MEXICO CITY — “Do you renounce Satan?” asked the priest officiating a religious ceremony in northern Mexico to two men and two women. Masked officers quickly appeared behind the group in the church and ushered out one of the men, allegedly a high-ranking member of a faction of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
Video of the arrest of Bryan Salgueiro during a baptism ceremony in Culiacán quickly went viral throughout Mexico.
Salgueiro, aka “El 90”, is reportedly the son of one a boss of La Gente Nueva, a Sinaloa Cartel cell based in the border state of Chihuahua. La Gente Nueva is allegedly led by the Salgueiro family and is closely connected to Aureliano Guzmán, the brother of incarcerated Sinaloa Cartel co-founder Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
In November 2021, the U.S. Department of State stepped up the hunt for the Salgueiro family when it announced $5 million rewards for information leading to the arrest of each of the Salgueiro brothers: Jose, Ruperto, and Heriberto. The fourth brother, Noel, was arrested years prior and extradited to the U.S. in 2019 on drug charges.
Bryan Salgueiro is reportedly the son of José Salgueiro, who founded La Gente Nueva with Ruperto, Heriberto, and Noel. Bryan Salgueiro has been connected to the family business since as far back as 2012, when he and his father were arrested by the Mexican army in possession of a number of firearms. It’s unclear whether the men were convicted at the time, but they were known to be free and active in the drug game in the years after.
U.S. authorities also announced a similar $5 million bounty in November for Aureliano Guzmán, alias El Guano. The U.S. indictment against the three Salgueiro brothers and El Guano alleges that they were involved in “international conspiracies to distribute marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl” for the Sinaloa Cartel.
The video of the Feb. 18 arrest shows a second man standing with Salgueiro during the ceremony, identified by Mexican media as Elian Guzmán, the son of El Guano and nephew of El Chapo Guzmán. Guzmán was not arrested, nor were the two unidentified women.
While the arrest took place in the Sinaloa state capital, the operation was carried out by Chihuahua state authorities, with the help of federal forces. The Sinaloa state government said Monday that they did not interfere nor participate in the operation. Bryan Salgueiro, reportedly 30 years old, was arrested on charges related to a 2020 kidnapping case.
The detention came just weeks after La Gente Nueva and the Salgueiro family saw another blow to their operation when 11 alleged members were arrested in Chihuahua on Feb. 3 in possession of guns, drugs, and stolen vehicles. One of the 11 arrested was reportedly Efrén Salgueiro, aka El Maniaco, a cousin or nephew of the Salgueiro brothers and the alleged leader of the busted crew.