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Following the intentional leak of millions of emails from the Mexican Secretariat of Defense (Sedena) by hacktivist group Guacamaya, further investigation into the shared correspondence has revealed links between Mexican organized crime groups and former elements of the Russian special forces.

According to emails sent “to the attention” of a certain General Efraín between May 2 and 13, 2022, four Russian trained men allegedly gave combat-training courses to the self-professed self-defense group Community Police of Tlacotepec (PCT), as run by Salvador Alanis Trujillo out of Guerrero’s General Heliodoro Castillo municipality.

General Heliodoro Castillo has one of Mexico’s highest concentrations of poppy production nationwide, says Guerrero Coordination Group (GCG), and Alanis himself – who controls the region’s PCT – has been closely linked to the Sierra Cartel by the Sedena according to the Guacamaya hacks.

One of the Russians involved in the training scenario, Bogdanov Rustam, was identified as a Russian national who reportedly served in the Russian Special Forces Unit and the Antiterrorism Unit, and has ties to Mexican weapons supplier and training organization European Bodyguard and Security Association (EBSSA), and is purportedly under investigation by the Sedena for his links to organized crime.

Bogdanov’s social media posts in Mexico likewise purportedly match up with the alleged timeline of events in which he trained the PCT in combat.

The leaked emails reveal that Bogdanov and the other Russian trainers were hired by the PCT to “train them to face their antagonists and control their areas of presence.”

Alanis and the PCT’s Sierra Cartel allies are currently waging a turf war in the state of Guerrero against Contra la Bandera, a sect of the violent Guerreros Unidos cartel and the anticipated “antagonists” of the PCT training, leading to numerous executions, mass murders and crimes of retaliation between the two groups and civilians caught in the crossfire. 

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