EXCLUSIVE: Mexican Border State Investigates Soldiers over Cartel Boss’ Escape

Mexican Army
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

Prosecutors in the border state of Tamaulipas launched an investigation into several active-duty Mexican Army soldiers and former soldiers. The investigation follows the brazen rescue of a Gulf Cartel lieutenant from police custody.

The rescue took place this week in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, where a group of more than 30 gunmen in military uniforms rescued Jose Alfredo “Metro -27 or Calamardo” Hernandez Campos from police custody, Breitbart Texas reported. Police arrested the Gulf Cartel regional commander last weekend and he was expected to go before a judge when the paramilitary group rescued him. State police forces clashed with the cartel gunmen afterward but were unable to recapture Metro 27, Authorities did capture some gunmen and killed one. One of the gunmen had a military ID.

In the aftermath of the clash, authorities confirmed that the rescue operation had been carried out by various active-duty and former Mexican Army soldiers rather than regular cartel gunmen, various law enforcement sources from both sides of the border with direct knowledge of the investigation revealed to Breitbart Texas. Authorities confirmed one of the gunmen is an active-duty soldier, while a second gunman is a former active-duty Marine, based out of Nuevo Leon.

While initial information pointed to the gunmen breaking Metro-27 out of a police building. However, according to law enforcement sources, the rescue took place outside as authorities were transporting him to the building.

The state police transporting the man known as Calamardo were forced to release him once they found themselves surrounded and outgunned. The gunmen set up multiple trucks with .50 caliber machine guns in the perimeter in an ambush-style tactic to stop other police officers from responding to the scene. They also used an ambulance to transport the cartel boss.

The investigations against current and former Mexican Army members working for the Gulf Cartel come at a time when state officials and local residents in Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros alike pointed out that federal and military forces rarely clash with cartel gunmen when a shootout takes place leaving the brunt of the fighting to state police.

As Breitbart Texas reported, in one such case last month, gunmen from the Gulf Cartel and the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas clashed near Miguel Aleman with no interference from Mexico’s military despite there being an army base two miles away. When soldiers did arrive following the shootout, they found several gunmen strewn along the highway.

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.     

Gerald “Tony” Aranda is an international journalist with more than 20 years of experience working in high-risk areas for print and broadcast news outlets investigating organized crime, corruption, and drug trafficking in the U.S. and Mexico.  In 2016, Gerald took up the pseudonym of “Tony” when he joined Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project. Since then, he has come out of the shadows and become a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.

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