Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican Marines Quiet the Storm

Friday, September 17, 2010 |

Update: It is believed that Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen was briefly captured during the confrontation but somehow managed to gain his freedom and remains at large.

Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, "Tony Tormenta", the main leader of the Gulf Cartel was arrested this afternoon amid heavy fighting that left many dead in Matamoros. This information was confirmed by reliable military sources in addition to the main stream media. La Reforma, and El Norte used unnamed law enforcement sources and witnesses to report on the outcome of the military operation.

"Tony Tormenta" is the brother of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who was at one time the leader of this same criminal organization who would eventually be arrested and is now serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison.

In the firefight it is believed that "El Tyson" or "M3" was also detained, he is the third in command of the Gulf Cartel who are currently waging a war against "Los Zetas" for control of the northeastern Mexican Border States. Lost Zetas are the former armed wing of the Gulf cartel.

The military operation was carried out by elements of the Mexcian Naval Marines against sicarios of the Gulf cartel resulted in at least three separate shootouts in different parts of Matamoros this afternoon, as reported by the Daily Texan Brownsville Herald.

The newspaper reported that the first shootout took place in the district of Expo Fiesta Sur, where a commando of the Gulf Cartel attempted to raid a Zeta safe house.

This forced the marines to advance on the operation to arrest Tony Tormenta that had been scheduled for later in the afternoon.

A convoy of the marines came upon a heavily armed commando of the Gulf Cartel adjacent to the facilities of the Matamoros Municipal Police station.

According to witnesses this confrontation that would be reinforced by naval helicopters resulted in many casualties of sicarios and possibly military personnel.

The confrontation then turned in to a chase through the streets of the border town culminating in the exclusive neighborhood of Las Arboladas near the region of Playa Lauro Villar, very near to one of the international bridges in the area.

The confrontation in Las Arboladas was particularly violent, with a high number of dead that included soldiers and sicarios of the Gulf Cartel.

"Eyewitnesses reported seeing dozens of bodies of both armed gunmen and Mexican soldiers," reported the Brownsville Herald.

The "M3" had arrived to reinforce and to strengthen the criminal organization with an undetermined number of armed sicarios. The marines also required and received reinforcement from additional military forces.

It was in Las Arbolada that Cardenas Guillen was arrested and was immediately transferred this afternoon to the facilities of the PGR in Mexico City.

M3 is said to have also been arrested but his current whereabouts are unknown.

Other news:
"El Universal" had hinted that Tony Tormenta had been killed in a shootout, but that version is not panning out. "Military forces engaged armed gunmen, killing one of them, in a confronation after the military attempted to stop them. They have ruled that the dead victim, still unidentified, could be that of Tony Tormenta, brother of Osiel Cardenas Guillen," according to the news from El Universal.

Proceso also reported the confrontation and confirmed that the sicarios fighting were part of the Gulf cartel that included Tony Tormenta in the group.

BIO:
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas-Guillen, is the brother of Osiel Cardenas-Guillen and close associate of Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez. Cardenas-Guillen is believed to facilitate the planning, overseeing and directing of the drug trafficking and money collection activities in Matamoros, Mexico and control the Matamoros-Brownsville corridor on behalf of the Gulf Cartel.

Cardenas-Guillen is believed to have begun his drug trafficking career during the late 1980s. Cardenas-Guillen rose through the ranks of the Gulf Cartel and was eventually given command over the Matamoros Plaza.

He, along with other Gulf Cartel associates, is responsible for multi-ton shipments of marijuana and cocaine from Mexico to the United States. He is charged in a 2008 Federal indictment in the District of Columbia with violations of Title 21 USC Sections 959, 960, 963, and Title 18 USC Section 2.

The U.S. Department of State is currently offering a Reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas-Guillen.

The Gulf Cartel
The Gulf Cartel, originally founded in Mexico the 1930s to smuggle whiskey and other illicit commodities into the United States, expanded significantly by the 1970s under Juan Garcia-Abrego, who became the first drug trafficker to be placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.

Following his 1996 arrest by Mexican authorities and subsequent deportation to the United States, Oscar Malherbe-De Leon took control of the cartel until his arrest a short time later. He was replaced by Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, who was arrested in 2003, and extradited to the United States in 2007.

The Department of State Narcotics Rewards Program played a significant role in the capture of all three of these Gulf Cartel leaders, with reward offers and subsequent reward payments. The Gulf Cartel controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking through the Matamoros, Mexico corridor to the United States.

Los Zetas
Los Zetas evolved from a small group of deserters from the Mexican Special Forces, hired by Osiel Cardenas-Guillen for his personal security, into a ruthless security force for the entire Gulf Cartel.

Los Zetas also took responsibility for the safe passage of the Gulf Cartel’s cocaine and other drugs from Mexico to the United States and have become a significant drug trafficking organization in their own right.

Los Zetas are credited with rising rates of violence within Mexico, largely attributed to turf battles with other drug cartels.

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43 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

OH OH If THIS IS REALLY TRUE..THE ZETAS ARE GOING TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE AREA... !! :O terrible !!

Anonymous said...

Fuck, the Zetas will now have total control of Tamaulipas, shit!!!!

Now there is one to put them in check, military can't keep up with them, because the Zetas have infiltrated all the municipalpolice in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon. In other words the Zetas are the municipal police.

Stand the fuck by!

Anonymous said...

My hats off to the mexican military all groups respectivly they really have been kicking ass latley and have done more in the war against drugs in the last month than the USA has ever done in the last 30 years with major caputres of drug capos from la barbie,Sergio Villarreal Barragan aka 'El Grande',and now metro 3 and Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen great work mexico Viva independica de mexcio

Anonymous said...

Now we have to eradicate the cancer that is the Zetas from the municipal and feceral elements in tamulipas and nuevo leon the mexican military should consider martial law in those states to identify and eleminate the curse that is los zetas

Anonymous said...

I think the Zetas will be partying up tonite since there rivals the CDG took such a major blow today with the number one and three being taken into custody the gun battles were crazy as hell today listening in from Brownsville

Anonymous said...

Holy shit!

This is going to make things a little more unstable in Tamaulipas, Zetas will be out of control now!

Beltran Leyva is out to "keep them in check" the military took them out. And the Sinaloa cartel has been and will continue to keep low, as to not attract publicity and pressure the government to go after them.

By the way, El Chapo is in Honduras (he doesn’t need the money any more, he has billions), in fact BB got it right a while back:

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/02/el-chapo-in-honduras.html

Anonymous said...

Dang it! Same first thoughts about the Z being in control. :( not that any one of these idiots are better than the other, just hope the military can get rid of the rest of the the trash.

Anonymous said...

the only problem the greater of the two evils los zetas just got stronger

Anonymous said...

THEY ALL SNITCH ON EACH OTHER,THE GOVERNMENT IS ALL INVOLVED IN IT TOO.FUCK FELIPE CALDERON!AND THE ZETAS!

Anonymous said...

I do not think BB should run with this yet. I do not believe this story to be accurate. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Es puro pedo.. tormenta esta vivo... acaban de hablar con el...

Anonymous said...

The video showed in here is not Matamoros city, it is in Chile south america.

J said...

Will this really weaken the CDG that much? I read Tormenta wasn't really the key player he was though to be. I didn't expect this at all, what is going on?

Smurf said...

Sketchy and vague reports are coming off a few narco-blogs this morning that say it was a false alarm and it wasn't Tony Tormenta who was captured.

As with all high level arrests; I'll believe it when I see him in cuffs or in a pool of his own blood.

Anonymous said...

I donna think that much is gonna change after his failure. Really he is more of "brand name" than real player on this battleground. Moreover I suppose it s el Comandante R-1 who plays his bloody game and he s gonna become much stronger. To a considerable degree, the authority of Tony Tormenta was based upon his brother`s former power and everybody in CDG could not disregard him.

Buggs said...

