“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

Video translation is as follows:

The leader of the Gulf Cartel and founder of Los Zetas Osiel Cardenas Guillen will have served 20 years in prison in the United States tomorrow. He is also nicknamed El Loco, El Patron, and El Mata Amigos. The latter nickname he acquired after murdering Salvador Gómez Herrera in 1998, a friend of his and then head of the Gulf Cartel in order to gain control of that criminal organization. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and not life imprisonment after a plea bargain with the U.S. government.

And he was supposed to be released in 2028. However, according to sources consulted by the Reforma newspaper in Texas, the capo will be released from prison next August, 5 years before his sentence is due to expire. Cardenas Guillen was arrested on March 14, 2003 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas and extradited to the United States in 2007. It was in 2010 behind closed doors that he signed an agreement with the United States that was classified as confidential for life, according to a report in the newspaper El Universal.

The agreement, revealed El Universal based on a declassified transcript, established that of the 12 charges against him, only five were brought against him. He also handed over $50 million dollars, the proceeds of his earnings as a drug trafficker. He also provided information about the structure and operations of the Gulf Cartel, according to El Universal. He is currently being held in a prison in the United States and his location will remain secret according to the pact he signed with the United States.

His family fared no better. One of his brothers, Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, aka Tony Tormenta, who was head of the Matamoros plaza, was killed by the Navy in 2010. Two years later another of his brothers Mario Cardenas Guillen aka Don Mario or El Gordo was arrested by the Navy in Altamira and extradited on May 17, 2022 to the United States. Homero Cardenas Guillen aka El Majadero his older brother died in Monterrey after undergoing cosmetic surgery.

His nephew Rafael Cardenas Vela aka El Junior was arrested in Texas in 2011. In 2014 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking. Another of his nephews Enrique Homero Cardenas Salinas was executed in 2014 in Matamoros allegedly by order of his first nephew Jose Alfredo Cardenas Martinez aka El Contador. He is currently imprisoned in a maximum security prison for kidnapping and drug trafficking.

Currently, the criminal organization he led is fragmented into several criminal cells that seek control of the Gulf Cartel. These are Los Ciclones, Los Metros, Las Panteras, and Los Rojos. All from the Gulf Cartel. The same happened with the armed wing that founded Los Zetas. After the fall of their group, this criminal group formed by ex-military men decided to separate from the Gulf Cartel and become a cartel.

Following the arrest and imprisonment of their leaders Heriberto Lazcano aka El Lazca and Miguel Angel Treviño Morles aka El Z40, Los Zetas fragmented into two groups called Zetas Vieja Escuela and Cartel del Noreste. Since then, they have been fighting for control of northeastern Mexico. Particularly states such as Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon.

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