‘Tony Tormenta,’ Leader of Gulf Cartel, Dies After 6-Hour Battle in Matamoros

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Mexican authorities on Friday announced that after a six-hour firefight in the northern city of Matamoros, they had killed Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, alias Tony Tormenta, leader of the Gulf cartel.

Mexican authorities on Friday announced that after a six-hour firefight in the northern city of Matamoros, they had killed Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, alias Tony Tormenta, leader of the Gulf cartel.  The secretary of the Mexican Marines claimed that state forces killed three other cartel members in the shootout, but lost two of their own in the process. A dramatic video has since surfaced on YouTube (posted below), showing the tail-end of the firefight. According to the local newspaper of Brownsville, Texas, which lies just across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, the shootout involved the Mexican military and members of both the Zetas and Gulf cartels, and ultimately resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people.  Although it is unclear how many of those reported killed were members of the criminal organizations involved, the Matamoros daily El Expreso reported that one of its journalists, Carlos Guajardo Romero, had been shot during the cross-fire, and died as he covered the fighting.  The reporter’s death comes at a time when human rights groups are heavily criticizing the Mexican government for alleged abuses committed by the military in its war on drugs.  Ultimately, however, Cárdenas’ death is a significant victory for Mexican authorities, and marks a strong blow to the Gulf cartel.

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