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

EXTRADITION / 8 AUG 2022

A US request has led Guatemala to dismantle a prolific human smuggling ring that smuggled migrants to the United States.

JALISCO CARTEL / 11 JUL 2022

Despite Mexico ranking as the second-most devout Catholic country on the planet, clerics have found no salvation from extortion, beatings…

BRAZIL / 24 MAY 2021

Of the nearly 140 reporters killed in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Honduras during the past decade, about half covered organized…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…