Gulf Cartel Leader Captured

Published: 05 September 2012


Mario Cardenas Guillen, aka El Gordo ("Fatso"), considered one of two commanders of the infamous Gulf Cartel, was arrested  Monday in Mexico’s northern border state of Tamaulipas. His arrest is the latest of several high-profile wins by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in his war on Mexican drug gangs.

Cardenas was captured by that country’s naval special forces, which are backed by the United States.

Though one of the oldest and most powerful players in Mexico’s drug world, the Gulf Cartel has lost power in recent years to rivals like the Los Zetas and Sinaloa gangs. Los Zetas was once the “enforcer” arm of Gulf but broke from its progenitor in 2010. Though this and other infighting has weakened the group, it continues to function as an international network for smuggling Colombian-supplied drugs as well as human trafficking.