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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, May 4, 2023

CDG Matamoros Part 10: Dawn of a New Era

"Itzli" for Borderland Beat. 

December 2021 to May 2022: The Matamoros faction is struck by heavy blows and many prominent individuals come to light as the cartel is forced on a path to the current era.

Continued from Part 9: The Unexpected Path

The Death of Tango 1

One of the most mysterious deaths within the Matamoros faction took place at an uncertain point between December 18 to December 21, 2021, that of Odilón “Tango 1” Hernández Valdivia, which would be confirmed the following week.

“Tango 1” was said to be head of Ciudad Victoria plaza in November 2020, though he may have been assigned that position at some point prior, possibly as early as August 2018, following the arrest of Emiliano “El Jumex” González Beas, who died in prison in May 2019

Although he was not widely documented, “Tango 1” appears to have been a close associate of “El Vaquero” and some sources present “Tango 1” as his right hand man. In April 2021, about two weeks after the arrest of “El Vaquero”, information from a Guardia Nacional database was leaked online and “Tango 1” was one of four individuals whose profile was published from this.

It appears that “Tango 1” was regarded as the leader of Los Espartanos following the arrest of “El Vaquero” and in late May 2021, Marine helicopters in Monterrey were alleged to be part of a search for “Tango 1”. According to some sources, he was no longer head of the plaza of Ciudad Victoria and had been transferred to Monterrey the month prior. It is unclear if he had been assigned leadership of the Matamoros faction in the Monterrey metropolitan area or was merely living there.

Following the death of “Tango 1”, multiple sources would claim that he had been executed by orders of José Alfredo “El Contador” Cárdenas Martínez, leader of the Matamoros faction. However, the fact that his brother, known as “Tango 2”, went on to be head of plaza in Ciudad Victoria makes this somewhat unlikely. 

An alternate rumor would claim that Tamaulipas governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca had “Tango 1” killed to keep him silent about ties Cabeza de Vaca had with cartel members not only at time, but as far back as 2005, when “Tango 1” was a supervisor in the Reynosa Transit Police while Cabeza de Vaca was mayor of the city.

Operativa Bélica

As discussed in Part 9, following the April 2021 arrest of “El Vaquero”, Los Espartanos in the state of San Luis Potosí were largely replaced by Los Escorpiones, who continued to work in conjunction with Los Alemanes and Zetas Vieja Escuela (ZVE) throughout the state, including the capital city of the same name.

In November 2021, a cell of the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) known as Operativa Bélica announced their arrival in the town of La Pila, on the southeast outskirts of the city of San Luis Potosí and less than two weeks later a video of them interrogating a member of Los Alemanes from La Pila circulated online. Killings would continue in the town, as well as videos produced by Operativa Bélica throughout December 2021 and January 2022.

Sometime in early 2022, José Alberto “La Kena” García Vilano, who had taken the place of “El Vaquero” at the head of the Matamoros faction under “El Contador”, was said to have personally traveled to the state of San Luis Potosí in order to reorganize Los Espartanos and aid Los Alemanes. In February 2022 ZVE, signing as La Vieja Escuela, placed banners in La Pila and nearby Pozos telling citizens to not fear O.B., as Operativa Bélica became increasingly known, and claimed that they would wipe them out.

The war would continue as O.B. focused their attention on Los Alemanes in the city San Luis Potosí and La Pila continued to be contested. In mid-March, O.B. struck a notable blow against Los Alemanes, killing the brother of their leader, Alfredo “El Alemán” Alemán Narváez.

The Fourth Arrest of El Contador

The Matamoros faction had already suffered a major blow three weeks prior to Daniel Alemán Narváez, brother of “El Alemán”: the arrest of “El Contador”, which may have been somewhat connected to seemingly unrelated events that took place in the days prior.

In Reynosa, Los Metros began destroying a government-run video surveillance system on February 24, 2022, followed by government operations against Los Metros in the following days. It would be alleged that the trigger for Los Metros to suddenly target the surveillance system was the arrest of Obed Peña, an associate of César “El Primito” Morfín Morfín, leader of Los Metros. According to rumors, Los Metros had actually made an agreement with the government regarding the surveillance system when it was inaugurated in November 2021 and it appears that governor Cabeza de Vaca had made a pledge in return that was perceived to have been broken with the arrest of Obed Peña.

