ROMA, Texas — During a recent border tour, Breitbart News visited an unsecured section of the Texas border with Mexico. Across the river, the “crown jewel” of the Gulf Cartel — Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas.
“Just south of us is the crown jewel of the Gulf Cartel,” Breitbart News contributor Ildefonso Ortiz told Alex Marlow, Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief. “That is where the bulk of the drug smuggling and the human smuggling comes through this area right here.”
Ortiz told Marlow there is no physical barrier in this section of the Rio Grande border with Mexico. “This is an area that sees constant traffic,” Ortiz explained. He said this has also been “the scene of numerous gun battles where the Gulf Cartel has fought tooth and nail to hold on to this territory from an invasion by Los Zetas, and also when there’s been internal fights within the Gulf Cartel.”
Marlow asked Ortiz about the Gulf Cartel’s use of drones.
“That’s been something that in recent years that we’ve been noticing,” he responded. “There’s been quite a few drones — large, commercial drones that you can buy at a regular store in the U.S. They’re using them over there for surveillance.”
As Breitbart’s crew watched the border, multiple vehicles with heavily tinted windows made their way along the river’s edge after noticing the photography of the area.
“Those are usually scouts,” Ortiz stated. “They’re constantly moving through this area. This is a very active area.”
Marlow asked Ortiz how the Gulf Cartel compares to the Zetas.
“[The Gulf Cartel] used to not be as brutal,” he replied, “but now they’ve become just the same. They are very sadistic. A lot of migrant rapes take place on [the Mexican] side of the border — a lot of kidnappings — it’s all tied to the Gulf Cartel.”
Ortiz explained the Gulf Cartel treats migrants wanting to cross the border like cattle. In December, Breitbart Texas reported on a load of “human cargo” intercepted by Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 35 immigration checkpoint. The agents observed migrants whose shirts were marked in a fashion similar to “cargo and commodities.”
“We have not seen any border patrol in this area so far,” Marlow observed.
Ortiz responded, “Actually, this is one of the areas where you will not see that many agents down here even though this is one of the biggest smuggling areas. Most of the agents are further east toward the McAllen area.”
“As you can see, when you move west, there are no barriers,” Ortiz concluded. “It’s pretty much why the Gulf Cartel prefers this area. A shallow river — that’s the only obstacle they have to getting goods and people across.”