Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Cardenas Guillen inherits the Gulf Cartel

Aurora Vega

Narco banners hung by Los Zetas and celebrating the blow against the Gulf Cartel with the death of "Tony Tormenta" appeared in various cities of Northeast Mexico Saturday morning. The destabilization of the Gulf Cartel may lead to an escalation of the conflict between both rival groups

Since the rupture with Los Zetas, Mario Cardenas Guillen "El Gordo", brother of "Tony Tormenta", has been among the top leadership in the Gulf Cartel.

According to information revealed by the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) Mario Cárdenas Guillén “El Gordo”, a brother of Osiel and Ezekuiel Antonio Cárdenas Guillén, is poised to take the leadership of the Gulf Cartel alongside Eduardo Costilla “El Coss” and continue the conflict with Los Zetas over the territories of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Veracruz, Tabasco, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

Mario Cardenas Guillen was arrested in 1995 on charges of organized crime and drug trafficking and spent 11 years in prison, being released in 2007. While incarcerated in the Cereso II prison in Matamoros, “El Gordo” continued to organize the shipment of large amounts of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. from an automobile body repair shop within the prison walls.

After the DEA exerted pressure on the Mexican government, “El Gordo” was charged by the PGR with drug trafficking from the prison in Matamoros and was transferred in 2003 to the maximim security Puente Grande prison in Jalisco. After serving his sentence he was released in 2007.

For more insight into the corruption of the Mexican prison system, which persists to this day, and for information on the notorious reign of Mario Cardenas at the Matamoros Cereso II prison, which he literally ran as a Gulf Cartel safehouse during his incarceration, read the following article in Spanish:
“Cuando la prision era una fiesta”

After leaving prison in 2007 “El Gordo” maintained a low profile and rejoined the Gulf Cartel where he has headed operations for the cartel on the Mexico-Guatemala border and also organized drug shipments into the U.S. for his brother “Tony Tormenta”.

“El Gordo” is also believed to be the motivating force behind the splintering of Los Zetas from the Gulf Cartel in February of this year which has led to hundreds of deaths.

PGR information reveals that following the 2003 arrest of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who continued to lead the Gulf Cartel organization from the maximum security prison of La Palma, his brother Ezekuiel Antonio “Tony Tormenta” became the figurehead leader of the cartel, Heriberto Lazcano “El Lazca” continued to control the Los Zetas paramilitary arm and Eduardo Costilla “El Coss” ran the arm of the organization responsible for the control of corrupt state and municipal police forces in Tamaulipas.

However, “Tony Tormenta” weakened his position as leader of the cartel due to his addiction to drugs, women and gambling and lack of control of the criminal organization and began to lose power to Los Zetas, led by “El Lazca”.

Los Zetas, who were recruited by Osiel Cárdenas Guillén in the 1990’s, was the paramilitary enforcer arm of the cartel composed of former military and judicial police.

After Osiel’s extradition to the United States in January 2007 Los Zetas became increasingly powerful and friction increased between them and the Cárdenas Guillén faction who was joined by Eduardo Costilla. By the final months of 2009, groups loyal to Mario and Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen were beginning to clash with Zeta cells.

U.S. intelligence reports at the time revealed that the Gulf Cartel was held together by weak agreements that were broken on January 18, 2010, when a group led by Eduardo Costilla killed Victor Mendoza Peña “El Concord 3” in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

Mendoza Peña was the right arm of Miguel Treviño Morales “El Z-40”, who is underneath Heriberto Lazcano in the Zeta heirarchy.

The DEA learned that the murder of “El Concord 3” was allegedly committed by Samuel Flores Borrego “El Metro 3”, a former state judicial police agent who is identified as the head of Gulf Cartel operations in Miguel Aleman and Reynosa.

The assassination of “El Concord 3” caused Miguel Treviño Morales to issue an ultimatum to Eduardo Costilla to hand over the murderer, giving a deadline of Monday, January 25. El Coss did not respond. This ultimately led to the split between the two factions of the Gulf Cartel.

According to DEA and Mexican intelligence agencies there has been a recomposition of criminal organizations in Mexico after the Gulf Cartel-Los Zetas split.

A new partnership of conveniencehas been formed between the organizations known as La Familia Michoacana, the Gulf Cartel, Cartel del Milenio (Los Valencia), Sinaloa cartel and a faction of the Tijuana cartel headed by Teodoro Garcia Simental, who has since been arrested by Federal Police.

The other rival large bloc consists of the Juarez Cartel led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes “El Viceroy”, The remnants of the Beltran Leyva organization led by Héctor Beltrán Leyva “El H”, Los Zetas and the Tijuana Cartel now led by Fernando Sanchez Arellano “El Ingeniero”


  1. It's interesting what capos are getting captured and which are not. No doubt the U.S government placed heavy pressure on the Mexican government to act against somebody in the general area after the Falcon Lake media firestorm.

    Interesting the Mexican government decided to act against the Gulf cartel when all evidence pointed to Zeta involvement in the possible murder of the man. For the Mexican military an all out confrontation is undesirable with the Zetas who are usually better equipped than the CDG gunmen. Even then the marines took 3 casualties for the 5 dead from CDG.

    The strategy of attacking the weakest group first will only lead to higher casualties in the end.

  2. Great article, I never knew the killing of El Concorde is what caused the split between El Golfo and Zetas. I always thought it had to do with El Mata Amigos not being able to be trusted by Los Z's own heirarchy, and money and power of course. I don't know much about El Gordo, but he doesn't seem competent enough to lead El Golfo in a win against Los Zetas.

  3. Anyone have a link to the war on drugs dead by year total?
    i want to do a different more detailed graph.
    based on the last one i did a month ago, it looks like its leveling off but theres still 2 months to go to close out the year.

  4. @anonymous 10:15 am

    This is the only new info out. It came from the Reforma "ejecutometro":

    Government reports and stats haven't come out since mid year when the 28,000+ count was published.

    Of course these numbers do not reflect a true number as it is impossible to know how many are still dead, but considered missing, buried in narco-fosas, etc, etc, etc

  5. @November 7, 2010 6:19 AM

    Seriously the Falcon Lake media firestorm? Are you a joke or new to borderland beat.

    The American government pressure had nothing to do with this and this had nothing to do with the Falcon Lake media firestorm. The Marines on Sept. 17 would have killed him then way b4 the lake falcon incident if he'd not escape that day. The Mexican navy has step up operations in the region bz the plaza has brought too much attention after the candidate for governor to the state of Tamaulipus was killed. So it has nothing to do with your dumb theories maybe you should read BB more often and keep up with us. Alright.

  6. So, I guess Tormenta was a lot like Javier Francisco Arellano Felix, 'El Tigrillo', who was the same way with his addidctions/problems, and had to be 'sent away' several times. I don't know why you would think El Gordo isn't qualified if it appears Tormenta wasn't the most qualified. It seems to me, some of the real leaders in CDG are R1, and Metro 3, and the various plaza leader, moreso then the figureheads.

    I hope they pull it together, they need a show a force against the Zeta's, but enough of the decapitations/castrations, and send the public a message, acknowledge the loss, but pledge it won't deter them. Forget Narco banners, litter the streets with flyers or something.

  7. Honestly, here in most towns of Tamaulipas, CDG roams freely, they control the cities, the Z controls the roads. Contrary to common beliefs the Z avoid open battles with the CDG gunmen, they basically lay ambush in the rural roads, where they hide, but in the city's they play hide and seek. Both cartels have exservicemen, expolicemen and poorly train civilians, the Zs are one of Mexico biggest myth... They live on the fear of the people, but in a pitch battle when they face a equal force, they usually are defeted, this happen here in Reynosa, Rio Bravo and other bordertowns, even in Monterrey they dont want to confront CDG directly. The way they were throw out of Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Valle Hermoso, etc... Shows they really arent a force to be reckon. They are only a threat to unnarmed civilians and their bosses, who pictures them selfs as big badasses are the fisrt to surrender to goverment forces, look at the Hummer and look at Karis, one surrender cowardly and the other fought to his death... And Tormenta is another example.

  8. The article reads: "The other rival large bloc consists of the Juarez Cartel led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes “El Viceroy”, The remnants of the Beltran Leyva organization led by Héctor Beltrán Leyva “El H”, Los Zetas and the Tijuana Cartel now led by Fernando Sanchez Arellano “El Ingeniero”"


    In my opinion, if there is anything good that has come from this drug war is I think the Femicidios of Juarez have steeply declined, yes, I know the buses to the maquiladoras was attacked about 2 weeks ago, very tragic, odious.

    I think Organized Crime was probably behind the murders of women there, men doing it for pleasure, perhaps rich influential men. I don't know if that means the Juarez cartel. I once went out to Ranch fiesta barbeque sort of event once in the state of Chihuahua, women around and it just seemed a real "Macho" environment. Not a big part of the problem in Chihuahua but some of the problem is the Machismo of Mexico. Well, despite all, I do think less factory workers, less women are attacked down there.

    Course, I could be wrong, I'm just speculating.

  9. Yeah, I truly have no idea about those Juarez women murders, no one really does, it seems to me. I skimmed the book 'Daughters of Juarez', and didn't really get any kind of understanding, as if there was none in the book itself. It doesn't seem like organized crime, I mean some of these guys are scumbag, sadists, and maybe a few women here and there are raped/hurt/killed, but the Juarez murders were more like the victim of serial killers or something similar.

    Also, almost all these articles seem to be mention the alleged coaltion of CDG/CDS/LFM, which is legit, and documented with evidence, but the one between CAF/CDJ/Beltran Leyva/Zeta's seems to exist only because stories say it does. I know Z's and Beltran Leyva had a working relationship at one point, but nothing recently. And CDJ and CAF, never seen anything supporting that.

  10. @November 7, 2010 12:27 PM

    Calm down buddy. Ur right, this isnt due to the media reacting on the falcon lake incident. But no reason to be such an @$$hole. Maybe it is his first time on BB like you said. And now he is going to think we are all jerk offs like you. You sound like you need to get laid, or take a bong load. Either way calm down. Your waaay too high strung for a forum, maybe you should be on the front line. Douche bag.

  11. I would say just about all the cartel leaders have been addicted to there product. Gambling and drinking, please just look at how much money the cartels put into Los Palenques, especially the ones in Sinaloa, Durango, Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Michoacan. What makes them good leaders is through fear. The more bloodthirsty you are usually the higher you'll get even though life expectency is only what would you say 3 to 7 years.

  12. @ November 7, 2010 6:19 AM

    We usually allow noobies to lurk before they make oopsies.

    Don't abuse the privilege.

    In other words, grab a bag of Micro-wave popcorn and stay a while.

  13. Hope this “El Gordo” gets hunted down and killed very soon.



Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;