Photo: Mario Ramirez Treviño Captured
The Mexican government through its national defense agency has announced the arrest of Mario Ramirez Treviño, 51, head of the Gulf cartel making this one of the most significant narco arrests under the new presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto.
Treviño, also known as “El Pelon” or “X-20”, had an $8 million bounty on his head, $5 million of the reward is being offered by the U.S. that has sought his arrest since 2006. In 2008 the U.S. indicted Treviño on drug trafficking charges.
Details of the capture executed by Mexico’s Army and Navy forces are scarce; it is believed the capture took place in Rio Bravo in the state of Tamaulipas, near the Texas-Mexico border. The cartel’s headquarters are located in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
The Gulf Cartel is one of Mexico’s longest running narco operations created in the 1930’s as an alcohol smuggling operation during U.S. Prohibition era. It has seen it business decline as it has lost drug trafficking routes to newer, more vicious cartels like the Zetas. The Gulf cartel supplies coke and marijuana into the U.S. through most of the border cities of Texas. It also has expansive global trafficking operations in Europe, Asia and Africa. Gulf narcos also supplement the organizations business with gambling, human trafficking and kidnappings.
Treviño took over the leadership of the cartel when Jorge Eduardo Castillo was arrested last September.