Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Gulf Cartel boss 'El Meme Loco', former lieutenant under Osiel Cárdenas, released from prison

"MX" for Borderland Beat
Víctor Manuel Vázquez Mireles
Earlier this month, a Mexican media outlet reported that Víctor Manuel Vázquez Mireles ("El Meme Loco"), a former high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel under Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, was no longer in prison and had resumed his organized crime activities. El Meme Loco is likely one of the most prominent Gulf Cartel bosses released from prison in recent years.

He joined the cartel in the 1990s as one of Osiel's bodyguards, and eventually rose through the leadership ranks of the cartel. He was arrested in March 2003 in Veracruz but remained without a sentence for nearly a decade.

Last year, Borderland Beat reporter "MX" reached out to the Mexican government requesting information on El Meme Loco's status. We were only able to confirm he was sentenced for organized crime involvement, though officials did not provide any mention on when this sentence was handed or if he remained behind bars. In this report, Borderland Beat will cover his extensive criminal career and his current status in the cartel.

Initial arrest and escape
On 2 January 1999, the Federal Highway Police (PFC) arrested El Meme Loco with a 900 kg (2,000 lb) marijuana shipment at a park in Río Bravo. He was imprisoned in a low-security prison in Reynosa but was able to escape in less than a month. On 29 January 1999, while being transported from prison to court for a hearing, he was freed from custody by Gulf Cartel gunmen.
Mug shot from his 1999 arrest in Reynosa
According to police reports, around fifteen gunmen intercepted the vehicle in which he was being transported and threatened his custodians at gunpoint. The vehicle was forced to a stop and the gunmen took El Meme Loco in a separate vehicle. The gunmen were driving a police vehicle and were wearing police uniforms.

It was clear from this incident that El Meme Loco was associated with high-ranking cartel members, but few knew who he was working for.

Gangland murders and standoff with U.S. agents
In May 1999, Osiel killed Ángel Salvador Gómez Herrera ("El Chava") and became the undisputed leader of the Gulf Cartel. El Meme Loco was tasked with eliminating the remaining gangsters who reported to El Chava in Matamoros, and notifying the police of the location of his corpse.

On 9 November 1999, El Meme Loco and several of his associates, including Osiel, threatened two U.S. agents at gunpoint in Matamoros. The agents traveled there with an informant to gather intelligence on the operations of the Gulf Cartel but were intercepted by the criminal group.

FBI Wanted Poster issued against Osiel Cárdenas Guillén after the 1999 standoff with U.S. agents

During the standoff, Osiel threatened to kill the U.S. agents and the informant but after a heated conversation they were allowed to return to the U.S. unharmed. This incident led to increased law enforcement efforts against El Meme Loco and other Gulf Cartel leaders.

The informant who was with the U.S. agents was Juan Raúl Bermúdez Núñez, a journalist from a local newspaper in Matamoros. According to the journalist, El Meme Loco had met with the newspaper's management to discuss monthly bribes of US$500 in exchange for not publishing stories about the Gulf Cartel. He also stated that Osiel and his lawyer Galo Gaspar Pérez Canales accompanied El Meme Loco at these meetings.

On 13 May 2002, Nuevo Laredo gangster Dionisio Román García Sánchez ("El Chacho") was kidnapped by a commando of approximately twenty Zetas members in Monterrey. The operation was headed by El Meme Loco. Police chief Arturo Pedroza Aguirre reportedly tipped off El Chacho's whereabouts to Osiel and Los Zetas; he told them that El Chacho was hiding in a residential neighborhood, and gave them the exact home address.

Los Zetas acted on his information and abducted El Chacho at his home along with four of his henchmen; one of his gunmen, Juvenal Sánchez Torres ("El Juve"), was killed during the operation. Los Zetas suffered one casualty after their gunman Raúl Alberto Trejo Benavides ("El Alvin") was mortally wounded. El Chacho was taken to Tamaulipas and was found dead that same day in Río Bravo; he was tortured and mutilated by his captors. El Meme Loco had proven his worth.

Re-arrest and imprisonment
On 28 March 2003, police officers assigned to the Veracruz–Boca del Río intermunicipal force arrested El Meme Loco and several other suspects after they were seen drinking alcohol in public in Veracruz's boardwalk area.

After spending time in two maximum-security prisons, El Meme Loco was transferred to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 2 ("Puente Grande), a maximum-security prison in Jalisco. He spent most of his imprisonment in this facility.

Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) wanted poster; El Meme Loco included (second row, far left)
On 13 November 2006, a federal judge based in Reynosa sentenced El Meme Loco to 7.5 years in prison. The judge found him guilty of being in possession of 98 marijuana packages weighing 503.3 kg (1,110 lb).

Authorities also stated he was guilty of leading the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas and Veracruz, and of buying narcotics for distribution in the U.S. through Matamoros with the assistance of corrupt law enforcement personnel. However, his sentenced was annulled and El Meme Loco was kept in federal custody.

