WikiLeaks Sheds Light on Criminal Ties to Monterrey Casinos

A diplomatic cable released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks offer further evidence of the climate of corruption that exists around the Monterrey gambling industry, following a deadly arson attack that hit the north Mexican city on August 25.

As InSight Crime has reported, the deadly attack that killed 55 people last month has its roots not only in the ongoing battle between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel for control of Monterrey, but is also intertwined with criminal control of the city’s gambling industry. A cable sent from the office of then-Consul General Bruce Williamson in 2009 offers further evidence of underworld ties to the gambling business.

The document alleges that “a source familiar with the operations of casinos in the area” told consulate officials that a pair of casino kingpin brothers in the area, Juan Jose, alias “Pepe,” and Arturo Rosas Cardona, hired an assassin from the Beltran Leyva Organization to kill off their rival, Rogelio Garza Cantu, in order to establish control of the casino market.

The cable claims that the two brothers “are the largest casino operators in the metropolitan area,” and notes that “since casino licenses are assigned by the federal government to specific individuals, Rodrigo [sic] Garza’s casino will no longer be able to operate, thus allowing the Rojas brothers to consolidate control of casinos in the Monterrey region.”