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

Monday, April 24, 2017

5 towns have the worst dispute for control in Tamaulipas

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Milenio article with additional picture from the Borderland Beat archive.

Subject Matter: Cartel del Golfo, Los Zetas
Recommendation: See link to article by BB reporter DD on recent events in Tamaulipas

Reporter: Ruben Mosso and Ignacio Alzaga
After the blows given by the Federal Forces to the Cartel del Golfo and to Los Zetas, the violence has not ceased in Tamaulipas, because ten criminal cells of different organizations are disputing for control of the State, a war that is concentrated on five towns.

The disputes are centred on Nuevo Laredo, Tampico, Ciudad Reynosa, Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria.

At the end of the 90's decade, the ex leader of the Cartel del Golfo, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, El mata Amigos, or the friend killer, gave birth to a structure that impacted the nation, because the new armed wing he created, Los Zetas, changed the panorama of organized crime.

As well as drug trafficking, which is its principal business, the cartel diversified and started to kidnap businessmen, steal fuel, charge quotas to businesses, counterfeit and kill migrants, crimes that until that time when the two organization sought control, had not been seen, Cardenas Guillen had "Colombianized" Mexico.


According to information from the Secretary of National System of Public Security, from the PGR and recorded by Milenio, from 2007 to date in Tamaulipas 2757 people have been killed. (Otis: to put this into perspective, the war between the IRA and the UK, in 30 years only 3600 people were killed).

As well as 200 bodies being discovered in 48 clandestine graves and 1284 kidnappings, and 1459 extortion's. ( Otis: these are the ones that have been reported).

In the last ten years, the PGR has documented 2985 illegal fuel pipe tapping's, and the Ministry said 1959 vehicles had been stolen.

In an equal manner, it is the State where most Army lives have been lost, from the 1st of December of 2006 to the 1st of January of this year, there have been 118 soldiers killed of the 492 that have been killed since the war on narco trafficking was declared, that represents 23.7 percent of the victims.

The towns and places where the soldiers were killed are: Aldama, Ciudad Reynosa, Miguel Aleman, Ciudad Victoria, Los Comales, Ciudad Mier, Nuevo Laredo, San Fernando, Altamira, Matamoros, Rio Bravo, Tampico, Abasolo, Villagran, Santander Jimenez, Hidalgo, Valle Hermoso, Guemez, Ciudad Guerrero and Camargo.

The actions

During the last year, the reinforcement of the Army and Marines to Tamaulipas has permitted the dis-articulation of 15 cells of Cartel del Golfo and Los Zetas.

In May of 2016, information from Seido and Cenapi gave account of the existence of the following criminal cells;

Cartel del Golfo
Metros, Rojos, Grupo Lacoste, Grupo Dragones, Grupo Bravo, Grupo Pumas, Grupo de Apoyo Ceros, M3, Los Fresitas, Los Sierra, Los Pantera, Ciclones and Los Pelones.

Los Zetas
Sangre Zeta, Grupo Operativo Zeta, Comando Zetas, El Circulo, El Extranjero, Unidad Zeta, Nectar Lima, Grupo Delta Zeta, Fuerzas Especiales Zeta and Cartel del Noreste, cells that had presence in Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Guanajuato, Tabasco and Quintana Roo.

However the most recent information from Seido and Cenapi, to the 30th of March of 2017, indicate that there are 15 cells were disputing and only the following were operational:

Cartel del Golfo
Metros, zone of operation of Reynosa; Rojos in Matamoros, Grupo Dragones in Tampico, Los Fresitas that operate in all of the State, Los Ciclones also in all of the State; Los Pelones and Talibanes, who all operate in Quintana Roo.

So the armed forces have dis-articulated the following seven cells, Grupo Lacoste, Grupo Bravo, Grup Pumas, Grupo de Apoyo Ceros, M3, Los Sierra and Los Pantera.

Meanwhile Los Zetas operate in all Tamaulipeco territory with only three cells; Grupo Operativo Los Zetas, Grupo Operativo Zetas and Fuerzas Especiales Zetas.

The Federal forces have finished off eight groups linked to Los Zetas: Sangre Zetas, El Circulo, El Extranjero, Unidad Zeta, Nectar Lima, Grupo Delta Zeta and Cartel del Noreste.

Comandante Toro

This past Saturday, Federal Forces in a confrontation took down in Tamaulipas, two leaders of those Cartels; Julian Manuel Loisa Salinas, El Comandante Toro, leader of the Cartel del Golfo in Reynosa, and Francisco Javier Carreon Olvera, Pancho Carreon, Jefe of Old School Zetas.

