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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Leadership History of Los Metros

Itzli & Char (MIKE7). An overview of the various leaders of the Los Metros subgroup/faction of the CDG from its uncertain formation to the present day.


Los Metros is arguably the most historic and well known subgroup of the Cártel del Golfo (CDG, Gulf Cartel), yet there are many aspects of its history that are poorly documented or uncertain. Even something as straightforward as a leadership history is challenging due to conflicting information. With this in mind, we will take a look at each individual that has been presented as a leader of Los Metros at one point or another and, by delving into each of their histories, shed light on this important part of the CDG.


Information regarding the formation of Los Metros is quite sparse, although it is fairly frequently reported that Mario Alberto “El Gordo” Cárdenas Guillén, who is also known as “M1”, was the founder of this group. Despite this claim, “M1” actually is a code name for a different group within the CDG known as Los Marinos that has no connection to Los Metros.

While a definitive origin history of Los Metros is unavailable, it is possible to create a tentative list of the founding members, as reflected in Throwback Series: The Founding Members of Los Metros Faction of the Gulf Cartel. By placing Rogelio “El Roger” Garcia Garcia as “Metro 1”, the formation of Los Metros would have occurred somewhere between 1995 to 2001, which falls in line with “Metro 2” being reported as an important member of the CDG beginning in 1996. However, “Metro 3” was a police officer until at least early 1999, which would narrow the formation of Los Metros to sometime in 1999-2001, assuming “Metro 3” became a member of the group shortly after it was formed.

As for the origin of the name Los Metros, it is most commonly reported that this derives from Metro being used as a code name for Matamoros, which stems from phonetic alphabet coding, although this appears to been adopted by the CDG at a later point in history than the formation of Los Metros. Thus, it seems more likely that the name Los Metros had a separate origin and likely derived from the Policía Metropolitana, from which many founding members of Los Metros appear to have worked for before joining the CDG.

Metro 2: El Goyo

Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa, nicknamed “El Caramuela”, was born in 1965 in Matamoros and was once a ministerial police officer. By 1996 Gregorio, better known as “Goyo”, which derives from his first name, joined the CDG and went on to become a close associate of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, who took the leadership of the CDG in the summer of 1999. “El Goyo” was put in charge of the city of Reynosa, arguably the most important plaza for drug smuggling that the organization controlled. By the early 2000s Los Metros, under which “El Goyo” was designated “Metro 2”, was formed as either a CDG subgroup or a designation for a few high ranking cartel members operating in Reynosa and cities to the west in an area known as the Ribereña. 

In March 2003 Osiel Cárdenas Guillén was arrested and at that time “El Goyo”, along with Jorge Eduardo “El Coss” Sánchez Costilla were considered the principal leaders of the CDG. Over the next couple years he would remain a key member of the CDG as Osiel continued to give orders from prison.

In December 2005 issues began to emerge. A location used by “El Goyo” to sell drugs at a retail level was attacked by grenade and Jaime “El Hummer” González Durán, second-in-command of Los Zetas at the time, was allegedly responsible. Nevertheless, when the CDG was restructured sometime in 2006 “El Goyo” remained in charge of Reynosa. In late March 2006, six executed men who were initially identified as members of CDG; they were later reported as members of the rival Cártel de Sinaloa (Sinaloa Cartel, CDS) who had paid fees to “El Goyo” to be allowed to traffick drugs through Reynosa, an act that infuriated Los Zetas, who kidnapped and killed the CDS cell.

The situation reached a breaking point the night of October 16, 2006 when individuals working under “El Goyo” shut down five casinos in Reynosa. He had messed with “people he should not have”, one of the casinos was owned by Manuel Bribiesca Sahagún, the stepson of Vicente Fox Quesada, who was president of Mexico at the time, as well as being a close personal friend of Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca, then mayor of Reynosa. 

A few days later it was said that a group of 450 men were sent to Reynosa to remove “El Goyo” from power. At least 20 individuals working under “El Goyo” were killed as he refused to step down, resulting in a squad being sent to kidnap “El Goyo”. 

“El Goyo” was set to be killed, but his brother, Héctor Manuel “El Karis” Sauceda Gamboa, pleaded on his behalf and “El Goyo” was allowed to move to Matamoros to receive treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Despite continuing to appear on most wanted lists, “El Goyo” does not appear to have been active in the cartel after this point.

Nevertheless, he was arrested in Matamoros on April 30, 2009 and remains in prison to this date.

Metro 3 

Samuel Flores Borrego, nicknamed “El Cabezón”, was born in August 1977. By 1999 he had become a police officer in Miguel Alemán and apparently began working for the CDG while still a member of law enforcement, as it was reported that “...Samuel Flores Borrego…is a member of the municipal police who controls the patrols that provide security for the house of Osiel's relatives.”

Thereafter, it appears that “El Cabezón” left or possibly was fired from the police force. At some point “El Goyo” had reportedly set up a spy network with employees of a telephone company that monitored phone calls. In November 2000, one of the employees was killed by “El Cabezón”, Ramiro “El Pelos” Rangel, and one of the original members of Los Zetas, Jesús Enrique “El Mamito” Rejón Aguilar, for failing to cooperate in the spying. “El Cabezón” was also once a bodyguard of “El Coss” along with “El Pelos”, Juan Carlos “El Perro” Tovar, and Pedro “La Pinga” Cervantes Márquez, though the timing of this is unclear. Eventually, “El Cabezón” received the code name “Metro 3” (often abbreviated as M3) as a Founding Members of Los Metros and appears to have operated in Miguel Alemán, where he became head of plaza.

The CDG went through a number of changes during the time that “Metro 3” was in Miguel Alemán. After “El Goyo” was removed in October 2006 Jaime “El Hummer” González Durán was assigned as head of plaza in Reynosa, where he formed a group of underlings called Los Halcones. Osiel Cárdenas Guillén was extradited to the United States in January 2007, ending the cartel leadership he exerted from prison. Antonio “Tony Tormenta” Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén became leader of the CDG in association with Jorge Eduardo “El Coss” Costilla Sánchez.

Sometime in early 2007 the members of Los Zetas held a meeting and voted to become an independent cartel, the motivation most likely being movements by the CDG leadership to reach a truce with the CDS, which the majority of the almost 400 members in attendance were against. Nevertheless, Los Zetas reached an agreement to continue working with the CDG in an alliance known as La Compañía, under which territory was shared and the CDG/Los Zetas each controlled independent structures, operating in parallel. Thus, while “El Hummer” controlled Reynosa, the head of plaza for Los Zetas was Juan Oscar “El Barbas” Garza Azuara. 

Following the arrest of “El Barbas” in April 2007 Antonio “El Amarillo” Galarza Coronado took his place in Reynosa up until he was arrested on November 2, 2008, which ushered in a period of instability. On November 7, 2008, “El Hummer” was arrested and Los Zetas blamed the CDG. “El Karis”, brother of “El Goyo”, either briefly took control in Reynosa for the CDG, or at least attempted to do so, but was killed February 17, 2009 by orders of Los Zetas. Sergio “El Concord 3” Peña Mendoza had taken the place of “El Amarillo” for Los Zetas, but was arrested on March 14, 2009, although he would be released at an unspecified time that same year. It was in this timeframe that “Metro 3” was reassigned to Reynosa as head of plaza for the CDG. In May 2009, he was indicted by the United States government along with nineteen other prominent members of the La Compañía

By January 2010 the CDG would claim that “El Concord 3” was abusing his leadership, with one version of events stating that “El Concord 3” had kidnapped a close friend of “Metro 3”. Thus, the leadership of the CDG made a request to the leaders of Los Zetas, Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano Lazcano and Miguel Ángel “Z-40” Treviño Morales, to get “El Concord 3” under control. Thereafter, Juan Reyes “R1” Mejía González was given permission by “El Coss” and “Metro 3” to kidnap “El Concord 3”, who was killed on January 18, 2010. In retaliation, “Z-40” demanded that “El Metro 3” be handed over by January 25, 2010. When this did not happen, he ordered the kidnapping and killing of members of the CDG in Reynosa . Tensions and threats would increase over the following weeks before full scale war between the former allies broke out.

“Metro 3”, along with a number of close associates that would later be referred to as La Escuela de El Metro 3, became deeply involved in the conflict, as it appears that it was in this timeframe that “Metro 3” became head of operations for the CDG and essentially placed in charge of combating Los Zetas. As Los Zetas were pushed out of Reynosa and the Ribereña up to Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, by January 2011 “Metro 3” began assigning Metro code names to some of his underlings and Los Metros was reborn as a subgroup of the CDG under the command of “Metro 3”, which we refer to as “Los Metros of M3” from this point forward.

“Metro 3” was initially rumored to have been killed while providing support to “Tony Tormenta” during a military operation in Matamoros on November 5, 2010, but these allegations proved false. With the death of “Tony Tormenta”, it is generally reported that Mario Alberto “El Gordo” Cárdenas Guillén became leader of the CDG alongside “El Coss”, although it is likely that “El Gordo” took a leadership position prior to this as he was released from prison in 2007.

Amidst rumors that “El Coss” had provided the location of “Tony Tormenta” to the military, a nephew in the Cárdenas Guillén family, Rafael “El Junior” Cárdenas Vela, also felt that “El Coss” was neglecting to provide support to cartel members that were not directly associated with him. “El Junior” allegedly discussed this matter with “Metro 3”, who was said to feel the same way.

On September 2, 2011 the dead body of “Metro 3” was found in a pickup truck outside of Reynosa, next to the highway to Monterrey. The circumstances of his death remain a mystery to this day, although the general consensus is that he was killed by Juan Reyes “R1” Mejía González, either due to a grudge over the May 2011 arrest of his brother Romeo Eduardo Mejía González and/or by orders of “El Coss”, who was “jealous” of “Metro 3”.

Metro 4

Héctor David Delgado Santiago was born December 23, 1975 in Matamoros. It appears that he was a police officer before turning to organized crime. According to the song “El Comandante Metro 4” by Banda MS, he joined the CDG in 2001 and it appears that he was among the Founding Members of Los Metros, where he received the code name “Metro 4”. Little is known about the first ten years of his criminal career although it is quite likely that he was chosen as head of plaza in Reynosa sometime in 2010, taking the place of “Metro 3”, with whom he was likely a close associate of as he was listed among La Escuela de El Metro 3.

“Metro 4” became leader of Los Metros of M3 following the death of “Metro 3” and Rafael “El Junior” Cárdenas Vela met with him to investigate the killing. The conclusion was reached that “El Coss” was to blame; “it was his fault that he was killed” “El Junior Cárdenas”, who was arrested on October 20, 2011, would later testify. It was in this timeframe that the CDG broke apart and the Los Metros Faction emerged. It should be noted that this CDG faction was formed with Los Metros of M3 at its core, along with members of other CDG subgroups that rejected the leadership of “El Coss”. 

On the night of October 25, 2011 Rogelio “El Guerra” Guerra Ramírez, an early member of Los Zetas who had stayed with the CDG and adopted the code name “X-18”, was killed, allegedly by hitmen sent by “Metro 4”. The following morning, the Los Metros faction called two important CDG members to a meeting: Juan Roberto “El Primo” Rincón Rincón, code name “X-5”, and Jose Luis “El Wicho” Zúñiga Hernandez, code name “XW”. Both close associates of “El Coss”, “X-5” was head of plaza in Río Bravo and “XW” head of plaza in Control, having previously been named head of plaza in Matamoros following the death of “Tony Tormenta” up until March 28, 2011, at which point “El Junior Carneas” pushed him out. Fearing the same fate as “El Guerra”, they sent some of their underlings in their place, who were killed on arrival at the designated meeting place. Later that day, “X-5” and “XW” fled to the United States and were arrested. Thereafter, fighting between the Los Metros Faction and the remainder of the CDG, which was commonly referred to as Los Rojos in this timeframe, apparently continued, though no notable individuals were killed.

Beginning in March 2012, Los Metros Faction mounted a campaign targeting Nuevo Laredo, a key city for Los Zetas, with Juan Francisco “El 98” Carrizales Lara, a former underling of “El Karis”, at the forefront. It appears that his primary backers were “Metro 4” and Miguel “El Gringo” Villarreal, a former underling of “El Hummer” and member of La Escuela de El Metro 3 who had risen to become a powerful member of the Los Metros Faction in the Frontera Chica.

These three would be named in a banner from May 2012 that was hung along with nine bodies in Nuevo Laredo by Los Zetas, while another important member of the offensive against Los Zetas remained in the shadows.

By the end of 2012, it was rumored that “Metro 4” was being sought for arrest by both United States and Mexican officials and it was claimed that members of his family were living in Weslaco, Texas. On the evening of January 14, 2013, rumors spread online that “Metro 4” was killed in Reynosa, while one reporter would later claim that “Metro 4” had been missing for days before his body was found.

A number of individuals have been blamed for his death, although the general consensus is that “El Gringo” killed “Metro 4”, with one version stating that Sergio “Cortez” Ortegón Silva, code name “C1”, the leader of the Los Ceros subgroup of the Los Metros Faction and “Metro 4” were disputing and “El Gringo”, siding with “Cortez”, killed “Metro 4”. Another version flips this story, stating that “Metro 4” was planning on killing “Cortez” and “El Gringo” but they were able to act before this happened.

X-20: Mario Pelón

Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño, nicknamed “El Pelón” was born March 5, 1962. He was once an investigative police officer and allegedly a former drug addict. It is unclear when he joined the CDG, although he is mentioned as having been a bodyguard of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén and was identified in 2003 as being part of the cell under the command of “El Goyo”, who was head of plaza in Reynosa. When “El Goyo”, also known as “Metro 2”, was removed by force in October 2006, “Mario Pelón”, along with Flavio “El Amarillo” Méndez Santiago, was in charge of kidnapping him and his lieutenants.

Thereafter, “Mario Pelón” worked under the command of “El Hummer”, whom he was frequently in contact with. By September 2008, “Mario Pelón” had received the code name “X-20” and was among the sixteen high ranking members of La Compañía that were indicted by the United States as part of Project Reckoning. Following the arrest of “El Hummer” in November 2008, “Mario Pelón” worked under “Metro 3” and was part of La Escuela de El Metro 3. In a May 2009 indictment in the United States he was described as second-in-command in and around Reynosa, prompting a reward of $5 million being offered for information leading to his arrest.

It appears that “Mario Pelón” was assigned as head of plaza in Río Bravo, where he created a subgroup of underlings known as Los Panteras, at some point. Furthermore, it seems that he was transferred to Ciudad Victoria around June 2010. Following the September 2, 2011 killing of “Metro 3”, “Mario Pelón” was assigned as head of plaza in Reynosa by “El Coss”.

