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11 Mar 2023
Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

NextImg:Lamborghini Seized in Hunt for Gulf Cartel Boss Behind Fatal Kidnapping, Murder of U.S. Citizens

Mexican state investigators seized a Lamborghini, raided a cartel clinic, and even seized a Matamoros city ambulance as part of the hunt for the cartel boss alleged to be behind the fatal kidnapping of four U.S. citizens.

Agents with the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office (FGJ) carried out several raids in the border city of Matamoros during the hunt for Jose Alberto “La Kena” Garcia Vilano, the top local leader for the Gulf Cartel in the city. Garcia Vilano is believed to be ultimately responsible for the kidnapping of Latavia McGee, Shaeed Woodward, Zindell Brown, and Eric James Williams.

As part of the investigations into the kidnappings, Mexico’s government deployed more than 300 soldiers to Matamoros while FGJ agents targeted La Kena’s group forcing the drug lord into hiding. During the raids into the criminal organizations, authorities seized several vehicles, including a Lamborghini that had previously been reported stolen in Texas. Authorities also raided a clinic that was being used by the Gulf Cartel to treat their wounded gunmen. The clinic is one of the places where the gunmen took the kidnapped U.S. citizens. The gunmen used an ambulance from the Matamoros Civil Protection group which FGJ agents also seized. It remains unclear why the Gulf Cartel had access to city government vehicles.

As Breitbart Texas has reported, Garcia Vilano is the current boss of the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros following the most recent arrest of his leader, Jose Alfredo “El Contador” Cardenas Martinez. Despite being held in a Mexican jail, El Contador remains in communication with La Kena, law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas.

The man known as La Kena or Ciclon 19, is labeled as a wanted fugitive in Tamaulipas with authorities offering a cash reward for information leading to his capture. In 2021, authorities linked him to numerous kidnappings and extortions in the city of Matamoros.

As Breitbart Texas reported exclusively, the Matamoros faction of the Gulf Cartel has seen a boom in growth and impunity since the arrival of current Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal. In exchange for campaign donations and other dealings, the Gulf Cartel has been able to expand into other parts of Tamaulipas with complete impunity and has begun extorting local ranchers, farmers, and business owners.

Breitbart Texas exposed how the Tamaulipas government covered up the escape of a cartel-tied politician in the city of Mante where the criminal organization called in bomb threats allowing a fugitive to escape using a helicopter with no numbers or tail numbers.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at     

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