Gulf Cartel gunmen killed a 14-year-old and stashed his body after relatives tried to meet ransom demands.
The case of Luciano Leal Garza signifies the wave of violence attributed to the two main factions of the Gulf Cartel in northern Tamaulipas. The gunmen lured Luciano to the plaza square in the farming community of San Fernando, where he thought he was going to meet a girl. The teen’s family is known in the region for owning several legitimate businesses.
Breitbart Texas reported on Luciano’s kidnapping in August after relatives grew increasingly desperate for public help. The cartel kidnappers demanded $100,000 USD. The family was unable to pay the full amount despite efforts to meet the ransom. Although the relatives contacted authorities soon after the abduction, the boy’s parents initiated their own investigation.
The parents were able to learn that the kidnapping was carried out by the Gulf Cartel in San Fernando under orders of local plaza boss Guadalupe “El Camaron” Flores Silguero. Erick Gamaliel Garza and Ubaldo Garza allegedly took the boy. The kidnapping was greenlit by regional Gulf Cartel boss Carlos “El Pawa” De La Cruz, according to the family.
On September 11, Tamaulipas state authorities arrested El Camaron, but refused to talk. Authorities were not able to move forward with the case. Desperate relatives began to hold protests and rallies to pressure officials to ask for answers.
The break in the case came on October 15, when Tamaulipas state police arrested Erick Gamaliel Garza in Matamoros. During questioning, Gamaliel told authorities that Luciano was dead and led them to an abandoned suitcase in San Fernando. The teen’s remains were found stashed.
San Fernando has a long history of terror at the hands of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. Violence spiked after the now rival cartels fractured in late 2009. Since then, the Zeta faction in San Fernando has rejoined with the Gulf Cartel, while others remain violently splintered. In 2010, Los Zetas murdered 72 migrants who were trying to reach the U.S. border. A few months later in 2011, authorities began unearthing dozens of mass graves in ranches around San Fernando. State authorities at the time stopped searching after finding 193 bodies. Los Zetas and the Gulf are linked to countless murders and kidnappings where they target innocent farmers, ranchers, and business leaders.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León 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 “Francisco Morales” and “J.A. Espinoza” from Tamaulipas.