Saturday, October 12, 2013

Open for business: Gulf Cartel keeps moving marijuana, despite decimated leadership

Borderland Beat

Ildefonso Ortiz 
McALLEN — Despite more than three years of top bosses getting arrested or killed, the Gulf Cartel continues to be a major drug smuggling group that seeks to fill the appetites of drug users nationwide.

Like arteries to a heart, Interstate 69C/Expressway 281 and I-69E/U.S. 77, which connect the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio, are the main roads that the organization uses to pump a steady flow of marijuana into mainstream America.


The plant — which is grown illegally in Mexico, packaged and then smuggled across the Rio Grande — fetches about $200 per pound wholesale in South Texas. But that pricetag can double when the drug passes the Border Patrol’s Falfurrias and Sarita checkpoints, and it can go for up to $1,000 per pound when it reaches metropolitan areas across the nation. That price is further increased when the drug is sold at street level.
In an effort to curb the drug smuggling through the highways, U.S. authorities have set up permanent checkpoints along the two main arteries leading to San Antonio.

TARGET OF INVESTIGATIONS
For years, the Gulf Cartel has been the target of investigations aimed at impairing its operations, said Will Glaspy, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s assistant special agent in charge in McAllen.

Through their work with Mexican military and law enforcement agencies, the DEA has played a key role in the arrests of numerous key members of the Mexican drug trade, including kingpins of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, Glaspy said.
While the takedown of a kingpin hurts the organization’s operations, by design the criminal entity will shift power to a new boss quickly, thus continuing the cat and mouse game.
“We will continue to put pressure on the Gulf Cartel throughout investigations, making seizures of drugs coming into our country and currency heading into Mexico to deprive them of their proceeds,” Glaspy said. “We will continue targeting and making arrest on those individuals who are in the command and control structure within the cartel.”

 THE GULF CARTEL
The majority of the drugs trafficked in northern Tamaulipas and South Texas are under the control of one criminal organization: the Matamoros-based Gulf Cartel, which traces its roots to the 1930s, when it primarily dealt with local rackets in Tamaulipas and liquor and tobacco smuggling. As part of its rackets, the organization found a way to make money from smuggling poultry, grains and other goods when a profit could be made by skimping on customs tariffs.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Gulf Cartel began shifting its operations into the profitable smuggling of marijuana and cocaine making South Texas a major player in the illicit drug trade.


While most scholars cite 2006 as the year former Mexican Felipe Calderón kicked off his war on drug cartels, its effects were not felt at the South Texas border until late 2009 and early 2010 since the focus of that war fell largely on the bloody streets of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana.
By early 2010, though, the tide of violence reached the Tamaulipas-Texas border as the Gulf Cartel severed ties with its muscle, the Zetas, setting off a ruthless feud that drew the attention of the Mexican military.

DOMINO EFFECT
Since the split with the Zetas, the Gulf Cartel has undergone another significant split as the factions loyal to legendary leader Osiel Cárdenas Guillén and his brothers have squared off against the operational leader of the Gulf Cartel, Jorge Eduardo “Coss” Costilla. During that struggle four cartel lieutenants were detained on the U.S. side of the border as they sought to avoid the lawlessness of Mexico in favor of relative safety in Texas. In this time period, the U.S. saw a few cross-border incidents, such as a double execution in 2010 in Brownsville, a September 2011 execution along the expressway in McAllen, and in October 2011, a failed kidnapping in the City of Hidalgo and a botched kidnapping in rural Hidalgo County in which a sheriff’s deputy was shot.

The internal rivalry continued until early 2013, by which time most of the known bosses of the Gulf Cartel were either dead or captured, but the criminal organization continues to be the leading smuggling organization in the area.

Although Mexican authorities assume Homero “El Orejon” Cárdenas — the leader for the Matamoros region — is the de-facto kingpin, it remains unclear whether he is in fact the boss of the organization.

STEADY CLIENTELE AND DIVERSIFICATION
According to U.S. Border Patrol statistics, the Rio Grande Valley Sector has consistently rivaled the Tucson Sector in drugs seized. The fiscal year 2013 statistics are not yet available, but during that year, the agency saw an even bigger jump in marijuana and human trafficking, nearly doubling its apprehension rate, which came after drug trafficking organizations shifted their smuggling routes toward the Texas border.

