His arrest is the latest of several high-profile wins by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in his war … His contact with the police in Matamoros marked the life of the Cárdenas Guillén clan; federal reports of the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) suggest that the drug lord had solid business relations with police and military men. Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report, Border / Cartel ChroniclesCrimeBorder ViolenceCartel ViolenceGulf CartelMatamoros. When the fighting broke out in Reynosa, Antonio and Los Escorpiones, his private army, made their way into Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas and took the city from Zetas's control. Los Metros is a faction of a Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Gulf Cartel.The group was formed in the late 1990s during the reign of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the former leader of the cartel, to provide security to the organization's leaders as the cartel's armed wing.The leader of Los Metros, Mario Ramirez Treviño, alias X-20, was arrested on 17 August 2013. Witnesses reported seeing military men carrying guns, and armed Gulf Cartel members in their own military uniforms. The drug lord had been singled out as being responsible for the recent rescue of more than 480 kidnapped Central American migrants headed to Texas and beyond. DEA Map of Gulf Cartel operations. Cardenas Guillen and the Gulf Cartel. Gulf Cartel: Sergio Enrique Ruiz Tlapanco: El Tlapa: $15M: Captured: 2009-09-08: 28: … "Thanks to the army, families are coming back," said a school principal from Ciudad Mier. Born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Antonio initially worked as a car washer at a local police station with his brother Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, former leader of the cartel. [38][39][40], The corpse of Antonio Ezequiel was given to Hermelinda Rivera (wife) and Carla Elizabeth Cárdenas Rivera (daughter) by the PGR at the Servicio Médico forensic installations in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas on 9 November 2010. [7] Sporadic gunfire was reported in the city and in Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, a city south of Matamoros. Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby 21 Jul 2019. [14], In 2003, Osiel was arrested in Matamoros following a shootout with the Mexican military, and was extradited to the United States in 2007. [320] They have also been reported to steal vehicles. [53] His nephew Rafael Cárdenas Vela became the regional leader of the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros but he was displaced by Costilla Sánchez and was arrested on 20 October 2011. [28], Antonio Ezequiel was killed on 5 November 2010 following an eight-hour shootout between gunmen of the Gulf Cartel and soldiers of the Mexican Navy in his hometown of Matamoros, Tamaulipas. [56], Shortly after Antonio Ezequiel was killed, a mood of uncertainty surrounded civilians and authorities. His aggressive campaign against organized crime successfully removed many drug cartel leaders from Mexico's leading drug trafficking organizations. Several municipal and transit police officers – who were on Los Zetas's payroll – were hung from light poles as a message from Antonio to his rivals. [9][12], Under orders of his brother Osiel, Antonio Ezequiel ordered the drug lord Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa (alias El Goyo) and his henchmen to execute 6 prison guards in Matamoros on 20 January 2005, reportedly as a reprisal for Osiel's treatment at Altiplano prison. [7], When the military arrived at Antonio Ezequiel's location in downtown Matamoros to arrest him at 3:30 p.m., his gunmen tried to protect the drug lord by launching several grenades and shooting at the officers. Hovering helicopters from the Navy shot down at Antonio Ezequiel's henchmen. [19] When Osiel was imprisoned, several high-ranking lieutenants in the Gulf Cartel got together to appoint leaders and their turfs. "El Coss" – Captured on 12 September 2012 Ezequiel ... No longer reported as La Linea leader by 2020: Bounty for his death was offered by El Chapo. Known as Commander Fili, Filiberto “Ciclon 40” Caudillo Salinas, the current leader of the Ciclones forces for the Matamoros faction of the Gulf Cartel died during a shootout with suspected rival cartel members just west of Matamoros. Deemed inexperienced, Costilla Sánchez, Lazcano, and high-ranking leader Víctor Manuel Vázquez Mireles (alias El Meme Loco) moved Antonio Ezequiel to command the Gulf Cartel in Cancún. The federal agents saw the drug lord leave, but they decided to pursue a search warrant than to chase him, given the activity in the neighborhood, the number of cars at the parking lot near his house, and the lack of sufficient agents in the operative. New, horrific footage shows members of the Mexican Gulf drug cartel using machetes to behead hostages from the rival Zeta gang, marking the latest act … In the cartel's heyday, its boss, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, was considered the country s most powerful underworld leader, and the Zetas the most feared gang. [10][11] Ten months later in November 1999, the Cárdenas Guillén surname started to gain momentum when Antonio Ezequiel's brother Osiel and several of his gunmen stopped two US federal agents at gunpoint in the streets of Matamoros. [Posted at 9:38 p.m. He had black-colored hair and brown eyes, and his aliases were Marcos Ledezma, El Licenciado (The Certified or The Lawyer), and Tony Tormenta (Tony the Storm), which he earned for his explosive personality and for beheading and torturing his rivals. Alleged Gulf Cartel Leader Killed in Reynosa. 31: Sinaloa Cartel: Joaquín Guzmán Loera: El Chapo: $30M: Recaptured: 2016-01-08: 32: Sinaloa Cartel : Ismael Zambada García: El Mayo Zambada: $30M: Fugitive-33: Sinaloa Cartel: … "The city was paralyzed," said an office worker who hid for hours inside a building. "Those who don't loze their head and their dezcendants. [41][42][43], Antonio Ezequiel was killed by the Mexican Navy at around 6:00 p.m. in downtown Matamoros on 5 November 2010, but the roadblocks set by organized crime continued throughout the rest of the day. On 7 April 2010, there were two shootouts in Matamoros between Mexican marines and members of the Gulf Cartel. [59][60] The intelligence agency stated that Antonio Ezequiel was only a leader in the Gulf Cartel because of his brother Osiel; Costilla Sánchez, on the other hand, was the one who actually controlled the day-to-day operations. Antonio was considered by Mexican security forces as one of Mexico's most-wanted men. Caudillo Salinas was a long-time operator for the Gulf Cartel and most recently controlled the eastern part of Matamoros including the nearby beach area. [1][4] Witnesses indicate that Antonio frequented public places in Matamoros, Reynosa, Ciudad Victoria, and other cities in the state of Tamaulipas surrounded by a number of municipal and state police officers, whose superiors have allegedly remained loyal to the Gulf Cartel for over half a century. One leader of the Gulf Cartel confessed after his apprehension that "drug trafficking is their main business, but due to the difficulties they have been encountering, oil theft has been an important financial cushion" for the cartel. At the scene, at least 300 grenades were detonated, and gunfire perforated the building where Antonio Ezequiel hid. According to the PGR and the Mexican Armed Forces, the group was originally formed by Antonio Ezequiel in 2002 as a parallel to his brother's personal army, Los Zetas. By the late 1980s, Cárdenas Guillén started his criminal career under the Gulf Cartel, where he became a high-ranking leader and commanded organized crime activities and drug trafficking in Matamoros. [51][52], Antonio Ezequiel was succeeded by Costilla Sánchez and his brother Mario Cárdenas Guillén, arrested on 3 September 2012. MEXICO CITY - Mexican authorities said on Sunday they had captured one of the top leaders of the Gulf drug cartel who was responsible for a recent wave of shoot outs and massacres in … On 2 September 2011, Mejía González and Rafael Cárdenas Vela, two leaders of the Rojos, ordered the assassination of the drug lord Samuel Flores Borrego, who commanded the Metros, another faction within the Gulf cartel.. Gulf Cartel gunmen hijacked several buses to block roads all across the city to prevent the mobilization of the Mexican Armed Forces. [44][58] Malcolm Beith, author of the book "The Last Narco", stated shortly after Antonio Ezequiel's death that Zeta leader Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano was possibly going to move deep into Tamaulipas and try to fight the remaining forces of the Gulf Cartel, thereby creating more violence. Gulf Cartel leader arrested in Puerto Vallarta. Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. [6][33] Contrary to government reports, the newspapers The Brownsville Herald and The Monitor, which are based in the Rio Grande Valley, reported that at least 47 dead from the shootings that broke out on 5 November 2010 in Matamoros. Next ... Juan Reyes Mejia-Gonzalez is a key drug shipment facilitator for the Gulf Cartel. Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, too, was part of the first tier circle, but he headed Los Zetas, while the other two commanded the Gulf Cartel directly. [44], Early in the morning the next day, some of the residents in Matamoros went to the site where most of the heavy fighting took place. Costilla-Sanchez, 48, was an active member of the “Cartel Del Golfo” (CDG or Gulf Cartel). Grenade attacks and armed confrontations reportedly resulted in several casualties throughout Matamoros; in Valle Hermoso, only four deaths were unofficially confirmed. [1][2][3] As a teenager, Antonio Ezequiel and his brother Osiel earned their living by washing cars at the headquarters of the Federal Judicial Police in their hometown. Mexican authorities on Saturday confirmed the capture of a leader of the Gulf Cartel, describing him as responsible for much of the violence … It was an agreement that… Osiel Cárdenas Guillén is a Mexican drug lord and the former leader of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. In 2011, President Calderón visited the border town and inaugurated a military barrack for the 105th battalion in the municipality. Victor Manuel Perez, alias “Pantera 16” (Panther 16) or “Comandante Viento” (Commander Wind), was arrested without incident in the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta in western Mexico. [32] People hid inside their homes or in windowless offices, sometimes peaking to see the cartel mayhem. embellished across their chests. However, his strategy has also been criticized for sparking more violence. During one of the sweeps, Nuevo Leon’s Fuerza Civil arrested German Cordero Romo, who identified himself as a high ranking law enforcement official and tried to intimidate the arresting officers by claiming connections with even … [13][14] In May 2005, he commanded a battalion of over 100 Zeta members to fight off Los Pelones, an enforcer group working for the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, in the state of Guerrero. [20][21], With Osiel imprisoned, however, Costilla Sánchez was deemed more powerful than Antonio Ezequiel. Law enforcement officials confirmed that an armed confrontation broke out between gunmen of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel in Ejido Las Rusias neighborhood, and shootouts in the Lauro Villar and Roberto Guerra avenues in Matamoros. [29][30] The shootout began at around 10:00 a.m. and extended to 6:00 p.m., when Antonio Ezequiel and gunmen of his inner circle were killed. Antonio Ezequiel was also known for his explosive personality and cocaine addiction. 2011 20 September: Members of La Familia Michoacana split off from the cartel … The Gulf and Zetas Cartels are two of the most powerful crime syndicates in Mexico and are locked in a bitter feud. He had an alternative date of birth on 5 May 1962. [69][70] There are several music videos on YouTube that exalt the power of Los Escorpiones through narcocorridos, a Mexican drug ballad that tells stories of drug lords and their exploits. As confrontations with rival groups heated up, Osiel Cárdenas sought and recruited over 30 deserters from the Grupo Aeromóvil … However, the exact figures of those killed in Matamoros are virtually unknown. Despite its notoriety, the Gulf Cartel has lost territory and … Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting. Following the 2003 arrest of Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, it is believed the Sinaloa Cartel moved 200 men into the region to battle the Gulf Cartel for control. [65] The arrests of Marco Antonio Cortez Rodríguez (alias Escorpión 37) and of Josué González Rodríguez (alias Escorpión 43) allowed the authorities to understand the structure of Los Escorpiones. "The group of Loz Zetaz is informing you and giving you the opportunity to join with no hard feelingz," one of the pamphlets read. El Blog del Narco reported that … After a tense standoff, the agents convinced Osiel to let them go. The current leader of Los Rojos is Juan Mejía González, alias El R1. "[50] But by the end of 2010, around 95% of the population in Ciudad Mier had left and relocated elsewhere due to the violence generated by Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. [2][31] The daylight clashes generated a wave of panic among the citizens of Matamoros, who turned to social networks like Twitter and Facebook to report the violence. Gulf Cartel Leader Captured Published: Wednesday, 05 September 2012 15:40; Written by Twitter. Los Metros is a faction of a Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Gulf Cartel.The group was formed in the late 1990s during the reign of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the former leader of the cartel, to provide security to the organization's leaders as the cartel's armed wing.The leader of Los Metros, Mario Ramirez Treviño, alias X-20, was arrested on 17 August 2013. [37] Although not officially confirmed, an anonymous law enforcement officer, KVEO-TV, and several online sources and witnesses mentioned that the two-day death toll in Matamoros may have "easily passed" 100. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. After a dispute, howe… Mexican authorities say they have captured the leader of the Gulf Cartel, Mario Ramirez Trevino, one of the country's most wanted drug traffickers. They stood at awe as they looked at the bullet-ridden cement building and the shattered windows. El Junior) is a former Mexican drug lord and high-ranking lieutenant of the Gulf Cartel. [24] The conflict between both groups triggered in Reynosa, Tamaulipas in January 2010, when Samuel Flores Borrego of the Gulf Cartel killed a Zetas leader. Cárdenas Guillén demanded the agents and the informant to get out of their vehicle, but they refused to obey his orders. He is the nephew of Antonio and Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, … Roadblocks imposed by organized crime were set up in Reynosa following the death of Antonio Ezequiel, but it is unclear if they were directly related to his death. Victor Manuel Perez, alias “Pantera 16” (Panther 16) or “Comandante Viento” (Commander Wind), was arrested without incident in the Pacific coast resort of Puerto … [17][18] He and other Gulf Cartel leaders were responsible for trafficking multi-ton drug shipments of cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to the United States. [1] He also directed the flow of narcotics through land, sea, and air from Venezuela and Colombia to Guatemala and the U.S-Mexico border. [48][49] The Mexican government responded to the citizens' plea by sending reinforcements to restore order because the violence had been "non-stop in Ciudad Mier since [Antonio Ezequiel's] death. Costilla-Sanchez, 48, was an active member of the “Cartel Del Golfo” (CDG or Gulf Cartel). [63][64], Antonio Ezequiel commanded an elite enforcer group known as Los Escorpiones (The Scorpions), which served as his private army during the 5 November 2010 shootout in Matamoros that resulted in the drug lord's death. DEA Map of Gulf Cartel operations Once led by Juan Garcia Abrego, it is now believed to be under the leadership of Oscar Malherbe de Leon. Tilt up of Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo alias "the squirrel" 3. He expressed his condolences for the Mexican servicemen and the journalist that died in the operative. Roughly five days after the drug lord's death, over 300 people left the town to shelter in the nearby city of Miguel Alemán, while others left to seek refuge with family members that resided in Starr and Zapata County in Texas. Their corpses were discovered inside a Ford Explorer near the Matamoros federal prison. [44], On 6 November 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama contacted former Mexican President Felipe Calderón by phone and expressed his full support to put an end to the impunity of Mexico's organized crime syndicates. Alfonso ‘Poncho’ Hernández … Gulf Cartel. Tips lead to arrest of Gulf Cartel leader in Mexico, border officials say Caleb Downs , San Antonio Express-News March 5, 2019 Updated: March 5, 2019 10:56 p.m. [2][33] The international bridges in Matamoros were reopened by 7:00 p.m. after crowds of people had waited all afternoon. For example, some Gulf Cartel gunmen wear tennis shoes of the same color, caps with the logo "CDG–TT" (Gulf Cartel–Tony Tormenta), or trucks emblazoned with the same logo to help them distinguish themselves from rival gangs. One anonymous law enforcement officer, witnesses, and several local newspapers indicated over 100 were killed in Matamoros. Three men will fight to control Mexico's Gulf Cartel following the capture of leader "X20" last week, according to US sources, although whether any of them are capable of uniting the divided mafia remains to be seen. "Shelter, everyone! [65] Los Escorpiones reportedly set up roadblocks, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and snipers to prevent the capture of their leader. MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas – Mexican border state police placed a bounty on one of the regional leaders of the Gulf Cartel who is linked to escalating violence between Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas. Comments left by readers at The Brownsville Herald and its sister page El Heraldo reported at least 70 dead. Residents credit the presence of the Mexican Armed Forces for returning peace to the border town. [74], According to the U.S. Department of State and the DEA, Antonio Ezequiel was 6 ft (1.83 m) tall, and weighed approximately 215 lbs (97.5 kilos). [59], Former President Felipe Calderon made taking down drug kingpins a security priority of his political administration (2006–2012). 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