EXCLUSIVE: Cartels Helped Pick Top Officials in Mexican Border State, Leaked Documents Show

Los Zetas Threat
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

Mexican law enforcement documents obtained by Breitbart Texas show the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas had influence over hiring for top law enforcement positions in the border state of Tamaulipas. The documents are part of a federal case file that names former officials, including governors, for working with cartels and other acts of corruption.

The documents are from Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, which specifically target former Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Hernandez Flores (2005-2010) and others. Hernandez is currently listed as a fugitive by the U.S. Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigations, and the DEA on money laundering charges. Testimony from related cases in the U.S. claim Hernandez laundered embezzled funds and bribes from cartels.

The documents show statements from witnesses like Antonio Pena Arguelles, aka “Angeles,” who claimed to have been an intermediary between Los Zetas and the former governor. The statements indicate cartels had an influence on the selection of police chiefs.

In his statements before a Mexican prosecutor’s office, Arguelles said Governor Hernandez appointed Pedro Arguelles as Undersecretary of State so that he could be an intermediary with the Gulf Cartel.

Pena Arguelles also claimed that Reynosa’s police chief at the time, Juan Jose “El Bimbo” Muniz, was a member of the Gulf Cartel which helped fund a winning mayoral campaign, thereby ensuring favorable local police hires.

Arguelles also claimed that once Hernandez took office in 2005, he appointed a military general as state police chief named Luis “El Apache” Gutierrez, who began hunting down Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas members. According to Arguelles, El Apache was working on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel to clear turf–not enforce the law. The head of Los Zetas, Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, became upset by the attacks and had Arguelles talk to Hernandez so they could remove Gutierrez, which they did.

Another witness, former Tampico Mayor Oscar Rolando Perez Inguanzo, claimed he was never able to select the head of local or transit police. Those choices came from Governor Hernandez through a third party. The eventual police chief then encouraged Perez Inguanzo to meet with the Gulf Cartel, which he refused. Inguanzo claimed to have asked Hernandez for help–only to be told to speak with the Tamaulipas Public Safety Director.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     

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