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

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Leaked Images of Gulf Cartel's Rules of Conduct for Hitmen

"HEARST" and "Redlogarythm" for Borderland Beat 

This week, a pamphlet showing the rules of conduct given to hitmen in the Gulf Cartel’s Matamoros faction was leaked to the press. 

Cynicism might lead one to believe that this "leak" is a part of the Gulf Cartel campaign to rehab it's image in the wake of the Matamoros attack on four Americans, however, the pamphlet was originally found in the possession of hitmen back in 2021, years before the kidnapping happened. 

So what exactly are these rules? How does a cartel expect it's hitmen to conduct themselves? 

The Guacamaya-Leaked Images

On April 17, 2023,  a popular Mexican newspaper called Union Jalisco published an exclusive on a rules pamphlet distributed by the Gulf Cartel. 

The publication says they received information about this pamphlet from Army intelligence found in the Guacamaya leaks. 

They write that the pamphlet was discovered in the possession of four CDG hitmen in "October 2021" in the "municipality of El Naranjo, San Luis Potosí."

The article doesn't clarify any further about the incident which led to these CDG hitmen being detained. Borderland Beat reviewed stories that came out of El Naranjo in October 2021 and only one appears to match. 

On October 19, 2021, state police officers stopped a green Ford Explorer for driving without a license plate. Rather than submit to the traffic stop, those inside the vehicle began shooting at the officers, who returned fire.

After a brief exchange of fire, the people inside the Ford Explorer were coaxed into surrendering. 

Police arrested the shooters - two 23-year old men, Juan "C" and Juan "V", who were accompanied by a 21-year old woman named Patricia "M". All three of the people detained were originally from Tamaulipas.

They were found to be in possession of three firearms, ammo, plate carriers, and a number of ballistic plates. 

The original October 2021 articles make no mention of any documents being found in their possession.

This incident only involved three CDG members, at least according to the multiple news articles covering it, which is slightly different than the four hitmen that Union Jalisco claimed, however, it stands as the only incident in the municipality during this time period which remotely matches the description.

Regardless of the details, Union Jalisco claimed that Guacamaya-leaked Army intelligence indicates a four-page pamphlet was found that outlines 19 rules of conduct that were meant to govern the actions of Gulf Cartel members. Federal intelligence images of the pages can be seen below.

Page 01 reads as follows, as translated by Red:


Discipline is the rule to which the members of the organization must apply their conduct. As a base we have obedience, loyalty, honor, valor, subordination, initiative, intelligence and selflessness.

Every member must comply with these principles and be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, if needed.

I. Discipline must be rigid, firm and explained by every superior to their subordinates and their counterparts. 

II. The underlying principle behind discipline is duty and obedience. Obeying is equally as noble as commanding and the person who knows how to obey will command better. 

III. Orders must be complied with exactitude and precision, without delays or gossiping. Questioning will only be accepted when orders appear to be confusing."

At this point it’s important to note the glaringly obvious: these rules are an almost exact copy of the Mexican military’s General Rules of Procedure which have been used to govern the behavior of Mexican military soldiers since 1937, during the era of Lazaro Cardenas. 

These rules were not thought up by some high minded CDG member, they are a simple copy-and-paste of the military’s rules, which the word “cartel” swapped in for “military” when appropriate.

At no point is there a unique or original addition to the military’s rules of procedure. The entire document is, in effect, a plagiarism.

The rules continue and on page 02, they read as follows:

"IV. Orders will be given by superiors according to the organization's codes and subordination will be maintained between hierarchical ranks. 

V. It is forbidden to swear in front of superiors. If there is any complaint it will be transmitted to the one who is able to fix the issue and no bad examples will be made through gossip. 

