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Though Mexico’s government remains tight-lipped about the arrest of a top leader with the Gulf Cartel, Breitbart Texas exclusively confirmed the elusive figure’s downfall was due in part to his suspected involvement in political campaign financing.

Breitbart Texas broke the news and published an exclusive photograph on Tuesday after Mexico’s military arrested Evaristo “El Vaquero” Cruz Sanchez, the leader of the Matamoros faction of the Gulf Cartel and responsible for much of the violence in northeastern Tamaulipas and sections of San Luis Potosi. The arrest took place in Nuevo Leon, where Vaquero kept a low profile away from the authorities hunting him in Matamoros.

Breitbart Texas learned that Mexico’s government targeted El Vaquero over his alleged use of proceeds from fuel theft schemes to fund political campaigns. Mexico is expected to hold congressional and gubernatorial elections this summer.

A U.S. law enforcement official operating in Mexico told Breitbart Texas that several weeks before the arrest, there was to be a meeting between a top leader with the Gulf Cartel and a figure from the Movimiento Ciudadano Party in Monterrey. Mexican federal agents and the military were expected to raid the rendezvous point, however, the meeting was canceled at the last minute. Mexican authorities are also believed to be documenting other cases where the Gulf Cartel funds local candidates in border cities, the law enforcement source revealed.

Mexican officials then learned of another meeting that would take place this week and sent a group of agents with the organized crime unit SEIDO to Nuevo Leon, where they worked with the Mexican Army to carry out the raid in Salinas Victoria. After getting a positive ID on El Vaquero, military forces stormed the location where the crime boss was meeting with Santiago “El Chago” Villarreal, a former member of Los Zetas who was arrested in 2009 and is currently connected to both the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas and the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion. Authorities have not revealed any information about Villarreal’s status.

Authorities did confirm the detention of Raul Cantu de la Garza from the Movimiento Ciudadano, who is listed as a mayoral candidate for Salinas Victoria. Authorities have not charged Cantu de la Garza, but they raided his home.

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 Iortiz@breitbart.com

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 bdarby@breitbart.com.     

Gerald “Tony” Aranda is a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.

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