It does not appear that “El Coss” fully replaced “Metro 4”, instead the two worked together and met with Rafael “El Junior” Cárdenas Vela to discuss the killing of “Metro 3” where it was agreed that “El Coss” was responsible. Around this timeframe, the independent Los Metros Faction was created, with “Mario Pelón” reported as its leader. In October 2011, “El Coss” loyalists, including “X-5” and “XW”, were driven out of Río Bravo and “Mario Pelón” placed members of Los Panteras as heads of plaza there and in Nuevo Progreso. 

Los Zetas, who had created a stronghold in San Fernando, began attacking Valle Hermosa in November 2011, posing a threat to the Los Metros Faction from the south. In turn “Mario Pelón”, who was considered to be just as violent as the leadership of Los Zetas, if not more so, began a campaign against Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo, Nuevo León, San Fernando, Ciudad Victoria, and southern Tamaulipas in March 2012

Soon Los Zetas faced internal division, with the April 2012 arrest of Los Zetas regional leader Alberto José “El Paisa” González Xalate possibly being the breaking point. Beginning in June 2012 a campaign of banners and videos questioned if “Z-40” was behind the arrests of high-ranking members of Los Zetas close to Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano Lazcano over the years. In August 2012 it became clear that Iván “El Talibán” Velázquez Caballero, code name “Z-50”, had left Los Zetas and sought to challenge “Z-40”.

In mid-September 2012 a wave of killings in Nuevo Laredo was attributed to the forces of “El Talibán” directly targeting the city and it was revealed that he had aligned with the Los Metros Faction and Los Caballeros Templarios of Michoacán. The prospect of an extended campaign in Nuevo Laredo was short lived; “El Talibán” was arrested on September 26, 2012 and his brother-in-law would go into hiding with the help of Los Metros. It should be noted that “El Lazca”, leader of Los Zetas, was killed less than two weeks later and may have been betrayed by “Z-40”, who would become sole leader of Los Zetas up until his arrest in July 2013. Thereafter, his brother Óscar Omar “Z-42” Treviño Morales assumed leadership of Los Zetas.

Shortly before the arrest of “El Talibán” both “El Gordo Cárdenas” and “El Coss” were arrested within a span of a week in September 2012 and many expected “Mario Pelón” to become the leader of a reunified CDG. Despite the speculation, there is no evidence that this occurred; instead the Los Metros Faction stayed independent and we see Homero “El Majadero” Cárdenas Guillén becoming leader of the CDG Matamoros Faction.

With the killing of “Metro 4” in January 2013 “El Gringo” was blamed, although the fallout was not evident until the night of March 10, 2013. That evening, “El Gringo” and another member of La Escuela de El Metro 3, Jesús “El Puma” Ramón García, along with several of their associates were called to a meeting, where they were killed as ordered by “Mario Pelón”. Thereafter, a convoy of around 20-50 vehicles swept the city of Reynosa for several hours, killing any associates of “El Gringo” and “El Puma” that could be found in the city. Over the next few days, associates were also hunted down in the Ribereña. The death toll remains unknown, although estimates of around 60 individuals killed have been reported and possibly going as high as 150.

Five months later, 24 members of the Los Metros Faction were arrested in the municipality of Guerrero by the Mexican military. Among them were two bodyguards of “Mario Pelón” who provided officials with information to locate him and he was arrested on August 17, 2013 in Reynosa.

The leadership of the Los Metros Faction becomes somewhat unclear for a period thereafter, although some would claim that “Mario Pelón” continued to lead from prison prior to being extradited to the United States in December 2017, where he reached a plea agreement in February 2019.

It should be noted that there are various alternative narratives regarding “Mario Pelón”. For instance, the killing of “Metro 3” and/or “Metro 4” have been attributed to “Mario Pelón” according to some sources. In a similar vein, there are claims that “Mario Pelón” was never truly the leader of the Los Metros Faction and was merely trying to seize power up until his arrest.

Metro 24: El Simple

Jesús Alejandro Leal Flores, nicknamed “El Simple” and “Wero Cumbias”, was born in 1982 or 1983, likely in the Las Cumbres neighborhood of Reynosa. Along with his brother Guadalupe “El Tachas” Leal Flores, “El Simple” likely joined the CDG in late 2007, when “El Hummer” was head of plaza in Reynosa for the CDG and Antonio “El Amarillo” Galarza Coronado, who is rumored to be related to the Leal Flores brothers, was head of plaza for Los Zetas. Under “El Hummer”, the brothers were part of Los Halcones, with it said that “El Tachas”, also known as “Lupillo”, received the code name “H17” and “El Simple” was assigned “H24”.

Both “El Simple” and “El Tachas” remained with the CDG when the war with Los Zetas began in early 2010, but they were looked at with suspicion due to previously ties with “El Hummer” and Los Zetas. However, they proved their loyalty by fighting on the front lines against Los Zetas and became members of La Escuela de El Metro 3. As members of Los Metros of M3 their Los Halcones code names were converted, “El Simple” became “Metro 24” and “El Tachas” was “Metro 17”. “El Simple” was selected as sector commander of Las Cumbres, although it is not clear when this occurred.

In October 2012, a month after the arrests of “El Gordo Cárdenas” and “El Coss”, reporting on the CDG would mention “Mario Pelón”, “El Simple”, and “El Tachas”, while ignoring individuals such as “Metro 4”, “El 98”, and “El Gringo”, thus alluding to high ranking within the Los Metros Faction of the Leal Flores brothers. As previously mentioned, the killing of “Metro 4” in January 2013 is generally blamed on “El Gringo”, but some would immediately accuse “El Tachas” and “El Simple”, who were referred to as “compadres del alma” of “Metro 4”, of being responsible.

The Leal Flores brothers are also known for being masked Luchador wrestlers under the stage names “Imagen” and “Imagen 2” in northern Mexico and southern Texas . Due to this, FBI agents raided a wrestling match in McAllen, Texas in April 2013, hoping to arrest “El Simple”.

A great deal of uncertainty involves the role of “El Simple” within the cartel during 2013. Circumstantial evidence points to “El Simple” taking the place of “Metro 4” as leader of Los Metros of M3 following the latter's death in January 2013. Assuming this was the case, “El Simple” would have been leader of Los Metros of M3 for seven months while “Mario Pelón” was leader of the Los Metros Faction, which begs the question: what happened after “Mario Pelón” was arrested in August 2013? Due to the distinction between the Los Metros Faction and Los Metros of M3 being rarely recognized in this timeframe, it becomes unclear if “El Simple” assumed leadership of the faction as well.

On April 1, 2014 a military operation in Reynosa led to the arrest of “El Simple” at a home that served as his operations center, located in the Jardines Colonial neighborhood of Las Cumbres. It was reported that “El Simple” and his guards were caught unaware as they were partying. Thereafter, Los Metros reacted by mounting shootouts and blockading roads with stolen vehicles in a failed attempt to rescue “El Simple”.

At the time of his arrest, reporting generally described “El Simple” as “one of the leaders of the Cártel del Golfo”, though some would list him as the “alleged leader of the Cártel del Golfo”. Others reported that he was “head of plaza in Reynosa”, although one of the most detailed articles states that he was a “capo of the Los Metros Faction of the CDG”, with an anonymous military source stating that he was “he is a criminal who has a history and has family members who are also high-ranking criminals”, but was not the head of plaza in Reynosa. This echoes reporting that simply states that Los Metros were “headed by Jesús Alejandro Leal Flores, El Metro 24”. On a side note, a relatively well known cousin of “El Simple”, Juan “El Cherrys” Pablo Leal was arrested two months later. “El Simple” is believed to remain in prison to this day. 

El 10: El Mellado

Galdino “El Mellado” Mellado Cruz was born on April 18, 1973 in Tampico Alto, Veracruz. According to government records he joined the military on September 1, 1992 and later requested to be discharged, which he was granted on May 1, 1999. The motive for him leaving the military would become evident, he joined Los Zetas as one of their early members, although sources conflict if he received the code name “Z-9” or “Z-11”.

As the CDG expanded outside of Tamaulipas, Los Zetas were sent to the state of Coahuila in 2004 and by early 2005 “El Mellado” took control of Piedras Negras, a border city across from Eagle Pass, Texas. Prior to this cartels were absent in the state, although a number of independent drug traffickers operated freely. Under “El Mellado”, who was backed by 100 hitmen, the drug traffickers were threatened with death if they did not follow the new rules, they were still allowed to smuggle, but their drugs had to be bought from Los Zetas and everything they did had to be reported. Under this system, Piedras Negras would become the second most important plaza for Los Zetas, only behind Nuevo Laredo. In March 2010 the United States government targeted “El Mellado” via the Kingpin Act.

As Los Zetas and the CDG went to war in early 2010, lines were drawn. It is said that “El Mellado” told “El Lazca” that he wanted “Z-40” killed but “El Lazca” tried to assure him that “Z-40” was not a threat to him. Under the pretense of a vacation, “El Mellado” packed up his family, took his money, and went to Monterrey. Two weeks later, accompanied by his closest associates, “El Mellado” traveled to Reynosa to meet with the leadership of the CDG and thereafter, he defected from Los Zetas.

In April 2010, Los Zetas lashed out against Jesús “El Chucho” Romo López, a close associate of “El Mellado”, destroying five homes that he owned in Piedras Negras. On August 1, 2010, bodies were left with messages at the destroyed manion of “El Chucho”: “This is a warning to all who support El Mellado, to Antonio Romo López alias “La Hamburgesa” and Jesús Romo López alias “Don Chucho”.

“El Mellado”, who became known as “El 10”, relocated his drug smuggling operations to the Ribereña and is said to have maintained direct ties with Columbians who provided him with cocaine. His long-time associates, the brothers “El Chucho” and “La Hamburguesa”, who some sources claim was “Metro 9”, continued to work under him; these three individuals became part of La Escuela de El Metro 3 in this timeframe. 

As the Los Metros Faction emerged in 2011, it has been said that “Mario Pelón” never fully trusted “El Mellado”, fearing that he secretly maintained ties with members of Los Zetas. It is believed that “El Mellado” played a pivotal role in convincing “El Talibán” to join the Los Metros Faction in the summer of 2012. According to investigations, “El Mellado” aided in the attacks on Nuevo Laredo that year, with it specifically alleged that he was behind car bombs. In September 2012 banners claimed that “El Talibán” had left Los Zetas “because he was just like El Mellado”, he had been an “infiltrator”. While the CDG had been active in Zacatecas as far back as 2011 along with Carteles Unidos, it appears that by February 2013 “El Mellado” sent “La Hamburguesa” and forces from the Los Metro Faction there to combat Los Zetas.

Following the January 2013 killing of “Metro 4”, it appears that “El Simple” became leader of Los Metros of M3, however, some sources claim that “El Mellado” was selected as co-leader, as he was highly respected within Los Metros. Furthermore, it is said that after the arrest of “Mario Pelón” in August 2013, “El Mellado” was nominated to become leader of the Los Metros Faction but lost due to being a former member of Los Zetas.

There is evidence indicating that “El Mellado” was regarded to be the regional leader of the Los Metros Faction in the Ribereña, particularly after the March 2013 killing of “El Gringo”. By January 2014 some would list this area as a distinct faction of the CDG, stretching from Díaz Ordaz to Ciudad Mier, including Camargo, Los Guerra, Ciudad Mier and Miguel Alemán, a city which appears to be the operations center of “El Mellado”.

On May 9, 2014, “El Mellado” was located by the Mexican military and police at a home in the Las Fuentes neighborhood of Reynosa and was killed in a shootout with the authorities that spurred a number of road blockades.

In some of the reporting from this timeframe, “El Mellado” was described as “second in command of a criminal group”, possibly a reference to his co-leadership of Los Metros alongside “El Simple”, who was arrested a month prior. Others simply reported that “El Mellado” was one of the principal operators of the cartel. Over the next few days close associates of “El Mellado”, such as Ricardo Flores López, originally from Piedras Negras, Coahuila, were arrested.

It should be noted that “El Mellado” would become the focus of a book, “Hijo de la guerra”, which claimed that “El Mellado” was alive and in prison, however the book as a whole has been questioned as the narrative given by the alleged “El Mellado” does not seem accurate.

Metro 77: Paquito

Born around 1982, Juan Francisco Martínez Ramírez, nicknamed “Paco” and the diminutive “Paquito”/“Pakito”, received the code name “Metro 77” as a member of Los Metros of M3 and is said to have begun his criminal career in the Ribereña. 

It appears that following the death of “Metro 4” in January 2013, “Mario Pelón” named “Paquito” as head of plaza in Reynosa, indicating that he had grown in prominence despite not being listed among La Escuela de El Metro 3. On March 10, 2013 “El Gringo”, “El Puma” and several of their associates were called to a meeting with “Paquito” who had them killed as directed by “Mario Pelón” and participated in killing his associates thereafter.

It is occasionally stated that three individuals shared leadership of Los Metros of M3 in this timeframe: “El Simple”, “El Mellado”, and “Paquito”. Following the arrest of “Mario Pelón” in August 2013, it was rumored that “Paquito” was the primary supporter of “El Mellado” becoming leader of the Los Metros Faction.

The right-hand man of “Paquito” was his cousin, Erick “El Mono” Torres, code name “Metro 76”. By the spring of 2014 “El Mono/M76” was accused of numerous kidnappings in Reynosa, with one allegedly a friend of a sector commander. On April 27, 2014, approximately one month after “El Simple” was arrested, “El Mono/M76” was killed and a message denouncing his kidnappings was left on his body.

Over the following weeks the majority of the Los Metros Faction attacked “Paquito” and his associates. The May 9 death of “El Mellado” may have been a blow to “Paquito” as well; at some point thereafter he left Reynosa and went into hiding.

According to the rumors at the time, “Paquito” was allowed to return to Reynosa by September 2014; no longer head of plaza, it is not completely clear what role he served within the Los Metros Faction at this point. It appears that he spent some of his time in the United States over the next few months, which falls in line with rumors that he had been hiding in Texas previously.

On October 9, 2014, it was reported that “Paquito” was nearly arrested in Edinburg, Texas, but managed to flee back to Reynosa. Two months later, on December 8, 2014, “Paquito” was arrested at a house near the Palmview area of Mission, Texas, with it reported that his location had been given to DEA officials by a fellow member of the Los Metros Faction. 

Over the next few months, it was said that some associates of “Paquito” would leave to join the Matamoros Faction of the CDG. It is believed that “Paquito” was eventually released from United States prison and may have been arrested on June 30, 2018 in Reynosa.

It is heavily rumored that he went on to join the Matamoros Faction and the Los Metros Faction named him as one of the individuals responsible for attacks on June 19, 2021.

Juan Perros

The nickname “Juan Perros” was used by Juan Manuel Rodríguez Rodríguez and his son Juan “Juanito” Manuel Rodríguez García, who is sometimes referred to as “Juan Perros Jr” in order to distinguish him from his father. Born January 27, 1975 in the state of Nuevo León, “Juan Perros Jr” was once a municipal police officer and is better documented than his father. While “Juan Perros Jr” was considered part of La Escuela de El Metro 3 it does not appear that he was ever part of Los Metros of M3.

“Juan Perros Jr” was closely associated with “Mario Pelón” and described as his right-hand man and chief assassin. Also known as “Pantera 11” as a member of Los Panteras, “Juan Perros Jr” was assigned as head of plaza in Río Bravo by “Mario Pelón” after “X-5” and “XW” were driven out in October 2011. As the Los Metros Faction emerged, Los Zetas would take advantage of the CDG infighting by attacking Valle Hermosa and by the summer of 2012 they were making incursions into Río Bravo. Authorities would blame “Juan Perros Jr” for a number of attacks against federal forces, the most notable taking place in August 2013, which resulted in four soldiers being killed, an apparent reference to the events of August 3 in Reynosa.

Two weeks later “Mario Pelón” was arrested. As previously mentioned, it appears at this point the Los Metros Faction was to choose a new leader and “El Mellado”, who may have co-lead Los Metros of M3 alongside “El Simple”, was suggested. “Juan Perros Jr” was reportedly chosen instead, likely due to being closely associated with “Mario Pelón” and, taking consideration the rumors that “Mario Pelón” continued to lead the Los Metros Faction from prison for a period of time, it is quite possible that this what “Mario Pelón” desired, a loyal ally to carry out his commands. 

Another possible scenario is that the Los Metros Faction entered a period of fractured leadership, with Reynosa operating under the leadership of Los Metros of M3 and Río Bravo considering “Juan Perros Jr” as their leader. The main evidence for this is a statement by the Comisionado Nacional de Seguridad: “Rodríguez García's command was not recognized by all the criminal factions of the group, which led to clashes within the organization, increasing violence in Tamaulipas”. However, this statement may be referring to the division between the Los Metros and Matamoros factions.

In November 2013, Homero “El Majadero” Cárdenas Guillén, leader of the Matamoros Faction of the CDG, allegedly suffered a medical emergency and major shootouts broke out in Matamoros thereafter. It is believed that this was an incursion by the Los Metros Faction; in all likelihood it was ordered by “Juan Perros Jr” and launched from Río Bravo. With the death of “El Majadero”, also known as “El Orejón”, in March 2014, the Los Metros Faction increased their attacks on Matamoros, which reached a fevered pitch on April 1, 2014, the same day that “El Simple” was arrested.  

Overlapping this was the arrest of Javier “El Porrón” Garza Medrano, code name “K14”, in late February 2014. Arguably the founder of the CDG del Sur Faction, “K14” had been regional leader of the CDG in Tampico, having taken the place of Juan Gabriel “El Gaby Sierra” Montes Sermeño, who was arrested on September 11, 2012, one day before “El Coss”, whom “El Gaby Sierra” worked under. For a brief period Aarón “El Wuasa” Rogelio García became head of Tampico, yet “K14” believed that “El Wuasa” had given authorities his location in order to become leader. The already weakened leadership of Matamoros appeared to be absent following the March 2014 death of “El Majadero”, leading to “K14” to order the murder of “El Wuasa” and having his family massacred during his April 3, 2014 funeral. Tampico erupted in violence thereafter as a complicated war for power emerged, with the Los Metros Faction allegedly providing support to one side in an apparent proxy war with the Matamoros Faction.

The two months following the arrest of “El Simple” was a chaotic period in the history of the Los Metros Faction. As previously discussed, “El Mono/M76”, was killed towards the end of April 2014, triggering a war within the faction against “Paquito” in which “Juan Perros Jr” is presented as the primary antagonist. Reporting would indicate that at some point “Juan Perros Jr”, fearing arrest, fled Río Bravo and went into hiding, which likely took place around this timeframe. 

On May 25, 2014, just over two weeks after the death of “El Mellado”, “Juan Perros Jr” was arrested in a joint military and federal police operation at a hotel in San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, where he was hiding with his wife and children.

The father of “Juan Perros Jr”, Juan Manuel Rodríguez Rodríguez, whose nickname “Juan Perros” is sometimes listed as “Juan Perros Padre” to distinguish him from his son, was arrested a month later, on June 19, 2014. Following his arrest, the narrative becomes even more muddied as he was described as “having occupied the command of the organization…his main role was one of organization and leadership, keeping a low profile and delegating operational actions to his son”, “the highest-ranking criminal within the structure…he was also in charge of overseeing the entry of money and weapons into the country, which he distributed in the different municipalities of Tamaulipas and Nuevo León, and controlled the transfer of drugs and undocumented immigrants to the United States”, and “had ceded control of several plazas, including Reynosa, to his son Juan Perros, while he continued to be in charge of the transfer of drugs, money, weapons and undocumented immigrants”. From this, it would appear that “Juan Perros Padre” was the leader of the Los Metros Faction, not “Juan Perros Jr”, but the accuracy of this line of reporting is debatable.

In December 2018 “Juan Perros Jr” was sentenced in Mexico to 33 years in prison. “Juan Perros Padre”, who was on the Río Bravo municipal payroll at the time of his arrest and controlled the municipal administration to a point that the elected municipal president was not allowed to enter the offices, was released from prison and according to rumors from 2020, he has sought to recover power in Río Bravo along with other family members though was apparently unsuccessful and his current status is unknown.

Metro 60: Polimenso

José Ismael Mendoza Falcón was nicknamed “El Polimenso” and “El Poli”, a reference to his time as a preventative police officer in the municipalities of Miguel Alemán and Ciudad Mier before joining the CDG. Several songs would be written about “El Polimenso” during his criminal career, including Cano y Blunt in December 2009, Larry Hernandez in January 2011, and the most famous by Tucanes de Tijuana from October 2010 in which it was said that he was not a drug trafficker, he was a gunman for the cartel.

“El Polimenso” was a close associate of “Metro 3” and was among La Escuela de El Metro 3. With the outbreak of war with Los Zetas in 2010, it is said that “El Polimenso” was stationed in the Ribereña, where he was involved in numerous battles. As Los Metros of M3 was formed, “El Polimenso” received the code name “Metro 60”, which is often shortened to “M60”.

We see evidence of “El Polimenso” being active in Reynosa in 2013. In February, a month after the killing of “Metro 4”, a caravan of vehicles marked M3 and M60 with armed men aboard would be spotted in Reynosa. In the days following the killing of “El Gringo” in March, a M3/M60 logo would be found along with weapons that were seized.

In 2014, reporting on “El Polimenso” would focus on him being the leader in the Ribereña, also known as the Frontera Chica, although other reports indicated that “El Mellado” was regional leader in that same area. Other reports added to this by stating that “El Polimenso” was also in charge of buying weapons and training new recruits for the Los Metros Faction. It is likely that “El Polimenso” was actually “jefe operativo” in the Ribereña, that is to say he was in charge of the operational security of the area and combating Los Zetas.

On April 28, 2014, a day after “El Mono/M76”, was killed, it was claimed that “El Polimenso” had taken charge of Reynosa; it was also reported that he was among those participating in gunfights against “Paquito” and his associates in the days thereafter. There is a distinct possibility that “El Polimenso” held a leadership position within Los Metros based upon comments made in the following weeks. Following the April 1, 2014 arrest of “El Simple” and/or the May 9, 2014 death of “El Mellado”, it is quite possible that “El Polimenso” became leader of Los Metros of M3. With the arrest of “Juan Perros Jr” on May 25, 2014 there have been claims that the Los Metros Faction entered a triad leadership of sorts, with “El Polimenso” among the three leaders, although there is also indications that “El Polimenso” avoided taking leadership as it would make him a target for betrayal.

During a time that the Tamaulipas government would claim that “El Polimenso” was a sector commander in Reynosa, a university in Reynosa was evacuated on September 24, 2014 as armed men arrived to extort the facilities, an event that would later be blamed on “El Polimenso”

A number of shootouts took place on the afternoon of September 30, 2014 between military forces and Los Metros. “El Tachas”, brother of “El Simple”, was said to have been able to escape, but “El Polimenso” was shot five times during a clash that evening.

“El Polimenso” was initially reported to have been killed at the scene but in reality he was transferred to a hospital by the police. On the morning of October 3, 2014, “El Polimenso” was declared brain dead.

Twelve days later Maria del Rosario Fuentes Rubio was kidnapped and killed the next day as she was believed to be the source of a picture of “El Polimenso” in the hospital.

Metro 103: Panochitas

Juan Francisco Sáenz Tamez was born in 1990 or 1991 to Juan Sáenz and Nidia Tamez López. He joined Los Zetas as a lookout for “El Hummer”, though sources vary as to when this took place, either when he was 12 or years later, in 2007. He would receive the nickname “El Panochitas”/“El Panochas”, as it is said that he would call his mother, who was in a relationship with “El Mellado”, to help him out of punishment from “El Hummer”. In time, “El Panochitas” would be tasked with receiving shipments of drugs in Camargo and Miguel Alemán. Eventually he became an accountant for “El Hummer”.

Following the November 2008 arrest of “El Hummer” Los Zetas assigned “El Paisa” to the Ribereña to supervise drug trafficking and it is believed that “El Panochitas” served as an accountant under him. It is said that when the war broke out between Los Zetas and the CDG, “El Paisa” fled to the state of Coahuila, taking “El Panochitas” with him. In this version of events, “El Panochitas” seized all the money he could and returned to Tamaulipas, where he joined the CDG. Thus “El Panochitas” became part of La Escuela de El Metro 3 as an associate of “Metro 3” and received the code name “Metro 103” as a member of Los Metros of M3.

Following the March 2013 killing of Mario “El Popo” Alberto Peña, “El Panochitas” would help recover his body so that the family of “El Popo” could bury him in Rio Grande City, Texas. Two months later, in May 2013, Rafael Joaquin Salinas Aparicio, code name “Metro 32”, who was believed to be a close associate of “El Panochitas” during previous fighting against Los Zetas in Nuevo León, was removed as head of plaza in Camargo by orders of “Mario Pelón”. It appears that “El Panochitas” replaced “Metro 32”, also known as “El Salinas”, at that time or soon thereafter. It should be noted that a great-uncle of “El Panochitas” became municipal president in Camargo on October 1, 2013 and several other relatives of “El Panochitas” had political connections in Camargo, including his wife, Alma Lizeth “La Pelaquillas” García García

It was rumored that the 24 members of the Los Metros Faction, including 2 bodyguards of “Mario Pelón”, that were arrested in the municipality of Guerrero on August 12, 2013 were located based on information that “El Panichitas” provided to authorities and he was blamed for the arrest of “Mario Pelón” by some. A month later, “El Panochitas” was indicted by a United States federal grand jury. It is claimed that in the following months “El Panochitas” wanted to take over the leadership of the Los Metros Faction but “El Mellado” convinced him not to do so.

With the killing of “El Mono/M76”, on August 28, 2014, it was said that “El Panochitas” was very active in Reynosa and was involved in the fighting against “El Paquito”. Following the arrest of “Juan Perros Jr” on May 25, 2014, “El Panochitas” is believed to become either one of the three co-leaders of the Los Metros Faction or, at the very least, one of the prominent members trying to consolidate power, although there are claims that he was the sole leader.

A notable factor in all this is the May 9, 2014 death of “El Mellado”, who had been in a relationship with Nidia Tamez López, mother of “El Panochitas”, which left a void in the Ribereña, as well as the previous ambitions that “El Panochitas” had in becoming leader of the Los Metros Faction. While continuing to be identified as head of plaza in Camargo, by the end of July 2014, online messages would denounce both “El Panochitas” and his mother, stating in part that El Panochitas” should place Nidia as head of plaza as she “has more balls than him”. 

It appears that “El Panochitas” began living in Texas by the summer of 2014, although he would travel to Mexico and still be identified as active in Camargo. A member of the Los Metros Faction that was acting as an informant for the DEA notified agents of his return to Texas on one such day and law enforcement followed him. On October 9, 2014, while shopping at Academy Sports in Edinburg, Texas, “El Panochitas” was arrested. It was reported that “El Paquito” had crossed the border at the same time as “El Panochitas”, but was traveling in a separate vehicle; thus “El Paquito” managed to avoid arrest.

Two weeks later, a DEA press release stated that “Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez became head of the Gulf Cartel following the 2013 arrest of former leader Mario Ramirez-Trevino”. While online reports from August would make similar claims, reporting of the arrest of “El Panochitas” would vary in Mexico, with some stating he was head of plaza in Reynosa and others that he was head of plaza in the Ribereña, although most would merely repeat the DEA claims.

In January 2015, “El Panochitas”, who immediately offered to provide information to DEA agents upon being arrested and later became a cooperating defendant, would plead guilty to the prior United States indictment; he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Metro 64: El Gafe

José Tiburcio Hernández Fuentes, nicknamed “El Gafe”, was a mystery for the bulk of his criminal career and two different narratives have since emerged. According to authorities, in 2006 “El Gafe” began as a cartel lookout (halcón) in Río Bravo under the command of “Juan Perros Padre”. He would go on to lead a cell in Reynosa and was designated as a sector commander in 2009 by “Metro 3”. The following year he was given control of an additional two sectors. After the September 2011 death of “Metro 3”, “El Gafe” was given operational control of the CDG, directly under the command of “El Coss” and was named head of plaza in Reynosa by “Mario Pelón” in late 2012. 

Continuing with this report, in March 2013 “Mario Pelón” is said to have ordered “El Gafe” to eliminate commanders in Reynosa, an allusion to the killing of “El Gringo” and “El Puma”. Thereafter, “El Gafe” became operations coordinator under “Mario Pelón” and operations leader under “Juan Perros Padre” following the August 2013 arrest of “Mario Pelón”. This narrative states that the Los Metros Faction became fragmented into three groups in June 2014, with “El Gafe” the leader of one. As one can see, this version of events is difficult to reconcile with previous information, as it conflicts in several ways.

Online sources paint a very different history of “El Gafe”. Rumored to have been born in Veracruz, “El Gafe” was said to have been a member of the military before deserting, but was never part of GAFE despite his nickname. In September 2012, a 35 year old individual nicknamed “El Gafe”, whose name was reported as José Avin Hernández, was arrested in Nuevo León, where he supervised kidnappings, killings, drugs sales and distribution under David “El Diablo” Rosales Guzmán. It has been reported that “El Gafe” had at least nine aliases and, with José Avin Hernández being so similar to José Tiburcio Hernández Fuentes, it can be logically assumed that it was him in this incident.

It is frequently mentioned online that “El Gafe” was closely connected to “Metro 4”. A line of rumors regarding the January 2013 death of “Metro 4” present “El Gafe” as his second in command who wanted to overthrow him and seize power for himself. Along with a close associate and the accountant of “Metro 4”, “El Gafe” is said to have participated in killing “Metro 4” as he was being transported to a safehouse for the night. “El Gringo” was then falsely blamed for the killing, in part to remove a potential rival of “El Gafe”.

In this narrative, “El Gafe” expected to take the place of “Metro 4” as head of plaza in Reynosa yet “Mario Pelón” named “Paquito” instead. Thus, “El Gafe” would spend over a year plotting against “Paquito” and used complaints against “El Mono/M76” to turn the Los Metros Faction against him. In addition, “El Gafe” allegedly paid a member of the military to help remove “Paquito” from Reynosa and became head of plaza thereafter. 

In the days following the May 2014 arrest of “Juan Perros Jr”, reporting would state that “El Gafe” was expected to become leader. A month after the June 2014 arrest of “Juan Perros Padre”, Miguel Angel “El Aleman” Aleman Salinas, was arrested; also known as “Pantera 12”, he was a brother-in-law of “Juan Perros Jr” and reportedly head of plaza in Río Bravo, although some sources would claim that he had become leader of the Los Metros Faction. Over the next two weeks government forces killed a high ranking member of Los Panteras in Nuevo Progreso and arrested Eleno Salazar Flores, code name “Pantera 6”, in Reynosa. 

Following the March 2014 death of “El Majadero”, the Matamoros Faction fell under the visible leadership of Ángel Eduardo “El Orejón” Prado Rodríguez, code name “Ciclón 7”, head of the Los Ciclones subgroup that had been formed by “El Junior Cardenas”. In July 2014, Los Ciclones allegedly attacked Los Panteras, killing “El Flako” and “El Paramédico”. Thereafter, Los Panteras under the leadership of Víctor Manuel “El Viento” Pérez Rico, code name “Pantera 16”, fled to the coast of Tamaulipas in the region controlled by José “El Gordo Cachetes” Sánchez García, who had been a close associate of “Mario Pelón”. The Matamoros Faction appears to have taken control of Nuevo Progreso at this point, possibly with permission from “El Gafe” as part of an agreement to eliminate Los Panteras. By the end of July 2014, “El 98”, who had been a major part of the Los Metros Faction’s attacks in Nuevo Laredo in 2012, was named head of plaza in Río Bravo by “El Gafe”. While there is a level of uncertainty, it appears that the plaza was shared with the Matamoros Faction, as there is evidence pointing to their operations in the city during this timeframe as well.

Internal conflicts with the Los Metros Faction would overlap these events. On the morning of June 26, 2014, a week after the arrest of “Juan Perros Padre”, the Policia Federal were attacked in Periquitos and that same day “the CDG under the command of Gafe” would deny responsibility, placing blame on “Comandante Cortez”. However, his head of hitmen was arrested at the time and nearly a year later it would be reported that “El Gafe” had been arrested after the attack and confessed to being involved. Nevertheless, he was released thereafter under unclear circumstances. 

Over the next few days in June 2014, rumors emerged of an alliance within the Los Metros Faction seeking to remove “El Gafe” from Reynosa. Allegedly, Sergio “Cortez” Ortegón Silva, code name “C1”, the leader of the Los Ceros group within the Los Metros Faction and his son Sergio "Junior Cortez" Ortegón, code name “C2”, were at the forefront of this effort. It is rumored that an assassination attempt on “El Gafe” took place on June 28, 2014 but failed. A week later, “El Gafe” and his wife, who is often said to have “dominated” him, were mocked online.

Thus it appears that in July 2014 “El Gafe” was either powerless to prevent the attacks against Los Panteras by the CDG Matamoros Faction or actually allowed it to take place while he was focused on the conflict with “Cortez”, as even naming “El 98” as head of plaza in Río Bravo was seen as an act against “Cortez”. Early on the morning of August 8, 2014 shootouts and blockades took place in Reynosa, with it said that “Cortez” had been unsuccessfully targeted for arrest. Days later messages would appear online claiming that “Cortez” was offering money to underlings of “El Gafe” and “El Panochitas” for information on their locations.

Shootouts and blockades once again broke out on the morning of August 20, 2014, stretching into the night as the forces of “Cortez” and “El Gafe” clashed. The following day it was revealed that “Junior Cortez” had been killed along with his bodyguards by allies of “El Gafe”. A week later, “Cortez” would swear revenge online  against those he claimed turned on his son and the forces of “El Gafe” would hang banners in Reynosa claiming “Junior Cortez” had been killed for ordering kidnappings and robberies. “Cortez” would eventually go into exile and is believed to have joined the Matamoros Faction in the months thereafter.

A month later, on September 30, 2014, “El Polimenso” was shot and died days later; shortly thereafter, on October 9, 2014, “El Panochitas” was arrested. As previously mentioned, Rafael Joaquin Salinas Aparicio, code name “Metro 32”, had been head of plaza in Camargo before “El Panochitas”, but was removed in May 2013, at which point he went to Miguel Alemán, where he worked as second-in-command to his father and was recognized as head of plaza a year later. With “El Panochitas” out of the picture, “Metro 32” sought to retake Camargo without the permission of “El Gafe”. In turn, “El Gafe” sought to punish “Metro 32” and his father by sending “El Chiricuas” to take control of Miguel Alemán. On October 12, 2014, “Metro 32” was shot during a clash with the forces of “El Chiricuas” and was arrested thereafter while being treated for his injuries in a hospital. In a sense, it was at this point that “El Gafe” truly became leader of the Los Metros Faction, as he could now solidify control in the absence of potential rivals, with the most notable exception being “Paquito”, who would be arrested in December 2014. 

On December 16, 2014, a week after “Paquito” was arrested, Adrián “El Niño” González Martínez, code name "Ciclón 9", was killed in a penitentiary in Reynosa, allegedly by orders of “El 98”. Arrested on September 24, 2012, “El Niño” was reported at that time to be head of plaza in Control, Empalme, and Progreso under the command of “Mario Pelón” and it appears he worked under “El Junior Cardenas” prior to that. The killing of “El Niño” infuriated his former colleagues in Los Ciclones and over the following weeks an online conflict took place, principally focused against “El 98” and “El Gafe”

As tensions escalated, a member of Los Ciclones known as “El Gil”, code name “Ciclón 4”, was kidnapped along with his wife, son, and mother on February 1, 2015 in Río Bravo, where he may have been serving as head of plaza for the Matamoros Faction. “El Gil” was executed that day and fighting between the two CDG factions broke out, with it said that “El 98” had started a war in which there would be no winners. It should be noted that there is some evidence that internal rivalries within the Matamoros Faction played a factor in both the leadup and the war itself; there were also rumors that the mayor of Matamoros, Leticia Salazar, was in a relationship with a high-ranking member of the Los Metros Faction. 

With the bulk of the fighting taking place in and around Matamoros, Río Bravo, and Valle Hermoso, by March 2015 rumors would periodically emerge regarding members of the Los Metros faction switching to join the Matamtoros faction. It was specifically alleged that “Cortez” had defected, as well as Eduardo “El Negrito” Flores Borrego, a brother of “Metro 3” whose falling out appears to have taken place in the summer of 2014, but the issues surrounding this and exact timing are poorly documented. Furthermore, unspecified members of Los Panteras and various individuals that had worked under “Mario Pelón”, “El Gringo”, and “El Puma” allegedly joined the Matamoros Faction as well.

It would be reported that at some point “El Gafe” fled Tamaulipas, possibly to Jalisco, where he was rumored to own a ranch. While the timing was not reported, it can reasonably be assumed that this took place sometime during his conflict with “Cortez”. It was more clearly reported that “El Gafe” returned to Reynosa in March 2015, following the arrest of Óscar Omar “Z-42” Treviño Morales, leader of Los Zetas. Soon thereafter, on March 23, 2015, “El Gafe” is said to have called “El Tachas”, a brother of “El Simple”, to a meeting where he was killed along with ten of his underlings and a notable member of the Los Metros Faction known as “El Nico”. 

El Gafe”, who up until this point was thought to be named Sergio Velázquez, was arrested on April 17, 2015, resulting in numerous blockades and shootouts throughout Reynosa in an attempt to rescue him.

In June 2021 “El Gafe” was sentenced to 37 years in prison. The wife of “El Gafe”, Francisca de la Fuente, known as “La Bruja”, would continue to be denounced online thereafter. Their son, Mario Alberto “El Bebote” Betancourt de la Fuente would be arrested in December 2023, although it can be assumed that he was actually a stepson of “El Gafe” based upon his last names.

Metro 42: El Toro

Juan Manuel Loza Salinas, nicknamed “El Toro” and “El Rey de Las Brechas”, was born January 26, 1983 in McAllen, Texas. Often reported to be named Julián, a number of variations of his paternal last name exist, including Loisa, Loiza, Loaiza, and Lozano.

While the early history of “El Toro” is poorly documented, pieces of information exist. “El Toro” is said to have been a gunman under “El Hummer” alongside “El Simple” and “El Tachas”, which would place him joining the CDG prior to November 2008. It is quite likely that he joined the CDG at the invitation of his first cousin on his mother’s side of the family, Rafael “El Rafa” Salinas, a former ministerial police officer in Miguel Alemán who had worked in law enforcement alongside “Metro 3” before joining the cartel.

At some point prior to the war with Los Zetas, which began in 2010, “El Toro” was put in charge of a cartel-run radio communication network in Reynosa. He went on to become a member of Los Metros of M3, where he received the code name “Metro 42”. Based on commentary, it appears that “El Toro” was once active in Cadereyta, Nuevo León, possibly during the time that the Cadereyta Massacre took place. It has also been said that “El Gringo” had ordered “El Toro” be killed at an unspecified point.

It is sometimes reported that “El Toro” was once a bodyguard for “El Gafe”, with whom he would be closely associated. By the spring of 2013 “El Toro” became a sector commander in Reynosa and often identified in association with the Los Fresnos, Bugambilias, San Valentin, and Loma Real neighborhoods. A friend of “El Toro” was allegedly kidnapped by “El Mono/M76” in April 2014, which sparked the movement to remove “Paquito” as head of plaza in Reynosa. In fact, it has been claimed that “El Toro” was the one that killed “El Mono/M76” with the blessing of other members of the Los Metros Faction.

With “El Gafe” becoming leader of the Los Metros Faction following the May 2014 arrest of “Juan Perros Jr”, “El Toro” became increasingly mentioned, apparently serving as his second-in-command. Following the October 2014 death of “El Polimenso”, the killing of @Miut3 was said to have been ordered by “El Toro” and it is said that many individuals that had worked under “El Polimenso” began serving “El Toro” thereafter.

During the time that “El Gafe” fled Tamaulipas, “El Toro” actively led in his absence, leading to reports in March 2015 that placed “El Toro” as the leader of the Los Metros Faction. At some point that same month “El Toro” was said to have been arrested by authorities but was released after paying a $8 million bribe, plus an additional $250 thousand for information on how he was located. He was allegedly told that “El Tachas”, brother of “El Simple”, and “El Nico” were aiding authorities in capturing “El Toro”.

Around this timeframe “El Gafe” returned to Reynosa and on March 24, 2015 he called “El Tachas” and “El Nico” to a meeting where they were killed along with ten individuals that accompanied them. “El Toro” would be blamed for the killing and was said to have claimed they were disobedient, though this was seen as merely a pretext to justify his actions, the real motive being his pursuit of money and power.

Overlapping this was notable events in Camargo. As previously mentioned, following the October 2014 arrest of “El Panochitas” the son of “El Toro’s” cousin “El Rafa”, “Metro 32”, tried to retake control of Camargo. In turn “El Gafe” sent “El Chiricuas” to attack both “Metro 32” and “El Rafa”. It was at this point that a brother of “El Toro”, Humberto “El Beto” Loza Salinas, code name “Metro 43”, was placed as head of plaza in Camargo

Nearly five months later the mother of “El Panochitas”, Nidia Tamez López, arrived in Camargo, claiming the plaza as hers by orders of her son from jail, resulting in an event with conflicting narratives. While the details are uncertain, in late March 2015 “El Beto” clashed with Nidia and she was arrested. On April 13, 2015 news spread that she was killed in a Reynosa jail, allegedly as ordered by “El Beto”, although it is alternately said that “El Gafe” and/or “El Toro” ordered it.

On April 17, 2015 “El Gafe” was arrested and some would claim that “El Toro” had betrayed his location to authorities. While “El Toro” would become leader of the Los Metros Faction, at the time it was not certain that he would be able to consolidate power as some opposed him, most notably “El Chiricuas”. Seen as a viable candidate for leadership, “El Chiricuas”, whose real name was believed to be Roberto Saavedra Santana Delgado, was reportedly arrested in early April 2015, though he was quickly released, allegedly after paying a bribe. Before dawn on April 22, 2015 authorities conducted another operation to arrest “El Chiricuas”, who was said to have been injured in the resulting gunfight but managed to escape. It would be alleged that the arrest attempt was prompted by “El Toro” notifying authorities that “El Chiricuas” would be attending a wedding party there.

Throughout the leadership of “El Toro” he held frequent meetings with members of the Los Metros Factions. During one such meeting, held on May 3, 2015, it was decided that a more aggressive response to the actions of authorities would be taken. It has been reported that Erick Morales Guevara, nicknamed “El Marino Loko” and “El Thor”, had been assigned to Reynosa sometime in 2015 as part of the military effort to arrest “El Toro”, which may have been a partial motivation for this decision. “El Toro” was nearly captured on May 24, 2015 but managed to escape, though authorities would seize weapons, including his gold plated pistol. Days later, banners signed by “El Toro” were hung in Reynosa asking citizens to denounce kidnappings and extortion.

Nevertheless, such actions would continue and were a major source of revenue within the Los Metros Faction during the leadership of “El Toro”, which became increasingly focused on fuel theft (huachicol) spanning from Reynosa to Cadereyta.

“El Beto”, brother of “El Toro” was killed on May 18, 2015 by fellow members of the Los Metros Faction, possibly backed by members of the military. It was heavily rumored that Jesús Iván “El Boludo” Castellanos Alanís, the head of plaza in Díaz Ordaz who up until this point had been a close associate of “El Gafe” and “El Toro”, was responsible. It was said that the motive was “El Boludo” being angry that a couple of his underlings were arrested and the following lack of action on the part of “El Toro” to aid in their release. An alternate rumor blamed “El Chiricuas”, with the additional motivation being that “El Panochitas” had offered a $1 million reward for the death of “El Beto” as revenge for the killing of his mother, Nidia Tamez López, a month prior. It should be noted that thereafter “El Boludo” and his family fled to the United States.

Less than a week after the arrest of “El Gafe”, rumors emerged that “El Toro” was negotiating with “Ciclón 7” to end the conflict with the Matamoros Faction despite opposition to the idea by “El 98”. Fighting would continue for some time thereafter, with a major battle taking place in Control on June 9, 2015 in which 44 individuals were killed, the majority allegedly on the side of “El 98”. Thereafter, “El 98” is believed to have been removed from Río Bravo and his status thereafter is unclear up until his arrest in Monterrey, Nuevo León on February 27, 2016.

“El Toro” remained a target in July 2015, with authorities removing antennas and surveillance cameras that were used by the cartel in Reynosa. On October 21, 2015 audio was leaked online of a conversation within the Los Metros Faction discussing using car bombs against authorities. Eight days later a banner signed by “El Toro”, who was referenced in passing in the audio, denied involvement in the plan. During the following month, November 2015, the crash of a military vehicle that killed four bystanders would be ascribed to a pursuit involving “El Toro”, which he would deny via a banner message and the allegedly the ex-wife of “El Toro” who remained active in cartel activities was arrested after being stopped for drunk driving and subsequently attempting to bribe the officers to let her go. That same month it would be alleged that Sergio “El Checo” Martínez Velasco was helping “El Toro” hide from authorities.

Following the March 2015 arrest of Óscar Omar “Z-42” Treviño Morales, leadership of Los Zetas passed to his nephew, Juan Francisco “El Kiko” Treviño Chávez, in association with Juan Francisco “Kiko Ozuna” Treviño Morales and Ana Isabel Treviño Morales, the father and aunt of “El Kiko” respectively. By mid-July 2015, the cartel was renamed Cártel del Noreste (CDN, Northeast Cartel) and there was an increased focus on attacking the Los Metros Faction in Ciudad Mier. By late February 2016 rumors spread that “El Toro” was reaching out to the CDN and around this time frame it appears that the CDN took control of Ciudad Mier. 

Amidst tension with Los Metros Faction, authorities mounted an operation to arrest “El Toro” before dawn on March 13, 2016 which resulted in shootouts and blockades throughout Reynosa, leaving 10 dead. Two rumors emerged immediately thereafter: it was said that “El Toro” was wounded in one of the shootouts but managed to escape; alternatively it was rumored that “El Toro” was actually caught but was released after paying a bribe. The next day a close associate of “El Toro”, “El Guero” Cleofas Alberto Martínez Gutiérrez, who had served as his second in command, was arrested and it was heavily rumored that “El Toro” had given him up in exchange for his freedom. Shootouts and blockades would occur amidst additional operations and the failure to arrest “El Toro” resulted in a change of military leadership in Reynosa on April 4, 2016. A month later around 500 soldiers were transferred while an investigation was conducted regarding accusations of collusion with the Los Metros Faction

After a year as leader of the Los Metros Faction, Juan Manuel “El Toro” Loisa Salinas chose to replace “El Chiricuas” as head of plaza in Miguel Alemán in April 2016, which was apparently met with resistance. “El Chiricuas” and his followers were unable to keep control of Miguel Alemán; by the end of the month, five of his associates were arrested crossing the border illegally into the United States. Around this same timeframe Alberto “El Betito” Loza Méndez, also known as “El Betillo”, the son of “El Beto” who was allegedly arrested on August 19, 2015, was named head of plaza in Camargo and Comales.

The tortured body of Gumercindo “El Águila” Gamez Villarreal was found in the trunk of a car near General Bravo, Nuevo León in August 2016. Once the head of plaza in Díaz Ordaz, “El Águila” went into hiding in early 2012 after he was accused of stealing drugs from fellow members of the CDG. By March 2016, rumors spread that he was paying to be allowed to retake control of Díaz Ordaz, which was denounced online due to rumors that he was involved in the killing of “Metro 3”, which likely derived from his close association with Abiel “R-2” Gonzalez Briones. Rumor would have it that “El Toro” had ordered the killing and “El Betito” had carried it out.

The months that followed would continue in similar fashion, in October 2016 shootouts and blockades once again broke out in Reynosa during a failed attempt to arrest “El Toro” and three weeks later Rodolfo “El Gordo Popo” Tovar Zapata, an important operator under “El Toro” who once worked for “El Hummer”, was arrested, resulting in protests that were allegedly financed by “El Toro”. A banner hung in Reynosa in January 2017 alluded to the Los Metros Faction and claimed to have helped finance the campaign of Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca, a former mayor of Reynosa during the leaderships of “El Goyo” and “El Hummer” who became governor of Tamaulipas in late 2016. In return, the cartel expected to be left alone by authorities and complained that was not the case. 

In February 2017 two bodies of alleged thieves were hanged along with a banner signed by “El Toro”.

Days later shootouts during a failed operation to arrest “El Toro” left at least 10 dead in Reynosa. “El Toro” may have fled Reynosa at this point as operations on February 21 through 22, 2017 to arrest him took place in Camargo. With his frequent escapes becoming increasingly newsworthy, two American citizens wounded by helicopter fire during actions to arrest “El Toro” in early April 2017.

This ended during an arrest operation on April 22, 2017. On that day “El Toro” was killed in Reynosa amidst shootouts and blockades when the vehicle he was trying to escape crashed and he was shot after exiting the vehicle.

Rumors would emerge that authorities did not want to capture him alive as he could reveal high level collusion with the cartel. Months later, banners against governor Cabeza de Vaca would state that he had betrayed “El Toro” despite receiving millions of dollars from the Los Metros Faction. Other rumors indicated that the location of “El Toro” had been given to authorities by a member of the Los Metros Faction and that his bodyguards had been paid to abandon him. His body was claimed by his ex-wife, a woman living in the United States who said they had been separated since 2009.

Metro 100: El Panilo

Petronilo Moreno Flores, nicknamed “El Panilo”, joined Los Zetas at some point prior to 2010. It is said that he worked under “El Lazca” and was in charge of fuel theft. Once the war broke out in 2010, “El Panilo” initially stayed with Los Zetas but eventually defected to the CDG, where he was forced to prove his loyalty before he was fully trusted. Thus he was sent to fight in San Fernando and joined Los Metros of M3, where he received the code name “Metro 70”.

On September 3, 2013, roughly two weeks after the arrest of “Mario Pelón”, the S-Mart supermarkets in Reynosa unexpectedly closed after employees were kidnapped as part of extortion by the Los Metros Faction, which led to the arrest of “El Panilo”, with some versions of events stated that he was forced to turn himself in by “Paquito”. Legal filings would take place in October 2014, apparently to keep “El Panilo” from facing federal charges. By the first of June 2015, two weeks after the arrest of “El Gafe”, “El Panilo” was said to have been released from prison.

With the return of “El Panilo” came a change of code name; by August 2015 he switched to “Metro 100”. Three months later Sergio “El Checo” Martínez Velasco, said to be an uncle of “El Panilo”, was discussed online. “El Checo Martínez” was a former police officer whose drug trafficking activities were said to have dated back to the 1990s. Closely associated with “El Goyo”, he is also believed to be “Metro 8” of the Founding Members of Los Metros and by this time frame he presented himself as a businessman who allegedly helped facilitate government protection of “El Toro” and “El Panilo”.

By early December 2015, “El Toro” designated “El Panilo” head of operations for the Los Metros Faction, though many pointed to the wrong individual in a picture that circulated at this time.

“El Panilo” continued to be a prominent member of the Los Metros Faction and was accused in the spring of 2016 of being the primary supporter of the potential return of “El Águila”, although it has also been alleged that he never truly supported “El Águila” and his actions were part of a plot to set him up. Regardless, “El Panilo” remained close to “El Toro”, whom he was said to have hid in a house he owned in January 2017 during an arrest operation. In mid-March 2017, “El Panilo” was rumored to have ordered the killing of “El Cococho”, an individual said to be an associate of “El Negrito Flores”. It is unclear if this “El Cococho” was Sergio Garza Treviño or merely shared the same alias.

With the April 22, 2017 death of “El Toro”, “El Panilo” was quickly identified as the new leader of the Los Metros Faction but opposition soon emerged. Since at least February 2016 rumors of opposition against “El Toro” within the Los Metros Faction spread online, with Reynosa sector commander Jesús “El Wero Jessy” García Handie, code name “Metro 106”, frequently mentioned among them. As fighting broke out in Reynosa on May 2, 2017, sources claimed that an alliance with “El Wero Jessy”, alternately spelled “El Guero Jessi”, at the forefront was battling “El Panilo” and his allies.

Amidst the continued violence during the month of May came politically related rumors. It was alleged that a Tamaulipas state congressman and close political ally of governor Cabeza de Vaca was a cousin of “El Panillo”. Additionally, it was rumored that Cabeza de Vaca, who had taken office in October 2016, had ordered negotiations with leaders of the various factions of the CDG in order to reach a peace agreement. One aspect of this agreement focused on the cartels receiving government protection if they eliminated crimes that directly affected average citizens. 

In this vein, around May 26, 2017 “El Panilo” was rumored to have held a meeting with high ranking members of the Los Metros Faction and announced that kidnappings, robberies, and extortion would no longer be permitted. This order was rejected by some, who forced “El Panilo” to step down as leader under the threat of death. Alternately, it was said that “El Panilo” had robbed money that “El Toro” had left behind, an allegation that “El Panilo” would personally deny. By the first week of June 2017, “El Panilo” sought to recoup leadership and asked members of the Los Metros Faction to join him or, at the very least, stay neutral in the conflict. It would be alleged that “El Negrito Flores”, “El Chiricuas”, Juan Miguel “El Miguelito” Lizardi Castro, code name “Metro 56”, and others joined the side of “El Panilo”. 

With it believed that “El Panilo” was being supported by governor Cabeza de Vaca, it was alleged that he also gained the backing of the municipal president of Río Bravo by the beginning of September 2017.

In the weeks that followed there was a notable shift, with a posterboard left with a body in Reynosa and an online message from the Matamoros Faction warning of impending attacks in Río Bravo and Reynosa. It should be noted that the message was signed by “Sr. Cortez” who many believed to be a reference to the exiled former member of the Los Metros Faction, Sergio “Cortez” Ortegón Silva. Alternatively, it is claimed that “Sr. Cortez” was merely an alias that José Alfredo “El Contador” Cárdenas Martínez, leader of the Matamoros Faction, used in this timeframe. By the end of the month messages clearly claimed that “El Panilo” was working with “Sr. Cortez” in an alliance that included another segment of the Los Metros Faction.

The citizens of Reynosa were warned in an online message from “El Panilo” in mid-October 2017 that he and his allies would be fighting for control of the city.

Around this same time it appears that Carlos “Carlitos Whiskys” Osvaldo González Escobar, code name “Pantera 7”, an ally of “El Panilo” and former underling of “Mario Pelón”, was named as head of plaza in Nuevo Progreso, where he worked to eliminate the remaining opposition. By the end of the month “El Panilo” claimed to have taken control of Río Bravo. With this there was the matter of nomenclature; while essentially a splinter group of the Los Metros Faction, “El Panilo” and his allies, sometimes referred to as Los Panilos, worked alongside the Matamoros Faction yet they appeared to operate somewhat independently. In order to account for this, the name Río Bravo Faction is sometimes assigned to describe this group. 

Along with the success of “El Panilo” in the fall of 2017 was increasing visibility of his allies Los Escorpiones, the armed wing of the Matamoros Faction, who operated both offensively in Reynosa and defensively in Río Bravo.

In December 2017 the Tamaulipas state government placed billboards offering a 2 million peso reward for information leading to the arrest of “El Panilo” as he pushed to take control of Reynosa.

As enemies fled towards the end of December 2017, audio of “El Panilo” was posted online asking those that were still opposing him to give up the fight and join him. Things changed quickly a month later. According to online posts, on January 23, 2018, “El Panilo” was killed by some of his allies during a meeting he held with them.

While Los Escorpiones denounced the traitors and vowed revenge, within days articles would speculate that the death of “El Panilo” had been faked although some claimed that he was shot and left for dead but managed to survive the attack. Regardless, a week later government officials stated that the reward for his arrest was still active due to his death being uncertain. 

Following the anniversary of the death of “El Toro”, the death toll in Reynosa stemming from the war for succession was said to number 450 and the Tamaulipas state government once again sought information to arrest “El Panilo” in June 2018, this time in conjunction with agencies from the United States. It appears that messages from the Río Bravo faction largely avoided naming “El Panilo”, although throughout the summer “El Panilo” was blamed for violence in Reynosa in conjunction with “El Miguelito” and it was claimed that he gained control of the eastern side of the city.

On October 19, 2018, nine months after he was rumored to have been killed, “El Panilo” was arrested in Matamoros by the Mexican military. To this day it is unclear to what extent his death was faked by his follwers versus an outright betrayal by some of his allies. “El Panilo” is believed to be imprisoned currently. “Carlitos Whiskys” continued as head of plaza in Nuevo Progreso for the Matamoros Faction up until his death in January 2019, while “El Negrito Flores” and “El Miguelito” continue their fight against the Los Metros Faction to this day.

Metro 28: El Pelochas

Born in 1979 or 1980, the known history of Luis Alberto Blanco Flores, nicknamed “El Pelochas”, begins in September 2003, when he was deported back to Mexico, having been found to have entered the United States illegally. At some point thereafter he joined Grupo L/Los Lobos, a subgroup of the CDG under the command of “El Karis”, who gave him the code name “L-28”. 

By 2010, “El Pelochas” was working under Alberto “El Beto Fabe” Castillo Flores, who was head of plaza in Matamoros. With the outbreak of war between Los Zetas and the CDG, “El Beto Fabe” was killed in May 2010 by orders of “Tony Tormenta” for allowing his brother Arturo “El Apache” Castillo Flores to continue to operate in Matamoros despite the fact that he was working with Los Zetas. At this point “El Pelochas” joined the cell of “El Apache” and participated in retaliatory attacks in Matamoros in June 2010. A month later, “El Apache” and some of his closest associates fled to the United States; “El Pelochas” was arrested July 23, 2010 in Brownsville, Texas by immigration officials. “El Pelochas” would be remembered for crying in court during the trial that followed and in September 2010 he pled guilty to entering the United States illegally following a prior deportation.

“El Pelochas” was deported back to Mexico in June 2012 and at some point thereafter he joined the Los Metros Faction. In early January 2015, “El Pelochas” was mentioned as operating in Río Bravo in association with “El 98”, who also was a former member of Grupo L. Although he stayed out of the spotlight, “El Pelochas” was likely heavily involved in the war with the Matamoros Faction. 

In May 2016 it was rumored that “El Pelochas” replaced “El 98” as head of plaza in Río Bravo as commanded by “El Toro”. Furthermore, it was said that he had recently been arrested but was released after paying a bribe. It appears around this time frame “El Pelochas” modified his code name to “Metro 28” despite never being a member of Los Metros of M3 and in late August 2016 it was said that he either was arrested in Río Bravo and subsequently released or narrowly managed to escape arrest. “El Pelochas” was denounced in February 2017 as being responsible for kidnappings, robberies, and extortion taking place in Río Bravo.

Fighting within the Los Metros Faction, stemming from the April 22, 2017 death of “El Toro”, broke out on May 2, 2017, with the earliest sources claiming that loyalists of “El Toro”, which included “El Panilo”, “El Pelochas” and “El Betito”, were fighting against an alliance led by “El Wero Jessi”. Two weeks later, pictures of the family of “El Pelochas” were posted online.

It should be noted that it is said that an alternate nickname, “Suegro Pelochas”, derives from the fact that “El Betito” was married to one of the daughters, making “El Pelochas” his father in law. However, it actually appears that Steven, a brother of “El Betito”, was married to a daughter of “El Pelochas” with further confusion deriving from the fact that many sources would list Steven as the true name of “El Betito”.