VI. There is subordination between members of the same rank or hierarchy for as long as one holds command. 

VII. Any member holding command must know its subordinates, origin, mentality, strengths and weaknesses and have an inventory of the personnel, equipment and available resources

VIII. Every member will comply with and make others comply with the orders coming from the command, accepting them immediately and supporting them materially and morally. "

On page 03, it reads:

"IX. Every member must be clean, correctly dressed, either in civilian or military clothing and maintain its clothes in perfect state. Abstain from talking inappropriately or with codes in public places or to bring attention since each member represents the cartel [Note the text styling of cartel seems out of place.] and must set the organization's interest above their personal ones. 

X. Everyone must be punctual with following any order, as well as maintaining and preserving in optimal conditions his own resources, materials, weaponry, vehicles, offices, radio communications, etc.

XI. It is an obligation for every member to maintain themselves in good physical and mental shape as well as fomenting discipline to be ready for any mission.

XII. Any member using excuses not to comply with the command, superior or counterpart's orders or demands for support in critical situations will be severely punished. "

Page 04 reads: 

"XIII. Abstain from bothering or altering the tranquility of civilian personnel or from commiting acts which improperly use the resources of the cartel. [Note the text styling.] Protect families and citizens, treating them always with respect and dignity. 

XIV. If the command designates a second-in-command or interim, he will be obeyed as if his orders were given by the command, and they will be followed to the letter. 

XV. Every member will abstain from giving information about the organization or mission to people who have not been trusted by the organization. 

XVI. Any act of rebellion, insubordination, or treachery will be severely punished according to the command's order.

XVII. Each member receives a salary which he uses to feed his family. Because of this, he has a duty to put all his efforts and will into the service of the cartel. [Note the text styling.]"

And finally, on page 05, it ends with: 

"XVIII. Anyone who has information about an attack against the cartel´s interests who doesn't inform their superiors will be punished as if he himself had performed the attack. He will be treated likewise if he betrays the organization's interest. 

XIX.- Any request for help or coming from the high command will be prioritized above any other duty,  remembering that the bodyguard is prepared to sacrifice his life if necessary to protect the command since the organization is above all of us."

In the background of the pamphlet’s text area, alternating images of a scorpion and the shape of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas appear. The scorpion indicates that this pamphlet is likely from the Gulf Cartel subgroup Grupo Escorpiones, which works under the Matamoros faction. The shape of Tamaulipas is utilized because it is the state where the Gulf Cartel originates from.

Precedents, Propaganda, and Motives

The finding of such a document in the hands of a  Gulf Cartel hitman isn't necessarily surprising. Similar rules pamphlets have been used by criminal organizations in Mexico before. 

In Michoacán, for example, several criminal organizations created rules of conduct. 

La Familia Michoacana figure Nazario Moreno González famously wrote a book titled "Pensamientos" which lays out his personal philosophy and his version of social justice. It was said that he required his hitmen to carry a copy of his book with them. 

In the book, he forbids hitmen from using drugs or consuming alcohol. He encourages the use of corporal punishment for criminal transgression such as hurting women. 

He followed up the first book with a second which reviews his life and justifies his criminal activities. 

The cartel group Caballeros Templarios, or the Knights Templar, created mini-books with similar rules. One of its leaders Servando Gómez Martínez, alias "La Tuta", often held the book in videos and stressed the fact that excesses by his own men would not be tolerated since they had their own set of rules.

The Guacamaya leaks included notes from Mexican Army analysts who offered their insight as to why the CDG used the military’s rules. 

They wrote “the rules were very probably modified and rewritten into an ethical code by people who at one point belonged to the Military, thus they wanted to infuse the same adherence to leadership, cohesion and discipline they got from the military into the CDG.”  

This analysis, however, leaves something to be desired.  

Now it seems, in many ways, obvious why the Gulf Cartel would co-opt the military’s rules and take them on as their own. But let’s take the time to enumerate their likely motives. 

What cartel leader wouldn't like to have their own personal army of highly trained soldiers at their command? The more military-esque a cartel can make their internal culture, the more effective they are likely to be in territory battles. 

However, rules are meaningless without enforcement and even casual observers could tell you that these rules are not being enforced on Gulf Cartel hitmen. 

