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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Mexican Government Makes Public Intel on Tamaulipas Governor Cabeza de Vaca Facilitated by US Authorities

"Redlogarythm" for Borderland Beat

Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca

In his daily brief to the media, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) publicly shared a letter directed to the head of Mexico's Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) Santiago Nieto Castillo which said that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was formally investigating Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Javier Garcia Cabeza de Vaca in international money laundering network involving several companies and straw persons. 

As AMLO pointed out, the list comprises members of the Cabeza de Vaca clan as well as several businesses and companies we mentioned linked to the Governor's family and cronies.

In total the list comprises 16 individuals and 18 businesses, but Mexican authorities must have a more complete list since yesterday Santiago Nieto announced in social media that he had ordered the freezing of assets belonging to 12 individuals and 25 companies.

Among the list of individuals we can cite the Governor himself, as well as his wife (Marian Gómez Leal), his two brothers (José Manuel and Ismael), mother (María de Lourdes Cabeza de Vaca de Wattenbarger), a cousin (José Ramón Cabeza de Vaca Castillo), and his father-in-law (José Ramón Gómez Reséndez).

Nevertheless, the list also includes other less known individuals that would very easily be mere frontmen used in order to disguise the ownership of the clan's assets: the brothers Alfonso, Bernardo and Gerardo Pascal Méndez, Juan Helú García (who could be a money launderer who worked for the Sinaloa Cartel until 2015), Juan Francisco Támez Arellano (owner of a company used to hide transactions for the purchase of real estate in the name of Francisco Javier), Ladislao Vázquez López (who seems to be a fake identity used by Juan Helú García), Manuel Garza Espinosa (who seems to be another fake identity used by Juan Helú García), Leticia Rodríguez Villareal and Baltazar Higinio Reséndez Cantú (previously sanctioned by the FinCen for money laundering charges and a frontmen used by Cabeza de Vaca to hide his ownership in a company used for owning the wind farm El Cortijo, built by Acciona).

Among the companies revealed we can find old businesses used for the monopolization of public resources such as Desarrolladora Cava SA de CV, Inmobiliaria RC SA de CV, Desarrolladora y Constructora CDEV SA de CV, Construcciones y Mantenimientos Roca SA de CV, Avalúos y Peritajes del Sur SA de CV, Flunky SA de CV and Perforaciones y Remodelaciones Entransito SA de CV.

There are others used for disguising the ownership of assets, such as Desarrollos Renovables Enerxiza SA de CV, apparently owned by Baltazar Higinio Reséndez Cantú but controlled in fact by Cabeza de Vaca himself for the control of El Cortijo.

Finally, there are some other companies which we were not aware of, including Bufete Jurídico Goat & Smith SC, Blue Limit Comercial SA de CV or British English Olimpics SA de CV.

Borderland Beat Analysis

Two weeks ago, Borderland Beat reported that the US had finally shared intelligence info with its Mexican counterparts about the Cabeza de Vaca's investigation. Everything indicates that this list of individuals and businesses is part of that intel. It would be interesting to ask ourselves if this is all the information provided from American authorities or only a fraction.

Other unknowns are what AMLO's administration is trying to achieve by making this information public and why have they waited nearly 12 days before showing it to the media.

The Mexican government has previously publicized intelligence data provided by US authorities with bitter results. Last year, they shared a compilation of documents integrating the file of Mexican General Salvador Cienfuegos, former Mexican Army (SEDENA) chief accused of being a main collaborators of an offshoot of the Beltran Leyva Organization. AMLO's objective by sharing dozens of pages in the investigation was to demonstrate that the US accusations against Cienfuegos were not sufficient.

But this time the purpose of the publicization seems just to be the opposite: to show that there's real evidence against Tamaulipas Governor.

Sources: Milenio; Borderland Beat Analysis


  1. Question is? What possible sentence or fine would he receive? Money influences everything. In the end he built a small fortune to fight all legal accusations.
    Slap on the wrist like many before & future wise.

