HomeNewsBriefAccused Texis Cartel Boss Claims Group 'Doesn't Exist'
BRIEF

Accused Texis Cartel Boss Claims Group 'Doesn't Exist'

EL SALVADOR / 17 FEB 2015 BY LOREN RIESENFELD EN

Roberto “El Burro” Herrera, one of three alleged founders of the Texis Cartel, is being retried for the 2012 theft of a Toyota Yaris, in another indication that authorities in El Salvador are trying to take down the group any way they can.

Herrera was acquitted of the same charge in November 2014, but is being retried as an alleged member of a transnational ring of car thieves that transported 13 stolen vehicles to Guatemala.

Just minutes before his hearing, Herrera claimed the Texis Cartel has never been caught trafficking drugs. When asked why he believes the government links him to an organization that moves cocaine across Central America, Herrera replied, “I can’t give references to something that doesn’t exist,” reported La Pagina.

According to La Pagina, Herrera cited the lack of involvement in shootings, absence of gold-plated firearms, and the dearth of high profile and gruesome killings that typify cartel activity in Mexico as reasons why there's no evidence of the Texis Cartel's existence. 

InSight Crime Analysis

While the Texis Cartel obviously exists -- numerous intelligence reports have depicted a drug trafficking and money-laundering organization that operates with impunity by exploiting high-level contacts in the government -- Herrera’s statements do betray an element of truth about the organization. Instead of settling disagreements violently, the Texis Cartel mostly relies on bribery and corruption.

The Texis Cartel largely stayed out of the public eye until 2011, when Salvadoran newspaper El Faro reported on the group’s extensive ties to politicians and law enforcement, and profiled the three alleged founders: Herrera, hotel magnate Jose Salazar (alias “Chepe Diablo”), and Juan Umaña, the mayor of Metapan.

SEE ALSO: Texis Cartel News and Profile

In an effort to end the impunity shielding Texis Cartel leaders, authorities charged Salazar and Umaña with tax evasion in April 2014, although Salazar was released that August. One of the first successful convictions of an alleged associate of the Texis Cartel, businessman Leonel Sandoval was sentenced to four years in prison for arms possession.

While authorities are taking the “Al Capone” approach to bringing down the group by charging suspected leaders with crimes only tangentially related to drug trafficking and money laundering, they haven’t brought down the web of corrupt police and politicians that have allowed the Texis Cartel to operate freely for so many years.

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

EL SALVADOR / 24 OCT 2011

Several Central American nations are increasing their defense budgets after decades of demilitarization, citing the need to combat organized crime.

BARRIO 18 / 26 APR 2019

The variety of extortionists in Central America speaks to the ease with which opportunists can set up their own schemes.

BRAZIL / 19 JAN 2018

Record highs, all-time lows, and a few surprises -- 2017 proved a remarkable year in terms of homicide levels for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…