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The Gulf Cartel is a criminal syndicate and drug trafficking organization in Mexico, and perhaps the oldest organized crime group in the country. It is currently based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, directly across the border from Brownsville, Texas. Their network is international, and are believed to have dealings with crime groups in Europe, West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, and the United States. Besides drug trafficking, the Gulf Cartel operates through protection rackets, assassinations, extortions, kidnappings, and other criminal activities. The Gulf Cartel is known for intimidating the population and for being "particularly violent." Although its founder Juan Nepomuceno Guerra smuggled alcohol in small quantities to the United States during the Prohibition era, it was not until the 1970s that the cartel was formed and shifted to drug trafficking — primarily cocaine — under the command of Juan Nepomuceno Guerra and Juan García Ábrego. The demise of the Gulf cartel's leadership in 2012, foretells another likely battle as gangs scramble to fill the void and seize Gulf assets. Second-tier Gulf lieutenants may vie violently for control, while the Zetas could also sense an opportunity to step up efforts to destroy what's left of the Gulf cartel. (via Freebase)