An audio recording of an alleged Gulf Cartel member asking his people to get 4×4 pickup trucks to carry out their criminal activities in Tamaulipas was broadcast on social networks. The recording was shared Thursday on various Twitter accounts dedicated to publishing news about security and drug trafficking. Although no image can be seen, it is presumed that the man speaking in the audio is a leader of the “Los Escorpiones” group in Rio Bravo.
This individual has been identified as “Comandante Gumez,” who reportedly works under the orders of Jose Alberto Garcia, alias “La Kena ” and/or “ Ciclon 19, ” a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel who operates mainly in Matamoros.
In the audio, Comandante Gumez is heard asking his subordinates to get 4×4 “trocas” (pickup trucks), which will be destined for his “estacas,” as the bodyguards who accompany the plaza or regional bosses during their movement from one place to another are known. He would be willing to pay up to USD 6 thousand for each of them.
“I am also in charge of the truck. The truck will not be given as a gift but will be bought. I will pay up to 6 thousand dollars for a 4×4 truck with four doors. I don’t want simple ones because they won’t fit four stakes, please, I ask you. I have been telling them for a month now, and they have not gotten me a truck”, can be heard in the first part of the audio.
Halfway through the recording is when Comandante Gumez mentioned that his direct boss is “El 19″, in a possible reference to José Alberto García, for whom the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office is offering a reward of up to two million 500 thousand pesos in exchange for information leading to his location or capture.
“I don’t ask you for weapons, I don’t ask you for a shot, I don’t ask you for anything. Or when have I ever asked you for anything? If I have asked you for something, let me know so I can tell my boss because I don’t authorize myself alone. I have a boss, who is boss 19. I take orders from him. I don’t do anything without telling him. Everything I do is with his permission”.
Subsequently, Commander Gumez mentioned that he had just under 200 people to get them the vans. “I want them to answer me this week about the trucks. There are about 180 of us (…) I don’t believe that these people have not gotten me a truck. I don’t want it for free. I’m going to pay for it. Most attentively, I ask you to please (…) I don’t want promises”, he warned.
4×4 pick-up trucks, like pick-up trucks, are frequently used by criminal organizations to carry out surveillance in their areas of operation. Sometimes they are “handcrafted” to make them more resistant to bullet impacts, as they are also used in armed confrontations.
It is worth mentioning that the Grupo Escorpión is one of the Gulf Cartel factions fighting for control of the territory in Tamaulipas. That is why some of its members wear vests with the legend “Special Forces of Chief 19″, about La Kena. Among their main rivals are Los Zetas.
According to Insight Crime reports, the Gulf Cartel’s most important strongholds are Matamoros, Reynosa, and Nuevo Laredo. In addition to drug smuggling, they are also involved in human trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion.