Gulf Cartel Boss Behind Mass Graves Sent to Prison in Mexico

Reynosa Mass grave
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

A former top-ranking leader with the Gulf Cartel responsible for a series of mass murders, clandestine gravesites, incinerations sites, and other gory methods of disposing of humans has been sentenced to more than 11 years in a Mexican prison. The cartel boss spent time in a U.S. prison in his early years and is known for an incident where he began crying in front of a judge.

Known in the criminal underworld as El Pelochas, or Metro 28, Luis Alberto Blanco Flores climbed the ranks of the Gulf Cartel while surviving and taking part in a series of shifting alliances and betrayals. Those actions eventually led to him becoming a top regional boss before his latest arrest. This week, a sentencing tribunal handed down a term of 11 years and six months in prison following his conviction for aggravated extortion and engaging in organized criminal activity, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office revealed.

According to authorities the crimes that led to Pelochas’ sentence took place during the summer of 2017. Breitbart Texas reported extensively on the criminal career of El Pelochas who became one of the leading Gulf Cartel figures between 2016 and 2018. During that period, he made a push to take control of the Reynosa faction and clashed with another top commander.

Breitbart Texas kept a record of the murders directly attributed to that power struggle with more than 500 murders taking place during that time. The murders included executions, assassinations, kidnapping victims, and casualties of the large-scale shootouts. One gruesome trend that grew during that time was the use of clandestine crematoriums and mass graves where Gulf Cartel members worked to dispose of the bodies of their victims and rivals.

During the start of his criminal career, El Pelochas spent time in a U.S. prison. In August 2010, federal agents arrested him in the border city of Brownsville, Texas, and only charged him with one count of illegal re-entry. At the time of his initial hearing, the fearsome cartel leader began to sob as he was escorted into the Brownsville federal court and he saw his mother in the audience. El Pelochas was one of three cartel commanders who fled to Brownsville to hide from rivals who had been hunting them.

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

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     


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