Brownsville teenager Jose Rodolfo Najera Olvera goes missing in cartel-infested Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas

Texas teen's disappearance spotlights rising cartel violence in Mexico, sparking cross-border concern and a hunt for answers.

Authorities in Mexico have been trying for several days to locate a Texas teenager who disappeared when he went to visit relatives across the border. The disappearance of Jose Rodolfo Najera Olvera, originally from Brownsville, came at a time when Tamaulipas had become one of the most dangerous states in the country due to the violence of drug cartels and the ineffectiveness of state and federal authorities in dealing with them.

The teenager is a U.S. citizen in Ciudad Victoria visiting relatives on the day he was reported missing: June 10. According to information provided to authorities by his relatives, the teenager, and another friend were driving a Volkswagen Passat to a rural community called El Roble, east of Ciudad Victoria, when they were last seen.

The governor of Tamaulipas, Américo Villarreal Anaya, pledged to find the missing young man, who has a tattoo on the bicep of his right arm as a particular sign.

The disappearance occurred a few days after alleged members of the Gulf Cartel (CDG) kidnapped five American tourists traveling in vehicles, including a Lamborghini Urus van, in the state of Tamaulipas.

The events took place on March 1 in the city of Soto de La Marina, in Tamaulipas, where, according to reports, probable members of the Gulf Cartel set up a checkpoint at one of the city’s access points, reported Breitbart Texas.


Five tourists traveling in a Lamborghini Urus, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Jeep Cherokee were detained; after the suspected CDG gunmen interrogated them at the checkpoint, they kidnapped the men and took their vehicles.

The five victims were Joel Rodriguez, Brian Lazala, Ramon Mendez, Bonifacio Sanchez, and Carlos Nunez, originally from the Dominican Republic but residing in the United States.

On March 3, alleged members of the Gulf Cartel were involved in the kidnapping of four Americans and the death of two of them in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, in a case that generated tension between Mexico and Washington.

According to the crime map on organized crime in Mexico, built by AC Consultores, Tamaulipas was the Mexican state where criminal presence was registered in 100% of its municipalities.

According to the analysis, the presence of drug traffickers extends throughout the 43 municipalities that make up the state, where approximately 3,557,535 people live. About 80,249 square kilometers are under the influence of criminal organizations. According to surveys, eight out of 10 Tamaulipas residents feel unsafe living in their region.

Likewise, Tamaulipas has been the site of half of the confrontations that the Mexican Army has had with organized crime groups during the administration of President López Obrador. It is also the entity where most people disappear.

The criminal organizations operating there are Los Zetas Vieja Escuela, Los Ciclones, Los Escorpiones and Los Metros (factions of the Gulf Cartel); the Northeast Cartel, the Tropa del Infierno, Los Rojos, Operativo Gama 16, Las Panteras, the Columna Armada Pedro J. Méndez and the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG).