Obama telephones Mexican president Calderon after Tony Tormenta’s death

November 7th, 2010 - 3:10 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — U.S. president Barack Obama on Saturday telephoned Mexican president Felipe Calderon after Friday’s military operation in which one of the leaders of the Gulf Cartel was killed, and reiterated his commitment to deepening the US security partnership with Mexico.

Obama spoke by telephone with Calderon “to reaffirm United States support for Mexico’s efforts to end the impunity of organized criminal groups following yesterday’s operation in Matamoros against Gulf Cartel leader Antonio Cardenas Guillen, known as Tony Tormenta,” the White House said in a statement.

“Tony Tormenta” was killed was killed on Friday afternoon after a six-hour-long gunfight with the Mexican military in the northern border city of Matamoros, in Tamaulipas state.

In the gunfight, four other drug gang members, three marines, one soldier and Carlos Guajardo, a local journalist, were killed.

Obama “offered his condolences to President Calderon on the death of Mexican officials involved in the operation, as well as the death of Matamoros journalist Carlos Guajardo,” the White House said, and “thanked President Calderon for Mexico’s close coordination with US officials to help assure the safety of US citizens in Matamoros.”

“Tony Tormenta” was the brother of the former leader of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who was extradited to the United States in 2007 while serving a sentence in Mexico since his arrest in 2003.

Cardenas Guillen was reportedly in charge of planning, overseeing and directing drug trafficking and money gathering activities in Matamoros, Mexico. He also controlled the Brownsville-Matamoros corridor on behalf of the Gulf Cartel.

“Tony Tormenta” began his drug trafficking career in the late 1980s. He quickly rose through the ranks of the criminal organization and was given command over the Matamoros area.

Cardenas Guillen was also responsible for sending multi-ton shipments of marijuana and cocaine to the United States. He was indicted by a U.S. court in the District of Columbia.

The U.S. had been offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

Tamaulipas is ground zero of the confrontation between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, groups who are fighting for the control of drug trafficking into the U.S, the world’s largest consumer of cocaine. The Zetas are accused of the slaughter of 72 illegal immigrants late August.

The “war on the cartels,” have left 28,000 dead during the presidency of Felipe Calderon, who took office in December 2006.

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