Breitbart Texas has exhausted every possible source in both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement to compile the names and images of the current Mexican Gulf cartel leadership and core members. Some of these individuals and their images have never been exposed in the public square. Exposure in media has traditionally led to increased law enforcement pressure on Mexican cartel leaders and members and resulted in the beginning of their downfalls. They are forced into hiding and can no longer enjoy their money or properly lead their organized criminal enterprises.
The Gulf cartel controls the area in Mexico immediately south of the Texas border from the Gulf of Mexico to immediately south of Laredo, Texas. They are responsible for the bulk of the border violence, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and other heinous crimes in the region. They are also the Mexican cartel who profited the most from the recent border crisis in South Texas.
In the Mexican border city of Reynosa, the Gulf cartel faction known as Los Metros has been working to establish its leadership and take over the territories of their rivals, Los Ciclones, from Matamoros.
The current criminal organization is very different from the crime syndicate that began in the 1930s and operated in a quiet fashion all the way through 1980s and 1990s. The cartel initially focused on liquor and tobacco and then primarily focused on drug trafficking. That criminal syndicate was seen by many along the Tamaulipas-Texas border as harmless, since any violence was previously handled in a quiet fashion. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the Tamaulipas governor recently unveiled a street in Reynosa honoring the founder of the Gulf cartel.
In 2010 the Gulf Cartel went to war with their former enforcers, Los Zetas, and then just a year later two factions of the Gulf cartel took up arms against each other in what became known as the war between Los Metros and Los Ciclones.
That ongoing struggle led to gory executions and escalating violence and resulted in the creation of younger inexperienced leaders with great ambition and ego who are quick to take action with little regard for the consequences. This fact is evidenced in the recent unaccompanied minor crisis in South Texas. In that case, the cartel chose the short-term profit making of the human smuggling even though they knew it would hurt their profits in the immediate aftermath.
In recent years citizen journalists have resorted to Twitter and Facebook to warn each other about ongoing firefights, however those same social media networks have also been used by cartel members in efforts to tip off authorities to their rivals.
Pages like ValorxTamaulipas and various others have routinely posted photographs of suspected cartel lookouts, gunmen, and occasionally of commanders.
Mexican authorities have also used the networks to share information, gather data pertaining to the way certain cartel members operate, as well as to understand their current networks.
The following individuals have been identified as some of the current leaders and core operators within the Gulf cartel. Some of the individuals listed here have not been formally charged of a crime in the U.S. or in Mexico, however the intelligence gathered for this report points to their criminal activities. The names and photographs in this report have been vetted by U.S. and Tamaulipas law enforcement officials who share information with the Breitbart Texas Cartel Chronicles effort.
Jose Luis Martinez – An accountant allegedly tasked with the allocation of funds for the day to day operations of the criminal organization for Los Ciclones in Matamoros, Mexico. This city is immediately south of Brownsville, Texas.
Juan Remigio Quintanilla – Suspected large scale drug trafficker for the Gulf cartel.
Ricardo “El Rica” Mario García Rodríguez — An alleged vital operator for the Gulf cartel.
Julian Manuel “Comandante Toro” Loisa Salinas — The current head of the Los Metros faction of the Gulf cartel. He is routinely seen by residents in Reynosa around the Bugambilea and Los Fresnos neighborhoods. Loisa Salinas has been profiled in the past in the Breitbart Texas Cartel Chronicles.
Jesus “Wero Jessi” Garcia – An alleged close associate of Loisa Salinas and likely to be second in command of Los Metros faction. According to the citizen journalist @bandolera7, Garcia recently traveled to the resort town of Cancun to marry a woman who works for Reynosa’s city water system. The wedding engagement party was featured in the newspaper Tabasco Hoy.
Angel Eduardo Prado Rodriguez – The current head of the Los Ciclones faction of the Gulf cartel in Matamoros and has been profiled in the past in the Breitbart Texas Cartel Chronicles.
Armando Daniel “Choco or Metro 90” León García — An alleged commander for the Gulf cartel Los Metros.
Cleofas Alberto” El Wero Cleofas” Martinez Gutierrez — He is an alleged Gulf cartel commander in charge of the Lopez Portillo neighborhood of Reynosa, Mexico, immediately south of Hidalgo, Texas.
Juan Amador “ Metro 38 or El Negro” Moreno Flores — Allegedly in charge of the surrounding rural communities and the rural road known as El Becerro between Reynosa and Matamoros, Mexico. In January 2014, Moreno Flores was arrested for illegally entering the country in Laredo, Texas.
Petronilo “Comandante Panilo or M70” Moreno Flores – A suspected Gulf cartel commander who spent time in Mexican prison on various charges, but has since been released.
Raul “KaKo Caco” Rivera Navarro – A suspected Gulf cartel commander who heads up the organization in the border city of Diaz Ordaz, just south of Starr County Texas.
Pedro Rivera “Nonote” Navarro — An alleged Gulf cartel commander in Reynosa, Mexico.
David “Tapon” Hernandez Trevino – A suspected Gulf Cartel commander in charge of the area around the Tecnologico De Reynosa (state university).
Luis Alberto “Wicho” Trinidad Ceron – A suspected Gulf cartel commander who allegedly operates in the border city of Diaz Ordaz, just south of the Texas border from Starr County.
Eduardo Ismael “El Negro” Flores Borrego — The brother of late Gulf Cartel commander Samuel “Metro 3” Flores Borrego. El Negro spent time in a Mexican prison after 2010 when Mexican authorities claimed he led a Gulf cartel squad responsible for the death of more than 30 Los Zetas hitmen. He is currently the head of the Gulf cartel in Valle Hermoso, south of Brownsville, Texas.
Juan Francisco “L98” Carrizalez Lara — Alleged Gulf cartel commander who was in charge of the border city of Rio Bravo earlier this year, but has since been forced to flee. He is currently believed to be hiding in Laredo, Texas.
José Antonio “La Hamburguesa” Romo López – A suspected regional commander for the Gulf cartel.
Carlos “Carlitos Whiskies” Gonzalez Escobar – Alleged Gulf cartel commander in charge of the border city of Nuevo Progreso, immediately south of Progreso, Texas.
Alan “Fiscal” Alpizar Cordoba – Alleged Gulf cartel commander behind some of the drug shipments for the cartel in the Mexican border city of Camargo. This is immediately south of Rio Grande City, Texas.
Martin “Don Chucho” Romo Lopez – An alleged accountant for the Gulf cartel.
Alfonso “Metro 7” Flores Salinas – An alleged Gulf cartel commander and cousin to the late Metro 3.
Juan Alberto De La Cruz Alvarez, Juanillo — A suspected Gulf Cartel commander who is believed to be in charge of the plaza known as Ciudad Mier. In 2010, De La Cruz Alvarez was arrested in Laredo, Texas and charged with one count of illegally entering the country.
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