HomeMexicoAntonio Cardenas Guillen, alias 'Tony Tormenta'

Antonio Cardenas Guillen, alias "Tony Tormenta," headed up the financial and logistics side of the Gulf Cartel, which his brother, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, once ran with an iron fist.

History

Tony Tormenta rose to the top of the Gulf Cartel following the extradition of his brother Osiel to the United States in 2007. Osiel is now in a United States prison serving time for drug trafficking and threatening a US law enforcement officer.

Criminal Activities

Tony Tormenta Factbox

DOB: March 5, 1962

Group: Gulf Cartel

Criminal Activities: International drug trafficking

Status: Killed

Area of Operation: Tamaulipas, Mexico

Before his death, Tony Tormenta was considered the strategist and money-man of the operation while his associate, Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias "El Coss," was thought of as the muscle. Cardenas controlled the cartel’s most lucrative "plaza," or drug trafficking corridor, Matamoros-Brownsville, Texas, for years.

Cardenas was indicted in 2008 in the federal district of Washington DC. The US offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Geography

Cardenas was most influential in Mexico's northern border city of Matamoros, a traditional power center for the Gulf Cartel.

Allies and Enemies

Cardenas' Gulf Cartel is a long-time enemy of the Zetas, which broke away from its parent organization following Osiel's extradition to the US. In April 2010, authorities confirmed an alliance between criminal group Familia Michoacana and the Gulf Cartel in order to team up against the Zetas. The Gulf Cartel has also come into conflict with a number of other former allies, including the Tijuana and Sinaloa Cartels.

Prospects

Mexican security forces killed Tony Tormenta in November 2010 during a six-hour firefight in Matamoros.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GULF CARTEL / 12 MAY 2014

Police have killed an original member of Mexico's vicious Zetas drug cartel, marking the latest loss among the group's Special…

GULF CARTEL / 4 MAY 2011

With more than 1,400 murders related to organized crime, April was the deadliest month so far of Felipe Calderon’s presidency.

GULF CARTEL / 6 OCT 2011

Five years ago, the central-west states of Jalisco and Zacatecas were a relatively peaceful backwater in Mexico's battles with organized…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…