Things That Matter

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Cartels Announced Milestone Truce To End The Violence But Will It Last?

Mexico’s Gulf Cartel is one of the country’s largest and most powerful drug cartels. The Gulf Cartel has brought severe violence to large swathes of the nation. Along with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (JNGC), the group is also one of the most deadly. But yesterday, three warring factions of the cartel have come together to announce a landmark truce that they say will let their communities live in peace.

With this new truce, three factions of Gulf Cartel want peace for their communities.

Three different factions of the notorious Gulf Cartel – which is largely based in the border state of Tamaulipas – announced that they have reached a truce and want the northern state to live in peace.

The Grupo Scorpion, Grupo Metros and Tampico Grupo Rojo factions made the announcement on professionally printed narco-banners that appeared in public places on Monday in several Tamaulipas cities including Reynosa, Tampico, Matamoros, Río Bravo and Padilla.

The groups have been fighting each other for the past decade in a turf war that has fueled high levels of violence in Tamaulipas. But they reached a ceasefire agreement on July 19, according to their banners. Photos of the banners showed they were printed with red, white and green letters — the colors of the Mexican flag — and had slogans like “Long live Peace!”

The banners are noteworthy because they look professional and contain peaceful messages.

The messages shared in the banners were different from the many messages usually shared by the cartels in the past. Usually messages are misspelled and are accompanied by piles of dead bodies and various body parts. But the messages used in the banners on Monday were strictly professional sounding, even polite.

“We have agreed to a truce of tranquility and we declare our solidarity with the people, and with ideological principles consistent with keeping the peace,” read the text of one banner, which included the plea, “We have families, too.”

“The primordial thing is for the communities in which we have a presence feel secure with it, without any worry,” the banner read. “The Gulf Cartel has principles and its greatest priority is peace in the state and the wellbeing of its residents.”

The state’s Attorney General’s Office has recently pointed to the various Gulf Cartel factions as being responsible for a string of indiscriminate attacks across the state that left 19 people dead last month. Prosecutors say the goal of the cartel was to terrorize locals as part of a strategy to challenge the Metros faction’s long-held control of the region.

Twenty-five people have been arrested in connection with the June 19th rampage in which innocent bystanders– including taxi drivers, construction workers, children and a nursing student–were killed. Among those detained is Jorge Iván Cárdenas Martínez, a presumed Gulf Cartel plaza chief in Río Bravo.

Splinter groups of the Zetas drug cartel have also been involved in turf wars in recent years in Tamaulipas, a state notorious for violent crime. The state has a 370-kilometer-long border with Texas, making it a lucrative hotspot for the smuggling of drugs and migrants.

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