“Mica/DrivingMSSQL” and “Ivan” for Borderlandbeat.com

All contributors appreciate your continued support and taking time out of your day for Borderland Beat. I am probably the biggest “BB Fan” since 2008. It’s a privilege to interact with the contributors, and this is my first year-end as a contributor to Blogger.

Most Viewed Arrest Posts
This is a list of the most viewed Arrest Posts for 2022. 

Notable Arrests of 2022
This list was compiled and heavily debated amongst some of the contributors at BB. We all agreed these are the most notable arrests of 2022. These arrests are listed in order of date.
Contributors Ranking
The participating BB contributors were asked to rank these arrests in order of importance.
How would you rank the arrest above in order of importance?
1. RCQ
2. Huevo
3. Contador
4. Tony Montana
5. La Vaca
6. El F-25
7. El 85
RCQ is my number one pick over Huevo because Caro’s arrest represented the beginning of a major shift in the relationship between US-Mexican law enforcement.

Prior to the arrest, things had appeared to get quite icy between the two countries, with the DEA agent visa delays and the airplane spot removal. But RCQ’s arrest marked a change in a positive direction. 

This positive change was then swiftly undone, however, when AMLO denied the DEA was involved in the arrest, effectively forcing the agency to revoke an earlier statement. 

I believe Huevo likely had more direct power in the cartel world than RCQ did, however, Huevo was actually a US citizen.

Its presumably much easier for the US to negotiate for a deportation – because Huevo wasn’t a Mexican citizen, they couldn’t argue about protecting his rights under Mexican law.

This makes Huevo’s arrest less consequential than RCQ’s, to me, because it was less important within the context of the US-Mexican diplomatic relationship, which is ultimately what defines whether these big arrests actually occur.

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1. El Huevo– 6 years leading a major cartel organization is well above average, throw in the fact that CDN controls what is arguably the most valuable plaza in all of Mexico (Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas) makes me argue he is hands down the most important arrest of the year. I speculate that we will look back at this years from now and realize the dynamics we see began to take shape with Huevo’s fall.
  2. El Contador– Similar to El Huevo, back and forth holding direct power in the CDG Matamoros faction for so many years, influencing things from prison when he has been behind bars, and the fact that CDG Matamoros has increasingly been assertive outside of Tamaulipas. His arrest brings things to a crossroads…does things continue with him/his son/Kelin, or does this open the door for say Betillo Cardenas or Gaby Sierra.
3. La Vaca– Want me to stick my neck out with a speculative opinion? His arrest was important because we will play “what would have happened if La Vaca wasn’t arrested” in the future but, more so, La Vaca opened up Pandora’s box in my opinion. Take away La Vaca and I would argue you wouldn’t have as much speculation on Mencho’s status, no Pajaros Sierra, and not nearly the amount of arrests in CJNG as we are seeing. La Vaca made everyone realize that, just maybe, CJNG isn’t as powerful as it seems.
  4. Tony Montana– El Mencho’s brother being arrested should be a huge deal, with big reaction from CJNG, instead we got nothing which makes me kind of think Mencho is akin to Osiel Cardenas pre-2007 and Tony Montana is like Tony Tormenta in those days, just there because of his brother. So his arrest doesn’t seem to matter but what it could lead to is what makes things interesting.
5. RCQ– Originally my number one but the more I thought about it…beyond name recognition and a “moral victory” does the arrest of RCQ 2022 even matter as it often seems he’s just a well known figurehead that has passed the torch to family members that truly control his cartel.
  6. F-25 – He is a big symbolic victory that flies under the radar as he is responsible for the old CDG Zacatecas faction becoming a part of CJNG and, one could argue, the whole CJNG campaign in Zacatecas would look very different or not even exist if it wasn’t for him. On the flip side it seems that his power has diminished since then and his arrest becomes “hey what ever happened to that guy”.
7. El 85– The rumors about El 85 were always more interesting than the reality. It really looks like he went back to CJNG without any of the betrayals on his part that were alleged and found an organization that had moved on without him and he never found his footing again. If it wasn’t for being a part of the formation of CJNG, I’m not sure anyone would have even noticed or cared that he was arrested.

1. El Huevo – In 2022, there was only one arrest of the leader of a major cartel. His arrest lead to violence on the border and even a US Consulate. As he was a dual citizen, his extradition was quick. But the impact may still be seen in the upcoming years, as in the past, when cartel heads are taken down, the groups usually fracture, leading to an increase in violence and rival groups.

2. Rafael Caro-Quintero – The most talked about and sought after fugitive captured this year was surely that of RCQ. Wanted by the US since they 1980s for the killing of a DEA agent, the United States were satisfied with him in Mexican prison until he was released. While the victory for the DEA was significant, it is to be seen if he will be extradited due to multiple delays. And the impact of his arrest and how it affects the drug trafficking world in Mexico has yet to be seen as well and due to his long absence, could have little to no impact overall.

3. El Contador – Jose Alfredo Cardenas Martinez as Osiel’s nephew, is one of the last in the lineage of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the last leader of the Gulf Cartel before their split with Los Zetas. The Gulf Cartel has further fragmented since that time with “El Contador” leading the inherited faction in Matamoros. His arrest this year, his third in the last 5 years, seems to be the final one, having been indicted in the US, and linked to over a dozen murders in Mexico. The arrest and potential extradition could further fraction the cartel, however, Osiel is due to be released next year, and other relatives have short prison sentences to serve, so the Cardenas family could stay in power.

4. El 85 – The arrest of El 85 and its impact will for now remain a question. However, his status as a co-founder of the CJNG cartel and possible high level involvement still is important and seen as a victory for Mexican authorities. It also further weakens the CJNG as it seems he had been working with them after a possible split years prior.

5. Tony Montana – The brother of El Mencho was recently arrested so the affect of his arrest is not known completely yet and likely to not affect much in the overall function of the cartel. But any arrest of a family member or someone close to El Mencho, puts pressure on him and further restricts who he can trust. Further isolation with this arrest could lead to more breakaway cartel groups that don’t want to be controlled from a far and through intermediary messengers. This was the case with La Vaca announcing the independence and formation of the Colima Cartel, prior to his own arrest.

So I had everything listed out and then I realized I was taking the safe route. How does one define importance? Five years from now, we may look back and see things very differently, so I’m going to put more weight into speculation of future importance.

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