Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Coahuila to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “A.C. Del Angel” from Reynosa and Ildefonso Ortiz from Breitbart Texas
The five self-confessed members of the Mexican Gulf Cartel who were arrested last week as they tried to raft their way into Texas received a slap on the wrist after U.S. federal authorities only charged them with common immigration charges. The minimal charges set against the cartel members, who had been fleeing a certain death at the hands of their own criminal organization, means that three cartel members will be released in 15 days, one will be released in 30 days while the fifth member will be released in a matter of months. Court records make no mention of deals with prosecutors–meaning the group will likely be deported after their sentences are completed.
Breitbart Texas previously reported how five self-confessed members of the Gulf Cartel had tried to raft their way into the border city of Roma, Texas, from the Mexican city of Miguel Aleman. For unknown reasons, the five cartel members were not charged by prosecutors from the U.S. Southern District of Texas with crimes tied to cartel activity, they were only charged on immigration charges brought up by U.S. Border Patrol. Information obtained from Mexican sources in and out of law enforcement revealed that the Gulf Cartel is going through yet another series of internal conflicts tied to betrayals within the criminal organization.
Last week, Breitbart Texas reported how Mexican authorities set out to capture Julian “Comandante Toro” the leader of the Gulf Cartel’s faction known as Los Metros in Reynosa. The increase in military operation resulted in multiple firefights throughout the city. In at least three separate cases, Salinas managed to elude capture even though Mexican military forces used helicopters that provided aerial support.
The various almost captures in one week appeared to have come from an information leak from members of the Gulf Cartel. In response to that, Salinas had some commanders removed from the area known as Frontera Chica, the area just south of Starr County.
Two of the commanders, Roberto “Metro 85 or Comandante Chiriquas” Saavedra Santana, the commander known as Metro 22 or La Mierda (Spanish curse word for feces) along with their associates moved to the Aquiles Serdan neighborhood in Reynosa where they collected various belongings and then went into hiding.
Saavedra’s right hand man, known as “El Mimi” along with four of his associates fearing a certain death from Toro’s wrath fled into Roma Texas where Texas State Troopers and U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested them. After their capture, four of the cartel member identified as Jose Guadalupe Vasquez, Sergio Lopez De Leon, Hector Sanchez and Luis Aguilar Rubio were formally charged with one misdemeanor charge of illegally entering the country. Aguilar received a 30 day prison sentence while his three associates received a 15 day prison sentence. After their sentence the men are expected to be deported back to Mexico.
The fifth Gulf Cartel member identified in court records as Juan Guillermo Gaona Hernandez was charged with a felony count of illegal re-entry since he had previously been deported in 2011. In his case, Gaona remains in federal custody without bond pending further proceedings.
It remains unclear as to what may take place in the coming days both in the Mexican city of Reynosa and in Frontera Chica. However, in the past, when cartel commanders have been relieved from their command, violence or executions tend to follow. Since court records make no mention of the five cartel members being granted asylum or some other type of permission to stay in the U.S. , they will likely be deported once their short sentences are concluded.
Court documents from the individual cases are listed below.