There isn't a single rule among the list that hasn't been violated and yet the punishments outlined within the rules do not seem to be imposed. So, if they aren't going to follow these rules, what's the point of printing and distributing them?

Is it merely a propaganda strategy meant to make themselves look good in the eyes of the public?

It can't be at least, based on what we know about this pamphlet being found in 2021.

If it was meant to be seen by people outside of the Gulf Cartel, surely we would have heard about these rules at some point in the last two years. The fact that it's been kept secret from the public for this long means it's likely intended for purely internal use. 

Let's think about who is likely to receive a pamphlet like this and when they'd likely receive it. A list of rules would typically be handed out to new hitmen recruits during an orientation phase. 

A pamphlet like this would give new recruits an impression of the group being organized, principled, and established. 

Cartel groups in rural areas can be very ram shackled operations, working on a highly localized level. A document like this highlights a supposed unity between other cells from the same cartel who are located across the country, referencing a higher command who is guiding the local leaders. 

The rules about respecting civilians might act as a reassurance about the morality of the cartel group, giving the oft-touted illusion of "not hurting the innocent", assuaging the concerns from new recruits.

But the better question really is, how long can a document like this fool a new hitman? Indiscriminate violence and cruelty towards civilians permeates every cartel group in Mexico.

And the nature of the beast can't stay hidden for long. 

Sources: Union Jalisco, Código San Luis, El Universal, ZU Noticias, El Sol de San Luis, El Mañana de Valle


  1. Interesting parrallel to Nazario's book. I remember seeing a deposition of some Templarios years back. All drug users, contrary to their stated code.

  2. Tanquian de escobedo San Luis Potosí terminó la guerra CJNG(CSLNG) derrotado líder "koke soni" asesinado.
    Cartel del Golfo ganó la guerra *líder Hilario sanchez lara-Gerardo Sanchez zumaya-David nicasio azuara- Pablo jonguitud guerrero.
    Familiares directos de la presidenta municipal (coludidos); estos delincuentes protegidos por gobierno estatal(gallardo) ya que policía estatal *guardia civil estatal* los escolta en su día a día y pernocta en sus casas de seguridad. Así como proteje a los sicarios de Juan mercado - Ruben salazar- lalo guerrero. Entre otros.
    Ayuda Gobierno Federal.

  3. The original Knights Templar paved the way for a number of “secret societies” that continue to exist today.. 🦉

    1. Secret societies existed long before the Knights Templar.

    2. Knights of Malta to this day powerful even Jeffrey Epstein's blushing while getting a massage to this moment

    3. @808 — of course, but what started as maybe a handful or two has become somewhere in the hundreds… 🦉

    4. 1:57AM
      It was not a handful. There were dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of secret societies before the Knights Templar.

  4. Sicario 006 what are the golden rules of the Tier 1 Special Forces Operators?

    1. All disciplinary actions require being spanked in the ass by the tablas

  5. There’s a few fat cuachalotes that obviously didn’t read or follow these

  6. Street gangs , or organizations, whatever they want to call them selves in the United States been doing this since 60s. It’s a form or control and mind manipulation.

    1. Yup.. the gangs from Chicago during the 60s all had esoteric connections; which still are seen in their “logos” such as the 6 pointed star…

      As my Grandpa used to always say “the only way they’ll die for you is if they have something to believe in”… 🦉

  7. Around how much is their salary ?

  8. Where can I get a copy of El Chayo’s aka El Mas Loco book? Heard he wrote two books? Is it available here on BB?

    1. Probably the only luck you’ll have is somewhere in MX, maybe somewhere like Apatzingan..

    2. There are some online available pdf versions of El Chayo´s book. I think that Scribd has some of them uploaded. Nevertheless don´t expect good quality. That stuff was the product of a twisted mind in the search of an aliby to justify how he enslaved people from Michoacán

  9. This reminded me of a Documentary on Hells Angel's where the code of contact was presented. Great story! To sum it up, seems it is a just a very lengthy way to say, "You are owned" !


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;