HomeNewsBriefGulf Cartel's X20 Could Fill Zetas Power Vacuum: El Universal
BRIEF

Gulf Cartel's X20 Could Fill Zetas Power Vacuum: El Universal

GULF CARTEL / 19 JUL 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

As Mexico waits to see what will unfold in the wake the capture of feared the Zetas leader Miguel Angel Treviño, alias Z40, a commander in the rival Gulf Cartel is being touted as a possible candidate to make a violent play for power in the northeast of the country.

Mario Armando Ramirez Treviño, alias X20, who leads a faction of the divided Gulf Cartel known as the Metros, and consolidated power over the organization following the September 2012 capture of Eduardo Costilla, alias "El Coss," could be even more violent than his fallen Zetas counterpart Treviño, said the Mexican newspaper El Universal.

SEE ALSO: InSight Crime's Gulf Cartel Profile

The newspaper predicts Ramirez will seek to take back "plazas," Mexican underworld parlance for trafficking corridors, starting with the valuable "Frontera Chica" area, a stretch of Tamaulipas along the Texas border, which has been in dispute since at least 2010 when Gulf and the Zetas had a violent rupture.

X20 is powerful enough to take on the Zetas, the newspaper claimed, and could even have the potential to bring the Gulf Cartel and its former armed wing back together to form a formidable new organization.

InSight Crime Analysis

Like the Zetas, the Gulf Cartel has been riven with infighting in recent years, divisions in which X20 has played a significant role. A divide between two factions -- the Rojos, loyal to jailed former leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen, and the Metros, supporters of El Coss and Ramirez -- has seen members kill one another or set them up for capture.

Ramirez most formidable opposition, Metro leader Hector Salgado, alias "Metro 4," was killed in January in Reynosa, possibly double-crossed by X20. Fierce fighting followed. On March 10, several people were killed in Reynosa when gun battles raged for hours between the various factions. X20 subsequently consolidated his hold on the Gulf Cartel, Reporte Indigo said

The Zetas have fragmented even more than their rivals as numerous factions have declared their intention to go after Z40 and his brother Alejandro "Omar" Treviño, alias Z42. With the capture of Z40, any remaining hierarchy holding the organization together is largely gone, leaving them significantly weakened and vulnerable.

SEE ALSO: InSight Crime's Z42 Profile

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

MEXICO / 16 FEB 2011

InSight has learned that the unidentified gunmen, responsible for killing one and wounding another U.S. agent in northern Mexico on…

MEXICO / 7 MAR 2013

Armed men shot up the offices of a newspaper and a TV station in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in the third…

INFOGRAPHICS / 22 JUL 2013

Even before Zetas' leader Miguel "Z40" Treviño's surprising capture on July 16, Nuevo Laredo was slipping into a chaotic state of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…