    1. He might get off with a slap in the wrist by the government but la maña doesn’t forgive. He’s gonna get WACKED on either side of the border.

  2. Where's RGVAG at?

    1. Right here, lets see where this all goes before ultimate judgement is passed. Consider that that he is being "targeted" by the same government that threw a temper tantrum, and ultimately absolved, a former cabinet level member of the government with ample evidence against him.

      Ironically was speaking with a US Fed agent about these things going with FCV last week. One pertinent note he made was that on the family end all involved are US Citizens and if the US government had the unquestionable proof to hammer the family they would have already done so. He found it laughable that the US would "ask/seek" information from the MexGov ahead of or while investigating anyone in Mexico because it always, not sometimes but always, leads to a tip off or warning being given. To him this reeked of political machinations, machinations that the Mexicans know the US will never truly confirm nor truly deny.

      Remember the Feds prove the case and then charge, not like state and locals that charge and then prove the case. I never implied that FCV was pure as the driven snow, by any means. Everyone knows that any politician in Mex is crooked, just to what degree is the question. Another factor is the degree that the politician is willing to damage society to amass personal wealth or gain. I believe FCV has, for the most part, acted in benefit for the citizens of Tamaulipas, and assuredly taken what he believes is his cut.

      Does he have further personal political ambitions? Absolutely. Is there a big ego in play, sure. But remember that he is another snake slithering through a nasty snake pit. Nothing more and nothing less.

    2. I understand your point of view and agree in most of its points. But I can´t accept the version of a FCV committed to the well-being of Tamaulipas. Among the dozens of high-profile Mexican politicians I´ve investigated during several years I´ve never seen such a crook. Massive smuggling of hydrocarbons and weapons. Tax frauds organized in several States with the aid of legal advisors, direct links with DTOs, gigantic corruption schemes... He and his family have constituted a private empire in Tamaulipas and his political career has been only a cover up

    3. Your investigation brings to light a lot of "smoke", if there is only a little fire to that smoke FCV is going to have some legal issues in both countries at some point in time in the near future.

      Given the recent history of the governors of Tamps I would find it astounding, amazingly stupid really, if FCV let himself runaway a bunch of provable illegal acts. Now it could be that FCV, given his US citizenship, is feeding information to the US on all kinds of things and for that he is getting a pass on things. The US has never been above doing that. The question, if that really is happening, is will it hold together for the long run?

      I hope that what you are stating isn't true, but given Mexican pols it probably is. Sad but true.

  3. It's political, he is pan and Amlo Morena. Same thing here Democrats and Republicans.

  4. Why wait? ELECTIONS my dudes! AMLO is desperate to regain some of the lost ground in popularity, having intel on a crooked guy from another party is like oxygen to MORENA, of course MORENA is full of the same shit, but the average joe and his short attention span doesnt care about that!

  5. Thanks red. I never thought this guy ran deep until I read your investigative series on him. I’m curious. If the US gave Mexico info, why haven’t they charged him?

    1. Good question. There are several plausible reasons for that. Take into account that this is a political case and that he still is the Governor of Tamaulipas, so I suppose the US is waiting to see how the case evolves inside Mexico. Then, he has a lot of influence within certain Texan Republican circles, which might be pressuring against his prosecution. Last but not least it´s also probable that the US is not interested in going after a mere PAN bureaucrat. In the case of the former PRI Governors (Yarrington and Hernandez Flroes), their cases were useful because it was an element with which to pressure Peña Nieto, who was President back then...But Cabeza de Vaca can´t be used against AMLO... These would be just a few simple considerations, but I think your question deserves a more complete analysis which lies in the field of diplomacy, not criminal law

  6. y para acabarla de chingar azy como estan de brutos los tamaulipecos lo volverian a elegir.

  7. Is it true that his nephew is running for city commissioner in the city of McAllen TX? If so, I wonder how much knowledge his nephew that of his doings.

    1. Not his nephew, his brother.

    2. Todos los Vacas son corruptos.


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