José Noriel Portillo Gil is one of the alleged perpetrators of the murder of Jesuits in the community of Cerocahui, Chihuahua. He is known as “El Chueco” and is credited with controlling drug trafficking activities, as well as loggers and hitmen in the Sierra Tarahumara, particularly in the area of the municipality of Urique.
This alleged criminal has absolute control of the region, where he intimidates the population to avoid complaints or the intervention of the authorities. This says a report published in Raichali, by Patricia Mayorga:
In the municipality of Uruachi no massive fires have been registered. There, the way to dominate is through the intimidation of the criminal group that controls Noriel Portillo, alias El Chueco -belonging to the Sinaloa cartel-, which has prevented forestry development, according to testimonies of local residents.
A report by El Heraldo de Chihuahua says that he operates for the Sinaloa Cartel and since he was 26 years old he assumed leadership in the Urique region. In 2017 he was thought to have been kidnapped and killed, but was later identified alive in other criminal acts:
The capo was presumed dead in April 2017 in a confrontation that left eight dead at a 15-year-old party, where an armed commando arrived and killed several of the attendees.
The book Democracy between bulletsby Michael Lettieri and Cecilia Farfán also identifies this man, to whom he attributes political connections:
In Urique, the licensed mayor intends to run through the PAN. Mayra de Jesús Díaz Gutiérrez sister of Pedro Díaz Gutiérrez, linked to the leader of the group that controls the area by the Sinaloa cartel, Noriel Portillo, “El Chueco”, who is among the most wanted criminals in Chihuahua, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Condition.
The journalist Pascal Beltrán del Río stated that this alleged criminal is one of the main bosses in the area. This he wrote in Excelsior:
The other cells divide a good part of the Chihuahuan geography, such as José Noriel Portillo, “El Chueco”…
Despite the control he maintains in the area, it has been possible to attribute specific crimes to this subject.
In 2018 he was pointed out by the then Governor Javier Corral as the main suspect for the murder of tourist Braxton Andrew. This was reported by Corral on his social networks, on November 15, 2018:
According to investigations, he was murdered on Sunday, October 28, in a place known as La Playita, in the municipality of Urique, at the hands of drug trafficker José Noriel Portillo Gil, alias El Chueco.
“El Chueco” perpetrated the crime because he thought the foreign tourist was working for the DEA. Before his disappearance, he was seen talking to local people, which made the criminal leader nervous, according to information collected by The Chihuahuan Sun.
Javier Corral ordered an operation throughout the region, with the support of federal forces, but “El Chueco” managed to evade justice and continued to operate in the region.
In 2019, he was again named as the main person responsible for the disappearance and murder of the activist Cruz Soto Caraveo. The Chihuahua Diary reported that he is a young criminal, no more than 30 years old, with strong connections in the area:
The authorities know that Noriel P. is a young man of no more than 30 years of age who has under his command dozens of people who usually watch over the Urique region, but mainly the communities of Ciénega de Trejo, Mesa de Arturo, Bahuichivo, Cerocahui. and San Rafael, among others. “El Chueco” is related to other leaders of groups that have control of nearby municipalities, such as Guazapares and Chínipas.
In April 2022, it was reported that federal forces came close to capturing him during the rescue of a kidnapping victim, but “El Chueco” managed to escape. Two subjects were arrested in the area, with an arsenal of 65 long and 16 short weapons; in addition to 14 grenades, grenade launchers, chargers and cartridges.
This Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the federal government stated in a statement that it has already identified the main suspect in the murders on Monday: It is reported that the person responsible for the crimes has already been identified and the investigation continues to find his whereabouts and not allow impunity.