MCALLEN, Texas — Drug cartels that profit from human smuggling, kidnapping, extortion, and murder-for-hire run a Mexican state that borders Texas, according to documents obtained by Breitbart Texas.
A series of court records obtained by Breitbart Texas allege a direct link between Mexican drug cartels and the two most recent governors of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas: Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba and Eugenio Hernandez Flores. Prosecutors believe both officials funneled millions in cartel bribes into Texas using phantom companies and investments.
The two governors are accused of taking bribes from drug cartels in exchange for letting them do their criminal business in Tamaulipas. While drug cartels operate primarily in Tamaulipas, some violence has crossed over to the U.S. — many cartel leaders hide on the U.S. side of the border. Some of the cartel leaders are even American citizens.
In Yarrington’s case, prosecutors further allege that after serving his term in office, Yarrington served as a go-between with government officials in the State of Veracruz for the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas and the Beltran Leyva cartel in order to clear the state’s main port for receiving shipments of cocaine.
Yarrington is currently facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges out of the Southern District of Texas and is considered a fugitive. Hernandez has not been charged, but is mentioned in the sealed witness testimony of a money launderer who pleaded guilty last December. Both former governors have denied any wrongdoing through their attorneys or prepared statements. They claim they are all baseless allegations, made by criminals seeking a lighter sentence by ratting out others.
Since Yarrington’s indictment, federal prosecutors have already seized a luxury condominium in South Padre Island and various houses in South Texas and San Antonio. Federal agencies have filed paperwork with the Mexican government seeking the extradition of Yarrington and his money man Fernando Alejandro Cano, but Mexican authorities have not made any effort to apprehend the two. Last summer, Cano threw a lavish wedding in the Tamaulipas capital of Ciudad Victoria that was featured in various local newspapers — while he was on the run from U.S. federal authorities.
Prosecutors recently had a sealed hearing in Brownsville, where a material witness spoke about the case; however, the transcript has not yet been made available.
Mexican politicians appear to frequently funnel dirty money into Texas. In addition to Yarrington and the allegations made against Hernandez, last November a federal grand jury handed down an indictment for money laundering, conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud against Jorge Juan Torres Lopez, the interim governor for Coahuila.
In the indictment, prosecutors alleged that Torres, along the states’ finance secretary Hector Javier Villarreal, and other officials embezzled millions of dollars from the state’s coffers and deposited a large sum of that money in Texas, using shell companies and investments.
Mexican politicians used the phrase “no pasa nada” — meaning, “nothing is happening” — when asked by border media outlets about shootouts and executions that began in 2009 when the Gulf Cartel went to war with their former enforcers, the Zetas. The Mexican media issued a total blackout on coverage of the carnage. The fierce battles that soon followed crossed the border: Two stray bullets struck a parked vehicle and a building at the University of Texas at Brownsville on September 2009. Fortunately, no students were hurt.
While in office, Hernandez would brazenly refer to rumors of firefights in public as mass hysteria — while smiling for the camera, and saying “no pasa nada.”
The Mexican government recently announced a widely-criticized security strategy that militarized the state. Platoons of Mexican marines and federal police officers in SWAT gear now welcome tourists as they cross international bridges.
The current administration in Tamaulipas minimizes the news of violence in an effort to keep investors in the area. Any information about massacres in border cities are reduced into two paragraph statements posted on the government’s website.