Mexican security forces have killed reputed Gulf cartel boss Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, one of the country’s most wanted drug lords, in an hours-long gunbattle in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, 48, major drug trafficker was killed Friday during a shootout for several hours with Mexican marines on the country’s northern border near Brownsville, Texas.
Two marines, four cartel gunmen and a newspaper reporter were also killed during the shootout.
Cárdenas is believed to have begun his drug trafficking career during the late 1980s, rising through the ranks of the Gulf Cartel and becoming its leader after the arrest of his brother Osiel Cárdenas Guillén in March 14, 2003. Antonio, along with other Gulf Cartel associates, was responsible for multi-ton shipments of marijuana and cocaine from Mexico to the United States.
The Gulf Cartel, founded in the 1970’s, is a Mexican drug cartel based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The cartel is present in 13 Mexican states with important areas of operation in the cities of Nuevo Laredo, Miguel Alemán, Reynosa and Matamoros in the northern state of Tamaulipas; it also has important operations in the states of Nuevo León and in Michoacán. The Gulf Cartel traffics cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border to major cities in the United States. The group is known for its violent methods and intimidation.
The cartel earns money from the sales of narcotics, “taxes” on anyone passing narcotics or aliens through Gulf Cartel territory. The Gulf cartel is also known to operate protection rackets, extorting money from local businesses and to kidnap for ransom money.
Cardenas Guillen earned the nickname “Tony Tormenta” (Tony Storm) for beheading and torturing his rivals. Cárdenas was one of the eleven ‘Most Wanted’ Mexican fugitives sought by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Attorney General of Mexico suspects that his partner Jorge Eduardo Costilla has taken full control of the Gulf Cartel.