PROGRESO, Texas — News outlets on both sides of the border, that have been reporting on the disappearance and deaths of three Texans, appear to have fallen prey to a practice used by the Gulf Cartel to divert the blame to the Mexican military or police forces.
Erica Alvarado and her two brothers, Alex and Jose Angel, went missing on October 13 in the Mexican border town of Control, Tamaulipas, according to information released by the Progreso Texas police department.
Their mother, Raquel Alvarado, claimed that the Texans were kidnapped by an elite team from the Matamoros police called Hercules. The bodies of the three Americans, along with Erica’s boyfriend Jose Guadalupe “El Negro” Castaneda, turned up in a rural road near Matamoros, Mexico with gunshot wounds and scorch marks from having been set on fire.
While coverage of drug violence in Tamaulipas has been non-existent, Mexican news outlets such as El Mañana were quick to publish the same story multiple times in order to place the blame on the Matamoros police and the city Mayor Leticia Salazar who was rumored to be running for governor in the next election. The multiple stories which all stem from Alvarado’s accusation have led to nine police officers undergoing questioning by state authorities.
“They [cartel members] have been pushing this story and this angle on us,” said a Reynosa reporter who agreed to speak with Breitbart Texas. “The Hercules did it, Lety (Matamoros mayor) is involved; the gringos are just victims. That is why everyone has this story.”
The control of the media in Tamaulipas is done through a seasoned reporter that generally covers the crime beat. The reporter is in contact with organized crime and then relays the message to the other reporters about the angle to take on sensitive stories, a reporter from Matamoros told Breitbart Texas.
“We are told to not cover shootouts and violence and when we do they tell us to always blame the military,” the reporter said.
Sources outside law enforcement but with direct knowledge of criminal activity in Tamaulipas told Breitbart Texas that the murder was in fact a dispute between Castaneda, a local crime boss for the Gulf Cartel who oversaw the sale of stolen fuel and Ariel “El Tigre” Trevino who is a regional boss for the criminal organization. The dispute appears to have been over moneys from the sale of stolen fuel, the two sources that spoke with Breitbart Texas said.
A Tamaulipas law enforcement official told Breitbart Texas that Control has been a Gulf Cartel stronghold because of the many dirt roads around the rural community which allow the gunmen to move about virtually undetected throughout the border.
While the Mexican media is quick to blame Matamoros authorities, local residents claim they along with the military are the only ones that have stood up to the onslaught of cartel members and have actually managed to push them back.
“You just don’t go there to visit (Control) that’s not a place you take your family this story is being twisted,” said Matamoros resident Jaime Nunez when asked about the slanted stories in Mexico. “This is just an excuse to go after the people that have actually tried to do something good.”
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz