“Morogris” for Borderland Beat

Graphics by “HEARST”

Los Metros are one of the main factions of the now-splintered Gulf Cartel, a criminal group based in northeastern Mexico. They have long dominated the Reynosa border area, but few sources and information exist covering its early years and founding members.
In this report, Borderland Beat will cover the early history of Los Metros, which dates back to the late 1990s when Osiel Cárdenas Guillen was head of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas.

The first inner circle of Los Metros was reportedly formed by members of the Tamaulipas State Police and the Matamoros Municipal Police force circa 1996. This was around the time that Osiel Cárdenas Guillén had moved back to Matamoros after working as a police officer in Miguel Alemán.
When Osiel Cárdenas worked in Miguel Alemán, he oversaw drug seizures and ran a profitable drug ring with the help of corrupt fellow officers. Local drug baron Gilberto García Mena (AKA El June and/or El Yune) heard of Osiel’s activities, and approached him for a meeting; they got along well, and became trusted business partners.
El June also had close ties with other police officers and military members stationed there, and hired them to discreetly protect his drug trafficking operations in and around Miguel Alemán. After Osiel resigned from the police and returned to Matamoros in 1996, he replicated the model and formed a ring of policemen to support his criminal activities. Los Metros were born.
Origin of the Name
Although the present-day Metros are primarily based in Reynosa, it was formed in Matamoros. It is widely regarded that they named the group Los Metros after Matamoros, with “Metro” being the radio signal code to refer to the city. In other words, Los Metros (The Metros) was a code name for Los de Matamoros (Those from Matamoros).
Other factions of the Gulf Cartel followed similar naming conventions; in Tampico there was a cell known as Los Tangos. In Nuevo Laredo there was a group named Lobos, and in Reynosa there was Los Rojos.
“In the beginning, that’s how you knew where they were from, Metros were from Matamoros, Rojos were from Reynosa, Lobos were from Laredo and so forth,” a Tamaulipas state official said. “As things changed, the names stayed but they were all over the place.”
Many of the original Metros were born or grew up in ejidos in the border area colloquially known as La Frontera Chica (also known as La Ribereña), which includes the Tamaulipas municipalities of Guerrero, Mier, Miguel Aleman, Camargo and Diaz Ordaz. 
Our source confirmed to Borderland Beat that the first person to coin the term “Metro” was a police officer from Camargo known as “El Gordo” Montelongo.
Los Metros’s name may have derived from the official “Policía Metropolitana” (Metropolitan Police) of La Frontera Chica that some of the original Metros members may have worked in. They were hired to work for the Gulf Cartel sometime when Osiel Cardenas was in Miguel Aleman, before they relocated to Matamoros in 1996.

El Metro 1  Lorenzo Cuéllar Botello
There are two individuals who were part of the Gulf Cartel in the late 1990s that were known by their code names Metro 1. Their names were Lorenzo Cuéllar Botello and Rogelio García García.
Cuellar Botello was born on 22 November 1977 and was a member of the Santa Catarina Municipal Police force in Nuevo León. The earliest newspaper records found by Borderland Beat mentioning Lorenzo Cuellar Botello were from 1993 when he was serving as the police chief of Santa Catarina. This municipality is part of the Monterrey metropolitan area.
In addition to working for the police, Cuellar Botello was a member of Los Pedraza, a criminal dynasty and drug group that operated in Santa Catarina. The group was formed in the 1950s and was absorbed by the Gulf Cartel in the early 2000s under Osiel Cardenas. It was dismantled in September 2007, when Cuellar Botello and other clan members were arrested following an anti-drug sting.
In 2011, Cuellar Botello and fifteen other members of Los Pedraza were sentenced to 22 years in prison for drug dealing, illegal possession of firearms, and organized crime involvement. 