These events gave rise to 32 narco blockades, as well as dozens of incendiary incidents, a situation that led to the total paralysis of Reynosa.

Around 5 am in the morning of Saturday, the Municipal Government launched a red alert in the social networks to inform the population of the situation of risk, and asked that people take precautions.

The death of Comandante Toro, could lead to the leadership of the Golfos to fall to the regional leaders Victor Manuel Perez Rico, Pantera 16, and Hector Crescencio de Leon Fonseca, R3, who was set free in February of 2016.

One of the visible leaders of Los Zetas is Juan Gerardo Trevino Chavez, El Huevo Junior, of whom it is said is the nephew of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, El Z-40.


when the General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo was named head of the National Institute for Combating Drugs, in 1996, various soldiers were sent to Intercept bases, these soldiers had received training in the USA and Israel.

In 1999 it was reported that in the Army, personnel had started to be corrupted by the leader of the Cartel del Golfo, Cardenas Guillen, who started the Sicario group Los Zetas, led by Arturo Guzman Decenas, El Z-1.

The FBI alerted that the armed wing of the Cartel del Golfo controlled members of the criminal organizations of the Mexican Mafia or La Eme, Texas Syndicate, MS-13, and Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos, in United States Territory. Los Zetas were catalogued by the United States as para-military group.


Osiel Cardenas was captured during an operation of the Army in March of 2003, after his detention, the ex commander of the Ministerial Police of Tamaulipas, Jorge Eduardo Costilla, El Coss, took control of the Cartel and displaced Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, Tony Tormenta, brother of Osiel, and Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, El Lazca, or the executioner, the leader of Los Zetas.

El Coss
In the File PGR/SEIDO/UIEDCS/122/2006, Mateo Diaz Lopez, El Comandante Mateo, or El Z-10, detained in Cunduacan, Tabasco, on the 15th of July of 2006, declared before the Federal Public Ministry that El Coss had the following cell leaders:

Tony Cardenas, Tony Tormenta, who was in charge of the Matamoros Plaza; Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano El Lazca, with the key Z-3 who was in charge of the group of Los Zetas, Gregorio Saucedo, Goyo or Caramuela, who was in charge of the Reynosa Plaza.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, El Z-40 was found to be in charge of the Nuevo Laredo Plaza and that he reported directly to El Z-3, and that he was well trusted.

Mateo signalled that following 1997, when elements of GAFE were commissioned to the PGR, were later sent out to subsections of this Federal Agency:

"I was commissioned to carry out intelligence activities in relation to certain subjects, if it was money, car theft, in order to establish if they were involved in something bad, during this work I met in the City of Miguel Aleman, Arturo Guzman Decenas, Z-1, who served in this place, as well as his commander by the name of, Victor Nazario Castrejon Pena.

Castrejon Pena
He found out about my constant visits and asked me if I had been tasked to spy on him, I admitted that I  had and he told me what he wanted, he understood and I began to make friends with them.

In 2010, Los Zetas confronted the Cartel del Golfo, after Osiel Cardenas was extradited to the United States and negotiated wit the Mexican Authorities in exchange for information about the Cartel del Golfo and Los Zetas, sparking a war that has kept going until this day.

Leaders fall

In November of 2010, the special forces of the Naval Secretariat killed Ezequiel Cardenas, who headed a Cartel del Golfo faction and disputed the leadership with El Coss, Osiels brother had problems with drugs, which made it difficult for him to make decisions.

On the 12th of September of 2012, El Coss was captured by the Marines Special Forces during an operation in Tampico, in our country there was a bounty of 30 million pesos for the Capo, meanwhile in the United States there was a bounty of 5 million dollars on his head.

With the fall of El Coss, there started an internal dispute between various factions of the Cartel that is still raging until today for control of the cartel.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano

In October of 2012, the Marines took down the overall leader of Los Zetas, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano during a confrontation with naval personnel on the Sabinas highway, on the way to Progreso, Coahuila.

The leadership was assumed by Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, El Z-40, who was captured on the 15th of July of 2013, by the Marines, near the town of Anahuac, Nuevo Leon.

On the 4th of March of 2015, the same happened to Omar Trevino Morales, El Z-42, who had the leadership of the Cartel. Since his fall, Los Zetas have had internal disputes.


