Three Bodies of “Los Pelones” Gang Left With Narco Message in Tulum, Quintana Roo

Latin America World

By “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat

The bodies of three people, possibly “Los Pelones” gang members, were left next to a trash dump in southern Tulum on Monday with a threatening message accusing them of being involved in drug sales.

The bodies were found by workers on Monday morning alongside the Tulum – Felipe Carrillo Puerto highway, just next to a dump. The message threatens Los Pelones, a criminal group operating in the Tulum region which focuses on drug sales in the tourist bar areas of town. The message references that the victims sold “material” independently, a reference to selling drugs.

Drug consumption and drug dealing have become widespread in Tulum, a popular coastal vacation spot on the Caribbean coast of Quintana Roo state. Several criminal groups contest the city, which is valuable because of the 2,000,000 tourists who visit annually, some of whom purchase drugs.

According to Óscar Montes de Oca, the Quintana Roo Attorney General, recent violence is related to a fracturing within Los Pelones, which has split into three factions, he stated in May 2023. The fissures in the group were apparent last year. In August 2022, six bodies were found by authorities after an operation against Los Pelones. The victims were allegedly Los Pelones members, killed over an internal dispute related to selling drugs purchased from a rival group. 

The message said:

The plaza has an owner, this will happen to the Pelones and all of the people who sell material independently and to the chilangos, align with us.

“Chilangos” is a slang term for someone from Mexico City.

Sources: Cambio 22 8/28/22, Noticias Tulum 8/28/22, Por Esto! 8/28/22, Riviera Maya News 8/15/22, La Verdad de Noticias 5/22/23