While there were indications of tensions between “El Pelochas” and “El Panilo” in mid-May 2017, there is no doubt that a division had taken place by May 27, 2017. One version of events would claim “El Betito” had grown tired of “El Panilo” robbing money that his uncle “El Toro” had left behind, although online comments would claim it was actually “El Pelochas” behind the theft. An alternate version stated that “El Panilo” held a meeting to put an end to kidnappings, robberies, and extortion, causing “El Pelochas” to threaten to kill “El Panilo” if he did not step down as leader of the Los Metros Faction. Regardless, it was at this time that “El Pelochas” became leader, with “El Betito” apparently becoming  head of plaza in Reynosa and possibly co-leader. It should be noted that this was not a complete surprise as comments from as early as February 2017 indicated that “El Toro” was paving the way for “El Pelochas” to take control.

Challenges quickly emerged as “El Panilo” began fighting his former colleagues. In turn, a banner signed by “El Pelochas” and “El Betito” in early June 2017 threatened the families of politicians they claimed were supporting “El Panilo”.

“El Wero Jessi” was called to a meeting on June 18, 2017 by “El Pelochas” and executed under accusations he was in communication with “El Panilo”.

Days later, a body in Reynosa  was left with a message against “El Pelochas”, “El Betito” and “El Loquillo”, who went by the code name “M19”. In late July 2017, “El Pelochas” left a message on a body as revenge against informants of the military. 

It appeared that the tide was against “El Pelochas” and “El Betito”. Rumors stated that the municipal president of Río Bravo shifted support to “El Panilo” and an attack on his office in late August 2017 was said to have been ordered by “El Pelochas”. It is not entirely clear if “El Pelochas” ever had the support of members of the Los Metros Faction in the Ribereña and even if he did, by early October 2017 it was clear that they were working with “El Panilo”. “El Pelochas” claimed in mid-October 2017 that “El Contador Cardenas” was trying to take over territory controlled by the Los Metros Faction.

Amidst rumors that the followers of “El Pelochas” and “El Beitito” were diminished, two close associates of “El Pelochas” were arrested in Río Bravo on October 19, 2017 and it appears that the Los Metros Faction had largely lost control of that city by the end of that month. It was said that “El Pelochas” fled to Reynosa thereafter, although fighting in Río Bravo would continue.

As the death toll passed 230 individuals, both sides of the war were increasingly in the spotlight. In December 2017 the Tamaulipas state government began offering a 2 million peso reward each for information leading to the arrest of “El Pelochas” and “El Betito”. Days later a billboard was vandalized near Reynosa, removing these two individuals while leaving the picture of  “El Panilo”, for whom a reward was also offered.

Online rumors began spreading on December 28, 2017 that “El Pelochas” had been killed, though days later it was said that he was merely shot in the arm, while others claimed he was gravely wounded. It was alleged that members of the Los Metros Faction in Reynosa, possibly including “El Betito” had grown tired of the acts of “El Pelochas” against innocent civilians.

A month later, on January 27, 2018, “El Betito” was killed in Reynosa along with three other individuals, including a young woman who was initially rumored to be a daughter of “El Pelochas”, during a shootout with the military.

It was reported that “El Pelochas” fled Reynosa after being shot and was initially believed to have been arrested in Querétaro in March 2018. Days later, authorities in Tamaulipas announced that they had determined it was a case of mistaken identity. In reality, reporting indicates that “El Pelochas” had fled to Monterrey after leaving Tamaulipas and sought to establish operations in Nuevo León as it appears he no longer had any power in Reynosa; at some point “El Loquillo” took the bulk of his money and disappeared.

In June 2018 the Tamaulipas state government, in conjunction with agencies from the United States, sought information on ten cartel members, including “El Pelochas”, who was arrested in Monterrey two months later, on August 30, 2018.

He was immediately transferred to Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, although he was moved out of state in February 2019. “El Pelochas” was convicted and sentenced to eleven and a half years in prison in June 2021. Since then, the children of “El Pelochas” have occasionally been reported on. In December 2018 the ex-husband of one of his daughters, Michelle, was killed in Reynosa. Additionally, all the children of “El Pelochas” allegedly appeared in videos spread online in January 2022 while shooting guns to celebrate New Year.

El Miguelín

Miguel Ángel Álvarez Campos, nicknamed “El Miguelín”, is virtually unknown compared to the others that have been written about. It is said that he is the son of a drug trafficker within the Los Metros Faction known as “El Borrado”. In April 2017, days before the death of “El Toro”, “El Miguelín” was denounced as a cocaine trafficker in Reynosa and in early May 2017 he was listed among the allies of “El Wero Jessi”. Based upon circumstantial information, it seems that “El Miguelín” either allied with “El Pelochas” against “El Panilo” or stayed neutral in the conflict.

By early October 2017 it became increasingly clear that “El Pelochas” and “El Betito” had lost support of the Los Metros Faction members in the Ribereña and, with the loss of Río Bravo to “El Panilo”, it appears that their power may have been limited to Reynosa based on changes in messaging.

With the overthrow of “El Pelochas” in late December 2017 a group that we will call the Reynosa Faction justified the attack in online messages. A post from this timeframe presents “El Pelochas” and “El Betito” fighting each other, which would indicate that Reynosa Faction were allies of “El Betito” if this is true. In this aforementioned message a “readjustment” is mentioned to be taking place within the organization, which is echoed in a message from March 2018 from the “Reynosa group” in which they claim “to be in a period of restructuring”.

Identified with the nickname “El Miguelito”, “El Miguelín” was said to be the “current leader in Reynosa CDG Metros group” on February 10, 2018. With the Tamaulipas state government announcing rewards for information on nine cartel individuals in June 2018, “El Miguelín” appeared with a new photograph and a 2 million peso reward; once again it was said online that he was the current leader of “Reynosa CDG Metros”, information apparently deriving from federal reports.

A message from the “Metros Reynosa group” against “El Panilo” appeared in July 2018 and there were rumors in early August 2018 indicating that the Reynosa Faction was asking for a ceasefire.

Following the arrest of “El Panilo” in October 2018, the Tamaulipas state government released an updated reward poster in which “El Miguelín” was listed with the aliases “El Miguelito”, “El Meme”, “M-54”, and “M-79”, although it has been said that all of these are incorrect.

A month later, a comment was made that appears to state that “El Miguelín” had been negatively affected by the reporting, although the full context is difficult to determine as the thread in which it appears was deleted. In December 2018 it was claimed that “El Miguelín” had moved to the United States and was working in home construction, apparently leaving his cartel life behind him. Nevertheless, “El Miguelín” would continue to be mentioned infrequently and was identified as the leader of Los Metros Reynosa who had taken the place of “El Pelochas” in February 2019. 

Metro 90: El Choco

While practically no information exists about Armando Daniel León García, nicknamed “El Choco”, before 2015, it is said that joined the CDG as a financial operator under “Metro 3” and received the code name “Metro 90” as a member of Los Metros of M3. He was said to be involved in smuggling weapons from the United States into Mexico as well as immigrants from Central America into the United States during the leadership of “El Gafe” and was denounced a week before “El Gafe” was arrested in April 2015. “El 98” was said to have been the origin of the information based on comments, with it said that he was trying to sow division within the Los Metros Faction.

As previously mentioned, “El 98” would lose a major battle with the Matamoros Faction in June 2015 and, coupled with rumors that “El Toro” had been trying to negotiate an end to the war, it was said that “El 98” was removed from power in early July 2015. In his place “El Miguelito” was named head of plaza in Nuevo Progreso while “El Choco” was named head of plaza in Río Bravo, bringing with him his right hand man, David “El Diablo” Garza Ávila, code name “Metro 91” and his head of security, “El Caballo”, a former bodyguard of “Metro 4”. It was rumored that followers of “El 98” were kidnapped and killed as ordered by “El Choco” and “El Miguelito” thereafter.

At the beginning of January 2016, it was rumored that “El Toro” shifted a number of individuals within the Los Metros Faction, among them “El Choco”, who became head of plaza in Camargo while “El Caballo” taking his place in Río Bravo, though the validity of this information is unclear as “El Choco” would continue to be mentioned in association with Río Bravo. Around this same time frame, “El Gordo Popo” was said to be in charge of weapons smuggling for “El Choco”. In August 2016, “El Diablo” was arrested in a suburb of Mexico City, although he was misidentified as “Metro 19”. Reporting at this time described him as a close associate of “El Toro” without any mention of “El Choco”.

On November 1, 2016, a government operation took place in Reynosa targeting a house that would later be said to be owned by “El Choco”. Comments then and the months that followed stated that “El Choco” was vastly wealthy and went as far as to claim that he was the “true leader” of the cartel. The nature of his relationship with “El Toro” is questionable, even before becoming leader of the Los Metros Faction, it was rumored that they disliked each other. In mid-March 2017 “El Panilo” was said to be attacking “El Choco” and “El Wero Jessi” over rumors that they were negotiating with another organization. 

Word spread quickly the morning of April 22, 2017 that “El Toro” had been killed and it was immediately said that the next possible leader would either be “El Choco”, “El Wero Jessi”, or “El Panilo”, although it was added that only the later two were likely. This prediction came true on May 2, 2017 as fighting broke out between “El Panilo” and “El Wero Jessy”, who was said to have “El Choco” as an ally. Alliances apparently changed by the end of the month as “El Pelochas” turned against “El Panilo”, who picked up the support of “El Choco”.

To this day, the events of January 23, 2018 are not entirely clear, as the initial claim that “El Panilo” was killed during a meeting would prove false. However, it is worth noting that an online message discussing this event named three individuals that had betrayed him: “El Miguelito”, “El Chiricuas” and “El Choco”, who was said to be the new head of plaza in Río Bravo. Of these individuals, “El Choco” is the only one that clearly turned against “El Panilo” and the Matamoros Faction. 

From this point forward “El Choco” would be identified with events in Reynosa and the Los Metros Faction. On February 1, 2018 “El Choco” was denounced online for kidnapping a water department manager in Reynosa. A month later a new head of plaza was named in Reynosa, Carlos Humberto “El Mono” Acuña de Los Santos, a former member of the military that deserted May 19, 2014 and joined the Los Metros Faction as an underling of “El Panochitas”. It was also said that “El Mono” was receiving orders from “El Choco” and “El Boludo”, who had been in hiding nearly two years after his alleged involvement in the death of “El Beto” and likely returned following the death of “El Betito”. In November 2018 the nightclub 300 in Reynosa was opened by “El Choco”, having been constructed by “El Toro”.

A banner signed by the four “new bosses of Camargo and Reynosa” against Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, governor Cabeza de Vaca, and the mayor of Reynosa were hung in that city on the morning of March 8, 2019, with the first two “jefes” listed being “El Choco” and “El Boludo”. This alliance appears to have been relatively short lived as Zenón Guadalupe “El Pezón” Ruiz Ortegón, who emerged in the summer of 2018 and became one of the four “jefes”, killed an accountant of the Los Metros Faction known as “El Gordo Sexy” in mid-July 2019. This killing was believed to stem from “El Choco”, “El Boludo”, and “El Pezón” working together to remove the fourth “jefe” from power and an attack on state police officers in Reynosa was claimed to be part of this power grab. By the end of August 2019, it was said that their plan had failed.

It appears that “El Choco” fled Reynosa around this time frame and was said to spend most of his time in Saltillo, Coahuila and Monterrey, Nuevo León. Nevertheless, “El Choco” would be spotted in Reynosa shopping in September 2020 with bodyguards and at a club in October 2020. Around 2:00 AM, on May 8, 2021, “El Choco” was killed while leaving a bar in Monterrey where he was said to be frequently seen. As for the other two “jefes” mentioned, “El Boludo” disappeared from the cartel scene once again in 2019 and “El Pezón” remained active in the Los Metros Faction up until September 2021, when he was killed.

Metro 300: El Primito

César Morfín Morfín, nicknamed “El Primo” and the diminutive “El Primito”, was born December 31, 1987 in Colima, Colima, the fourth child of Remigio Morfín Moreno and María de Jesús Morfín Galván. “El Primito” is often associated with the village of Las Naranjas, located in the municipality of Pihuamo in Jalisco, where he likely growed up, although a song dedicated to him in January 2018 mentions him living in the United States, specifically Illinois, as a teenager. It is frequently said that “El Primito” has family in McAllen, Texas and in one version of his history he came to Tamaulipas with the intention of crossing into the United States as an illegal immigrant and joined the CDG after this attempt failed.

An alternate history claims that in the late 2000s “El Primito” was sent to Tamaulipas on behalf of Los Flores, an apparent reference to Audias “El Jardinero” Flores Silva, who was likely a member of the Milenio Cartel in this timeframe. With an apparent focus on Río Bravo, “El Primito” was said to arrange for drug shipments belonging to Los Flores to be crossed through CDG territory by paying them fees for access. With the outbreak of war between Los Zetas and the CDG in 2010, it was said that “El Primito” arranged for money, weapons, and gunmen to be sent to support the CDG. Likewise, he aided the Los Metros Faction in the same way in their war with the Matamoros Faction. It was further claimed that “El Pelochas” put him in command of Nuevo Progreso, possibly in 2015, for a short time before “El Toro” repositioned “El Primito” due to his talent at negotiating. 

While direct confirmation of this version of events is lacking, some aspects of this story echo information that is presented elsewhere. For instance, shortly after the arrest of “Juan Perros” in 2014 “El Guero Cleofas” was said to have been receiving methamphetamines from “people from Guadalajara, Jalisco” for “years”, a clear allusion to Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), which sprung from the aforementioned Milenio Cartel in the summer of 2010. Based on circumstantial evidence, one can speculate why “El Toro”, who is said to have owned a gold plated gun that he had received as a gift from “El Primito”, wanted to take advantage of the negotiating skills of “El Primito”. In January 2016, Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca was selected to run for governor of Tamaulipas and won the June 2016 election despite allegations of his cartel ties. As previously mentioned, banners would claim that “El Toro” had given millions of dollars to the campaign of Cabeza de Vaca and it is quite possible that “El Primito” was involved as a message signed by “El Primito” against Cabeza de Vaca two years later would allege that the leader of the CJNG, Nemesio Rubén “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, had financed his campaign. However, if one assumes both messages are true, it is unclear if “El Toro” and the CJNG provided financing as a joint venture or independently.

Following the death of “El Beto” in May 2015, it appears that “El Guero Cleofas” took his place as head of plaza in Camargo and “El Betito” took over in April 2016. Based on comments made, “El Primito”, who was also known as “Comandante Rojo”, was placed as head of plaza in Camargo around October 30, 2016.

It was also stated that “El Primito” was friends with Los Bazan, which may be a reference to Juan Bazán Alanís and his son Juan Bazán Jr. Thus, when “El Toro” was said to have fled Reynosa in February 2017, the military operations that took place in Camargo on the 21st and 22nd were countered by “El Primito”.

After the April 22, 2017 death of “El Toro”, it was heavily rumored that he had been betrayed by fellow members of the Los Metros Faction, with it specifically claimed “El Wero Jessi” was collaborating with a “high ranking drug trafficker” from another state who was bribing the military to target “El Toro”, as well as paying off underlings of “El Toro” so that he could be located and killed without his bodyguards protecting him. A comment at that time claimed that “El Primito” was bringing in people from Nayarit, Michoacán, and Jalisco to Camargo as he was being backed by “El Mencho”. In May 2017 rumors indicated that CJNG members had been arriving in Reynosa over the “past few months”, which was fueling conflict between CDG factions.

As fighting between “El Panilo” and “El Pelochas”/“El Betito” broke out, it was initially claimed that “El Primito” was backing the later group. However, an online message from September 2017 lists Camargo, Díaz Ordaz, and Miguel Alemán before the signees, which included “El Panilo” and “Sr Cortez”, implying that those cities were part of the alliance. Regardless of this uncertainty, sources in early October 2017 and late November 2017 said that “El Primito” was among the allies of “El Panilo” and reporting from March 2018 indicated that people were being brought from Michoacán, Guerrero, and Oaxaca to aid “El Panilo” against “El Pelochas”.

Additionally, messages from “El Señor Pariente” and “Operativa Cromo” appeared on poster boards and online in November 2017. While the identity of “El Señor Pariente” is not clear, the fact that Cromo is the code name for Camargo makes it likely that it was either an alias that “El Primito” used or someone associated with him. 

With “El Pelochas” appearing to lose control of Río Bravo, Reynosa became the primary focus on the conflict and “El Primito” signed a message alongside “El Panilo” and Los Escorpiones in early December 2017.

Following the overthrow of “El Pelochas” in late December 2017, the Reynosa Faction would specifically say that their decision had nothing to do with outsiders such as “El Primito” and a message from “El Panilo” inviting the former followers of “El Pelochas” to join him names “El Primito” as one of his allies. 

By the fall of 2017 “El Primito” was being identified as the leader of Miguel Alemán and the Ribereña in general, as such, we will refer to the segment of the Los Metros Faction under “El Primito” as the Ribereña Faction from this point forward. With this in mind, an online message in early January 2018 regarding the overthrow of “El Pelochas” is worth noting. At first the message denouncing “El Contador Cardenas” and “El Panilo” appears to be from the Reynosa Faction as it says “we ran out pelochas for being a rat and abusive and because none of us wanted him”, yet sections such as “Rivereña from Mier, Miguel Alemán, Camargo, Diaz Ordaz, we don’t want a boss…if those from reynosa accept him as their absolute leader that’s their problem…” imply that it was actually the Ribereña Faction behind this message.

The status of “El Primito” around the time that “El Panilo” was falsely rumored to have been killed on January 23, 2018 is not clear; unlike several other prominent individuals from this time frame, “El Primito” is not mentioned in any of the messages regarding the “traitors”. However, there are indications of a division taking place based on an article from March 13, 2018 discussing forces from out of state that had been previously sent to back “El Panilo” in his war with “El Pelochas”, likely via “El Primito”. In this reporting, it is stated that “friction” occurred in the alliance when the Matamoros learned that the doors were being opened for the CJNG to operate in Tamaulipas. 

Fighting between cartel forces and the Mexican military broke out the afternoon of February 28, 2018 in Miguel Alemán and Camargo. It would be claimed that this event was actually a failed government operation to arrest a high ranking member of the CJNG that was meeting with “El Primito” to plan taking control of Reynosa in the wake of “El Pelochas” fleeing Tamaulipas and “El Betito” being killed.

Days later it was reported that “El Mono” was the new head of plaza in Reynosa “receiving orders from el metro 90 el choco and boludo on behalf of the ‘jorobado’ el primito, they want to collect all the plaza fees for el primito this is the issue causing the war with el metro 56, metro 100, and metro 85”.

Alliances were becoming clear in early March 2018: “El Primito”, along with “El Choco” and “El Boludo” were against “El Miguelito”, “El Panilo”, and “El Chiricuas”. An aspect to this worth noting is the claim in January 2018 that El Choco” would become head of plaza in Río Bravo after turning against “El Panilo”. A frequently repeated rumor states that “El Primito” bought Río Bravo from “El Choco” for $5 million without specifying when this allegedly happened, although circumstantial evidence would point to this time frame. 

Frequently confused with Emilio Montes Sermeño, Luis Miguel “El Flako Sierra” González Mercado, who is alternately claimed to have the last name Betancourt, was allegedly released from prison in late 2017 or early 2018 and became an ally of “El Primito”. Fighting in Reynosa broke out the night of March 24, 2018 after “El Flako Sierra” attacked a ranch in El Charco, which is frequently associated with “El Panilo”. In turn, twenty vehicles were sent to counterattack the forces of “El Flako Sierra” in Reynosa. The presence of “El Flako Sierra” in Reynosa would be evident at the end of April 2018 as he provided gifts for El Día del Niño.

In early May 2018 “El Flako Sierra” and “Operativa Grupo Metros” announced a campaign against the “traitors” from the Los Metros Faction that were working with Los Escorpiones of the Matamoros Faction and sought to regain control of Río Bravo and Progreso, which was claimed to belong to “Cartel del Golfo Grupo Metros”. On May 8, 2018 it was said that Los Escorpiones attacked Reynosa, leaving an associate of “El Flako Sierra”, Jorge Marín González, wounded. Three days later, “El Flako Sierra” retaliated by leaving bodies in plastic bags outside a supermarket in Río Bravo and in styrofoam coolers along the highway. Towards the end of the month “El Flako Sierra” was nearly arrested but managed to escape or bribe his way out.

During the first week of June, attacks directed towards governor Cabeza de Vaca took place. On June 4, 2018 a brother of a member of his staff was killed in Reynosa and days later the headquarters of the political party he belonged to was shot at in the capital city of Ciudad Victoria. A message signed by “El Primito” and “Flako Sierra” was left behind alleging that he was supporting “El Panilo” and Los Escorpiones despite receiving campaign funds from “El Mencho” of the CJNG.

By the middle of the month the Tamaulipas state government issued a most wanted list of nine individuals and while “El Primito” did not appear, a reward of 1.5 million pesos was offered for “El Flako Sierra”. A government building was attacked in Ciudad Victoria on June 24, 2018, this time wounding an agent. The campaign of “El Flako Sierra” ended on June 30, 2018; he was arrested in Reynosa along with Ángel Francisco “El Pako” Martínez, who may actually be Paquito”, during a military operation that triggered roadblocks.

The loss of “El Flako Sierra” was not the only problem “El Primito” faced; it appears that the CDN began attacking Miguel Alemán in late July 2018, possibly prompting “El Primito” to reach out to the Matamoros Faction to discuss a pact of nonaggression. The Ribereña Faction apparently  mounted a counteroffensive against the CDN and as rumors continued that “El Primito” was involved in fighting, with a major battle taking place in Los Guerra the night of August 20, 2018 through the following morning in which so called “monster trucks” were used for the first time in years. On September 5, 2018 members of the Ribereña Faction fled a military operation in Camargo, leaving behind their weapons and four trucks. A caravan of their vehicles was caught on video the afternoon of September 17, 2018 as they were traveling to reinforce Los Guerra amidst another battle against the CDN. A week later the military clashed with the Ribereña Faction near Falcón Lake, as well as Nueva Ciudad Guerrero and Ciudad Mier and major fighting between cartels diminished thereafter.

At this point an online message from the Matamoros Faction mentioning the war between “El Primito” and the CDN claimed that he lacked the full support of the Los Metros Faction in Reynosa, with many refusing to take orders from him. In mid-October 2018, days before “El Panilo” was arrested, lists of members of the Los Metros Faction and Matamoros Faction spread online, with “El Primito”, whose real name remained unreported, identified with the code name “Metro 300”. Considered a ghost as no pictures of “El Primito” had surfaced either, online reporters believed they had figured out his identity on October 30, 2018. Originally from Reynosa, Bartolo “El Primo” Rodarte Castillo was a member of the CDG who was arrested in September 2012, at which point he was head of plaza in Monterrey. At some point he was released and became leader of the CDG in Nuevo León in March 2015 for an unknown faction, though it is likely the Los Metros Faction under “El Gafe”. Along with 18 underlings who carried out fuel theft, he was arrested carrying a pistol engraved with “Primo CDG” in Cadereyta in May 2015, during the leadership of “El Toro”.

Cocaine and money were seized by the military in early November 2018 in Camargo; a month later the CDN and the Ribereña Faction fought in Ciudad Mier. It is possible that the Ribereña Faction was receiving support from the military as they were attacked by the CDN in Nueva Ciudad Guerrero in this time frame. Members of the military once again clashed with cartel forces in Nueva Ciudad Guerrero the military on January 10, 2019, the same day that a major battle took place between the CDN and the Ribereña Faction in a rural area of Miguel Alemán, leaving numerous burned bodies and vehicles as evidence of what had transpired.

On February 2, 2019 the CDN made an incursion into the city of Miguel Alemán, where they left two decapitated heads and a banner against “El Primito”, who they misidentified as Bartolo Rodarte Castillo. Two weeks later, major media would make the same mistake in identifying “El Primito”, who was reported as the leader of Los Metros in Miguel Alemán while “El Miguelín” was said to be the leader of Los Metros in Reynosa. 

Before dawn on March 8, 2019 a banner was hung in Reynosa directed at Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, governor Cabeza de Vaca, and the mayor of Reynosa. Signed by “Choco M90”, “Boludo M44”, “Primo M300”, and “Pezon M12”, who claimed to be the new “jefes” of Camargo and Reynosa; it appears that the Ribereña Faction and Reynosa Faction were fully reunited. Around the same time, fighting against the CDN took place in Los Guerra and a day later a councilman of Miguel Alemán was kidnapped by CDN forces; he appeared in an interrogation video a week later in which he confessed to having ties with the Los Metros Faction. Roadblocks in Los Guerra on the morning of March 16, 2019 preceded the discovery of a burnt vehicle and decapitated body nearby on a rural road outside Miguel Alemán. A battle between the CDN and Los Metros Faction began the night of March 22, 2019 through the following morning spread into Los Guerra.

While it appears that fighting between the CDN and the Los Metros Faction waned for several months, internal issues emerged in the summer of 2019. For months rumors had spread that members of the Los Metros Faction were plotting to betray “El Primito”. In mid-July 2019 it is believed that “El Choco”, “El Boludo”, and “El Pezón” sought to remove “El Primito” from power and killed his accountant known as “El Gordo Sexy”. Opposition emerged in Miguel Alemán on August 6, 2019 as “El Sánchez” refused to hand over control of the plaza. Mentioned as an associate of “El Primito” as far back as October 2016, “El Sánchez” is said to have paid for a song about “El Primito” by Beto y sus Canarios that was released in February 2018; this musical group is from Huetamo, Michoacán, where “El Sánchez” is believed to have been born. Having remained in the shadows up until this time, a picture of “El Primito” was released online on August 10, 2019 as well as his true name, with it said that he fled Reynosa at an unspecified point and was hiding in Las Naranjas, Jalisco.

Beginning on August 12, 2019 the CDN mounted an incursion into territory controlled by the Los Metros Faction, including Ciudad Mier, Los Guerra, Miguel Alemán, where a military base in the Linda Vista neighborhood was attacked, and Camargo. The Los Metros Faction clashed with the CDN at various points over roughly 24 hours, leading to incidents of crossfire as dozens of vehicles, including “monster trucks”, participated in the fighting.

Two weeks later, “El Primito” was reported to be back in Tamaulipas and took control of the Los Metros Faction as sole leader. “El Choco” fled, yet he was killed in May 2021, allegedly as ordered by “El Primito”. “El Pezón” was apparently forgiven and allowed to continue as a member of the Los Metros Faction up until September 2021, when he was killed, allegedly as ordered by “El Primito”. At the time of this writing, “El Primito” remains leader of the Los Metros Faction despite occasional clashes with other members of the cartel and rumors of opposition in Reynosa.


  1. It's just a matter of time before someone asks what happened to R1, the answer is no one knows for sure.

    1. Primary: Independent
      Secondary: Ties to Isidro Meza Flores

    2. That's a real mystery (although I've seen pictures an alleged R1 with a receding hairline).

    3. He’s still alive

    4. He left to texas

    5. Is the Gulf Cartel Or CDG the same as the Gulf Cartel in Columbia? I know the Mexican Gulf Cartel is one of the if not the oldest cartel in Mexico.

    6. 10:22

      In Colombian it's Clan del Golfo and they're not the same as Cartel Del Golfo from Mex.

    7. Would love to see more content on primito and his crew, apparently he has all his parientes with leadership/commanding positions such as his brothers R8, El Rayo, and Remy. Ive also heard mentions of El Bayo and R9 in corridos that shout Primito and the metros out, but little information on all of those mentioned has been posted. El Rayo (the oldest brother) is said to be Primos right hand man and R8 (alvaro) being in charge of operations as well. Ive also noticed people fail to mention the name change to Metros Nueva Generacion, due to the CJNG flag primito carries

    8. Primito has got to where he's at because of the realtives he his in Jalisco like his uncles.... Meaning he naturally has hugeeeee lines of credit with them for merca...
      Something that not many people besides real jefes have like Coss/TT/Z3/40&42 etc etc.
      But the mentioned had to work & prove it to wholesale sellers in Guatemala/Colombia & they had NO relatives to help them....

      For primito its his direct family & maybe even @ his level now...
      He along with his family may be buying the merca from the guatemaltecos or Colombianos themselves...
      This is $$$ and powerrr

      I'm honestly surprised they haven't gunned to arrest or anything for him & his organization
      Because he's probably ona Gringo Mike level...
      Perhaps the biggest from cdg-Metrosexuales as there not worth a fuck compared to scorpions...
      But thats another story

    9. They also seem to he thriving with the CJNG alliance, people in Jalisco claim him to he primarily CJNG, prob explains why he named his cell Metro Nueva Generacion

    10. If that Metros nueva generación is true, they don’t seem to be obliging to it. In their mantas and videos they still say CDG. Haven’t seen one yet that they refer to themselves as Metros NG. Even in Primitos newest corrido he says he puro CDG…On a different note, great article. That’s alot of work and it’s appreciated. Thank you Itlzli & Char. You guys are top notch. Keep the Tamaulipas stories coming plz.

    11. Recently, CDN posted a propaganda video referring to them as Metro Nueva Generacion, Luis R released a song for both of the Morfin brothers and the lyrics stated “CDGN el chaleco las train, las iniciales que an de resaltar”. Apparently there’s some in fighting withn the metros bc some of then dont agree with the CJNG alliance

  2. Took me week to read the article

    1. Wow, great article!!! Thanks BB Staffers!!!! Happy Passover 2024!!

    2. Orale Ricardo Pancho Triller Fernandez, Lopez, Pacheco, Zambrano, Orelleno, Hernandez, del Carmen, del Rancho.
      Welcome back!

