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The arrest of a top aide to a politically connected fuel-theft mogul who was killed last year sparked a new wave of controversy in northern Mexico as the region prepares for this summer’s gubernatorial elections.
This week, State of Tamaulipas authorities arrested Nadia Virginia Grajeda Castro and her partner Jose Alfredo “S” in the border city of Reynosa. According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office (FGJ), the arrest took place when authorities responded to a call about gunmen in a vehicle located on the western side of the city near a neighborhood called Las Fuentes. When authorities stopped the vehicle they found a “replica” of a firearm and plastic baggies with street-level amounts of drugs. At the time of the arrest, the couple allegedly offered a bribe to state police officers in exchange for being released. The officers turned down the offer and took them before prosecutors for investigation, the FGJ statement revealed.
The arrest sparked controversy in Tamaulipas since Grajeda was the secretary to Sergio Carmona, a fuel-theft mogul who provided armored vehicles and allegedly funded campaigns for members of Mexico’s ruling party Morena. As Breitbart Texas reported, unknown gunmen shot and killed Carmona last year in the ritzy suburb of San Pedro in the border state of Nuevo Leon. Prior to his death, Carmona and his brother Cesar had made headlines for their alleged involvement in various companies linked to the theft of fuel in Mexico. The Tamaulipas government is currently investigating several Morena politicians, including the current mayor of Ciudad Victoria, Eduardo “Lalo” Gattas, for their connections to the Carmona fuel-theft network and alleged acts of corruption.
In June, Tamaulipas is expected to hold a gubernatorial election where one of the front-runners, Americo Villarreal, who has the support of Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is reportedly linked to Carmona’s network. The other front-runner, Cesar “Truko” Verastegui, hails from the National Action Party — the same party as the current governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco Cabeza de Vaca. The election drew a lot of tension since Lopez Obrador and Cabeza de Vaca openly clashed in the past, due primarily to the president’s soft response to cartel violence.
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 [email protected].
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 [email protected].