Yeah, it has not hit the Mexican main stream media nor has the government "presented" him, so I am starting to wonder myself, but either way I will post a response in the next couple of days.

Two reason I decided to post it;

One, it had some confirmation by reliable Mexican military official sources.
Two, it was confirmed by a reputable US news outlet with details of the operation of the alleged arrest.

So there it is, it’s a balancing act, we try to post up to date information but at the same time reliable, but sometime it's hard to see through the fog.

In the mean time the verdict awaits.

Buggs said...

This from El Norte:

Por: TACHILUDO
NVO.LAREDO | 17/Sep/10

Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, Tony Tormenta, cabeza principal del Cártel del Golfo fue detenido esta tarde en medio de fuertes enfrentamientos en Matamoros que dejaron numerosas víctimas. confirmaron a Notisensor fuentes militares confiables. Tony Tormenta es hermano de Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, quien fuera cabeza de la misma organización criminal, quien fue detenido y purga una condena de 25 años en una cárcel estadounidense. En las acciones también habría sido detenido El Tyson 0 M3, el tercer operador en importancia de esta organización criminal que libra una batalla por el control de los estados del norteste mexicano con Los Zetas, antigiuos aliados delictivos. Los operativos de detención de Cárdenas Guillén por parte de elementos de la Secretaría de Marina y los enfrentamitos entre cárteles dieron lugar a al menos tres balaceras en diferentes lugares de Matamoros a partir de este mediodía, según reporta el diario texano Brownsville Herald.

Ovemex said...

The whole TT./M-3 situation is odd.

Like Smurf said, I won't believe it until I see him cuffed or in his own pool of blood (hell at this point in the game seeing them in there own pool of blood is at pretty damn questionable, after all, not many really know these guys with exception to their U.S./Mexico WANTED posters with grainy pics from 15-20 years ago)..

Anyways, It's just odd how a few days ago the same reports came out about Hector Beltran Leyva. Many reports came flooding out from "reliable" sources and people withing the towns where the events happened, a few newspapers dabbled the info, and then POOF, nada.

Right now the only info online are rumors. Some say he WAS caught, but then rescued before being sent to DF. Others say he has been transfered to DF and will be presented in the afternoon. Another says he was captured, but after identifying himself he was "released to continue leading the war against the Zetas".

En fin, Nothing is definite, we'll just have to wait and see if anything comes about this afternoon.

As for the detention of M-3, I haven't even found speculations on his whereabouts.

Gerardo said...

Latest local coverage out of Matamoros

El Bravo: With the usual anti-military angle http://www.elbravomatamoros.com/noticias.aspx?seccion=2

El Manana, El Diario, El Imparcial: absolutely nothing

El Contacto:
http://www.prensaescrita.com/adiario.php?codigo=MEX&pagina=http://www.periodicocontacto.com

Anonymous said...

just fukn great ...why stop the cdg...they were killing the pinches Z

RiseMakaveli said...

I heard this yesterday from a Zeta, but I don't wana believe it. Something seems a bit off, hoping it's not true because in all fairness Matamoros had been safer in the last couple of weeks due to the majority of control being from the CDG.

If this was true, it won't mean that the CDG has been completely crippled. Like I had stated before, Tony eventhough he was Ociels brother, he was never #1, he was more of a screw up. He was punished a couple of times when his brother was still in command by his own brother for doing stupid shit, when Ociel was arrested one of the top guys was Costilla. Tony was incharge of Matamoros then later removed. But, none the less, he was tormenta and a lot of people respected him for being Ociels brother.. Something that is a bit odd, if Tony was captured in Matamoros while banging on some Zeta safehouses, then I would believe that the person running the Plaza of Matamoros would of been in his company, but yet nothing is mentioned of him.

I won't believe it until he is presented by the mexican government. Barbie was presented almost inmediately after he was captured.

Anonymous said...

