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

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Nuevo Laredo Shooting Leaves 7 Gunmen Dead, CDN's El Cadete Rumored To Have Been Captured

"HEARST" and "Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat 

In the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, there was an ambush on a military convoy by Cartel del Noroeste (CDN) hitmen on September 5, then a series of chases, shootouts, road blockades on September 6. 

And currently it is being rumored that law enforcement has arrested the high ranking lieutenant El Cadete, who is in charge of CDN kingpin El Huevo’s personal security. 

CDN Battles The Military in Nuevo Laredo
On the night of September 5, 2021, at 10:22 pm, La Voz de Pueblo reported on twitter that citizen of Nuevo Laredo should exercise caution and avoid Lago de Chapala Avenue, a major roadway in southern part of the city because there had just been an assault on Army (SEDENA) soldiers at 9:13 pm.

There are very few other details and no known photos of the September 5, 2021 incident. Almost all available photos are of the incidents that occurred on the following day. But the September 5 shooting on Lago de Chapala is still worth noting as it may have been the first spark in what became an escalating series of attacks by Northeast (Cartel de Noroeste, CDN) members in the Nuevo Laredo area.

On September 6, 2021, by 5:30 pm there were photos appearing online of ponchalattas that were placed at least two different locations in or near Nuevo Laredo. Ponchallatas, or tire puncture devices, are metal area denial devices similar to caltrops. 

The ponchallatas were allegedly placed by members of CDN on the roadways as part of the typical tactics employed. Some of the possible reasons these are used are to express discontent at a government agency, to prevent the movement of security forces, especially reinforcements, or to prevent the transfer of a recently apprehended cartel leader.   

By 6:30 pm, photos emerged of narco road blockades created from commandeering trucks and setting them on fire, as seen in the Coca-Cola truck above on the Nuevo Laredo- Monterrey highway. The Coca-Cola truck was likely coming or going to the bottling facility in the southern part of Nuevo Laredo. 

Tractor trailer type vehicles being commandeered and set on fire in order to block major roadways is another hallmark of the tactics often employed by cartel members for the same possible reasons as described above.

Warning: Some graphic photos below this point.

By 7:00 pm, La Voz de Pueblo reported the ponchallatas and roadblocks were in response to the killing of 7 cartel gunmen in the La Sandía neighborhood of Nuevo Laredo by members of SEDENA. Other sources, such as Tamaulipas RTC, alleged only 4 cartel hitmen had died.

They reported that some of the cartel gunmen “entered the roofs of several homes where some fell between the houses when they were killed,” with the photo as seen above attached to their tweet.

In the video seen below, uploaded on September 6, 2021, citizens filmed a cordoned off crime scene which appears to show a gray four door pickup truck with dead CDN hitmen inside. This appears to be a side view of the same gray pickup truck seen in the photos above. These could be some of the 4-7 hitmen that were said to have been killed.

Video Source: Tamaulipas RTC

Update 6:30am CST: SEDENA has sent out a press release which summarizes the attacks by stating:

"On Monday, September 6, 2021, military personnel belonging to the Sixteenth Motorized Cavalry Regiment, while conducting a reconnaissance tour along the airport highway were attacked with bullets by armed civilians who were traveling in about twenty vehicles with handmade armor so the military personnel repelled the aggression and began a chase that ended in the nearby neighborhood "La Sandia" where the criminals had a vehicular mishap.

When the military personnel arrived they were again attacked by armed civilians killing 5 armed civilians. And 2 armed civilians entered nearby homes in their intention to flee.

Adopting the procedures of action, the elements of the Mexican Army proceeded to identify themselves loudly, shouting at them to descend from the roofs of the houses in order to make their arrest, so the armed civilians responded by firing their weapons against the army troops, and the 2 armed civilians were killed.

On the other hand, 500 meters away from event 1, another unit of the Mexican Army troops belonging to the Sixteenth Motorized Cavalry Regiment that came to support their colleagues were attacked by armed civilians from a moving vehicle in the vicinity of Colonia Buena Vista. After repelling the aggression, the military personnel successfully managed to neutralize 6 armed civilians, resulting in a bullet wound (which does not endanger his physical integrity) to an element of this institution."

