Gente Nueva, 'The New People', make up the armed wing of the Chapo family business, as well as serving as the Guzmánes personal security force in the region.
They have been in operation since about 1995, but did not seem to be recognized by name until the early 2000's.
Since their earlier foundings, Gente Nueva has changed quite a bit. They have evolved from an organization which serves as internal security for the Guzmánes into a fully fledged paramilitary capable of offensive operations. With cells under men such as El Jaguar and El Tigre taking to the front lines in their conflicts against rivals like Los Mazatlecos, Los Zetas, La Línea, and turn coat groups such as Los Mexicles.
They are regarded typically as ex or current serving members of Mexico's various police and military forces. This affords the organization knowledge on how to properly conduct ambushes, abductions, disappearances, the proper training and use of weaponry, communications equipment and various other means of working.
Because of these backgrounds, similar to Los Escorpiones of Antonio Cárdenas Guillén, or Los Zetas, the GN is often likened to a paramilitary more than a militia. This is due to the militaristic way in which they organize and conduct themselves. Often seen wearing military style fatigues, as pictured above, in addition to bullet proof vests, combat webbings and toting military grade equipment.
One could argue they serve as the primary armed faction of the Cártel de Sinaloa, though they are fiercely loyal to the Guzmánes side of the federation. This is in line with the idea that most major drug traffickers in Mexico's theatre of criminal activity have their own squadron of shooters. The Zambadas have Los Ántrax, El Licienciado had Los Fuerzas Especiales de Damaso.
Gente Nueva may be considered the primary faction of armed resistance to CDS rivals however, because they number some 5,000 or more, and are capable of launching offensives which involve dozens if not hundreds of individuals at a time. In this regard they truly are a small army.
But who are the most well known leaders which make up the command of this organization? What areas of operation can they primarily be found?
Jesus Gregorio Villanueva Rodríguez, aka R-5 was among the most well known, and served as a long time leader of the GN until his untimely death at 33 on December 11th, 2013. He was killed within his base of operations in Hermosillo, Sonora in the neighbourhood of Colonia Pimental after an ambush by unknown assailants.
The resulting altercation, which took place around midnight was the result of R-5 and his girlfriend's desire to head out for fast food. His girlfriend, though injured with two shots, seems to have survived.
Jesus Gregorio Villanueva Rodríguez, aka El R-5.
There is also 'El Jaguar', a long time leader of the Gente Nueva who is known by other such names as 'El Toñin', 'El Marrufo', and 'El Catorce'. He was originally responsible for helping the Guzmánes uproot the forces of Los Carrillos from Ciudad Juárez, involving a lengthy war against the Cártel de Juárez' armed wing, La Línea. He has a striking set of scars running horizontal to his forehead, as well as others upon his cheeks which indicate being cut by blades at one point in his life.
Aside from being a commander of offensive - and defensive - operations, El Jaguar was also regarded as a fairly large scale trafficker for the CDS. Organizing shipments from Colombia through the Valley of Juárez and Ciudad Juárez it self north into the Unites States. He has since been extradited to the US, on May 28th, 2019 to face charges of murder, kidnapping, money laundering, drug trafficking, and racketeering.