Los Zetas are not military trained anything from what I see they are children from ages 15 to 21 they act a fool and are responsible for killing the economy in our small towns by carjacking and robbing people on the carrera Miguel Aleman then they are stupid enough to ask for "quotas" to the depositos most of the depositos where I live have closed because they cant afford it anymore.
I just hope this doesn't make these guys stronger cause then we are really f***ed

Buela said...

@J
PLease share more info re: your assertion "Tormenta" is not a intregal leader in CDG? WHat media sources? I am interested in that. US agency say to the contrary and still tag him w/5M Reward.

This is strange stuff...remember El H was reportedly captured? reported by a couple Mx outlets a few days ago.. WIth Tormento I cannot verify this in usual US sources (DEA-State Dept etc) either so I don't know
I do know CDG is not going anywhere, they have been around since prohibition then "smuggling" whiskey to the US..

RiseMakaveli said...

Hrmm..
Thanks Gerardo, for the coverage.

El Bravo reports the deceased as "una persona joven"..

The first thing that came to mind when that was said.. People sometimes get confused and think that Tony was the one running Matamoros plaza.. It's not, it's wrong.. I don't remember if you guys remember a while back that there where some people murdered in Matamoros and thrown on the streets. Those murders where from Tormentas Escolta and they removed the old Plaza leaders to implement new ones, which by the way turned out to be related to Tony. "Jr".

I am starting to think that perhaps the person they killed/apprehended was not Tony but JR.

I don't know, I guess that's enough for speculation, I'll just have to wait and see what is stated.

I'll make a couple of calls, if I get any information I'll update you guys.

Anonymous said...

It's the kill ratio.
The military has an excellent kill ratio in confrontations with them.
The military should have more confrontations.

When the citizens understand that no cartel narco is a good narco. And that all narcos are bad then the military will get more intelligence. Then the confrontations will increase and the cartel system will be terminated.

The pictures will resemble those of the slaughtered 72 except it will be cartel pigs: little pigs and big fat pigs all laying against the wall.

Anonymous said...

Tony Tormento y Metro 3 mantenían Matamoros y Reynosa tranquilo. Deberían ir por el 40 y Lazcano y los demás de esas lacras de Los Zetas.

Anonymous said...

Any response to the video being from Santiago, Chile?

Ovemex said...

Here's a few videos from Matamoros from yesterday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVUIRjPVJJI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8gvC-xiM30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko_C9O29VIE

Smurf said...

Here is video of the guy they thought may have been Tony Tormenta dead in a vehicle... doesn't look him...too young

http://www.blogdelnarco.com/2010/09/balacera-en-matamoros-deja-un-muerto.html#more

J said...

To Buela, I don't have any inside information, or insight, I think what I posted about him not being the player he was thought to be, was based on something Rise posted or I read on here from someone else reliable. Probably like an El Tigrillo situation, family name, important position, but a lot of it is lip service, and loyal lieutenants.

Anonymous said...

In the above-mentioned video the guy being killed is not Tony Tormenta as it can be clearly seen. He is much younger and looks not as TT. Even if he`d made plastic surgery, he wouldnt have been looking like that!

Anonymous said...

not that i support any of the cartels, but if tony was really captured, this just means more violence along our border! regardless of the crazy mayhem, certain areas along the border were still relatively safe. but if his capture turns out to be true, the zetas will probably try to strengthen themselves by taking advantage of his capture :/ i really hope isn't true.

Anonymous said...

It is him i Believe.
Obvious plastic surgery. bald head to conceal his age. the nose and eyebrows match.
ive isolated a frame from the video to compare it to the mug shot.
but lets wait and see what the DNA evidence says.

Anonymous said...

I say all the people of matamoros start a militia and execute all the Zetas! The Zetas are pieces of shit that deserve what ever torture and executions that they get. If the CDG loses control of the area the Zetas are going to make it a living HELL!!!! Like I said, Matamoros should begin Civil War againts those pieces of shit, The Zetas!!!!!! KILL THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hahaha wheres all people tat where trying to rep for the gulf.u got fuckd up.not even three cartels can fuck with them.pussies

RiseMakaveli said...

