The Unión Tepito is an organized crime group operating within the Tepito neighbourhood of Mexico City and which is divided at the border street of Manuel de la Peña y Peña with its closest rival, the aptly named Fuerza Anti Unión.
El Betito, arrested leader of El Unión Tepito.
This gang, which was responsible for the March 2018 assassination of MS-503 leader 'El Shyboy' - a dissident faction of the Mara Salvatrucha 13, has been responsible for much of the violence and homicides in the central neighbourhoods of Mexico City as of late.
Controlling retail drug sales and extortion in neighbourhoods throughout Mexico City, the Unión Tepito reportedly works under the protection of various security forces. Similarly to many of the criminal groups in Mexico who allegedly work via police complicity.
However, the gang does not seem to have protection enough to spare its leader, 'El Betito', who was arrested August 2018 from persecution. Betito, who underwent gastric bypass surgery and plastic surgery to avoid detection was picked up in the Colonia Rincón del Pedregal with $10,000USD, 4,700 pesos, 140 doses of crystal Methamphetamine and a loaded handgun.
Despite the arrest of their leader, who is charged with being one of the main instigators of violence and drug trafficking throughout Mexico City and beyond, extortion in the capital has not dwindled.
On the contrary, the Tepito Union seems to be working harder than ever to secure finances and territory from its rivals; where they also control escort services and conduct business meetings in well known public nightclubs such as El Barezzito, Prince, Aria, and La Santa.
And while they seem to be a rather public force, the gang seems to operate with impunity. Peddling their products upon open streets and feeling non-chalant about showing their faces to passers by.
The main question now, however, is who will take the reigns of the organization with Betito behind bars? Will he control daily operations of the gang from prison? Or has his successor already been picked similarly to how he himself took over from the gang's previous leader, El Pistache?
Or, will the gang disintegrate into smaller, less powerful factions vying for control of retail drug sales? Thus further increasing violence and homicides within Mexico's capital?