HomeNewsBriefWoman to Head Gulf Cartel After 'El Coss' Capture: Reports
BRIEF

Woman to Head Gulf Cartel After 'El Coss' Capture: Reports

EL COSS / 14 SEP 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Authorities in Mexico believe that the next leader of the Gulf Cartel could be a woman, an unusual development in the macho world of drug trafficking, but which might unite the badly splintered group.

According to security officials consulted by Mexico’s La Jornada, in the wake of the September 12 capture of Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias “El Coss,” a woman may be next in line to succeed as head of the Gulf Cartel. Sources in the military and the Attorney General’s Office told the newspaper that El Coss will likely be followed by one of the four siblings of jailed Gulf kingpin Osiel Cardenas Guillen, among them two women. While law enforcement officials have identified one of these Liliana Cardenas Guillen, the identity of the other sister is unknown.

Military officials told La Jornada that if one of the Cardenas Guillen sisters assumed leadership of the Gulf Cartel, it could serve to unite the group at a time when it is divided. After Osiel’s brother Antonio, known as “Tony Tormenta,” was killed in a firefight with police in November 2010, the Gulf Cartel split into two factions: the Rojos, loyal to the Cardenas Guillen family, and the Metros, who had been led by El Coss until his recent arrest.

InSight Crime Analysis

While it would be unusual for a Cardenas Guillen sister to directly manage the drug cartel, it would not be entirely unprecedented. The Tijuana Cartel has been headed for some time by Enedina Arellano Felix, who took over the group after her brothers were killed or arrested.  She now manages it with her son, Fernando Sanchez Arellano, alias "El Ingeniero." Another famous “drug queen,” Sandra Avila Beltran, is currently being tried in the United States on charges that she served as a key link between the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombia’s Norte del Valle Cartel.

However, if the Gulf Cartel’s last chance to unite and attempt to regain some of the territory it has lost to rivals in recent years lies with a female successor, there may be little chance of recovery. As InSight Crime has reported, powerful women in Mexico’s criminal underworld generally have difficulty commanding on their own, and have been forced to rely on men in their organizations to legitimize their positions.

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

GULF CARTEL / 21 FEB 2013

An extremely violent video released online threatens those who use social media to report on organized crime in Mexico,…

GULF CARTEL / 3 FEB 2012

A federal investigation into three former governors of a Mexican border state may be a sincere attempt to…

GULF CARTEL / 20 OCT 2011

Letras Libras reports from the streets of Monterrey, a north Mexican city bloodied by disputes between the Zetas and…

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…