Conviction and release
On 11 September 2012, El Meme Loco filed a complaint to a federal court in Mexico City after being imprisoned since 2003 without receiving a sentence. He claimed this was a violation of his human rights and asked the court to allow him to be tried under conditional release. After the motion, a penal court sentenced him to 12 years for organized crime involvement, but a tribunal cancelled his sentence again in March 2013.

In May 2019, Borderland Beat reached out to the Mexican government via their transparency law requesting information on El Meme Loco's status. We were able to confirm that he was sentenced to 8 years for organized crime involvement. However, despite Borderland Beat's requests, Mexican officials did not specify when this sentence was handed and if he was released for already spending nearly a decade in custody.

Court transcript confirming El Meme Loco's release (source: Milenio)
Earlier this month, the Mexico City-based newspaper Milenio newspaper confirmed that El Meme Loco was no longer in custody. A court case provided by them confirmed that El Meme Loco resumed his organized crime activities after his release and was in contact with Mario Alberto Cárdenas Medina, the son of Mario Cárdenas Guillén ("El M-1"). El Meme Loco is currently wanted in the U.S. for drug trafficking, money laundering and assault.


Note: This post includes excerpts from the Wikipedia page of Víctor Manuel Vázquez Mireles, which was published by "MX" in February 2019. Over 90 sources were used for this report. The Scribd document above was retrieved by Borderland Beat via Mexico's transparency law in May 2019.

34 comments:

  1. Good reporting

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    Replies
    1. yes, I agree. MX is a great addition to BB !

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    2. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the info.

      Delete
  2. It was Betancourt Z-2 that practiced the Memes escape from police van, Z-2 was ripped by El Roger there's testimonies on the internet by Z-2

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  3. He has the stand outside a liquor store and ask for some change look

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  4. Good work guys and gals
    A lot of America wants to know and are interested
    To bad you get censored on Social Media

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2:30 if you tell them "social media" you are russian,
      Then you get away with anything!!!
      Send them some rubles before their price goes up.

      Delete
    2. Mark Zuckerberg initial Facebook investors included one russian mobster who later sold out to himself and retired from Fb if you believe them.
      His lonely Hawaiian island may be making life easier for Murky Mark.

      Delete
  5. Great info MX thank you. A lot of old cdg capos that we do not hear about anymore

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  6. Dayum ol boy is feo.Who would want to be a golfo,worse than the mafia for betrayal,they even killed their patron saint Metro 3,no wonder it caused civil war to this day..

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    Replies
    1. His own people killed him

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    2. 5:04
      Why are you repeating what was already said in the comment? It say "killed their" as in his own people killed him.

      Delete
  7. A united Gulf Cartel doesn't exist anymore, I doubt the current bosses will give up power to him.

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    Replies
    1. This guy go way back to Osiel Cardenas so his power was always there even while in prison. How u think memes survived all these years.?

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    2. @ 4:11

      You’re 💯 correct. This SOB will be killed in a matter of time

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    3. yeah but these old schoolers have contacts in the drug world and can often become freelancers themselves. zetas founder el Chuta was a freelancer for a while too

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    4. That and he was working with the Zetas before the split. No one is going to pay allegiance to him.

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  8. He doesn't matter, I don't go to Mexico

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  9. Rest in peaace Dionisio Román García Sánchez ("El Chacho").

    Great man, interesting character, no photos of him exist on the internet. There was one picture of his dead corpse, but it's long gone!

    Back when Nuevo Laredo was great! Lots of business and happy times!

    Rest in peace, Chacho.

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  10. Given a second chance in life shouldn't be taken for granted. Rather, appreciated!
    Most aren't as lucky as he is to fulfill his days with family.
    In the end its ignorance that compels them to do so.

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  11. If he was wanted by the US, why did they not get first crack at him in terms of being held for extradition?

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    Replies
    1. Hard to know what happened exactly. But Meme Loco remained without a sentence for nearly a decade. Mexico cannot extradite criminals to the U.S. if they face charges in Mexico or are on trial. They have to be convicted or absolved first. Meme Loco's attorneys probably used this to avoid his extradition and were able to secure a release before an extradition request reach a judge's hands.

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  12. These mf is straight out a meme loco 😂

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  13. MX does it again. Always digging, digging . . . Is there anyone that know more on this planet than him on the history of the cartels?? I doubt it.

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    Replies
    1. You're too kind! Glad you enjoyed the report. Cheers!

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  14. Where is el gif loco?

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  15. That reminds me...is Sol ok??????
    Usually he is out there churning articles like a factory, along with Chivis hope he is doing fine, I miss his articles, he is ok in my book.

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  16. So like if Mr. Potato Head were Mexican he would look like this guy. Mira no más. Una chulada de vato pos no más no lo es. Jaja

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  17. Looks like a fat sloppy joe

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  18. 1127 Sol is fine, he is currently in the house, maintain 6 feet distance por favor.

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  19. He had a promising modeling career, but chose the life of crime.

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  20. Probably working for escorpiones?

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