HomeNewsBriefBloodshed in Northeast Mexico Points to Cartel Turmoil
BRIEF

Bloodshed in Northeast Mexico Points to Cartel Turmoil

GULF CARTEL / 17 SEP 2012 BY HANNAH STONE EN

A recent wave of mass killings in Mexico’s northeast could point to a succession battle in the Gulf Cartel, whose leader "El Coss" was arrested last week.

In the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, nine bodies were found on a bridge on Friday, reported the AFP. A “narco-banner,” signed in the name of a drug gang, was left next to the bodies, but its contents have not been revealed by authorities. Seven more corpses were dumped on a highway in the municipality of San Fernando, also in Tamaulipas, the same day, reported Milenio. All 16 had been killed by gunshots, and most had their hands tied.

In the neighboring state Nuevo Leon, seven people were executed in a mechanics shop in the city of Monterrey, Blog del Narco reported.

InSight Crime Analysis

Gulf Cartel leader Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias "El Coss," was captured in Tamaulipas two days before the bodies were found. It is possible that the killings were prompted by supporters seeking revenge for the capture -- the drug boss was reportedly arrested after a group of his bodyguards led marines to his house.

There has been bitter infighting within the Gulf Cartel in recent years, and according to some reports El Coss had been carrying out a campaign of betraying his associates to the authorities in order to rid himself of rivals. Gulf boss Mario Cardenas Guillen or "El Gordo" was captured on September 3, and may have handed over information to the authorities about El Coss.

Another possibility is that these mass killings are part of a bid by one of his associates to gain control of the cartel. The death and capture of many of the Gulf Cartel old guard has left the drug trafficking organization without a clear leader to succeed El Coss. Mexican media reports say that a Gulf lieutenant named Mario Armando Ramirez Treviño, alias "X-20" or "Pelon," (pictured, above) may be poised to take control of the organization. He is thought to be the current head of the Reynosa "plaza," or drug trafficking territory, and Vanguardia reported that his ascension to the leadership could mean the end of the divide between rival factions the Rojos and the Metros. 

However, the massacres in northeast Mexico may not be related to El Coss' capture. The Gulf Cartel is disputing the region with the Zetas, which is currently in the throes of a bloody split between its two main leaders. Like the arrest of the Gulf boss, the break between Heriberto Lazcano, alias “El Lazca,” and Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias “Z-40,” has shaken up the dynamics  in Mexico's underworld, and is likely to cause more bloodshed in their territory.

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

HUMAN RIGHTS / 13 MAY 2022

The death of two indigenous leaders in Guerrero, Mexico, has again drawn attention to the government’s negligent protection of indigenous…

COLOMBIA / 29 OCT 2021

The fascination with “narco-culture” has taken over the entertainment and media industries: documentaries, TV shows, movies, podcasts, even a dedicated…

FENTANYL / 8 OCT 2021

The United States has sanctioned four suspected members of Mexico’s powerful CJNG cartel, alleging that they controlled drug operations at…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…