Cartel violence continues to escalate in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, particularly around its capital and surrounding communities as the Gulf Cartel seeks to expand its territories. This move by the cartel brought a rise in violence that is negatively impacting local communities.
The Matamoros faction of the Gulf Cartel has been sending teams of gunmen since last year into Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, and several of its surrounding communities. As Breitbart Texas has reported, the territory expansion undertaken by the Gulf Cartel is directly linked to the arrival of current Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal. The Gulf Cartel expanded into the central and southern parts of the state after his swearing-in and began to extort local ranchers, farmers, and businessmen.
In the case of the rural communities around Ciudad Victoria such as Jimenez and Abasolo, the increaseing violence carried out by Gulf Cartel gunmen has been linked to numerous kidnappings, highway robberies, and extortions. The increased presence of the gunmen also led to several clashes with authorities.
In recent days, a group of cartel gunmen wearing tactical gear bearing the logo of the Gulf Cartel attacked a group of Tamaulipas police officers as they moved around the town of La Independencia — near the city of Jimenez. The police officers called for backup and attempted to fight off the gunmen. As additional police forces arrived, the gunmen fled along some dirt roads but ultimately authorities caught up with them. During the clash, police officers killed all four gunmen in the SUV.
The rural communities around Ciudad Victoria were previously under the control of Juan De Dios “Commander Caballero” or “Ciclon 26” Hernandez Ledezma. On April 11, state authorities arrested him and seven of his gunmen following a shootout. During that clash, authorities also arrested his brother Daniel “El Vizcaya” Hernández Vizcaya, who is described as a key operator for the Gulf Cartel who would force locals to take part in protests against military and police forces. Authorities turned Caballero and his gunmen over to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office for federal prosecution. Mexican authorities have not released any information about their current legal situation.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to Mexico City and the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and their original Spanish. This article was written by “Francisco Morales” from Tamaulipas.
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