El Metro 1 – Rogelio García García
Rogelio García García was the other Metro 1 of the Gulf Cartel and an early associate of Osiel Cardenas. Little is known of him and few online sources cover his doings, but Garcia was an important member in Osiel Cardenas’s ascension and consolidation in Matamoros after he returned from Miguel Alemán.
According to Mexican federal investigation files titled 1694/MPFEADS/99 and 1420/MPFEADS/2000, Garcia was named as the “second-in-command” of the Gulf Cartel and the “closest associate” of Osiel Cardenas in 1999 and 2000. This was above Gulf Cartel figures Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sánchez (AKA El Coss), Juan Carlos González Sánchez (AKA La Torta), and José Manuel García Rendón (AKA La Brocha).
Investigators say that Garcia was one of the men responsible for kidnapping a half brother of Tampico-based trafficker Hugo Baldomero Medina Garza (AKA El Señor de Los Trailers) in 1997 and of participating in the murder of Matamoros gang member Salvador Gómez Herrera (AKA El Chava) in 1999. El Chava’s death consolidated Osiel Cardenas as the top leader of the Gulf Cartel.
In November 1999, Osiel Cardenas, Garcia, and several other ex-police officers and cartel gunmen threatened two U.S. agents at gunpoint in Matamoros after the agents traveled there with an informant to gather intelligence on the cartel’s operations. The agents and informant returned to the U.S. unharmed, but the incident triggered a massive manhunt and investigation against Garcia and those involved.
Garcia was also involved in the cartel’s international drug operations. The federal report previously cited stated that he once met with Colombian drug suppliers at the Holiday Inn Plaza Sol Hotel in Guadalajara, Jalisco, to negotiate a major drug deal for the Gulf Cartel. Other cartel members involved were El Coss, Sergio Garza Garza (AKA El Pollo), and Francisco Alberto Vazquez Guzman (AKA El Paco, Paquito, and/or Rufino). 
One of the suppliers, Ruben Dario Nieto Benjumea (AKA El Guiri), told Mexican agents after his arrest that Garcia had died in a car accident in July 2000. However, investigators doubted this confession because Garcia had at least seven identities that he used to go undetected. It is likely that his most cited name “Rogelio Garcia Garcia” is also an alias, investigators said.
There is another confession from Juan Carlos de la Cruz Reyna (AKA Tango 36) that Garcia and his brother, nicknamed Titino, were killed on Osiel Cardenas’s orders circa 2000. The location given was in Punta Milpa, a former cartel camp in Matamoros.
A source outside of law enforcement but with direct knowledge of old Gulf Cartel also told Borderland Beat that Garcia was retired and living in the Houston, Texas, area. The conflicting reports suggest that Garcia’s current whereabouts or status may never be known. 
Former Gulf Cartel boss Mario Cárdenas Guillén was known as “M1” but that did not stand for “Metro 1”. The “M” was a reference to a short-lived group known as Los Marinos, which was based in Matamoros.
El Metro 2 – Gregorio Saucedo Gamboa
Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa, also known as El Caramuela, Don Goyo, and/or El Goyo, was the founding Metro 2. Born on 11 May 1965, Sauceda Gamboa was member of the Tamaulipas State Police and started his career in Miguel Aleman as a police defective.
In 1996, he resigned from the police force and joined Osiel Cardenas in Matamoros. Sauceda Gamboa was assigned to protect Osiel Cardenas by Tamaulipas State Police chief Arturo Pedroza Aguirre. He was responsible for hiring several policemen to work in the cartel.
Sauceda Gamboa, along with brothers Adan (AKA El Fonfas), Karim (AKA Tango 64), Tomás (AKA Tango 80), and Hector Manuel (AKA El Karis), had strong influence in Matamoros, Reynosa, and Tampico.
But Osiel Cardenas grew wary of the Sauceda Gamboa brothers, and especially with Gregorio, after he believed they were a threat to him and the cartel’s operations. Federal investigators say that Gregorio was seen as a weak link due to the fact that he had cancer and cocaine and alcohol addiction. 

El Metro 3  Samuel Flores Borrego
Samuel Flores Borrego is the original Metro 3, and likely the most recognizable of the founding Metro members. He was born in 6 August 1972 and was a Tamaulipas State Police officer.
The earliest newspaper records consulted by Borderland Beat that mentions Flores Borrego date back to 2001. The newspaper says that he was responsible for supervising all security measures in the properties owned or visited by Osiel Cardenas.
Over the years, Flores Borrego became more involved in drug trafficking operation and rose through the cartel ranks. In 2009, he was indicted by the US government for intending to smuggle 5 kg (11 lb) or more of cocaine and 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) or more of marijuana from Mexico, Colombia, and Central America to the US.
In September 2011, Mexican authorities discovered the bullet-ridden corpse of Flores Borrego inside a Ford Lobo truck on a highway that connects Reynosa. His body was found along with the corpse of a policeman named Eloy Lerma García from Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. Before being executed, the two men were stripped to their underwear, severely beaten, tortured and then shot dead execution-style.
Investigators said that he was killed by the Gulf Cartel, presumably on orders from leaders Juan Mejía González (AKA El R-1, R1) and Rafael Cárdenas Vela (AKA El Junior, El 9000). In retrospect, his death marked a turning point in the history of the Gulf Cartel since it is widely seen as the spark that ignited the infighting and eventual balkanization of the cartel.
As mentioned earlier, Flores Borrego is arguably the most recognizable Metros figurehead to date. Years after his death, some Metros members who were part of the cartel when Flores Borrego was around were often referred to those from “The School of El Metro 3” (Spanish: La Escuela de El Metro 3). 

El Metro 4  Héctor David Delgado Santiago
Hector David Delgado Santiago is the original Metro 4. He was born on 23 December 1975 in Matamoros in a middle-class family involved in customs brokerage. 
Unlike other of his fellow Metros, like Metro 2 (Gregorio Sauceda-Gamboa) and Metro 3 (Samuel Flores-Borrego), Delgado Santiago operated a lower profile and remained under law enforcement’s radar for many years.
Delgado Santiago started his career in the Tamaulipas State Police and rose through the ranks of the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa under former plaza boss Mario Ramirez Treviño (AKA El Pelon and/or X-20).
He was known by authorities on both sides of the border as a coldblooded and ruthless cartel boss.
In 2011, a private memo from Texas Department of Public Safety was leaked and showed that Delgado Santiago given orders to his henchmen to fire at U.S. agents if they interfered with drug shipments of the cartel.
There were also several attacks carried out in the South Texas that were attributed to him. A US law enforcement official familiar with his case but said Delgado Santiago had a disregard for “borders when scores needed to be settled.”
On early hours of the morning on 15 January 2013, Delgado Santiago was found dead in Reynosa. There are conflicting reports on what happened, but sources outside of law enforcement said that he was kidnapped days prior and found dead by Mexican authorities.
The perpetrators are not officially known. One probable culprit are Los Zetas, who were rivals to the Gulf Cartel faction in Reynosa. But other sources suggest he may have been killed by members of his own cartel,  sharing the same fate as his associate Metro 3.

El Metro 5  Ediel López Falcón
Ediel Lopez Falcon, also known as La Muela, is the original Metro 5. He was born in 1973/1974 in Tamaulipas.
No sources were found confirming his involvement in law enforcement, but it is probable that he was a member of a municipal or state police force in Tamaulipas like the other Metro founding members.
Lopez Falcon was the regional boss of Miguel Alemán and helped coordinate international drug trafficking shipments from South and Central America to Mexico and the U.S. His roles in the cartel were also to coordinate oil theft operations.
In 2012, he was indicted by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for drug trafficking activities.
After Metro 3’s (Samuel Flores Borrego) death in 2011, violence intensified across Tamaulipas, starting a series of internal battles within the cartel. Several cartel bosses were arrested and/or killed, but others like Lopez Falcon fled to the US to avoid imminent danger.
In 2013, Lopez Falcon was arrested while heading to a bank in Pharr, Texas. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2015 for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine and marijuana to the US. He is currently imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution, Fort Dix in New Jersey. His expected release date is in 2029.

El Metro 6  Juan Carrillo Reséndiz
Juan Carrillo Resendiz is the original Metro 6. Very few details are known of this individual, and his status as an original member of Los Metros was confirmed by sources that were shared in the old Borderland Beat forum.
According to confessions made by Zetas founder Alejandro Lucio Morales Betancourt (AKA Zeta 2, Z-2) as a protected witness, Carrillo Resendiz started in the Gulf Cartel under Metro 2 (Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa).
Under Metro 2, Carrillo Resendez was responsible for organizing law enforcement protection for the Gulf Cartel and collecting fees from drug dealers in Reynosa.

El Metro 7  Alfonso Flores Salinas
Alfonso Flores Salinas is the original Metro 7 and cousin of Metro 3 (Samuel Flores Borrego). He is also known as “Poncho”, a common nickname for Alfonsos in Mexico.
Very few details are known of this individual, and Borderland Beat was not able to confirm if he was part of any law enforcement agency in Mexico at some point.
His name was first mentioned in a banner that was reposted by “Itzli” from Borderland Beat in 2014. In the banner, it was alleged that he reported to his cousin. 
In 2015, his picture was leaked to the media after being vetted by U.S. and Tamaulipas law enforcement officials.

El Metro 8 – Sergio Martínez Velasco
Sergio Martinez Velasco is the most probable candidate for being the original Metro 8. Very few details are known of this individual, and his status as an original member of Los Metros was confirmed by sources that were shared in the old Borderland Beat forum.
Citizen journalists in Tamaulipas say that Martinez Velasco was a member of the old Tamaulipas State Police unit that Metro 2 (Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa) and others were part of.
He reportedly supported the Gulf Cartel for many years and worked under Mario Armando Ramirez Treviño (AKA El Pelon, X-20) and Juan Manuel Loiza Salinas (AKA El Toro). However, it is alleged that Martinez Velasco has retired from day-to-day operations.
Based out of Reynosa, citizen journalists say he is a successful businessman and owner of a recreation center. His businesses are reportedly serving as a money laundering front for cartel bosses and corrupt members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) based in Reynosa. 
Sources say that he is the uncle of Petronilo Moreno Flores (AKA El Panilo, M-100, Metro 100), a former cartel boss in Reynosa. 
Image credit: “HEARST” from Borderland Beat created the images. 
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Itzli, Bjeff, ToonWorld, Ivan, Browntown, El Plata, and countless others. Their information and analysis provided over the last decade was compiled to create this report. 
Contact me: Reach out to me at anonymous.mxonline@protonmail.com if you have any private inquiries or comments.