Saturday, August 4, 2018


Top Gulf Cartel Commander Found Hiding in Mexican Beach Resort Town

Gulf Cartel Pantera main
Mexico's Secretariat of the Interior

One of the top Gulf Cartel commanders, directly linked to the raging violence in the border state of Tamaulipas, had been hiding out in the beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Federal and state law enforcement authorities found him and made the arrest.

Known as Pantera 16, Victor Manuel Flores Rico has been described by authorities as a ruthless cartel commander. He is linked to various cases of murder, kidnapping, extortion, cattle theft, and the theft of fuel in large quantities. Information provided to Breitbart Texas by law enforcement sources in Tamaulipas revealed that Flores Rico is directly linked to the kidnapping of Roberto Quiroga Valdez. The victim is the son of a family in the food business who was taken by cartel gunmen in 2014 and has never been seen again. Quiroga Valdez had been kidnapped twice in 2013 but he was released after his family paid heavy sums of money to the Gulf Cartel. Despite meeting the ransom demands Gulf Cartel gunmen did not release Quiroga Valdez after the 2014 kidnapping. Mexican federal authorities are currently offering close to $80,000 USD for information leading to his return. 
In addition to being tied to multiple kidnappings and murders, the man known as Pantera 16 controlled the central rural communities of Soto La Marina, Abasolo, Jimenez, and Aldama for the Gulf Cartel. Despite having control over that area, Flores Rico had moved his operational headquarters to the central part of Mexico in the city of Leon, Guanajuato. At the time of the arrest, Flores Rico had been visiting the popular beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. 
According to information released by Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior, the arrest was carried out without any gunfire. A six-month-long investigation carried out in conjunction with the Tamaulipas government led to the cartel leader’s capture. As Breitbart Texas reported, state authorities offered more than $110,000 USD for information leading to Flores Rico. At the same time as the reward was announced, Tamaulipas authorities also kicked off an international tip-line with the helped of federal U.S. law enforcement agencies so that individuals in Mexico can call U.S authorities to provide information, Breitbart Texas reported at the time. Since the start of the two programs, authorities have captured two out of 10 wanted cartel bosses.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at

U.S. Prohibits Employee Travel to Tourist Parts of Mexican Border State

Wikimedia Commons

The United States Consulate General in Hermosillo, Mexico, issued a security alert prohibiting federal employees from traveling to the popular tourist locations of San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme, Sonora due to recent violent criminal activity.

The alert includes all points south of Hermosillo via Federal Highway 15. The restriction will be reevaluated at the end of a 10-day period. The matter was issued on July 31 and went into effect immediately, citing recent violent criminal activity and ongoing police actions.
The security alert reads as follows:
Security Alert – U. S. Consulate General Hermosillo, Mexico (July 31, 2018)
Locations:  Areas including, but not limited, to:
San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico
Empalme, Sonora, Mexico
Event:  Due to recent violent criminal activity and ongoing police action in San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the cities of San Carlos, Guaymas, Empalme, and all points south of Hermosillo via Federal Highway 15, in the state of Sonora, Mexico.
Actions to Take:
Avoid the area.
Monitor local media for updates.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Breitbart Texas previously reported on cartel activity and violence in Sonora in March 2018. A police commander in Guaymas was murdered by a group of unknown gunmen who opened fire from a second vehicle as he drove his duty SUV.
In May of this year, Breitbart Texas reported on the capture of a key regional Sinaloa cartel boss in Sonora who was identified as Josué Iván Torres González aka “El Chango” (“Monkey”) who was taken into custody during a series of raids, which resulted in the capture of two criminal associates and the seizure of drugs, weapons, vehicles, and telecommunication devices.
Most recently, Breitbart Texas reported on the shocking killing of a cartel operative gunned down inside a church before approximately 40 parishioners in Ciudad Obregón. Due to the escalating violence in the area, elements of the state and federal police, as well as the Mexican Army, are providing security patrols in Guaymas and Empalme. In the week prior to the security alert being issued, at least seven locals were reportedly kidnapped and several shootings were reported by local media.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at

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