Tagged: Tamaulipas

Mexican border city suffers 60 cartel murders in November

(BREITBART) — REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — The raging cartel violence in this border city resulted in 60 murders in November.

Rival factions of the Gulf Cartel continue their fight for control of drug trafficking territories and access to Texas. The 60 victims include military and police officers killed in shootouts as well as innocent civilians killed in the crossfire.

Breitbart Texas has been tracking the murders and executions that have been taking place in Reynosa since early May. At that time, two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel went to war for territorial control. Since May, the violence has left more than 324 victims. The fighting followed the death of former regional leader Juan Manuel “Toro” Loiza Salinas, a ruthless cartel boss who terrorized Reynosa for almost two years until he was gunned down by Mexican Marines.

After El Toro’s death, another Gulf Cartel commander named Petronilo “Panilo” Moreno Flores claimed control of the city. However, a faction claiming to be relatives and followers of the late leader led by Luis Alberto “Pelochas” Blanco Flores and Toro’s nephew Humberto “Betillo” Loza Mendez, who also went by the name of Alberto Salinas, have been fighting against Panilo’s forces.

The fighting resulted in fierce gun battles where convoys of gunmen clash along the city’s main avenues, those firefights have killed not only gunmen but also police officers and military personnel tasked with keeping the peace. The firefights also led to various innocent bystanders being killed or wounded by stray bullets.

The fighting between cartel forces also manifested itself in a dramatic increase in kidnappings and executions. As Breitbart’s Texas has reported, cartel gunmen have resorted to incinerating the bodies of their victims as well as to using shallow pits to dump the bodies of their rivals.

The most recent casualty took place on Friday early morning when a State police officer died in a gun battle. A squad of state cops was responding to a call of help from military forces who had been battling a team of gunmen. Two cartel gunmen also died during that clash in the Jarachinas Sur neighborhood.

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Armored convoy of cartel gunmen invades Mexican border town

(BREITBART) — RIO BRAVO, Tamaulipas — Dozens of SUVs filled with Gulf Cartel gunmen rolled into the border city of Rio Bravo, waiving rifles as they prepared to hunt rivals in what became a day of fierce shootouts.

A video taken by one of the gunmen and shared on social media shows the moment the cartel presumably with the Los Escorpiones (Scorpions) group roll into the city. Rio Bravo is immediately south of the McAllen, Texas, metro area.

“Rio Bravo que onda (what’s up) …. matalos a todos (kill them all), says one of the gunmen as he sticks a black AR-15 rifle out of the window.

The incursion by one faction the Gulf Cartel was part of an ongoing war for territorial control. The group called Los Escorpiones rolled in from Matamoros in armored SUVs to kill key leaders of the rival faction commonly known as Los Metros. When the two factions met throughout the day, terror ensued as the rivals unleashed thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives on each other.

Information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government revealed that the gunmen were riding in SUVs with makeshift armor and artillery weapons. Authorities seized 13 armored SUVs, 10 stock vehicles, four grenade launchers, 23 grenades, a Barrett .50 caliber rifle, 23 assault rifles, and machine guns.

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Mexican cops seize luxury ranch tied to border narco-governor

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

Agents with the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office raided a luxury ranch tied to a former cartel-linked governor who is the target of an ongoing embezzlement and money laundering investigation.

Authorities raided a luxurious ranch tracing back to former Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Hernandez. The agents also searched for two yet-unnamed individuals who are targets of the ongoing investigation against the former politician. The pair were not found during the raid.

State authorities arrested Hernandez last week in the state capital of Ciudad Victoria on warrants charging him with one count of embezzlement and one count of money laundering. The case against Hernandez is linked to the purchase of a large piece of state-owned coastal property that, according to authorities, he purchased for one percent of the property’s fair market value.

Since carrying out the arrest, authorities seized the large tract of property and raided a luxury ranch registered to one of the shell companies used by Hernandez. The property boasts a pool, tennis court, various buildings, and warehouses, as well as a rodeo arena.

