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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mexican Navy: Gulf Cartel Gunmen Tried to Save Boss

Gulf cartel members tried to mount a rescue operation for the criminal organization’s leader, Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, who was killed last week by Mexican marines, a navy spokesman said.

Cartel gunmen used moving vehicles and sharpshooters positioned on rooftops to try to rescue Cardenas, known as “Tony Tormenta,” during the operation mounted by marines Friday in the northeastern border city of Matamoros, navy spokesman Rear Adm. Jose Luis Vergara said.

The shootout with the drug boss and his bodyguards lasted nearly three hours.

The cartel’s gunmen tried to break through the security perimeter established by marines to rescue Cardenas, Vergara said.

The hunt for the Gulf cartel boss was launched after the navy received an anonymous telephone call about a shootout in the border city, the military spokesman said.

The Gulf cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest organized crime groups, is considered partly responsible for the wave of violence that has rocked the country.

Several shootouts between federal forces and suspected criminals had occurred throughout the day in Matamoros, which is located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas and lies across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.

Marines went to check out the tip about the shootout and reports later began to “circulate” that Cardenas was in the area, Vergara said, without providing additional details.

The drug lord was found at a house protected by four bodyguards, who engaged marines in a firefight.

A total of 660 marines were involved in the operation to storm the house, backed by three helicopters and 17 vehicles.

Roadblocks were put up on Matamoros’s main roads and U.S. officials shut down the international bridges in that area of the border during the operation.

The shootout started around 3:00 p.m. Friday and ended at approximately 5:35 p.m., when Cardenas went down.

The four gunmen protecting Cardenas and three marines also died in the shootout, while four other marines were wounded.

A soldier died in another incident near the area, while a journalist was killed by gunfire from the marines, Mexican media reported.

Two people, including Cardenas’s right-hand man, were arrested in the operation.

The United States was offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Cardenas, who was wanted in that country on drug charges, while the Mexican government had placed a bounty of about half that sum on the drug lord’s head.

The navy had been tracking the Gulf cartel boss since March and was trying to determine his whereabouts, but the drug trafficker managed to escape several times, thanks to tips provided by police and state officials on his payroll, the press reported.

Marines came close to nabbing Cardenas last Monday, but he managed to evade capture.

Cardenas had led the Gulf cartel since the 2003 arrest of his brother, Osiel Cardenas, who was extradited to the United States in 2007 and sentenced to 25 years in prison in February for drug trafficking.

Cardenas shared the leadership of the Gulf cartel with close associate Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias “El Coss.”

He was responsible, according to the U.S. State Department, for “planning, overseeing and directing drug-trafficking and money-collection activities in Matamoros, Mexico” and controlled “the Matamoros-Brownsville corridor on behalf of the Gulf cartel.”

Tamaulipas has registered hundreds of murders this year amid a brutal turf war between the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels.

Cardenas Guillen is the third Mexican drug kingpin killed in security force operations in less than a year.

In December 2009, Beltran Leyva cartel leader Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed in a shootout with marines in Cuernavaca, the capital of the central state of Morelos and main bastion of that criminal organization.

In July, the powerful Sinaloa cartel’s No. 3 leader, Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, was killed in a clash with army troops in the western city of Guadalajara.

Those reputed drug lords, as in the case of Cardenas, also resisted arrest.

Some 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

The Mexico City daily Reforma reported Thursday that gangland killings have topped 10,000 this year.


  1. I have to say I respect the hell out of CDG as an operation, those guys go straight up with the Military, no hesitation, to rescue their boss, sharpshooters on roofs? Those guys aren't afraid, and show a lot of loyalty to each other and their leaders, from what I've gathered reading these articles. Juarez does the car bombs, chopping up federal agents, dirty tactics, so does Beltran Leyvas, of course Zeta's, and Sinaloa rarely shows it's hand in the fighting.

    It says they captured his right hand man, is that Metro 3?

  2. When they say Tony tormenta's right hand man was arrested, does that mean metro 3? God I hope so. Not jusy because I want to see the guy behind bars, but because I heard it hear first, courtesy of RiseMakaveli, and everyone gave him sh*t for reporting it.

  3. Man this is how the media pokes peoples eyes, they claim only 10 people died that day, yet on tweeter and facebook, people who live in the area witnessed bodies everywhere. Even people say that over 50+ died that day, yet its to much to report to the news so they reduced it to 10, so it doesnt sound drastic.

    dont believe all they (Media) say.

  4. Is it me or does the Mexican Naval spokesman (Jose luis Vergara) have feminine ways of moving around while he speaks? Just saying on the video by el universal.

  5. Metro 3 was killed.

  6. CDG if all this is true certainly have lost a powerful commander. In my opinion, it might be a good thing since Tormenta and Cos were not really eye to eye. Cos will now do what he wants and do what is necessary in exterminating the enemy. In regards to Metro... I won't believe any news until I see footage of him in custody. Rumors are rumors and should be left at that. I'm surprised the Mexican government has not produced the dead body of Tormenta.I wonder why???

  7. The spanish newspapers stated that Tony Tormenta was just a "front" boss.He was the boss by default,but EL COSS is the one who runs the show.It also stated that Tony was on the way down,he had a huge drug,gambling,problem.It wouldn't shocked me if he was givien up by his own people."DON'T GET HIGH,ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY!!!!"

  8. I had dinner with a good friend this evening who wks for the DEA in McAllen and the told me that Tony tormenta a was sent to the wolves by el coos because they had major problems among themselves because Tony thought he was indeed a boss. Coss had been giving up his location over and over but had been slipping away. When his brother was given a light sentence they thought he was ripping them off so they got the marines to take out tt. Only people loyal to tt were his bodyguards. Ites know osier is a snitch and can't be trusted and his brother who was looked down at for having a major cocaine problem couldn't be trusted as the plan was if Tony torment a was caught he was gonna do as his brother did. Metro 3 and el coos who are very close have taken control Orr the cartel and will begin to be really brutal towards the zetas. You heard it from me first. Sorry for the bad spellings etc...typing on an iPad sucks.

  9. That has been my understanding for awhile, like El Tigrillio from CAF, another cocaine abuser, women chaser, drunk, etc. That's pretty dirty though, by Coss and Metro, why not just hot him themselves? Sending the marines to tear up the city?

  10. November 10, 2010 6:57 AM
    Anonymous said...
    Is it me or does the Mexican Naval spokesman (Jose luis Vergara) have feminine ways of moving around while he speaks? Just saying on the video by el universal

    thank god mexico doesnt have dont ask dont tell, or this fool would of been kicked out

  11. TT has two sons !! i personally would pary out with them... Jorge and Ezequiel... calderon fk up by killing this man... he had matamoros under control. RIP TT

  12. one more thing ....Metro 3 was not with TT... he controls reynosa!! why would he be in Moros. el tyson-escorpion 1 and three others died with him. I dont think TT brother ,Mario cardenas will make a good boss.


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