Proceso by Jose Carrasco Araizaga
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
[Translator's note: The capture of El Coss has been written up extensively in this and other sites, so yet another story may seem excessive. However, the following story was published in Proceso's edition No. 1872, and contained a photo of El Coss on the cover, with the lead story title, "Cayo en Desgracia." (He fell in Disgrace). The day the printed edition arrived at the distributor's offices in Tampico, Tamaulipas, a group of men showed up and bought up every copy before it hit the newsstands. The story details the relationship between El Coss and government forces. --un vato]
The capture of El Coss, who aspired to the total domination of the Gulf Cartel, was the culmination of a long history of complicity and betrayals between the drug trafficker and the Mexican Navy. Apparently, thanks to Eduardo Costilla, government forces little by little were able to finish off the Cardenas Guillen brothers, who were the undisputed leaders of the criminal organization. But the romance with the Navy ended suddenly when details of his perverse relationship were made public and made it unsustainable. The love ended, and Eduardo Costilla became a tasty delicacy for the end of the (Calderon) administration.
MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso).- Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, El Coss, betrayed and was betrayed. His aspiration of becoming the supreme leader of the Gulf Cartel (CDG) by delivering the Cardenas Guillen brothers served only for officers and chiefs of the Navy to use him and protect him until he became a medal for the Mexican military and Felipe Calderon's government.
For more than two years he used the Navy (la Marina) in an attempt to retain control of the CDG, but the protection he received from the military in exchange for setting up relatives and loyalists of the Cardenas Guillen brothers decreased as his betrayals grew, betrayals for which his former allies gave him the name of "El Judas."
The end for El Coss came on Monday, September 3, when mantas (narco banners) were hung in the municipality of Ecatepec, State of Mexico, accusing Marine Infantry Captain Efrain Martinez Talamantes of protecting him, according to statements made to this weekly by security informants who requested anonymity.
Last February, this weekly published the story of the conditional protection (Proceso 1840) provided to Costilla Sanchez, who, in addition to the charges he faces in Mexico, is wanted by a U.S. federal court in Brownsville, Texas, charged with drug trafficking and money laundering.
Identified by the CDG itself with the code name "Sierra," the supposed protector of El Coss and a superior code named "Aguila" were summoned by Navy commanders after the mantas were placed in the state where president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto was governor.
"Give him up or we'll come after you," was the warning, the sources said. El Coss fell on Wednesday, (September) 12, in an operation in which not a single shot was fired, in a residential zone in Tampico, the refuge he had chosen to witness the collapse of the Cardenas Guillen clan, with the help of the Navy.
"The marines betrayed him and captured him because the accusation that they were protecting him became an increasingly heavy burden for the Navy," state the informants. According to those sources, El Coss already has a successor: Mario Ramirez Trevino, aka "Mario Pelon" or "X20", from the Los Metros faction of the CDG, Costilla Sanchez allies. He is also wanted by United States authorities.
The one now standing in for the Cardenas Guillen family is another brother named Homero.
Sources claim that at the time he was arrested, El Coss was trying to reestablish relations with Miguel Angel Trevino, the executor of the CDG, but that they became a separate cartel four years ago.
|The aftermath of the massive shootout that killed Tony "Tormento"|
The Cardenas debacle
The accusations that the marines were protecting Costilla Sanchez coincided with the arrest of two members of the Cardenas Guillen clan attributed to Coss betrayals. The first detainee was Mario Cardenas Guillen, "El Gordo", the brother of Osiel and Antonio Ezequiel, who more than ten years ago strengthened the CDG by incorporating the Zetas to the cartel.
El Gordo was trying to regain the leadership of the organization after Osiel was arrested in 2003 and extradited in 2007 to the United States, where he is serving a 25 year sentence, and after Antonio Ezequiel, "Tony Tormenta", was executed by the Marines in November of 2010, supposedly with Coss's help.
Mario Cardenas Guillen, also known as "M-1", was the CDG boss in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, one of the most important cities for the organization. Arrested by marines on Monday, (September) 3, in Altamira, in the same state , he was not presented (to the media) until the next day, when the Navy itself presented him in the D.F., in the offices of the Office of Investigations Specializing in Organized Crime (SIEDO: Subprocuraduria de Investigacion Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada).
Prosecuted for drug trafficking, he was incarcerated from 1995 to 2007. That year, he got out of the Puente Grande, Jalisco, maximum security prison and joined his brother Tony Tormenta so that the CDG would remain under family control. After the execution of Antonio Ezequiel (Tony Tormenta), he assumed control of the cartel's principal plaza, where he operated.
(Juan Gabriel Montes Sermeno)
A week after El Gordo's arrest, on Tuesday the 11th, at the SIEDO offices, the Navy also presented Juan Gabriel Montes Sermeno, his operator in the southern Tamaulipas area, who had been arrested a few days before in Guadalajara. The Navy stated that it arrested him after inspecting a suspicious vehicle. It identified him as "Gaby Montes" or "Sierra," the same code name that the CDG assigned to the purported Navy captain who was Coss's protector. Montes Sermeno was passing himself off as Jesus Angel Almaraz Guzman, a cattleman.
For the Navy, the fall of El Coss was the result of these two arrests and of "an intense job of naval intelligence". Not betrayals. Not by the drug traffickers and much less by the supposed military protectors.