The former politician is currently listed as a fugitive by the U.S. Department of Justice on multiple money laundering charges. Hernandez is wanted by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as well.

Despite his fugitive status in the U.S., Mexican authorities did not move against Hernandez–who lived with complete impunity–until Tamaulipas state authorities arrested him. The action by state authorities follows last year’s landslide election win by current governor Francisco Cabeza de Vaca, who is from the National Action Party (PAN). Under Cabeza de Vaca’s term, investigators discovered that former PRI Governor Egidio Torre provided state cops as bodyguards to Hernandez and another fugitive cartel-linked governor, Tomas Yarrington.

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Cartel-linked former Mexican border governor denied bond, must stay in jail

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

A state judge in Tamaulipas formally charged a cartel-linked former governor and ordered him to remain behind bars without bond.

Eugenio Hernandez Flores, a former governor of Tamaulipas, will have to remain behind bars at a state prison he once ruled over on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. The judge notified Hernandez on Thursday morning that he found enough evidence to criminally charge the former politician, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government revealed.

Agents with the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office arrested Hernandez last week as part of an investigation into the illicit purchase of state-owned property resulting in the charges of embezzlement and money laundering. Hernandez was scheduled to have a hearing on Thursday morning where local politicians and political analysts suspected or claimed that Hernandez would be released.

Hernandez is currently listed as a fugitive by the U.S. Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on multiple money laundering charges, Breitbart Texas reported. Testimony in other related cases and civil matters claim Hernandez not only laundered embezzled funds, but also cleaned hefty bribes from Mexican drug cartels.

The Tamaulipas case against Hernandez deals with the purchase of a large tract of coastal state-owned property that the politician allegedly purchased at 1 percent of its fair market value through the use of various shell companies and straw men.

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Mexican border state cops capture 10 cartel gunmen sent to terrorize region

(BREITBART) — PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Coahuila — State and local authorities arrested 10 gunmen from a drug cartel in Tamaulipas who were looking to sneak into this border city under orders to spread terror in the region.

The recent arrest took place after a shootout where the 10 gunmen clashed with state and local police officers, law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas. No casualties were reported in the shootout which began when local police officers responded to the Central neighborhood, after receiving information about “suspicious” individuals there.

When cops arrived, they were met with gunfire–forcing the officers to call for backup. A detachment of Fuerza Coahuila officers and local cops responded, leading the gunmen to surrender before any injuries or deaths were reported.

Law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas that during questioning, the gunmen claimed they were from Tamaulipas to join the Zetas Vieja Escuela. The group slipped into Piedras Negras with the intent to carry out attacks to destabilize the area and maintain armed conflict with Cartel Del Noreste. [READ MORE]

Mexican cartel targets SUV drivers for carjackings near Texas border

(BREITBART) — REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Gun battles, carjackings, and kidnappings continue to take place every day in this border city as two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel continue to fight for control.

In recent days, cartel gunmen targeted average citizens for daylight carjackings in their efforts to steal four-door SUVs. The teams of cartel gunmen stole trucks at gunpoint near the Anzalduas International Bridge, near the city’s downtown area.

Mexican law enforcement sources consulted by Breitbart Texas revealed that SUVs are a favored by cartel gunmen due to powerful engines; high clearances for dirt roads; and the four doors allow each gunman the ability to shoot in and out of the vehicle with relative ease. SUVs are used in large-scale gun battles along rural dirt roads or in the main city streets when rival cartel factions clash.

Mexican law enforcement officials have been targeting these convoys, many times finding them and clashing with them before the rival cartel factions meet. This has led to a large number of shootouts between law enforcement and cartel gunmen.

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Gulf Cartel’s top boss pleads guilty in U.S. court

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The man who once had full command of the Gulf Cartel during its heyday pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and charges of assaulting a federal officer.

Jorge “El Coss” Costilla Sanchez went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan and entered a guilty plea to one drug conspiracy charge and two separate counts of assault on a federal officer.

From 2003 until his arrest in 2012, Costilla controlled the criminal organization known as the Gulf Cartel (CDG). According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, since the 1990’s the Gulf Cartel has been Mexico’s leading drug trafficking and money laundering organization in the northern part of Tamaulipas.

Costilla inherited the command of the Gulf Cartel from its previous leader, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who is currently serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. prison. Cardenas was arrested in 2003 and extradited to Texas in 2007.

According to prosecutors, Costilla-Sanchez was responsible for making strategic decisions and trying to manage the various factions of the Gulf Cartel, including Los Zetas who eventually broke away. Beginning in 1998, Costilla helped the Gulf Cartel move tons of cocaine and marijuana into the country through the international bridges in Hidalgo and Cameron County, as well as through the waters of the Rio Grande and through the Gulf of Mexico into the Texas coast.

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Cartel gunmen attack funeral procession in Mexican border state

(BREITBART) — CIUDAD VICTORIA, Tamaulipas — The raging cartel violence that continues to envelop this border state took an odd turn when gunmen killed two underage brothers and an adult woman who were taking part in the funeral procession of a recently murdered cartel member.

The multiple homicides took place south of this city along the highway that connects with the rural community of Soto La Marina.

Those attacked were taking part in the funeral procession of 20-year-old Jose Ramon Sandoval Garcia who was murdered in his home last week. Jose Ramon was linked to one of the cartels that operate in the city and was believed to have carried out local extortions. During the funeral procession, a team of rival cartel gunmen riding in various SUVs pulled up next to the procession and opened fire.

When the attack took place, the two 13-year-old brothers, Adolfo and Angel Ramizez Avalos, were struck by multiple bullets as they rode in the back of an older Ford F-150.

The sudden attack sent others fleeing in a panic as they attempted to avoid being shot by automatic bursts of gunfire. On the side of the road next to a barb wire fence, authorities located the body of the unidentified woman who appears to have been hit by a stray bullet and collapsed.

One of those in attendance rushed to a local gas station to call for help, asking for the military and the red cross to respond. By the time emergency personnel arrived, the two teenagers had died. Paramedics were able to tend to another teen named Cristian Azael Perez Torres, shot twice in the groin area and was rushed to the local children’s hospital in critical condition.

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Authorities discover cartel mass grave near Texas

(BREITBART) — RIO BRAVO, Tamaulipas — The horrors of the cartel war in this border city have once again been revealed with the discovery of a new mass grave.

The find comes at a time when rival groups from the Gulf Cartel wage war for control of the region–leading to more than 158 deaths through gun battles, executions, and disappearances in Reynosa.

In an exclusive fashion, Breitbart Texas is able to confirm with law enforcement sources the discovery of a clandestine mass grave in a field near the intersection of dirt roads (brecha) 121 with 6 North in Rio Bravo.

Authorities discovered a shallow grave containing various nude bodies. The corpses had clear signs of torture, but were not in advanced stages of decomposition.

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Drug traffickers use social media to spread terror near Texas border

(BREITBART) — CIUDAD VICTORIA, Tamaulipas — Cartel gunmen captured one of their rivals, tortured him, and used social media to disseminate a threatening video where they beat and behead their victim.

In the video, a group of hooded gunmen carrying various rifles stand before a kneeling, blindfolded victim and issue a short threat to the leadership of the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas. The gunmen claimed to be part of the Vieja Escuela Zeta or the “Old School” splinter of Los Zetas.

Soon after the gunmen issue the threat, they beat their victim with their rifles and another hooded man runs in with a machete to begin hacking away at their victim’s head. The victim has been only identified as “La Conequilla” a member of the CDN operations in Ciudad Victoria. Photos and videos of the beheading were via social media. The various messages issued threats against Raul “Borrego” Gamez Moreno and Elvis “Morelos” Santiago, as well as their families living in Ciudad VIctoria.

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