    3. At 8:51
      who name Richard with 20 names?

  3. Anyone knows what happened to el R1 Juan Reyes Mejía-González he was the leader of Los Rojos . He saved CDS El Azul's life. He was on the corrido song of Beto Quintanilla "escolta suicida" giving orders to the original Zetas .some say he joined CDS .
    Could he really be Sicario 006?

    1. There are so many conspiracies theories around el Commandante R-1.
      He is legendary in CDG history.
      Attentamente El Chimichanha

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. CDS 1114 fangirls can only dream about that

    4. 2:03 listen to the song relatos de Juan José

    5. @11:14 it was Miguel Gringo Mike that saved him in valle hermoso.
      when mario pelon x20 had a trap for him and had killed Z18 Guerra by betrayal.
      Azul had a convoy and was in balle hermoso and Geingo Mike tipped him off and sent his guys to defend azul.
      Back when They were XXX triple X.
      The federation even posted a manta in valle hermoso calling x20 a traitor after that

  4. What a great job of an article.

  5. So basically you don’t last long in charge of the Metros if you are around Tamaulipas…. No wonder Primito stays in Jalisco.

  6. Like the saying goes, Todays allies are tomorrow's enemies and vice versa. Los Metros went from being the liberators of Tamaulipas from Z control under M3 to the ones making alliances with the San Fernando Zetaz and Jaliskos under Primita. Not sure if it is accurate but didn't hold Metros under M3 have an alliance with la Tuta and FM in the Zs vs Golfo years.

    1. More so the Metamoros faction wanted the alliance with the Sinaloa cartel and los templarios against los Zetas, The reynosa golfos didnt really want to be cool with the sinaloas or michoacanos. To this day Grupo Escorpion has an alliance with la chapiza, and outside of Tamaulipas and nuevo leon the Metros have lost all their territory. Grupo Escorpion are more powerful than Reynosa

    2. 1:24 also a faction within CDG Matamoros lead by a Cardenas has a truce with MZ/Cabreras . In parts of Couhila and Tamaulipas CDG passes CDS product.

    3. It’s hard to keep count of the betrayals within the Metros

    4. Props to Itzli and Char/MIKE7. This is a definitive article/book of those who have been jefes of Los Metros.
      Is that picture supposed to be of a dead El Mellado? I seen the one where half of his face is compared to a known picture of him. Found the BB article that had it but it was no longer available.
      Initially wasn't he known as "El Primito de Camargo"?
      La Nueva Federación/Carteles Unidos were CDG, LFM/CT and CDS against Los Zetas.
      CDG were fighting and "leading the troops", LFM/CT sent sicarios to help in the war to secure the plazas as they were trafficking through Tamaulipas and CDS was supplying weapons and a little manpower. That was my understanding of it as it was being reported here and other blogs.

    5. El Metro 3 si la llevaba muy bien con Los Michoacanos

    6. One of chapo’s daughter was/is living under the protection of CDG Tampico.

    7. @7:20 I appreciate the kind words. Yes the picture is allegedly of El Mellardo, it came out immediately after he was killed but there is some debate if it is him or one of his underling. You are correct, for quite some time Primito was known as "El Primito de Camargo", it took a while before he was known enough that the Camargo part was dropped in references.

    8. 2:54 it was rumored that Primito is the one who gave up Toro M42 and Guero Jessy. Considering what happened to Pezon Metro 12 and Choco Metro 90, it is a fair assumption

    9. @ 12:15
      All I know is that notany @ all had nowhere near the pull/power to setup toro.
      Maybe it was primito as only someone on his lvl could pull that

    10. Respondiendo @12:15 escuché una anécdota cuando mataron a toro un sicario en Camargo dice que su comandante no dice quien pero estaban en Camargo dijo no ya no llegamos está lejos con una risa media burlona hace suponer que lo dejaron solo o lo pusieron

  7. @ Hearts Itzli
    Could y'all make ane updated article on the war in Zacatecas

  8. Brilliant article, incredible journalism. Thank you very much.


  9. Amazing read/info

    Notable things
    *Hummer was #2 in Z's during 05' and challenged Goyo with a grenade to his business
    *Goyo was pushed out for stopping casinos owned by a stepson of vicente fox --> Then being immeditaley captured shortly after
    *Hummer had reyno plaza/got arrested --> Went to Karis --> Then Karis killd with Fed police/Z3 men

    Also that 2007 Z/cdg meeting was in Reyno at a soccer field right behind la smart, where there were hundreds if teucks/suvs & everyone was there. TT/Gama/Coss/Karis/Amarillo/Xw etc etc
    100 trucks came in from valle hermoso & it was z3.

    Hummer was wild
    he was the one that threatened to shoot 40/42 bros when his muchacho lost a load in Reyno & 40 wanted the $$$ from it.
    They had his muchacho ina house & 40 was trying to figure out it was lost/gone or "lost" as in he took it.
    Hummer found out from z3, went and put a stop to them.
    He didn't pay for him or the load either.
    Chalked it up to business.
    But not even Treviño bros stepped to him
    Wonder what he thinks of all this

    40/42 were scared/weary of Ardilla too.
    He was more ofa Z3 henchman but worked under Taliban moving tons of mota.
    Short/tiny guy would walk into the tienditas and ask why the beer was so expensive. Always coked out & you never really knew with him. Like a loose cannon. More than 40, 40 was more business/resonable

    Interesting how none of Z3s partners/some family have ever been mentioned before.
    Even when they worked with guys like 40/Coss/Z3... Guess the business guys are always under the radar.

    This is probably one of the best Z/cdg articles I've ever read.
    Links are amazing

    That M3 pic with rifle is old school
    Some1 must have submitted that, never saw before

    1. Only people its missing would be
      Regelio Diaz Cuellar El Rojo - Talibans boss/associate
      Regelio Diaz Contreras El XR - Rojos kid, he was the one mentioned as "XR" en corrido de los Zetas by Beto
      Victor Manuel El meme loco/Cabezon - Karis's boss/beto cabezon corrido
      Zeferino Pena Cuellar Zefe -M3's first boss
      Think this is every1 besides like Z1 & arruro pedraza aguirre Osiels boss in Moros Initially
      Maybe chuta paratrooper of la Brigada Blanca o Vampiros in Mty

    2. Rogelio Diaz ( comandante rojos ) and his son were arrested in 2008 in ciudad Victoria. They were pure gulf..not specifically metros. When they got released they continue to run CV But under old school zetas flag. Because ZVE run ciudad Victoria..but you never hear anything about them..they don't leave bodies in the streets with narcomantras

    3. Todo Tamaulipas le temía al Hummer .. tamaulipecos kept in check por un gallo 100% Potosíno !!

    4. Appreciate the great info you included, so much of the old stuff has disappeared over the years, for instance the soccer field, I had forgotten that detail until you mentioned it. As for the M3 pic, I actually found it on a Facebook page, it allegedly was taken while he was still a police officer.

    5. @8:44am

      Get this, Lucio Lucky Z use to be a taquero for a little bit before z1 recruited him after ejercito lol!
      Just goes to show how normal most of these guys were.

      Hummer was the only guy in Reyno allowed with a hummer during his era as well lmao.
      A buddy of ours came into reyno ona weeknd and got his H2 hummer stolen & had to pay Hummers people to get it back I rhink they were called Los Halcones then..
      And was never allowed to bring it or anyone else with a hummer...
      He was the only 1 with a H2 if not itd get stolen and you'd have to pay even if you were connected.
      Fucking wild ass vato.
      He ended up stealing another narcs girl lol. Trying to remeber who from cdg lol. Bitch was even more wild then him
      Also sergio concord was Hummers main empleado and sergio would report to gringo mike. Gringo mike got big under hummer. 1-2 directly levels under don goyo then

      Lazca had a range rover a silver one.
      Him & hummer would shut down streets when they were in the puteros like El Black Cat in Reyno.(Mainly hummer)
      Z3 would always be alone and liked to wear all black even as a civillian. Hummer always had sus achinchinles de los halcones.
      I remeber once both of them stayed drinking perico'd out and fucking whores for days straight.
      El ejercito would would ignore when they'd pass ina convoy.
      Shit like that was scary in the mid 2000s. Noone would ever hear/see anything like that then.
      Plus the Zs before everyone knew who they were would openly carry firearms in public then say early 2000s.Federales and Ejercito would just ignore them & act lile they wouldn't see them at the Ferias. So people use to think Zs were actual federales/ejercito.

      Mamito was probably the most chill/normal one. He sometimes wouldn't do what he was told and they'd punish him for days locked alone ina room. Muy suave was what Ardilla would say.

      Z3 had lotts of family involved as well. Liked to hunt @ privada ranches in Coahulia. He went to europe I think for medical reasons once too.
      I never heard much of 40 then as he wasn't big yet. But the biggest rhing was that he had all the US buyers/contacts...
      All that Z gafe training doesnt mean shit if you cant offload ur merca...
      Which if exactly what 40/42 could do.
      Most of the Zs besides like z3/taliban/Lucky/Mamito/Hummer/Pita weren't anywhere near rich or had much $$$.

      Also all these guys mentioned were the cartel/mx side guys Only....
      Noone on US side gets memtioned or is known as guys like Coss/Taliban/z3/40 treated them like there aces/gold coins.
      Since they operate on us side/being in the $$$/can get easily taken or offered bette prices from some1 else.
      Gringo was always treated as royalty & he wasa us citizen operating out of Reyno. That's pretty amazing to achieve.

      Rojo was also el Surtidor del cartel by beto
      Cobrador de la mafia was el amarillo galarza coronado
      el Gordo paz was coss
      plenty others by beto
      Hummer got along with chuy quintanilla more as he was more wild

  10. Kudos to Itzli & Char (MIKE7) very detailed very informative .you deserve a Buchanan del 21 and a 12 pack of Modelo .

    1. No doubt. This was a great article and extensive. I do not understand why Mexico is such a shit hole when the womans are so womanly and hot. And the men are so manly macho or not.

  11. I love borderland beat. I'm more addicted to it then whack ass tiktok

    1. That's koo foo

    2. I'm addicted to Chars Throw-back Thursday. I can't wait to see what he has in the store for Tomorrow.


    3. 8:32 😂 LoL

    4. @8:24
      Me three.

    5. 8:24 me toooooo
      That make me the 4th.

  12. Thank you for writing the article. I have a much better understanding of the Los Metros organization. It makes reading about the news in the Metros area more interesting.

    1. I really appreciate this comment. This article is way long, I was tempted to break it up in parts but was hoping by keeping it one article it would be a good single reference but I feared it went so deep that only people already versed in the CDG/Los Metros would enjoy so I am very glad that you found it useful.

    2. Nah itzli, that's some old school forum shit! Great article man!

  13. This was a great article. Could you do one like this timeline but about zetas veija escuela? From 2016-2023. You have many leaders you could do articles about like the blog above. EL Oaxaca, comandante rojos ( ciudad Victoria ) and his son who continue to run CV...they were arrested together back in 2008 I believe. Also you have Pancho correon and his brother who were killed around the time el toro got killed. La barbie who was supposed to be the leader of ZVE was arrested in Jalisco in 2019 or 2018. Also with the war in San Fernando right now you have ( los Sierra's ) which I can't find much info about but el pawa was known as sierra 4 and el Falco sierra was another comandante for ZVE.

    1. C. Victoria is not exclusive to ZVE. They don't “run it.”

    2. I really overdid it with this article and need to take a week or two away from writing to focus on my job and home but next article will actually be about San Fernando. I do have multiple articles that I have tentatively planned, including the formation of ZVE, it's just a matter of how quickly and what order I decide to write.

    3. @7:48 exactly
      Not going to lie I was really impressed when CDN got el Oaxaca arrested. He was with Rex Z12 that time but Rex got away by leaving his buddy. Cdn sent the info to them

      Plus they even humiliated Z12 when he got to jail was insanee wilddd.
      Guess 40 really does hav all his pull as hes never been extradited

    4. Comprehensive, well thought-out article..

    5. @1235 escorpiones are in CD Victoria. ZVE isn’t “running it.”

    6. @ 5:48
      Yes, it was apparent when oaxaca/z12 got arrested/killed.
      Who from escorpiones the biggest?

      They've always been much better than Metrosexuales besides Primito...
      Maybe because they had Tormenta as og leader & his people are better traficantes than metros?
      What do you think

  14. * CONTINUE * Chuy sierra or sierra 7 is the leader of San Fernando and comandante Nico. Also coma pitalua or (z10) has disappeared since the last banner was signed by him and el rex z12 in 2016. It was also signed by z7 which since mamito cooperated it has to be a nickname for a different member or high respect. ZVE have kept a low profile but there's a lot of subject matter there to do another blog like this one but with ZVE.

    1. Zve are nothing bt thieves now

  15. Being a police officer does not preclude membership in the cell.

  16. Ninguno de los metros valio verga. Y ahora son las putas de las jaliscas.

    1. M3 and Toro were the ones kept it together

    2. @12:10 es por que M3 era muy bueno con todos y los trataba como sus hijos....
      El problema de eso es que no aprenden como mover merca y acer $$$$

      Por eso casi todos los traicionan los mismos y son mas comandantes y secuestradores que traficantes
      No hay mucho dinero de comandante y ariesgas la vida

  17. Que segun Yahir Saldivar ya le hizo rola belica a la Primita y sus Metras Nueva Generacion 🤦‍♂️. Pronto van a salir los corridos de mariachis belicos de Jalisko 🤡🤣🤣. MATAMOROS > REYNOSA

    1. I was just listening to Yahir Saldivar "Cumbia Belica de la Primisa". So all his songs have always been about Scorpion group . Now he is singing about Primito from los Metros ! You think he was forced to sing about them ?

    2. After SC 9 was killed in a topon and Yahir was singing in his funeral. Metros threatened him saying if he came near Reynosa he was gonna get killed so maybe that's why he did them a song lol

    3. 10:21 Quiere fama el morro y le va a salir caro porque le tira directas a los que eran su plebada

  18. Many singers sing to different cartels. However this line can be taken as disrespectful to Grupo Scorpiones ="topones contra escorpiones somos los mejores le damos una recia"
    "in gunfights against scorpions ,we are the best we give them a beating "
    hopefully Yahir is safe.
    Narco Corridos,Narco Cumbias Narco Rap are dangerous business .
    remember Rapper 50/50

    1. Thanks for making my point really clear, the fact that he mentioned the rivals by name (directly) rather than in an indirect fashion as most of the Escorpiones songs are is a big NO NO 🤦‍♂️

  19. Mellado10 He was a soccer fan. I remember that a reliable source told me that he had a soccer team where he also played and that in 2012 he had an accident where he almost died since he had open heart surgery.


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