Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The Death of M4 Shrouded in Secrecy

Monday, January 28, 2013 |

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat
The Peña administration makes changes in policy of reporting on the narco war, making it difficult to know what is fact and what is fiction.  M4 is a case in point......
 
On January 14th rumors were inundating social networks on the pages of Mexican drug war reporting, that Hector Delgado aka “M4” was dead.  On the 15th I posted the story with a disclaimer that concrete facts and confirmation were nonexistent regarding the reports of Delgado’s death.
The reports from citizens were blurred by another firefight that occurred coinciding with the rumors of M4 death.
In the second incident, also involving CDG,  a narco of rank was injured and taken to the hospital for lifesaving measures that failed.  It was rumored to be M4.
 
It was not.   M4 was killed on January 14, and his body is said to have been retrieved on the 15th and quickly buried.  It was reported to me that it was a Metro on Metro hit.
Aside from the newsworthy fact that a powerful leader of one faction of the ongoing infighting cartel, the fact that his death went without notice in mainstream media was newsworthy in of its self.
One could feel a huge shift in the government’s approach to high profile narco deaths, and it was perplexing and frustrating while attempting to search for information and confirmation.
Then on January 20th came the announcement by Edward Sanchez, the undersecretary to Peña.  He gave a news conference to  announce  the change in federal reporting of narco event, citing that to not instill the new practices “hurts society”, and is “unacceptable”.
No longer will there be:

v  Perp walks and presentations

v  Most Wanted Lists

v  Media will not be allowed to cover events such as raids

v  Will refrain from using monikers when referring to narcos

The undersecretary explained that by using monikers, such as Chapo, glorifies organized crime to impressionable children they may look upon drug trafficking as desirable goal .

I say monikers make little or no difference in the glorification of cartels. My sense is Peña's administration is using excuses for actions that harm society, and in doing so they are betting on people  welcoming and accepting rather than recognizing it is, as a matter of fact, censorship and lack of transparency.

If the Peña administration wishes to make a sincere impact on the lives of children affected by the glorification of 'narcoism',  they would better serve its society by providing  impoverished and marginalized children an education and opportunities whereby they have life choices other rather than joining cartels. 

In a nation with the majority of its people live in poverty, Mexico will not heal until its leaders come in with innovative thinking instead of back to the future of PRI corruption, secrecy, and looking upon impoverished children as just so much acceptable  attrition.

The new policy is not applicable to states which initiate policy for their individual state.  Evidence of ignoring the new federal policy by states has been evident by their continuing "perp" presentations and use of monikers.  The problem arises from the control cartels have over some states and all municipalities that are big players in the war of organized crime groups.  
 
Below is an excellent article posted in The Monitor written by Ildefonso Ortiz.  It is republished here in its complete text. 
(click on image to enlarge)
 