With the arrest of “El Contador”, allegedly at the Six-Flags amusement park in Mexico City, it was claimed that Cabeza de Vaca had betrayed “El Contador”, having broken a pact to not arrest him, which echoes the grievances of Los Metros. Days later, La Columna Armada, a group aligned with the Matamoros faction, as discussed in Part 8, declared Cabeza de Vaca a traitor and shifted support in the upcoming election for Tamaulipas governor away from the chosen candidate of Cabeza de Vaca to that of an opposition party candidate, Américo Villarreal Anaya.

Prominent Faction Members

Along with reporting of the arrest of “El Contador” came the mention of a few important members of the Matamoros faction. Two sons of “El Contador”, Axel Alfredo and Alán Alexis Cárdenas Rodríguez, the later briefly mentioned in Part 9, were said to be the expected heirs of the organization, sharing power alongside “La Kena”, who reportedly had a new code name, “Titán 3”

“Alberto 'N', alias Pajarito” is presented as a sector commander in Matamoros, though it is likely they are referring to Armando “El Pajarito” López Garcés, also known as “El Pájaro” and code name “Escorpión 7”. Two other individuals are mentioned but cannot be readily identified: “Omar”, who is said to be responsible for Valle Hermoso, and “Gustavo Antonio, alias Ciclón 14”, leader of a cell in Matamoros.

It should be noted that three months later, the former leader of the Cártel del Golfo, Mario “M-1” Cárdenas Guillén, also known as “El Gordo”, discussed in Part 1, was extradited to the United States in May 2022. Last mentioned in Part 6, in connection with his son Mario Alberto “El Betillo” Cárdenas Medina, information was reported at that time concerning his nearly ten years in prison that will be touched upon in a future bonus article.

In June 2022, the Mexican military created a report about cartel activity in the state of San Luis Potosí, although the information would not come to public knowledge until October, when it was revealed as part of the Guacamaya leaks. Two members of the Matamoros faction were mentioned within this report. 

René “El Gordo” Villareal García, mentioned in Part 7 and Part 8, was listed with the code name “Titán 5” and, based out of Matehuala, was reported to be in charge of San Luis Potosí for the Matamoros faction.

Also appearing in the document was Eutimio “El Timo” Chávez Ruelas, discussed in Part 9, who was reported to be the leader of Los Escorpiones.

Additionally, three members were listed under the CDG within the document that should be considered as allies of the Matamoros faction. Alejandro “El Inge” Ochoa García, discussed in Part 8, continued to control the Huasteca region.

Héctor Crescencio “R3” de León Fonseca, leader of the CDG del Sur faction, mentioned in Part 9, was said to be linked to cells that operated in Ébano, San Luis Potosí, an hour west of Tampico, where his faction was based out of. 

An individual known as “El Señor de la P” was reported to lead Grupo Squalo, which was financed by the aforementioned “El Inge”, but his true identity was uncertain. Two individuals are mentioned as possibly being “El Señor de la P”. The first, Sergio de la Peña Díaz, is reported to be from Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosí and was living in Tamaulipas, specifically Ciudad Madero and Tampico, which would indicate an association with “R3” and the CDG del Sur faction even if he is not “El Señor de la P”.

The other name mentioned as possibly being “El Señor de la P” was Pablo Misael “El Mezqui” Ramos Lara, code name “Pantera 24”, leader of the Centro faction of the CDG. 

The origins of the Centro faction trace back to Los Panteras of Río Bravo, a historic subgroup of the CDG that was linked to Mario “Pelón” Armando Ramírez Treviño, as discussed in Part 3.  Under the leadership of Víctor Manuel “El Viento” Pérez Rico, code name “Pantera 16”, some members of Los Panteras relocated to the central east coast of Tamaulipas, most likely as they were driven out of Río Bravo in 2014. Upon arriving in Aldama, Soto la Marina, and Abasolo, they linked up with José “El Gordo Cachetes” Sánchez García, a regional leader of the CDG who had been invited to join the cartel in 2010 by “Mario Pelón” and controlled those cities at the time. 

While it is not completely clear, it can be speculated that “El Gordo Cachetes” was aligned with the Matamoros faction, as he was arrested in Matamoros in April 2015 and it appears “Pantera 16” took his place controlling the region. Less than three months later, an online message signed by Grupo Jaguar against Ángel Eduardo “El Orejón” Prado Rodríguez, code name “Ciclón 7”, that was was alleged to actually be from “Pantera 16”, signified a possible break between any previous alliances that there may have been between the Matamoros faction and Centro faction.