Forget about it. The man shot there is not Tormenta, jajaja.

No, forget about it. That's not him, what I was doubting was that perhaps he was actually taken in by the military.. But I don't know..
I called a friend in their circle and he basically told me Tormenta was fine, I mean perhaps it's all part of the plan to make it seem like he wasn't arrested or something..
But I couldn't seem to stubborn when asking about shit like that..

I don't know.. Something's going on..

Anonymous said...

It's not a game, it's not a horse race - these crudos are all criminales and there will be no winners. No matter what the initials on their baseball caps a little round mark is just above their noses.
It is the mark of a dead man.

Smurf said...

Agreed Rise, I don't understand what the army, the government or anybody else has to gain by claiming Tormenta's early demise. It didn't make sense when they did it with Barbie and Nacho and it makes even less sense now. That joker in the car doesn't look anything like Tony, there is no plastic surgeon on earth that can turn that grizzled old face into the young man in the video.

If it follows the previous patterns he may be presented in a few weeks or shot dead by marines. Even then we won't get the true story. Rosas Rosas sat there and blatantly lied about the circumstances that led up to La Barbie's arrest, how can we trust anything anyone says?

Anonymous said...

are calls to the sedena really anonymous? can anyone tell me? is the Army backing anyone in this war? there are many times I want to call and give info but Im scared the cops are with them where I live if we call the police for ant thing the Zetas show up where Im at they have just gotten stronger its a nightmare I just want to know is the anyone that can help?

RiseMakaveli said...

You can always try a payphone my friend. DOn't risk calling from your house, always admire the people who stand up and do something, but don't risk you or your family. Make an anonymous call from a payphone to them. Don't give out any details.. Stay safe, best of luck.

Godbless you

Ovemex said...

You can call the Mexican Army or the Marines..Like Rise said, do it from a pay phone. You can find these numbers for your area on internet or by looking up the individual agency.

Cuidate mucho y buena suerte.

Anonymous said...

Si sabes de un punto de venta o ves vehículos sospechosos custodiando lugares, DENUNCIA:
Marina: 01 800 627 4621
Ejercito: 01 800 832 4771

Ten a la mano los datos de identificación del lugar que denunciarás, nombre de calle, entre qué y qué calles, colonia, ciudad, número de carretera o kilómetro, etc.

Si hablas por teléfono, házlo de un público, es gratis y no necesitas tarjeta para hacer la llamada.
Tu llamada no puede ser rastreada si la haces así, y las denuncias son anónimas.

O bien, puedes crear una cuenta de correo electrónico con datos falsos y manda un mail desde un cibercafé:

Monterrey denuncia.7zm@mail.sedena.gob.mx
Reynosa denuncia.8zm@mail.sedena.gob.mx Tel: 01-899-926-7092
Matamoros denuncia.gmmatamoros@mail.sedena.gob.mx
SEMAR Matamoros navmat@semar.gob.mx Tel: 01-868-822-9500

Si la denuncia es por correo electrónico, es preferible enviar copia a las distintas zonas militares para que el destinatario sepa que está siendo observado.

Recomendaciones al denunciar:
- LLAMEN DE TELEFONOS PUBLICOS
- NO DUREN MAS DE 1 MINUTO
- REDACTEN LO QUE VAN A DECIR Y UNA VEZ HECHO LA DENUNCIA ROMPANLO Y TIRENLO
- NO USEN EL MISMO TELEFONO SIEMPRE
- HAGANLO DE DIA Y EN LUGARES PUBLICOS Y CONCURRIDOS
- TOMEN TODAS LAS MEDIDAS QUE CREAN NECESARIAS
- MUY IMPORTANTE EN OFRECER DATOS COMO: DIRECCIONES, CAMIONETAS CARACTERISTICAS Y CANTIDADES, HORARIOS, LUGARES DONDE LOS HAS VISTO CON REGULARIDAD, CUALQUIER DATO ES IMPORTANTE.

Anonymous said...

according to some sources, Tormenta was not capture. M3 not dead!

All false alarm.

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