“Güero Palma”, the drug trafficker with whom the pact not to mess with the family was broken

Photo: Federal Judicial Police / Courtesy

The world of drug trafficking has undergone changes over time, not only in the “modernization” of drugs, but also in the codes with which they are handled, breaking implicit pacts between them, having the case of Hector “El Guero” Palma as a watershed in bloody revenge against families that were previously untouchable.

The story of one of the founders of the Sinaloa Cartel It seems to be taken from a horror movie, because in a bloody way he lost his wife and two young children.

He has spent 26 years of his life in prisons in Mexico and the United States, but he could be released, something that some see as a threat, since they consider that he could still be vengeful and dangerous.

Héctor Luis Palma Salazar was born in Mocorito, Sinaloa, in a very poor family, the family economic situation prevented him from finishing primary school. From a young age he began to commit crimes to cope with hunger, until his path crossed with the Guadalajara Cartel and he began to be a hit man.

Miguel Angel Felix Gallardohis boss, saw in him someone trustworthy because he had a surprising facility and cruelty to kill.

This led him to climb within the cartel, rubbing elbows and working with the big bosses like Rafael Caro Quintero, Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca Carrillo and Manuel Salcido.

He also met Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and struck up a friendship with him, which led them to found the Sinaloa Cartel. Despite having a discreet and somewhat gloomy personality, “Güero” had a fruitful criminal career due to his personal hallmark: his cruelty and bloodthirsty.

Obviously he was leaving powerful enemies in his wake, who planned a revenge according to the man they hated.

Félix Gallardo, “The Godfather”, was the one who executed the plan after allegedly suffering the theft of a shipment of cocaine by Palma, so together with his cousins, the Arelllano Félix, they devised how to hurt Güero.


In 1989 a Venezuelan, Enrique Rafael Clavel Moreno, was introduced to the Palma cartel on the orders of Gallardo. She began to win her trust, but also the heart of Guadalupe Leija de Palma – the capo’s wife – to the point of convincing her to go with him to the United States, taking her two small children with her.

Once in the target country, Clavel Moreno decapitated Guadalupe and sent her head to Güero Palma in a refrigerated metal box.

Days after the woman’s murder, Rafael took four-year-old Nataly and five-year-old Héctor to the Concordia bridge in San Cristóbal, Venezuela, from where He threw them from more than 150 meters high and also sent the video of what happened to Palma Salazar.

Palm recovered the remains of his relatives and buried them in a luxurious $420,000 mausoleum in the Panteón Jardines del Humaya, in Culiacan, Sinaloa. There he had his wife and his two sons painted on the ceiling, smiling surrounded by clouds.

once buried, began a vendetta that lasted at least five yearsin which a lot of blood was shed.

The first to die, already in prison for the murder of the children, was Clavel Moreno. His three sons were also killed and dismembered. Police officers were also among his victims, as they were in collusion with drug traffickers.

In September 1992, nine bodies were found in Iguala, Guerrero.. They were four direct relatives of Félix Gallardo, as well as friends and lawyers of that drug trafficker. The bodies showed signs of extreme torture.

But the Arellano Félix brothers managed to escape cruel revenge, not only because of the failed attempts, but also because Güero Palma was arrested in 1995.

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