Mexican Government Using Trophy Arrests to Hide Raging Violence

Matamoros Gulf Cartel War
Breitbart Texas/ Cartel Chronicles

Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Coahuila 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 Matamoros’ “JA Espinoza.” 

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — Amid the raging wave of extortions, kidnappings and lack of public safety that has taken over this city, Tamaulipas authorities are looking to quiet down criticism from the public by publicizing the arrests of cartel members in an effort to restore public confidence.

The new security strategies call for the presence of added state and federal forces that keep regular patrol across this city which has allowed for the arrests of criminal groups. However, the security strategies have not been able to bring down the crime levels that continue to torment the community.

In the publicized arrests of cartel members, authorities claim that they came by way of anonymous tips, random traffic stops or suspicious vehicles. The most recent arrest came this week when Mexico’s Federal police arrested four Gulf Cartel members. The Gulf Cartel is the criminal group responsible for drug trafficking, kidnappings and extortions that plague this city.

Because of this, the Tamaulipas Coordination Group (police task force) presented as their latest trophy Ciclon 17, a so called strike team (Estaca) leader for the Gulf Cartel. According to authorities his arrest came from a routine patrol at the Quinta Real neighborhood on the city’s East side.

According to available information from authorities, police officers spotted a suspicious 2014 gray Dodge Ram with Texas license plates. Initially the group tried to flee but were promptly arrested. The cartel members were identified as Jose Ricardo Arellano Rodriguez, Jose Alfredo Perez Aguirre and Eduardo Said Diaz Hernandez, the fourth person was only identified as an underage female.

Arellano Rodriguez said he was a strike team leader for the Gulf Cartel and claimed he was known as Ciclon 17 or Calin. The others claimed to have been simply cartel lookouts.

Inside of the truck, authorities found various assault rifles, a grenade launcher, body armor and eight loaded ammunition magazines and three military type uniforms.

En route to the local headquarters of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in the city’s downtown area, one of the police vehicles ended up getting a flat tire from a road spike. The device was thrown in an effort to stop the  prisoner transport.

The low level cartel members were allegedly tasked with monitoring radios in order to keep tabs on suspicious vehicles as well as the location of police patrols. The group would also tell on rival drug pushers and help carry out kidnappings and extortions.