Los Zetas have killed military, they were also behind the arson at the Casino Royale, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, where 52 persons lost their lives in 2011. They were also responsible for the deaths of 72 migrants in the town of San Fernando, in 2010; and of the deaths of 193 persons found in clandestine graves in the municipality of Tamaulipas, and the massacre of 49 people in Cadereyta, Neuvo Leon. (Otis: also the massacre of hundred of families at Allende, Coahuila).

Original article in Spanish at Milenio


  1. Beautiful insight and very informative.
    Well done Otis.
    Zeta cartel definitely took violence to a new level. Moreover the means of so many aspects to acquire its domination. And yet it was the gulf cartel that created these individuals.
    Makes me think of ISIS ,former taliban militants but with a menacing threat.

    1. The Gulf Cartel was independent until Raul Salinas De Gortari became a partner of Juan N. Guerra, who was too old and put juan garcia abrego in his place, after raul went to prison, the Gates created by zedillo, trained by american and kaibiles of Schools of the Americas fame in guatemala and Mossad to fight the Ejercito Zapatista, EZLN, went to be policias federales in tamaulipas, Beaded by mexican army lieutenant arturo ghzman decena with the goal of stealing the drug trafficking business from CDG and osiel cardenas guillén who ate it all hook line and sinker and the fishing pole.
      Cdg was just another victim of the mexican military led War for the Drug Trade, using the zetas to front the operation, while the zetas did their own shit for themselves too.
      "Reynoso, Moreira, Peña y Monreal investigados por sobornos de "El Rey de los Dragones", revela dario en texas, por juan Alberto cedillo, laredo tex. APRO.
      Luis Carlos Castillo, "el rey de los dragones" minority owner of Banco InterNacional en Mc Allen Tex. "Case sealed by the court"
      San Antonio Express News, reporter Jason Buch

    2. Wow!
      Very informative and convincing.
      Would not surprise me of any such as an accurate account .
      But having clear evidence of government corruption and its greed . Sounds right!
      Question is ? Why no such apprehension measures ever applied to remove and indict some of these individuals by other world leaders for such actions?
      Definitely intrigued!
      Thanks enjoy your day

    3. Eugenio? Where? 50/50. Ok? T.M.

  2. Does anyone know whats going on the the 8 orginal Zetas that still remain at large, but been keeping a low profile

    1. They're not "zetas" anymore. They are "licenciados" meaning they work as ministeriales and federales.

  3. I am not saying the Gulf r not tough people , BUT Zetas r killing fools. Look Sam Fernando they killed a lot of people. Killed many friends and family for no reason
    They love to kill.

    1. Ruthless terrorists is what they are.
      Tactics applied by extremists groups.
      Fear is there main application of their existence. Intimidation practices which are implemented by a proven technique.
      Amazing how the Mexican government never applied terrorists protocols towards this cartel.
      Then again it's the corruption within government which allowed this to have transpired. Some evidence indicates that former governors we're zeta.

    2. Golfos made the zetas.

    3. 4:47 report above says MOSSAD helped training los zetas, and before that they were mexican military, upgraded to GAFES.

    4. Not that tough. If you have seen the fotos of the people killed in San Fernando you may think different. Young men and women hands tied under one leg and shot in the head. The great zetas that you admire messed that up and one got away. (Shot through the face). He told the story and the dead bodies were discovered. Fotos are out there somewhere.

  4. Zetas love to kill. So is Mateo a Hero

  5. I remember mencho put a narco manta saying he would take over mata ulipas haha scared ass michoacanos puro pico aqui en tamaulipas no entran se surran los weyes

    1. No cartel comes in tamaulipas unless its got permission. I think last year a lieutenant of el mayo was arrested in reynosa. I wonder if el toro let sinaloa cross shipments thru reynosa or what was that guy doing in reynosa.

    2. All cartels let any shipment through their plaza if the piso is paid, regardless of origin or destination, they will guard the shipment as well, thats what the piso is for ,its all about the $$$$$

    3. It's all about the chedda

    4. Unless you are badly fighting with another cartel. Juarez wouldnt let CDS loads thru in the hay day thats for sure. It was all out rob everything and kill everyone.

  6. How about a war between sinaloa state police vs tamaulipas state police

    1. Which is basicly cds vs cdg (aka cartel de salinas vs cartel de gortari)....thats who the real drug lord if you didnt already know....

    2. Bingo! Chapo wouldn't be allowed to even Tue his shoes...

  7. "Meanwhile Los Zetas operate in all Tamaulipeco territory with only three cells; Grupo Operativo Los Zetas, Grupo Operativo Zetas and Fuerzas Especiales Zetas" whats the difference between the first 2 ?? Los?

    1. The difference is the infighting between the cells. 1 is trying 2 dominate the other. So that they fall in line together. - Sol Prendido

    2. No zetas no other cdg faction no other cartel enters matamoros for shit. And i agree with sol prendido. The strogest factions try to dominate the rest but none has really succeeded in taking over the rest.

    3. 4:52 exactly right all the fighting between metros and ciclones led to nothing they are both still in the exact same spot n true NO ONE but ciclones holds or enters Matamoros. Speaking of Matamoros tengo que ir por unos taquitos mmm

    4. All three of you are some dumb, he meant the three group of zetas two have no difference in the same but "Los". Meaning all this low level druggies have no imagination to atleast changing it to "grupo operative los zetas 2" or something.

      La wasa negra

    5. 8:08 the taqueetos de pinga are the best, they say.
      Then they may make you into a menudo a pozole or a carniasada.

  8. Wilder than the old west

  9. Best comment🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  10. Nice article. It contradicted itself though. It says that goverment finished off the cdn but it says huevo treviño is a visible zeta leader. He is the cdn. Talking about the impact that oziel and the zetas has had in mexico. I read an article on valor por tamaulipas and long story short said that back in the days oziel cardenas carlos rosales el mencho and the valencias where all on speaking terms. Meaning they talk and even met although they were compiting as traffickers. Mencho presents carlos rosales to a cousin of his named ines and she and rosales dated and had a child. Then she met one of the valencias and fell in love with him. She left rosales.the article blames this for starting the war between rosales and the valencias milenio cartel. Oziel chose to back his friend rosales in his war against the milenio cartel whom made an aliance with the sinaloa cartel and the rest of the story we all know. I dont know if the woman really started the war that really impacted mexico and eventually led to the birth of la familia michoacana and years later the jalisco nueva generacion cartel wich can trace its history to the valencias.

    1. They do state in the article about what cells are operational, the dont say exterminated, so while some cells may still exist, they dont have the manpower to carry out operational requirement.

    2. The article clearly says finished off. Finished off = extinct = no longer functioning.

  11. Grillonautas has a video that seems to support the theory that Toro was executed by los Marinos. It's shot from a Marino helicopter and shows Toro's truck being chased and cornered by Marines, who dismount and then surround the truck before the video feed cuts out. Looks like Toro thought he was going to just be arrested and the Marines put a few rounds in him as soon as he got out of the truck.

  12. Castrejon Pena (real name Nazario Moreno González) took the name of his confidente & amigo Ramon Rodriguez Pena, aka Donnie Pena. We all know who Donnie Pena is. He & Taco Charlton terrorized this region for the longest. If Castrejon is anything like Donnie, then I bet it's a matter of hora before he manos with Taco Charlton.

  13. What's the real reason the body's of capos get snatched up by there people??

    1. No body, no crime, so that they may live forever.
      Don Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, "El Cid" is said to have defeated the Moors in Spain when his carcass was mounted on his horse to led his armies to victory one last time.

  14. There's a story about damaso getting video taped by hacker??

    1. What the fuck is "Video taped by hacker" ?

    2. Its in valor por tamaulipas.

    3. Meaning damaso met with a hacker with the idea of trying to muddy up chapos sons thru the internet. The guy he met to do this was showing something to the old man on the phone while recording him with phone at the same time. Probably usin the front camera.Look it up

  15. Missing the state gobernadores involucrados

  16. Nectar lima is not a faction of the zetas, its what they call nuevo laredo one of the main bases for them, and they are all cartel del noreste en nectar, thats where the orders came from back in the day when 40 was around, but now they dont wana follow them in other places like cd victoria an those places.
    Way to go stupid mexican goverment, you took out the ones who had order now their is more violence, estupidos idiotas

  17. Ni la vieja del toro pudo ir por su cuerpo. Segun valorxtamps esta es la morra:

    Hablan feo de ella, que segun tiene gonorrea o sifilis. Al toro si no lo mataban los marinos, lo mataba una enfermedad sexual.

    Egidio torre Cantu

    1. Pobre quey tenía vieja de quinta. Para ver sido líder del gulfo esperaba más. E conocido veinteras de mejor calidad. - Sol Prendido

  18. A lot of insights, thanks very much for the article! Two questions:
    - whats the difference between grupo operativo los zetas and grupo operativo zetas?
    - where is zetas vieja escuela in all of this? Are they meant by grupo operativo?


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