They also detail the seizure of two vehicles, sixteen long barrel firearms, three Barrett 50 cals and 13 fake Marines (SEMAR) vests.

Accusations of Extrajudicial Killing

Hoy Tamaulipas reported the next day, on September 7, 2021, that “based on eyewitness statements and a video circulating on social networks, elements of the Mexican Army are said to be responsible for the extrajudicial execution of two armed civilians, despite the fact that they had already surrendered.”

They go on to describe the statements of a witness, who requested anonymity, who says that following a chase and shootout between CDN members and Army (SEDENA) soldiers the hitmen surrendered. They say they saw the soldiers push them to the ground and a soldier inside a military truck that was passing by motioned to the soldiers to kill the cartel members, one by one.

"We were outside the house when we saw that the soldiers were chasing some trucks, the boys crashed into each other, and you can see the trucks there, they crashed. The boys got out running and they were alive. The soldiers took them down.

They kneeled them down and took their weapons and began to kill them one by one. A truck passed by and signaled them and one by one they began to kill them. Then I got scared for my children and I ran inside [the house], because I have a little boy who ran inside, because he saw them being killed. It is unfair because there are prisons, and they can put them in jail because they do this. 

And in front of the people, they even came and threatened me here, the soldiers, I was here and they told me to get in, they shouted rude words at me. I even have them recorded, and they started pointing the gun at me to leave. And I told them no, and I was going to testify what I saw. I mean they are not going to look at my face like I was a fool, because I saw what happened.”

Meanwhile, other outlets have said this eye witness testimony is false, and the claims are being made with the intention to make the military look bad in the eyes of the public.

In terms of available evidence that either supports or does not support the witness testimony, there are photos of one of the shooting locations in which one surrendered hitman appears to be visibly upset but certainly not deceased while standing near a SEDENA soldier.

Video Source: Frontera Al Rojo Vivo

There is also a video in which men in a crowd observing the soldiers remark that the soldiers "didn't kill them" and the men "got away in time".

Video translation is as follows, by Sol Prendido: 

Male #1: Is it really those guys?
Male #2: Yes, it’s them alright. They’re dead at this point. 
Male #3: No, they didn’t kill them. 
Male #2: So, there’s no one there then?
Male #3: No.
Male #2: Did they run away in time?
Male #3: Yes. 
Male #2: Sergeant! ( He’s calling the sergeant to confirm what happened)
Male #3: Yes, tell that piece of shit to come over here. (He’s mocking the sergeant)

As time goes on and more details emerge, the actual validity of this eyewitness claim will become more apparent.

Update 9/10/2021: There are now accusations that the eye witness who gave the testimony about extrajudicial killings is actually the sister of Cristian Zamarripa, a CDN member recently shot in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Update source

The Rumored Arrest of a CDN Lieutenant 

Then late night September 7 to early morning September 8, twitter accounts (such as El Guzman, Loba_Indomable, Valor Por Tamaulipas) began reporting the rumored arrest of high ranking CDN lieutenant, Martin Rodríguez Barbosa, alias "El Cadete".  

If El Cadete's capture occurred sometime during the attack on September 5 or during the chaos of September 6 is unknown at this time. It is also possible that El Cadete was captured in an operation on September 7 as part of a crackdown on CDN by law enforcement, in response to the chaotic events caused by CDN on September 6.

Update 6:00am CST: It is now being reported by La Voz de Pueblo that El Cadete was arrested in the very early morning hours of Monday, September 6, 2021. His arrest is then likely what triggered the later events of September 6 such as the roadblocks and attacks on the military. 

As demonstrated with the way the Tamaulipas law enforcement handled the arrest of CDN's El Werko, official confirmation of a cartel leaders arrest may be delayed. When Werko was arrested on August 9, Tamaulipas authorities did not confirm the arrest until August 26 when El Werko was ordered by a control judge to stand trial on charges of weapon and drug possession. There were off the record confirmations to Excelsior by “military sources” on August 11, but official confirmation was delayed until August 26.

This means that a cartel leader may remain in custody for over two weeks before there is any official  confirmation that the arrest even occurred. 

