HomeNewsBriefGulf Cartel Violence Reminiscent of Mexico Drug War Peak
BRIEF

Gulf Cartel Violence Reminiscent of Mexico Drug War Peak

GULF CARTEL / 24 APR 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Violence exploded in northeastern Mexico this week following the arrest of a Gulf Cartel leader, demonstrating the ability of drug cartels to brazenly create chaos in this hotbed of criminal activity.

On April 22, the reported capture of Jose Silvestre Haro Mayo, alias “El Chive” or “R1” -- the alleged leader of the Gulf Cartel in Altamira, Tamaulipas -- and three of his accomplices sparked a wave of reprisal attacks across the state, as cartel members went on a rampage in an attempt to free their leader, reported Proceso.

Violence affected the municipalities of Tampico, Madero, and Altamira, where cartel members engaged in shoot-outs with security forces. Dozens of vehicles were set ablaze and used as roadblocks, meant to impede the transfer of captured cartel members to Mexico City.

According to Proceso, as many as six people are believed to have been killed in shoot-outs, with life in the Altamira coming to a standstill. “The city was paralyzed,” an anonymous source told the news magazine. "They had to evacuate a store, close schools, and cancel classes.”

The Mexican Marines have reportedly arrested nine suspects following the outbreak of violence. The Tamaulipas Coordination Group, which oversees federal and state security forces, said the situation was under control, although a state police officer had been killed. However, the capture of “El Chive” is still unconfirmed, with some reports suggesting he remains a fugitive, and that authorities arrested one of his underlings.

SEE ALSO: Gulf Cartel News and Profiles

The turmoil follows a similar outbreak of violence in Reynosa, Tamaulipas on April 17, where the reported capture of another Gulf Cartel leader led to shoot-outs and roadblocks throughout the city.

The captures are said to be part of an operation that began in May 2014, in order to dismantle organized crime networks in Tamaulipas, and has since resulted in security forces arresting 14 high-value targets in the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Gulf Cartel's recent aggression is reminiscent of the heady days of the “Mexican Drug War” under former president Felipe Calderon.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Back then, news of shoot-outs between drug traffickers and security forces in Tamaulipas were common, with the government routinely sending in army reinforcements in an effort to quell the bedlam. The state has also been home to some of the worst atrocities seen in Mexico in recent memory, including the murder of 72 Central American migrants in 2010.

Nonetheless, it appears that the Gulf Cartel -- despite fragmenting in recent years due to the capture of key leaders in recent years -- still has the capacity and the confidence to violently challenge the government and essentially shut down an entire city.

While the security strategy in Tamaulipas may be producing high-level captures of cartel members, the state nonetheless appears to still be struggling to gain control over the situation.

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 CHAPO / 10 MAR 2014

A prominent Italian author and mafia expert has claimed Sinaloa Cartel leader Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada was behind the capture…

COLOMBIA / 2 MAY 2011

The Australian Crime Commission, a government agency, has published its 2011 report on organized crime in the country. The…

ILLEGAL MINING / 19 JUL 2012

As Mexican authorities crack down on drug trafficking, criminal gangs are increasingly moving into the illicit trade in minerals, with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…