Tag Archives: Gulf Cartel

Capture of fugitive ex-governor rekindles debate on official corruption

The arrest in Italy of former Tamaulipas governor Tómas Yarrington (1999-2004), based on information provided by the U.S., and fresh revelations on how he avoided arrest since an arrest warrant was issued in 2012 have spurred new debate on official complacency (at best) in prosecuting senior PRI officials in Mexico.

Amazingly, it appears that while Yarrington was a fugitive, the state attorney general’s office in Tamaulipas under PRI governor Egidio Torre (2012-16) was paying eight bodyguards to protect him.  This came to light only after a PAN governor was elected and took office in October 2016.

Surreal. Kafkaesque. Incomprehensible.  The PRIista government commissioned and paid for his bodyguards, but didn’t know where to find the fugitive ex-governor?

questioned columnist Héctor de Mauleón.

It was only after these revelations that the current federal PGR issued a Ps. 15 million reward for Yarrington’s arrest, and he is believed to have fled the country.

Both the U.S. and Mexico are seeking to extradite Yarrington.  He is alleged to have worked with both the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, protecting state and municipal police and mayors who were in the pay of the cartels, and laundered millions in drug proceeds.  He was indicted in Mexico in 2012.

 

The Peña Nieto government has also drawn scorn from the press for trying to take credit for providing Italy with information that led to his arrest.  According to official Italian statements, it was U.S. Homeland Security and ICE that provided the intelligence that led to his capture.

It’s the corruption, stupid! In a country that is becoming more and more disappointed and skeptical, corruption has become one of the most painful and important political issues

writes Sergio Sarmiento today.

Sources:  El Universal, Breitbart Texas, Reforma, El Pais,

War between Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas fingered as behind the killing of gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre

The assassination of Rodolfo Torre Cantú, the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas, is the country’s most serious political killing since the 1994 death of Luis Donaldo Colosio, the PRI’s presidential candidate.

Today’s NYT story has the basic information as currently known.

Most speculation in Mexico points to the violent struggle between the Gulf Cartel (CDG) and Los Zetas—formerly the armed wing of the CDG, and now their rivals—as the proximate cause of the surge in violence in Tamaulipas this year.  The Zetas, in particular, are suspected of being behind the ambush that killed Torre Cantú and four of his campaign staff.

Several items are worth noting:

  • Torre Cantú had recently gotten enhanced security.  The Ministry of Defense had just assigned him a new head of security, General (ret.) Roberto Miranda, who handled security for then-presidential candidate Ernesto Zedillo after the Colosio assassination.  (Universal 6/29)
  • In May, the PAN mayoral candidate for the town of Valle Hermoso, José Mario Guajardo Varela was assassinated. Valle Hermosa was where Torre Cantú was heading when his caravan was ambushed.
  • In eight of the 43 towns in the state, either the PRD or PAN did not field mayoral candidates, mostly because of intimidation and fears for personal safety.
  • In February, the U.S. DEA warned their Mexican counterparts of the growing wave of violence in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon because of the war between the two groups. (Excelsior 6/29)

Drug war escalates in Nuevo León and Tamaulipas

Three policemen were killed and a fourth gravely wounded when a patrol car was ambushed in the Monterrey suburb of San Nicolas. This attack follows by a week attacks where grenades were thrown into the police compounds of five Monterrey suburbs; only two of the grenades exploded. The Army warns that the Gulf cartel and the Zeta paramilitary gang are battling for control of the cities and transit routes in Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, with at least 17 confrontations between the two gangs since Feb. 25. Nuevo León governor Rodrigo Medina (PRI) fired his minister of public security and brought back Luis Carlos Treviño Berchelmann, who was Justice minister in the last government. (Reforma 2/28, 3/5, 3/5, 3/6)

Key agricultural program aids drug traffickers

The primary government program for supporting poor farmers, Procampo, was shown to be paying support funds to many of the top drug traffickers and their families, as well many prominent political families, according to an investigation carried out by CIDE and Fundar and reported by El Universal. Among the drug traffickers (and their families) who have gotten Procampo financial support: ‘El Mayo’ Zambada (Sinaloa cartel), ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán (Sinaloa cartel), Amado and Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (Juárez cartel), and Juan Garcia Abrego (Gulf Cartel).  Procampo was created 15 years ago to assist small farmers adjust to the opening of agricultural trade as part of NAFTA.  The investigation estimates that the top 20% of recipients have gotten 80% of the Ps. 171 billion in grants over the life of the program, while the average small farmer receives only Ps.700 per year.  In response, Secretary of Agriculture Alberto Cárdenas promised an immediate scrubbing of the list of beneficiaries, but said it was the responsibility of the Justice Ministry to weed out drug traffickers. (Universal 7/27, 7/29, Proceso 7/31)

Narco on most wanted list captured

The Army captured one of the top lieutenants of the Gulf cartel, Raymundo Almanza Morales and three others in Monterrey. He is on the PGR’s list of 37-most wanted drug traffickers. His brother Octavio was arrested in February for the murder of General Mauro Enrique Tello in Cancún. (Reforma 5/21)