Borderland Beat has a very interesting article up describing the take-down of Gulf Cartel boss Tony Tormenta. Over 600 Mexican Navy Marines, 3 helicopters,and 17 armooured vehicles were needed to take this freak out of the gene pool. While this operation caused chaos and fear among the population of Matamoros including the disruption of cell phone service, it was necessary to take this nut out and to let the rest of these crazies know what their fate will be. This is a war and collatoral damage (civilian casualties) always occur in war. Mexico must continue to take control of its own territory. Mexicans must have a level of safety which will allow them to live normal lives with their families and friends, do business in a secure environment all governed by the rule of law. The corruption in all levels of the Mexican government better be rooted out too or this will all be for naught.
You potheads and supporters of legalizing pot share in the responsibility for all this bloodshed. If pot is legalized, it will flow across the border inamounts which will make that 130 tons (260,000 pounds) found recently look like a drop in the bucket. You think local growers will be able to stand against the cartels? Hell, the government of Mexico can barely stand.
A total of 660 members of the Navy of Mexico participated in the operation yesterday which resulted in the death of Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, alias "Tony Tormenta", a high ranking kingpin of the Gulf Drug Cartel.
The Secretary of the Navy said in a statement that a total of 660 military marines were deployed in the operation, and of these, 150 were in the first circle of action, supported by three helicopters and 17 armored vehicles.
In the gunfight four gunmen were killed that allegedly belonged to the inner circle of protection to "Tony Tormenta." Also killed were three marines while four others were wounded, said the Navy said in a statement.
A source explained that Mexican authorities had been following the trail of "Tony Tormenta" for the last six months and on Friday they received his location in a downtown neighborhood of Matamoros, a city bordering the United States, but when the first group of marines arrived, they were met with automatic gunfire and grenades.
This conflict unleashed a fierce gun battle which lasted for more than two hours, until the capo "Tony Tormenta", a native of Matamoros and at the age 48, finally fell.
Friday's daylong gunfights throughout Matamoros between cartel hit men and Mexican soldiers and marines plunged the city into chaos and panic, witnesses said, as armed men plowed through streets on the backs of pickup trucks.
Residents rushed in helter-skelter traffic to get home; many remained trapped in their offices. Cellphone service went down, further stoking fears as bursts of high-caliber weaponry could be heard for hours. International bridges into Texas were closed for a time.
Most of the fighting barely made a ripple in national news here in Mexico because local reporters in Tamaulipas, out of fear or corruption, have been trained to ignore cartel activities. Only when a journalist for a Matamoros newspaper was killed in the gun battle did the news begin to trickle out.
A source said that "Tony Tormenta" was one of the leaders to take control of the Gulf cartel in 2003, which has its influence on the east coast of Mexico, after his brother, Osiel Cardenas Guillen was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the United States.
The Mexican government considers the death of the Gulf cartel kingpin as a "significant" step in dismantling organized criminal groups "that have caused a lot of suffering to the people of our country," said the national security spokesman, Alejandro Poire.
In a press release read to the media, Poire congratulated the members of the Armed Forces who participated in the operation and expressed his deep condolences over the death of the soldiers "killed in the line of duty."
The Gulf cartel and the Zetas, once allies, have been disputing for the last couple of years in a bloody war for control of drug trafficking turf, which has left a bloodbath in its aftermath.
So far this year more than 10,000 people have been killed related to organized crime.