Who is Chalito Araujo? What happened to him?

Chalito Araujo, nicknamed “The Terror of Culiacán,” was a young hitman for the Beltrán Leyva Cartel. His father was a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) under Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada but was forced to commit suicide after accidentally killing one of El Mayo’s relatives.

El Mayo gave him a choice he said “You kill yourself or we kill you” so his dad outed himself.

Seeking revenge, Chalito switched his allegiance and began targeting members of both El Mayo and El Chapo’s factions when war broke out within the CDS. His crew “Los Charritos” unleashed chaos, with even top enforcer Chino Antrax rumored to be on the run from Chalito. Despite being only 20 years old, El Mayo and El Chapo feared him so they called him “El Terror of Culiacan”.

On December 16, 2009, Chalito died during a massive military operation targeting his boss Arturo Beltrán Leyva in Cuernavaca. Chalito was part of Beltrán Leyva’s security team and was killed in a brutal two-hour shootout after Marines stormed their hideout.

What Happened To Chalito Araujo?

On December 16, 2009, Mexican marines raided a luxury apartment complex in Cuernavaca, Morelos in an effort to capture kingpin Arturo Beltrán Leyva. A chaotic gun battle broke out between the marines and Beltrán Leyva’s heavily armed hit squad barricaded inside. Among the cartel gunmen was 20-year-old Gonzalo Araujo Payán, better known as “El Chalito.”

Despite being only 20 years old, his crew Los Charritos were greatly feared by the Sinaloa cartel.

On the day of the raid, Chalito was among several cartel shooters holed up with Beltrán Leyva inside the apartment. During a two-hour siege, he allegedly fought ferociously – firing an AK-47, hurling grenades, and alternating between shooting from a stairwell and out the windows at the marines below. Ultimately he was struck by three bullets – in the head, chest, and stomach – fired by marines that finally breached the apartment.

Some early reports stated that Chalito jumped from a second-floor window before being shot. However, his aunt Gisella later disputed this account, claiming that Chalito was not actually inside the apartment during the siege. She said that he had driven to the complex to aid Beltrán Leyva, and was gunned down by marines as he tried to reach the parking garage.

Chalito Araujo Age, Family, Early Life

Gonzalo Araujo Payán was born on July 29, 1989 in Culiacán, Sinaloa. His family called him “El Chalito.” Though only a child, Chalito was immersed from a young age in the underworld culture that surrounded him.

Chalito’s father was Gonzalo “Chalo” Araujo, a notorious sicario who led a squad of hitmen for major Sinaloa cartel capos in the 1990s – notably Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

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Pic: Chalito Araujo Early Life (Source: Reddit)

The elder Araujo handled firearms openly and had many police officers on his payroll.

According to his aunt Giselle, as a boy Chalito loved to play act shooting games with other neighborhood children. He was enthralled by firearms. Giselle described her nephew overall as a happy and rambunctious, if sometimes unrestrained, youth who was still quite popular among his teenage peers

Who is Chalito Araujo?

In the late 2000s, Culiacán, Sinaloa was plunged into a vicious civil war within the ranks of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. Amid the escalating bloodshed was 19-year-old Gonzalo Araujo Payán, who was later known as “El Chalito.”

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Though only a teenager, Chalito was fighting on the front lines on behalf of his boss, Arturo Beltrán Leyva. He led a crew of sicarios known as Los Charritos who rampaged across Culiacán, conducting violent enforcement operations and brazen attacks. Chalito operated with impunity – the police were too intimidated to interfere, while rivals like Chino Antrax of the Sinaloa cartel went into hiding from Los Charritos’ wrath.

Chalito Araujo
Pic: Chalito Araujo (Source: Latestcelebarticles.com)

The young Chalito had the full backing of the Beltrán Leyva organization. His mentor Arturo Beltrán Leyva was a former Sinaloa cartel member who had broken away and formed his own faction. The split stemmed from Beltrán Leyva’s suspicion that Sinaloa boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán had betrayed Beltrán Leyva’s brother Alfredo to the authorities.

With Arturo’s support, Chalito led Los Charritos on terrifying night raids and road ambushes targeting anyone linked to Guzmán or allied Sinaloa boss Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. Chalito was turning into a dangerous problem that needed solving.

The Death of “El Chalo”, Chalito Father

Chalito’s father Gonzalo “Chalo” Araujo was a notorious sicario who worked under Sinaloa cartel boss Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. Despite years of service and leading his own squad of hitmen, Chalo fell out of Mayo’s graces over an accidental killing and was ordered to commit suicide or be executed. Chalo died from a self-inflicted gunshot at his Culiacán home in 2006 as his son Chalito watched on.

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The elder Araujo’s forced suicide left Chalito’s family bitter, feeling he was betrayed after so many years as a loyal enforcer. When the Beltrán Leyva brothers split from the Sinaloa Cartel in 2008, a revenge-seeking Chalito sided with them and mentored Arturo Beltrán Leyva. Chalito’s hatred was especially focused on El Mayo for his role in his father’s death.

Chalito Araujo Father
Pic: Chalito Araujo with his Father Gonzalo “Chalo” Araujo (Source: YouTube/Kazquillo)

Now backed by the formidable resources of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, the grieving Chalito embarked on a rampage of vengeance. He led a squad of hitmen named Los Charritos on raids, ambushes, and broad daylight attacks targeting El Mayo and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s factions. Chalito had a fierce reputation for brazen public shootouts ignoring all danger and consequences. His name alone struck fear in the ranks of the divided Sinaloa cartel. They saw he would stop at nothing until his father was avenged.

End of Culiacán’s Terror, Chalito’s Death

On December 16, 2009, a major military operation was enacted to capture or kill Chalito Araujo’s boss – Arturo Beltrán Leyva, in Cuernavaca. That fateful night, Chalito was among Beltrán Leyva’s team of heavily armed bodyguards. When Beltrán Leyva’s lookouts spotted suspicious marine movements nearby, a raging gun battle erupted.

As approximately 200 Mexican marines surrounded their luxury condo complex and attacked, Chalito and his fellow sicarios fired back relentlessly. Chalito was seen maneuvering through the building with his AK-47 blazing, while also hurling grenades out the windows down at the marines. Even with overwhelming firepower against them, these fanatical gunmen refused to surrender.

Chalito Araujo Gunman El Rojo Death
Pic: Chalito Araujo Gunman El Rojo died during a massive rampage between Chalito Group and Marines (Source: YouTube/Kazquillo)

After two hours of intense combat, the Marines finally breached the front entrance. They still had to fight their way up several floors as bullets and grenades rained down the stairwells. It was during this last stand that Chalito met his end – shot three times in the head, chest, and stomach by marine gunfire as he attempted to ward off the final assault.

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Early reports claimed Chalito jumped from a second-floor window before being shot dead, though this is disputed. His aunt Gisella stated Chalito never made it inside the hideout – that he was killed outside in the parking lot upon arriving to aid Beltrán Leyva’s escape. But regardless of the exact details, Mexican special forces had neutralized one of Culiacán’s most fearsome sicarios.