One of the many possible reasons for not confirming an arrest is it allows for backroom dealings in which an organization can agree to pay a bribe to members of law enforcement, the military or public officials in exchange for the quiet release of the leader in custody, keeping the general public in the dark. 

Another possible motive could be concern over security.  Previously cartel members have assaulted the location where their leader is being detained and broken them out of custody. This occurred no less than two months earlier in Tamaulipas when Los Metros’ El Calamardo was freed from custody on July 13, 2021. 

El Cadete

Martin Rodríguez Barbosa, alias "El Cadete" is considered to be one of the highest ranking men with CDN. He is reportedly in charge of the personal security for CDN’s leader Juan Gerardo Treviño Chávez, alias "El Huevo". 

He is considered to be a close confidant of El Huevo, going so far as to even be described as “one of the leaders of the cartel along with Huevo Treviño” in a 2018 Borderland Beat article.

El Cadete was reportedly once the police commander of the Nuevo Laredo municipal police force before leaving the force and fully committing to a life of organized crime.  He has been accused of orchestrating an attack on a Marines (SEMAR) convoy in March 2018, which killed a family of civilian bystanders. This led to the Tamaulipas government offering a $2 million dollar reward in exchange for information that led to the arrest of El Cadete. 

CDN has suffered a few losses of notable leadership figures within the last few months, most especially from it’s armed wing Tropa del Infierno (Troop from Hell or Hell’s Army). On July 22, 2021, Pablo César Guajardo Álvarez, alias “El Takia”, was killed by police in Pachuca, Hidalgo. El Takia was believed to be a head of sicarios within the group. This was followed by the aforementioned arrest of another Tropa del Infierno leader Fernando de Jesús Rodríguez Adame, alias “El Werko” on August 9, 2021. 

For an overview of some of the other CDN leaders who have fallen such as El Pinpon (reportedly a subordinate of El Cadete) and El Viejito, please see this previous Borderland Beat Story.  

Photo Sources: Tamaulipas RTC, Reynosa Código Rojo , La Voz del Pueblo, Reynosa Código Rojo, MrViolentoMx

Sources: Hoy Tamaulipas, Frontera Al Rojo Vivo 

Previous Borderland Beat: El Werko Arrest Rumors, Military Sources Confirm Werko’s Arrest, Details of Werko's Arrest Released, Calamardo’s Release


  1. estoy penzando poner unos imanes muy strong abajo de la defensa para ke agarren los ponchallantas y no me chinguen las llantas ..aver como los adapto pero lo are

  2. Now El Cadete will graduate his military college as a lieutenant, no vaseline will be used.
    Eso se saca por andar ahi de caliente

  3. Looks like el primito and MENCHO are going to have it easy with those cdn clowns in tamaulipas..
    Those Cdn sicarios are always getting killed by military..
    Now that there's a war for tamaulipas it's going to happen more often..
    Cdn lost a main plaza boss el cadete, it's all going down from here..
    Watch as CDG el primito expand their PLAZA this year

    1. Cdn sicarios did easily kill 8 metro sicarios not too long ago tho. Cdn does get their asses handed too them by the military but they are probably picking up alot of experience from these big firefights and other cartels try to ignore gunfights with the military

    2. In what universe the cdn killed metros not to long ago the last time they tried to go into the camargo miguel aleman area they got destroyed and their rusty ass bulletproof trucks were burned in the roads. They got their asses kicked even when the metros are infighting. The cdg beats their ass 9 out of 10 times and the one time they do beat the cdg they always send a message or put a narco banner somewhere to celebrate the one time out of 9. Cdn is garbage.

  4. This guy and his barber shld of been arrested for that haircut a long time ago

  5. CdN is done by mid next year the latest. After Huevo and El Sobrino aka Lalo Morales other nephew not as mentioned go down there is absolutely no one who will step up and be seen as a jefe supremo for CDN and my guess is they disband and eother flee or try to hold onto one lasy plaza but the majority will flee or join other criminal groups. CdN taking huge losses all year. Literally all the Tropa Del Infierno head commanders gone at least the infamous ones said to run the troop and now Cadete. He was Huevos Jefe de Seguridad/Escoltas sp they are probably on el huevo now that semar back on the area


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