MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — The drug cartel that controls this city has branched out their extortion operations by demanding payment for every used car that is imported from Texas.
The most recent method deals with cartel lookouts keeping an eye on Matamoros residents who cross into the Texas border city of Brownsville for work on a daily basis. The lookouts try to determine if the individuals are crossing cars in Mexico to sell them without paying cartel fees.
The border city of Matamoros is directly south of Brownsville, Texas. It is the birthplace of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. For several decades, the criminal organization has not only controlled the flow of drugs and migrants from Matamoros into Brownsville but they have also controlled the crossing of other goods across the waters of the Rio Grande.
Breitbart Texas spoke with Mexican law enforcement sources that confirmed the presence of lookouts who station themselves near international bridges to ensure that all individuals who cross contraband pay their ‘fees’. The current fee to smuggle a used car is approximately $200 and includes funds that are shared with Mexico’s customs officials known as SAT. Currently in Matamoros, instead of dealing with SAT officials, residents can directly pay the Gulf Cartel a crossing fee in order to import a car for sale.
When cartel lookouts spot a vehicle that they suspect is being imported, they contact a team that intercepts the driver to, take down the plates, VIN number and warn the driver to not sell the vehicle or else.
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 “J.A. Espinoza” from Tamaulipas.