“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

The former Gulf Cartel leader was hospitalized after being brutally kicked in the head. It has been 20 years since Cardenas Guillen has been held in a U.S. prison.

A cellmate of Cárdenas Guillén attacked him from behind and kicked him in the head

The former leader of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, was extorted and assaulted on the orders of the Mexican Mafia while in a maximum security federal prison in Colorado.

It was on September 2, 2019 when cameras from the High Security prison in Florence, Colorado, identified how two people approached the cell where the former drug trafficker and founder of Los Zetas was being held.

Although the agents were unable to hear the conversation, they did notice that moments later, Francisco García, Cárdenas Guillén’s cellmate, attacked him from behind and began kicking him in the head.

Two months earlier, one of his many enemies had arrived at the building a few meters from his prison, known as the Florence Supermax prison. It was Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, who had just been sentenced to life in prison for his role as one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. But it was not El Chapo who ordered the attack on Osiel Cardenas, it was the Mexican Mafia.

The attack suffered by the former Gulf Cartel leader

According to the investigation, Richard Santiago, one of the men who first approached Cárdenas, is a member of the Mexican Mafia, and had demanded 10,000 dollars. But Osiel, a man hardened amid the blood and bullets that flew day in and day out in northeast Mexico while he operated for the Gulf Cartel, said no. He was a member of the Mexican Mafia.

It was after Francisco Garcia brutally attacked him. According to the guards, it was “the worst kicks to the head they had ever seen that did not result in a death.”

Osiel Cardenas had to be hospitalized. He had lacerations on his face, a swollen head and a broken nose. Authorities were not entirely clear why and even discovered that the two got along well, so they began to check both of their backgrounds. Then, they began to piece together the loose ends.

Osiel Cardenas, the narco who survived an attack by the Mexican mafia

Osiel Cárdenas, the drug lord who survived a Mexican mafia attack

Garcia was a member of Los Sureños, a criminal cell that acts as an armed wing of the Mexican Mafia in U.S. federal prisons. As a member of Los Sureños, and an aspiring member of the Mexican Mafia, he was to carry out orders given to him, among them, to attack one of the most violent drug traffickers in Mexico’s history.

Francisco García had received an order from the Mexican mafia to attack Osiel Cárdenas for refusing to pay 10,000 dollars, about 200,000 pesos.

Osiel Cardenas will serve his sentence in 2024.

In 2007, in the first mass extradition of criminals from Mexico to the United States, Osiel Cárdenas arrived in the United States, where he was charged with drug trafficking and convicted.

The former drug kingpin is less than a year away from serving his sentence. It will be August 2024 when he will have paid his debt to the US justice system, and although it is not known what will happen to him afterwards, it is known that he did not collaborate with the authorities despite knowing he was facing several years in prison, nor did he pay for protection, even though he knew he could be killed in prison.