Few Details Known in The Quiet Fall of a Feared Gulf Cartel Kingpin
 
In a world of betrayals and violence, where the fall of a kingpin is typically lauded by Mexican media, the death of a feared drug lord flew under the radar much like his legendary operations. 
The name Hector Delgado sounds unremarkable; the nickname Metro-4 or M4 inspired fear on both sides of the border.
Described as tall, slim, dark and coldblooded, Delgado was known in Mexico as a ruthless enforcer, while law enforcement officials in the U.S. side were well aware of the man’s reputation and his disregard for borders when scores needed to be settled. 
The body of Delgado was found Jan. 15, just days after he had disappeared, said a Tamaulipas law enforcement official who asked not to be identified, citing security concerns. He was believed to have reached his late 30s upon his death. 
“There was some confusion because on that day there had been a firefight and another member of rank in that criminal organization was wounded and died at the hospital,” the official said in Spanish.
A U.S. intelligence official unauthorized to speak to the media confirmed the death of Delgado, adding that he has since been buried beside his brother in Matamoros.
Mexican authorities have not released any information relating to the death of Delgado.
The nickname for Delgado stemmed from his origins in the Gulf Cartel, where at the beginning he was part of the Matamoros enforcement wing known as the Metros — a radio signal which was assigned based on the city they worked in, the Tamaulipas official said.
“In the beginning, that’s how you knew where they were from, Metros were from Matamoros, Rojos were from Reynosa, Lobos were from Laredo and so forth,” the official said. “As things changed, the names stayed but they were all over the place.”
Delgado was born and raised in Matamoros and as time went by his position in the organization grew.
But unlike some of his fellow Metros, like Metro-2 (Gregorio Sauceda) or Metro -3 (Samuel Flores Borrego), who became famous plaza bosses,
Delgado always remained in the shadows working the enforcement side while staying below the radar of authorities.
-continues on next page-
Delgado had been the plaza boss of Reynosa and one of the closest allies of de-facto Gulf Cartel boss Mario ”Pelon or X-20” Ramirez, who has been trying to exert control of the organization which has been involved in an internal struggle since 2011, the Tamaulipas official said.
On one side, the forces loyal to the family of legendary kingpin Osiel Cardenas Guillen continue to face off against the men who had been loyal to Jorge Eduardo “El Coss” Costilla. Cardenas is serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. prison, while Costilla awaits trial in a Mexico.
The struggle between the two factions has upset the Gulf Cartel’s allies in Sinaloa, who have been helping them since 2010 to fight the Zetas — once working as the Gulf Cartel’s elite ex-paramilitary enforcers.
While gunmen and traffickers with the Sinaloa Cartel continue to work in Tamaulipas, they have lost trust in their Tamaulipas counterparts and have been more and more reluctant to help them, the law enforcement official said.
MEXICAN HERO?
Many citizens of Reynosa have grown tired of drug dealers and their regular shootouts with authorities, but for a brief time in September and October 2012 they were thankful to Delgado for his role in keeping the famously corrupt Reynosa transit police at bay.
Not tasked with any public safety role, but merely acting as traffic enforcers, the transit police in Reynosa and Matamoros — better known as transitos — are notoriously corrupt, working as lookouts for the Gulf Cartel, a source outside law enforcement with direct knowledge of criminal activity said.
“They are totally useless and corrupt,” Joel Hernandez said in Spanish.
The Reynosa businessman has no ties to criminal activity and recalled the brief respite he had during the time.
“They will pull you over for any excuse they can think of and extort you by scaring you with having your vehicle impounded or arrested,” Hernandez said. “It was a good break that we had. Later on I heard the rumor of why they had been punished and it felt good to know that someone put them in their place.”
For about six weeks, Delgado ordered the transit police to do all of their patrolling on foot as a way to punish them for pulling him over, the source outside law enforcement said. The cartel boss had been riding in a beaten up car to avoid detection from Mexican military personnel.
“He had been driving a small, beat-up car to not raise suspicion of the military and as he was heading toward Rio Bravo, he was stopped by the transitos who tried to extort him,” the source said. “At first they didn’t believe who he was so he called his people who showed up and disciplined the transitos. Feeling offended, he punished them all.”
FEARED IN THE U.S.
In mid 2011, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a memo to its troopers and other law enforcement agencies, warning them about orders given by M-4 to fire upon U.S. law enforcement if they tried to stop certain shipments key to the Gulf Cartel.
In other DPS memos, the agency warned of various attacks on U.S. soil that were in one way or another attributed to a figure identified only as M-4.
At the time the memos were issued, DPS director Steve McCraw wouldn’t discuss details of the memos leaked to The Monitor, saying that the contents were for law enforcement eyes only.
When the Gulf Cartel went through an internal split in September 2011 that continues to languish today, Delgado was identified by U.S. law enforcement officials as the man who had ordered the recovery of various drug loads stolen from the organization.
In October 2011, then-Hidalgo Police Captain Robert Vela confirmed that Delgado, who was one of the bosses in Reynosa behind the kidnapping of a man who was rescued by his department at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.
The man, who was never identified by authorities, was rescued from the trunk of a car driven by an underage teen. Investigators were able to track two men who were charged with aggravated kidnapping.
Delgado was also identified by Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino as the man who had ordered the Partido Revolucionario Mexicano prison gang to carry out a simultaneous operation similar to the one in Hidalgo to recover a substantial drug load.
The kidnapping turned deadly when Deputy Hugo Rodriguez and his partner Manuel Morales pulled over a sand-colored pickup where two kidnappers had stuffed their victims in the back of the truck.
Rodriguez was shot multiple times, but along with Morales, the deputies were able to kill one of the gunmen and seriously wound the other.
The shooting was the first incident that Trevino called spillover violence — a term he had long before challenged compared to other local and state law enforcement officials.
“It doesn’t necessarily kill the snake,” the sheriff said Saturday of the cartel boss’ death. “It’s almost like they are Medusa. As long as we demand, somebody is going to supply.”

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32 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

At least M4 was returned to family in one piece annd buried
Good Post Chivis,,
Tejas,,

Anonymous said...

as long as BB keeps doing what they've been doing..........

Anonymous said...

No more perp walks? WFT? A moniker + a name would help us sort out the many, many bad actors in the cartel viiolence. Who is going to remember Juan Jose-casares, santa maria de la peña? I almost quit reading this excellent report because of the comming austerity.I will always remember where I was when I learned of thie death of democracy In Mexico.

Texcoco said...

Real good article Buela, I'm gonna have to translate this article and post it in Spanish.

Anonymous said...

Transito's story made me laugh"they are totally useless and corrupt" oh dear."they will pull you over for any excuse they can think of and extort you by scaring you with having your vehicle impounded or arrested" it's like a script from a monte python film except it aint,i feel sorry for the innocent citizens of Mexico.

Anonymous said...

I would love to know the real story behind M-4's demise....we may never know.

Anonymous said...

Why are the Metros killing each other? CDS will take over if this continues...

Anonymous said...

Metros vs Rojos vs Guardia Osiel equals CDG Wars.
atte: ThinkTank 28.7 Narcovision

Anonymous said...

Thanks BB, for keeping us informed! Interesting article.

Chivis said...

Thanks Tex!

Anonymous said...

If the mayito rumor was true now you know why it wasnt posted in any forum or put out by the media because of peña's dumbass. Attn.P@RR@ND3RO

Anonymous said...

No more perpp walks!!??
Im not watchng tv anymore

Anonymous said...

Really good work Chivis, thank you for the post. I think this story is huge because this means that there will be very little information from the govt going forward. This makes all the posts on this website all the more valuable because reporting now will be done much more through sources on the ground.
The thing the Nieto administration has underestimated is the Internet. No matter what, info
as to what's happening in Mexico will always be available on the Internet. We just won't get the official govt response and bullshit stories that elements of the military were fired upon and returned fire, killing all the attackers.

smokee said...

I agree with the Pena nieto admin. in thinking that monikers make for gloryfication of these individuals but I also agree that secrecy and transparency are affected by their actions I think it should be up to this blogs reporters to filter out the comments glorifying these criminals

Anonymous said...

siplemente te digo esto aka en culiacan no se escucha nada de eso yo vivo aki y no avido nada de desmadre uno Que otro levantado y asta hai incluso si uviera eso del mayito ya se uviera echo desmadre como cuando mataron al hijo del chapo matadero y levantadero de los beltranezz y zetoneZ culero Que se puso....asi que deje e habrir la mamadora parrandero.se lo dice uno que vive aki en sinaloa no Que usted esta en usa escondido de las balaceras Que vivimos aki en mexico.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people feel that the narcos should not be glorified? Why shouldn't they be glorified? After all, they are the real rulers of Mexico! Pena Nieto is just a flunky carrying out orders.

J said...

It's not...it really only benefits narcos/and those that protect them or work with them.. not to subject them to the perk walk, and the relative transparency of Calderon's admin, this is bad for everyone interested in the subject, remember things before? Think 2005, when Nuevo Laredo was a killing field between Z's/CDG and Sinaloa, and no one (generally speaking) knew who was killing who or why....it's a PR move, I doubt the violence goes down much at all...but maybe.

Anonymous said...

I wondered what was going on, especially when metro4 was killed. Thank you for once again presenting a well written and informative view. I never miss one of your posts. I am never disappointed. About the monikers I think it is important not to sculpture the reality nor edit truth. those that will glorify will do so most likely from personal circumstance not a name on a manta.

Anonymous said...

Callese pinche lavaplatos.

Chivis said...

I am working on the report of this. a new post. I don't have much free time right now, but I hope to get the post up tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Keep them reports coming Chivis,thank you for your splendid work once again.

Anonymous said...

Look !AND THIS US JUST A STORY going around!!!2 very different people told me a few days ago that METRO4 WASN'T. Killed by the marinea ,zetas or any one criminal structure. According to both theses reynisa residents El cuatro was killed in a violent drug binge among personal friends /compadres of his .(yes even a thug killer hasconpadres and are alone agarrando la peda

Texcoco said...

I wish I knew more about this incident, specially who was the one who kill him?.

Chivis said...

Texcoco

In my post I state the hit was "metro on Metro"
he was, I am using the vernacular here, "killed in his own house"
I have heard this now from enough people I would be surprised if it was anything different

Paz...Chivis

Anonymous said...

I heard the house info too,texcico.but from what I hear it wasn't at HIS house but one of his conpadres.supposedly he killed one or two people there that night before somebody got to him while walking up the stairs. Supposedly the shooter was a young kid son of one of the ones shot dead.

smokee said...

The problem is they become heros and children look up to them I don't see nothing wrong with having ambitions and wanting to step out of poverty but I certainly wouldn't want my children to wind up dead on the side of some road for trying to be in this business at a young age I agree that this so called elected crooked president ain't is no example either but this narcos are not something I want kids to look up to, that's all I'm saying

Chivis said...

@4:53
I did not mean literally M4s house, that was in the vernacular, just a saying, as in not outside sources, his own people....metro on metro...it is what is most said. paz, chivis

Anonymous said...

Trazcavo vs M4.......XX

Anonymous said...

"I heard the house info too,texcico.but from what I hear it wasn't at HIS house but one of his conpadres"
Funny shit,you just made that shit up.She meant"in-house"his own crew.He was walking up stairs and fell back and died,they thought shit man,M4 cant go out like that?So they put a couple of holes in his ass to make it look grimy.Thats the real story,or is it?

Anonymous said...

i also heard the comandante chiricuas was killed the following day after metro ! i wonder if it had something to do with metro death?

Anonymous said...

3.23 I don't make shit up jerkoff.if. a big if here, its not true its the make up story of the diffe,rent people that told me that same shit.NOT MINE!!

Anonymous said...

mexico should make a little side money by making trading cards of known cartellos, they would have stats aliases and rank as well as other information.. they would be highly collectable.

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