Death of Gulf Cartel ‘Finance Chief’ Sign of Internal Strife?

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An alleged financial operator for the Gulf Cartel was killed in Tamaulipas state, north Mexico, in what could be further evidence of infighting within the group.

According to the Brownsville Herald, the death of Cesar Davila Garcia, alias “El Gama,” may have been the result of dissent between two factions of the Gulf Cartel.

One faction is known as the Metros and was once headed by Samuel Flores Borrego, reportedly a close supporter of Gulf Cartel leader Jose Costilla Sanchez, alias “El Coss.” Borrego was gunned down on September 3.

At the time, the Mexican army said he was killed because of a quarrel with a rival faction, known as the “Rojos,” led by Juan Reyes Mejia Gonzalez. The Rojos once formed part of the Gulf Cartel’s armed wing and provided security to the group’s leaders.

Davila may have been killed by the Metros in an escalation of this quarrel, the Herald reports.

The most famous armed wing of the Gulf Cartel is the Zetas, who have since split with the group, but the Gulf also relied on other highly-trained security teams, the Rojos and the Escorpiones (who protected ex-cartel leader “Tony Tormenta“) being but two examples.

The alleged infighting could be caused by suspicions that the Rojos have been too “soft” on the Gulf Cartel’s sworn enemy, the Zetas. At the time of split between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, a faction of the Rojos reportedly went over to the Zetas’ side, which would explain lingering suspicions of disloyalty.

But the split could also derive from a fundamental disagreement over the leadership of the Gulf Cartel: those more loyal to the Cardenas Guillen family, and those loyal to “El Coss,” like Metro leader Samuel Borrego.

If the Gulf Cartel is indeed suffering from an internal rilvary in Tamaulipas, this could provide an opening for the Mexican military. Marines recently arrested 36 alleged operatives in the state, part of a region-wide push to reduce violence rates in the troubled north.

(See video, below, of a firefight between Mexican marines and members of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas.)

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