Regardless, “Pantera 16” was arrested in August 2018 and “Pantera 24” took control of the faction and as he became more well known, a 1.5 million peso reward for information leading to his arrest was offered in June 2019.

Going back to the cartel activity report, amongst the additional information within the document are two cartels allied with the Matamoros faction. “Z-49” is listed as leading ZVE in San Luis Potosí based out of Rio Verde.

“El Alemán” continued to lead Los Alemanes along with his two sons, Adrián Alemán Hernández and Luis Alfredo “El Mongol” Alemán Hernández, and “El Ruso” and “El Tocayo” were listed as operations leaders.

A Temporary Ceasefire 

According to the aforementioned military report released in the Guacamaya leaks, the governor of San Luis Potosí, José Ricardo Gallardo Cardona, who assumed office on September 26, 2021, is suspected to have links with the CJNG and it was said that this cartel was receiving support from other state authorities as well, in addition to many municipal governments. 

Additionally, it was also reported that a non-aggression pact was reached in San Luis Potosí between the CJNG and the CDG/Los Alemanes alliance on May 1, 2022, which was likely achieved with the governor's help. However, the truce lasted less than a month, as it was reported that a CJNG cell killed members of the CDG in San Vicente Tancuayalab on May 28 despite the ceasefire, which led to a resumption of conflicts between the groups.


  1. Walking up to this and getting my morning coffee ready for a good is amazing. This is my far one of the best—if not the best—BB series out there. Thank you, Itzli!

  2. Is pantera 24 dead?

    1. (Edit: News confirmed he’s still alive)

    2. He’s dead. Picture with him at morgue in internet. 3 days ago KIA

    3. Where did you see that picture? It be appreciated. And yes, multiple sources say pantera 24 and Pawa got killed in the San Fernando confrontations. Great work Itzle. The only thing that disappoints me is you keep saying "to be continued "....You just don't understand the torture endured till the next part is posted...Agonizing!!!...But keep it coming Itzli, it's highly appreciated

    4. Pawa and Chuy7 still alive. Bam, Cochi and Pantera have been killed. Image is in several pages. 9mm victoria has it on fb also. He was shot in action and died on the way to seek help. His own people dumped him in side of road with 2 other bodies

    5. All of them will die and CDN will incursion in Reynosa

    6. That’s a lie 🤣

    7. Cdn is on its last legs.

  3. El Jefe Viento como les hace faltaba las Panteras

    1. De agua ese 🤣🤣 por eso tenía miedo estar en Tamaulipas. Ni salía a dar frente. Eres alucin

  4. Whatever happened to El Commandante R1 ? Some say he killed El Metro 3.

  5. Mexican youth need better role models..
    Ghandi, Mandela, Benito Juarez, por ejemplo, NOT somebody named "Pigface" or "the rat"..

    1. So true today's youth in Mexico can lead their country into a better future but too many kids idolize those narco bums through corridors by their friends relatives or loser fathers or step father's.

  6. Ghandi was a pedophile and rudest person on earth. Benito Juárez everything known about him was a LIE! Made out to seem as a man of the people when he was as corrupt as the politicians today. Not to mention he HATED indigenous Mexicans

    1. You're dumb as hell. Benito Juárez was an indigenous Mexican and he wasn't corrupt. Stop talking nonsense.

    2. sorry if you had bad childhood experience with Gandhi..
      It's always tough for even the most loving parents to find a suitable niñera..
      As far as Juarez is concerned, he musta done something right to have his mug featured on the 20 peso note..
      And wasn't he zapoteco?
      Don't get much more indigenous than that!

    3. Ok smart guy then who do you recommend the kids idolize?

    4. At least Chicano kids in the states idolize Cesar chavez Robert Kennedy and guz Garcia the civil rights attorney from San Antonio but the kids in Mexico zero somebody needs to teach them .

    5. Just bc his Face is on a bill does that make him righteous? Lmao that had to be the worst defense EVER. It’s like Andrew Jackson being on the 20. Or Queen Elizabeth being on money after all their murder around the world. Y’all dumb dumb

  7. Great series, Itzli. Good to see you utilizing all that knowledge. Just a quick input, Alejandro “El Cano” Ochoa García had the code name 33 and was part of the group of Juan Carlos de la Cruz Reyna AKA el JC AKA La Chona AKA T36 AKA Z36 (Arrested Aug 29, 2007). That group did not have any name as far as I know, but was tasked with the expansion of the cartel in Tampico and beyond.


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