Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros 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 Gulf Cartel if pseudonyms were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Reynosa’s “AC Del Angel.”
REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — The constant infighting within the groups that make up the Gulf cartel point to a new wave of violence coming to in this border city. One of the fights that may bring more violence has to do with the apparent betrayal by one of the commanders who is believed to have tipped off authorities on another commander. That cartel leader answered with a swift revenge and execution.
Last week a group of gunmen and military forces clashed along a dirt road that connects the border cities of Reynosa and Camargo where unofficial information pointed to the arrest off “Comandante Toro” the second in command of the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa. The convoy of gunmen was intercepted along the dirt road by Mexican Federal forces in a shootout that was not reported by Mexican media and only reported by citizen journalists in social media; the Mexican government has yet to release any official information about the clash or about the number of casualties or arrests. It is believe that Comandante Toro was either able to elude capture or able to bribe his way out.
The group of gunmen initially had been travelling to the area known in Spanish as Frontera Chica or little border which is immediately south of Starr County in response to a group of gunmen from that area that had been kidnapping people tied to the Gulf Cartel faction in Reynosa.
Various SUV’s with makeshift armor plating were seized during the clash and remain under police custody in the headquarters of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office in the border city of Miguel Aleman.
Just one day after the large scale gun battle in Reynosa, a team made up of Mexican federal and state forces carried out a rescue operation where they were able to a number of kidnapped civilian and arrest some of the kidnappers. Among the victims, Mexican authorities rescued various relatives and the mother of Juan “Comandante Panochitas” Saenz Tamez who headed the Camargo region for the Gulf Cartel up until his arrest in December 2014, when he was captured by U.S. authorities in Edinburg Texas.
The Reynosa group had been trying to take over the Camargo region setting off yet another series of internal fights within the Gulf Cartel.
The animosity reached all the way to Reynosa where cartel gunmen and federal cops clashed in Hidalgo Boulevard (one of the city’s main roads). Federal cops intercepted the convoy of gunmen as they travelled along the avenue leading to the arrest of a Gulf Cartel member known as Comandante Rangel who is originally from the border town of Diaz Ordaz.
Soon after, a second shootout this time between cartel gunmen leaves a truck full of bullet holes in the Juarez neighborhood. At the scene, no trace was left of the people inside the truck; State officials have not released any information regarding those shootouts.
The internal fighting has led to the rapid changing in the organizational chart of the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa. The rotation of bosses and commanders as well as the executions of some over disagreements, along with the lack of a true leader to smooth things over and hold the organization together has led to a sort of anarchy within the crime syndicate. This anarchy is used by some of the midlevel bosses to carry out various crimes without consent or knowledge by the rest of the cartel.
Late last week, Gulf Cartel hitmen executed Guadalupe “Comandante Tachas or Metro 17” one of the top bosses within the cartel in Reynosa. He was killed along with some of his top men under orders of Comandante Toro since it is believed that Leal had leaked information to federal authorities so they could catch Toro.
Commander Toro appears to have climbed to the top position in the city of Reynosa replacing the man known as “Gafe” (nickname used for Mexican Army Special Forces) who is now the number two in the organization.
This series of events places average citizens in danger since a new wave of violence is expected to arrive as the various groups fight for power. The situation is worsened since the Reynosa faction of the Gulf Cartel has been at war with the Matamoros faction since February forcing the rest of the criminal groups and cells within the Gulf Cartel to pick a side as they fight for control of lucrative drug trade routes and regions.