“El 98”), Luis Alberto Blanco Flores (“M-28” AKA “El Pelochas”) and possibly Armando León García (“Choco” AKA “M-90”).

After the first two were arrested in 2016 and 2019, respectively, Chuy Lavadas had a short stint with Los Ciclones before turning against them in an attempt to control the Rio Bravo plaza.
Background and recent events
Rio Bravo Municipality shares the U.S.-Mexico border with Donna, Texas, and part of its urban area with Reynosa, the most populated city in Tamaulipas. It is a lucrative drug corridor for organized crime groups and has been under dispute for several years.
Chuy Lavadas holding a firearm inside a pick-up truck; this picture was leaked on social media in 2019
In April, Borderland Beat reported the mass murder of 7 warehouse employees in Reynosa. Rumors stated that the attackers were likely part of the faction headed by Comandante Maistrin, who heads the Rio Bravo plaza.

Chuy Lavadas is not the first Gulf Cartel boss to fake his own death. Also in April of this year, Borderland Beat reported that kingpin Filiberto Caudillo Salinas (“El Fili”) was killed in a clash with rival gangsters. He had faked his death in 2017.