A new police chief in Tijuana, Mexico has allegedly received a death threat from a rival of the Sinaloa Cartel in the form of a severed head on his first day in office.

Vice reported that police chief Rafael Vazquez Hernandez's alleged connection with the Sinaloa Cartel had prompted the death threat.

City officials said the human head was found decomposing inside a black plastic bag left in the street on October 5. Besides the plastic bag was a message accusing the police chief of being a "kidnapper" taking orders from the Sinaloa Cartel, adding that "Tijuana will bleed" because of him.

Authorities reportedly found two more messages in different areas of the city the next day. It repeated the same threat, but this time it was accompanied by what was believed to be animal meat.

Local reports noted that the messages came from a rival of the Sinaloa Cartel formerly run by notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Hernandez has yet to comment on the threat, but Tijuana Mayor Monserrat Caballero Ramirez reaffirmed her support for police chief.

As she confirmed that it was a drug cartel who put the head inside a plastic bag, Ramirez said the threats in relation to the police chief's job were an indication that "these thugs feel threatened," 8 News Now reported.

The mayor noted that she will continue to support Hernandez as long as there's no formal accusation against him from the prosecutors. 

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Tijuana's New Police Chief Rafael Vazquez Hernandez

Rafael Vazquez Hernandez has been a police officer for 19 years. He previously served as the head of investigations for Baja California's State Police Department.

He also held other high-ranking posts in cities like Mexicali and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora.

Hernandez became the center of controversy in April 2017, when a banner was hung from a bridge, which accused him and another cop of collaborating with the Sinaloa Cartel.

He was also accused of selling positions inside the police force in 2019 and committing torture and theft. However, he was never formally charged for any of the allegations.

The Sinaloa Cartel 

The Sinaloa Cartel is among the most powerful drug-trafficking syndicates in the world. The cartel is an alliance of some of Mexico's top capos, InsightCrime reported.

The state of Sinaloa in Mexico has long been a center for contraband in the country. It is also a home for marijuana and poppy cultivation.

Pedro Aviles was one of those first to traffic marijuana in bulk. He brought his friend's son into the business. The son was known to be El Chapo.

Battles between Mexican drug cartels escalated between the '80s and 90s. In November 1992, El Chapo deployed 40 gunmen to raid a party of Tijuana Cartel in Puerto Vallarta. The Sinaloa Cartel has managed to kill nine people.

The Tijuana Cartel responded by trying to assassinate El Chapo at the Guadalajara airport. However, they killed a Mexican cardinal.

El Chapo then fled to Guatemala and was arrested two weeks later. He has managed to control the cartel from prison through his lawyers.

El Chapo has escaped prison in 2001 and has assumed the cartel's leadership role once again. He was recaptured in 2016 and was extradited to the U.S. in January 2017.

His re-arrest and extradition have sparked a wave of violence as internal power struggles occurred within Sinaloa Cartel.

There were also efforts from other Mexican drug cartels to expand their operations following El Chapo's absence.

READ MORE: El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel Continues to Thrive Despite the Drug Lord's Absence: Report 

This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Mary Webber

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