The second-most important money maker for the Gulf Cartel appears to be human smuggling, which RGV Sector statistics show yielded a jump from almost 60,000 apprehensions in 2011 to 98,000 in 2012 and to almost 150,000 in 2013.
While the arrest of a top boss can spur a temporary decrease in production, criminal organizations quickly return to business to keep up with demand, said Alejandro Hope, a former Mexican intelligence official who is now the director for security at Mexican think thank IMCO.

The demand for marijuana in the U.S. has climbed since 2007, when the number of users was at 14.5 million, to almost 19 million in 2012, Hope said.
As long as the demand for marijuana and other narcotics remains high, drug traffickers will work to supply it.
At the end of the day, the logistical structure needed to smuggle drugs across the border is not that complicated, but the volumes of drugs that are actually crossed are staggering and very difficult to quantify, Hope said.

 POWERFULL ALLIES
The Gulf Cartel’s continued strength is due in part to its alliance with drug traffickers from the Sinaloa Cartel and the Knights Templar, formerly known as the Familia Michoacana.
“Over time, there’s been a historical relationship between the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa and the Knights Templar,” Glaspy said. “There’s always drugs that travel through the RGV that belong to other cartels. It’s all part of a business relationship.”

Federal court records show an increase in prosecutions of methamphetamine smugglers, who are tied to the Gulf Cartel’s allies. The heavier presence of Sinaloan forces and their support to the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas is because of its leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman, who has a big interest in controlling the entire Mexican border, said George Grayson, a university professor at the College of William and Mary who has researched drug trafficking in Mexico and has written several books on the topic.


“El Chapo is playing nice,” Grayson said. “It’s out of convenience. Ultimately he is looking to control the entire border.”

36 comments:

  1. Gulfas open for everything to screw up lives of so many. Let's keep screwing up their organization until they sre rendered worthless and totally useless.

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  2. When juan was boss the gulf was not crazy killing peopl

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    1. 4:27 - that is true-you're correct

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  3. Hey chivis the zetas and 42 put out a video where they make posole out of golfos have u guys recieved it yet????

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    1. Bro BB doesn't get those videos actually "sent" to them directly! They pull them off of BDN or YouTube or wherever just like everyone else does. BDN is the only site that sicarios actually send their videos to. Besides BB didn't even post the last 2 or 3 videos, which is sad because this site used to be totally real and show the actual horror that is happening every day in Mexico.

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    2. Yeah I can't watch it on mundonarco can u put it on here porfas

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  4. I dont remember if i've mentioned this already but, Havana, I LOVE YOU. :)

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  5. Good map action- you can clearly see Interstae 69E leading to 77 and 69C to 281. That makes it easy to comprehend for those not familiar with the border.

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  6. RUMORED VIDEO: Z42 brother of Z40 made a video of cooking rival Gulf Cartel members (Posole) Video has been removed from YouTube. Maybe Z42 comes out in the video who knows?!?! Any info....

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    1. Read about the video yesterday but couldn't locate it. Thought it was more likely a stand in 42 standing in front of a barrel spouting off, posturing like he's been doing in the mantitas lately.

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  7. It won't be long until Chapo controls the border. He is just hanging back being polite because it is convenient?

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    1. El chapo aint going to control shit.Matamoros runs shit.C.D.G. kicked the shit out of chapos and beltranes once before remember nuevo laredo.Tamaulipas is not juarez or tijuana.

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  8. Thanks for the post BB- it's a good one.

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  9. Golfas sucking on Chapo's dinga-ling super strong..they would'be disappeared by now..the midget is keeping them alive..but he is biding his time..golfas suckers already let Sinaloa cells get a layout off their land..(stupid Golfas ) chapo is gonna stick it in raw-dawg style..back then under Abrego & Osiel golfas would've NEVER thought about alliance NEVER.Fat head Coss gave it all away..LOL

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  10. El chapo could only go threw Matamoros NOT REYNOSA It's part of the agreement just like CDG could go threw Tijuana only

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  11. We have not received the video nor have I seen it elsewhere. Have you seen it yet?

    As for not receiving videos directly, what? of course we do. not as much as some narco blogs but when we do they are usually "big" such as the 49 dismembered bodies in Cadereyta Jimenez. CNN, and other US media linked to us.

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    1. You tell 'em Chivis! Remember Cadereyta? You only have so much time to round up everything you do for us. People can be rather ah ungrateful, no? What have you ever done for Chivis? Have you ever done anything but complain, criticize and point out misspelling and gramatical errors? Have you ever sent her a video to post or a story idea? Didn't think so. Help Chivis, Havana, Vato, Badanov, Buggs and whoever else. It will only make coverage better.

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    2. Many thanks BB

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  12. The boss doesnt handle shipments directly
    Thats whole purpose of being boss
    Business as usual
    Texassss

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  13. Marijuana is seed ,water, sun and good soil
    Profits are huge
    Many thanks for post

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  14. CDG and allies will not be stopped
    Theres a plan A,B,C,D,E,F,G etc
    Texassssss

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  15. Read Gatopardo about Zeta's plazas. It talks about EPN meeting with cartel leaders last Dec. and Jan telling them to stick to their plazas and not infringing in others' areas and claiming other territories

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  16. Havana, nice job. You will always be a quiet, unsung, positive current on Borderland Beat. That isn't so bad. Thank you.

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  17. I live in McAllen, this is not news. All that pot goes somewhere else though, very very little of it, if any stays here. There are zetas here too (in Alamo,not so much in McAllen), but the zetas here are not be any means badasses. On this side of the border things are more business oriented. That's not to say we don't know the bad guys are out there. Around here if you mess with a zeta, you have a funny story to tell the next day, but if you have a bad run in with the gulf cartel, you have no next day. But they are pretty chill and it would take being involved in the drug war to mess with them.

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    1. 4:57 pm- it is no news to you cause you live in Mcallen like stuff in down town Des Moines is not new to me. But seriously, we don't get Gulf Cartel news, CT, CDS etc. So, it actually is news to us. Maybe before you mock the story as old news, it is still news to say 70% of the readers who aren't in Mexico or the border and are still getting or trying to grasp the depth of this topic. I'm thankful for all I can glean.

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    2. Sorry 4:57, it's me 6:04 pm- I misread your comment but clearly do get what you were saying now but read something else into your comment that wasn't there to start. I'm out to lunch and missed the point. But thanks for the comment because you are from Mcallen is precisely why it was so inciteful :)

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    3. Tell us more,zzz were basically scared off??I use to chill in mcallen I heard of people getting lit up at the mall does that still happen?

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  18. I am not convinced that 42 has complete leadership of the Z. The fact he has to make videos like the one mentioned above shows a bit of desperation. Someone who has things locked down wouldn't need to do things like that.

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  19. THE VIDEO SUPPOSEDLY OF ZETAS COOKING CDG IS FAKE ON BDN
    guys in barrels being bitch slapped never shows any fire or cooking or even cutting. nothing...BUT it is from Syria another fake post

    ttp://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ac7_1366267861

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    1. Thank you Chivis! A real video from Syria? Or a fake one of Syrian rebels getting cooked by Z42. Are you sure he's vacationing in Syria? Do they know he's bad news and wanted in Mexico? Imaginate! Vacaciones en -only Z-42!?Ridiclo!

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    2. Seriously! This comment is even funnier than those comedians poking fun at la reina! Jardi, har, jar, jar! Funny!! I like your humor man! Don't go away. Chivis likes a good laugh!

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    3. hahahaha!!!!!gettin' bitch slapped while being inside a barrel!!!!sounds like Z42 is having to much fun in damascus bitch slapping dudes and puttin' them in barrels he is on his maruchan world tasting tour,next stop Lebanon...

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  20. They look as relaxed as we all do when we take baths in barrels in front of our buddies. Stupid BDN- they are always screwing around-and then they post seriously for a couple days. I just don't get them in the least. What would happen if BB was that lax?

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  21. What a couple of jokers we got going here on this holiday! I needed a laugh! Thank you

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  22. Just finished bathing in a barrel, it took hours of prep. It is a humbling experience especially when my wife would have nothing to do with my experiment, wouldn't keep the fire lit or boil water on the stove etc. and then tried to copy Z-42 and bitch slap me. I nearly dropped the mobile thingie in the tub. I'm A Viet'nam vet and I'll try anything on a whim. Enjoy these comments-keep them going. I'll fence!

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  23. So z42 decided to prep these good for nothings,by chopping little bit of onions and cilantro and these boneheads end up taking a warm bath?z42 needs to quit being the dishwasher and put on his chef hat already,you can only cook people so many times until folks yawn and change the channel,he needs to come up with new methods and spice things up a bit,after all he is the supreme leader right?

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