Mexican Government Celebrates Gulf Cartel’s Releases of 31 Kidnapped Migrants

Bus Tamaulipas
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

Mexican authorities are trying to take credit for rescuing 31 migrants that the Gul Carte kidnapped last weekend. In reality, the criminal organization dropped them off at a shopping center so authorities could find them. The “rescue” follows days of negative press at the national level in Mexico, causing tension and pressure within the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

On Wednesday afternoon, the president’s spokesman, Jesus Ramirez Cuevas, took to social media to announce the “rescue” of 31 migrants who had been kidnapped on December 30.

Soon after, the Tamaulipas government issued a statement claiming that the rescue was coordinated between state, federal, and military forces. No arrests have been made in the case.

What the limited information released by authorities does not reveal is that Gulf Cartel gunmen apparently loaded the migrants onto a “pesera,” or local transit bus, and left them near the parking lot of a popular shopping center in Rio Bravo.

The efforts to hide information by the Tamaulipas government led to much confusion since the incident first began on December 30. As Breitbart Texas reported, on that day, a commercial bus from the Senda company was traveling from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, to the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Inside the bus, 36 passengers were forced off at gunpoint by Gulf Cartel gunmen. Initial information revealed that 31 passengers remained missing and five had been located.

The kidnapping took place near the border city of Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas. Soon after the initial kidnapping, authorities rescued five passengers who were being moved in a vehicle by two gunmen who ran away. As Breitbart Texas reported, those five passengers were riding in the bus but were not counted as part of the 31 missing passengers as initially reported but were part of the other group counted as found or rescued.

The mass kidnapping comes as Tamaulipas residents continue to live in fear while rival factions of the Gulf Cartel carry out a fierce turf war with complete impunity.

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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