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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Gulf Cartel Faction Operator Linked to El Vaquero Arrested in Mexico City

"MX" for Borderland Beat  

Lesly Valencia (age 27)

Lesly Valencia, a high-ranking member of Los Ciclones, a Gulf Cartel faction, was arrested in Mexico City a few days ago. According to investigators, she is linked to Evaristo Cruz Sanchez (El Vaquero), a Gulf Cartel faction boss who is wanted by U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Valencia was born in Michoacán but operated out of Cuauhtémoc borough in Mexico City. She was arrested by the Mexican Army and the Mexico City police. At the moment of her arrested she was in possession of narcotics and US$280,000.

It should be noted that this arrest is unusual because the Gulf Cartel has a stronger presence in northern Mexico, specifically in Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and San Luis Potosí. In the past decade, the Gulf Cartel has suffered serious blows by security forces and rival drug cartels.

Investigators are unsure if Valencia worked with any local criminal groups in Mexico City. They said it was noteworthy that she operated in an area controlled by La Union Tepito, one of the biggest gangs in Mexico City. Investigators said they would look into the case and determine if the Gulf Cartel was looking to establish its presence in the Cuauhtémoc borough, how long the Gulf Cartel had been in that area, and/or if Valencia was simply there temporarily.

Los Ciclones are associated with José Alfredo Cárdenas Martínez ('El Contador'). This capo was released in October 2020 after several stints in prison. He is the nephew of the legendary capo Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, former leader of Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. Along with El Vaquero, El Contador has presence in the Matamoros plaza.


El Vaquero is a high-ranking cartel member who had ties to the Matamoros faction. He is also known by his alias Ciclon 46, in reference to the local faction Los Ciclones. Since mid-2019, Borderland Beat noted that El Vaquero was vying for the control of Matamoros. His main rival is Mario Alberto Cárdenas Medina (‘El Betito’), another local cartel boss. El Betito was arrested in 2019 but continued to fight El Vaquero for control of Matamoros by siding with local plaza boss Raul Garcia Martinez (‘Escorpion 2’).

In efforts to improve his public image, El Vaquero launched a social media campaign to portray himself in a positive light. During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico, El Vaquero gained international headlines for handing out food and supplies in Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria.

Borderland Beat reported that among the supplies provided included non-perishable goods like beans, rice, cooking oil, cookies, soups, coffee, condensed milk, tuna, cereal and other basic food items.

In August 2020, El Vaquero was placed on the Se Busca Informacion (Seeking Information) Initiative, a bi-national law enforcement program that searches high-ranking criminals in South Texas and Tamaulipas. However, he was removed from the new wanted list released last week.

Sources: Borderland Beat archives, Infobae, Jornada


  1. Side note: el vaquero = the cowboy

  2. These are the same ppl who run FEGS right?

  3. Vaquero no longer on the top ten list of Tamaulipas released a few days ago... what’s up with that. Maybe paid his way off it.

  4. That’s a man baby, yeaaa

  5. Not sure when you returned, but glad to see you back!

  6. killer transvestite...normal thing with all the cartels.


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