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Matamoros

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Matamoros

defaoite62
Between 1993 and 1995, I lived in San Benito, TX near Harlingen and Brownsville. I had
a girlfriend that lived in Matamoros and spent many weekends across the border. One
evening we went out for dinner. She took me to a restaurant called Piedras Negras.
The guy who owned the place was a grandfatherly guy who knew my girlfriend. His
name was Jaun Inaguerra (if I remember right). Acording to my GF he was a drug
kingpin and was in charge of one of the major cartels.
 
While we were eating our dinner he was sitting at a table across from us talking with
another older guy. At the next table, sat about four big guys who you could tell were
packing. It was like something from the Godfather and when I think back on it pretty
scary.
 
My question is, have you ever heard of this guy? Where does/did he fit into the scheme
of things? Or was my GF just yanking my chain?
 
Def
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Re: Matamoros

A.R.   -Por la Col. Jardin en Matamoros.
Juan Nepomuceno Guerra [More commonly known as "Juan N. Guerra"] (July 18, 1915 - July 12, 2001). The Piedras Negras Bar & Restaurant was the equivalent of the "Ravenite" or "Wimpy's," to name other familiar "social club" hangouts. A block from the Presidencia Municipal, in the heart of downtown, accross the street from the Teatro Reforma in Matamoros.

The 'ol man was once interviewed by the NY Times there; he was in a wheel chair. Legend has it that there was once a transit cop shot right outside the restaurant doors, after the cop tried to get someone (...Just anyone, you think?) to move a double parked car on the street. J.N.G.'s brother and nephews gained some political prominence in the area. Other familial notable episodes include a reputed love triangle in which the movie star M.M. Cantinflas (Around the world in 80 days) was involved.

This guy was the Gulf Cartel before it was called that (first references I know of to "Gulf-Cartel" came in the late '90s; that name is not self imposed). He reportedly started as a bootlegger and rum-runner. He then would exact tribute when the market naturally expanded into all things that could evade the Mexican and American Customs authorities and DEA: electronics, textiles, other appliances, whatever is going south, then also mood altering substances going north. A tax was imposed on gaming and prostitution. He mostly stuck to vice; he stayed away from shit work like extortion, kidnapping or muscle for hire and murder; car theft and chop-shops were the exception though and is where his nephew and eventual successor would learn the ropes. The guy was mostly into using the border for making an ok living. He was mostly a business man and tax evader, he didn't operate in the criminal gutter; although he was a criminal, of course.

His nephew (Juan Garcia Abrego) took over the day-to-day management and operations sometime in the mid 80's after an ordered hit on rival Casimiro "El Cacho" Espinoza in May 1984. An attempt on "El Cacho" left him dieing of his wounds at a local private hospital across the street from his home by the name of "Clinica Raya." A heavily armed "commando" tried to finish him off at the clinica but killed his sister and some bystanders instead. Espinoza hid under his bed but eventually died of the wounds he had received in the initial attempt on his life. Juan Garcia Abrego forged direct links with the cash-poor cocaine merchants in Cali, Colombia, for which he would be paid in coke. He accumulated so much couldn't find enough places to stash the stuff.

The tribute business has grown beyond what these kind of men can influence, anymore. Where regional underworld power brokers like this guy could at one time operate within local social and political circles with a free hand, any one person's influence is now tentative; at best. Criminal enterprises are now national and multinational; globalized and limited only by their ability to control weapons and technology. No more legacies to be had. Anyone with a gun and a computer or cell phone can influence media and the public. Anyone can be their very own power broker.

Interestingly, the name Juan Nepomuceno was also that of another area legendary bandito: Juan Nepomuceno Cortina (1824-94), (dont about relation to the above guy, although I don't think it was a coincidence). This "last of the mohecan-esque" figure fought against the local authorities by staging raids into Brownsville and picking fights with the US Military and the Texas Rangers.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Matamoros

History Buff
The story my dad told me was that the love triangle was with Adalberto Martinez "Resortes", not M.M. Cantinflas.  Both gentlemen were comedy icons.
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Re: Matamoros

Just Wondering...
In reply to this post by defaoite62
Any "business" ties to the late labor leader Agapito Gonzalez? Gonzalez was the labor "go to" guy after the maquiladoras or "twin plants" made labor an important resouce in town.
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Re: Matamoros

G.G. de "el Cuatro"
In reply to this post by A.R. -Por la Col. Jardin en Matamoros.
A.R. tell us about Raul Salinas Lozano (el Jefe de Carlos Salinas ex-presidente) and his ties to Juan Guerra. I've heard a stories about their connection, that Raul actually financed JG. Que sabes sobre esto?
...
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Re: Matamoros

...
In reply to this post by defaoite62
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/mexico/news/reforma.html

Theres reporting and tidbits here and there, all over.
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Re: Matamoros

defaoite62
In reply to this post by A.R. -Por la Col. Jardin en Matamoros.
Thanks A.R.

That answers a few questions. While I was living there, I tried to get
a job with the county water district. There was a pump house near
the border somewhere around McAllen. There was a house on the
property and my job would have been to live in the house and maintain
the pump. I was disappointed when I didn't get the job. I felt I was well
qualified and felt I didn't get it was because I was not Hispanic.

A short time later several people (if I remember right they were FBI
agents) were found shot execution style and lying in one of the canals
near that pump house. I look back on it now, and thank God I wasn't
hired for that job. I think the guy that didn't hire me was wise beyond his
years for not doing so.

I believe Juan Garcia Abrego was blamed for that execution and there
was a major man-hunt out for him and he was eventually caught.

Def
Ayo
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Re: Matamoros

Ayo
In reply to this post by A.R. -Por la Col. Jardin en Matamoros.
My cousin was born in that clinic, Clinica Raya on that same day of the attack and his parents nick named him "Cachito" from then on. He's actually a pretty famous breakdancer now who goes by the name "Bboy Keebz". Anyway, my grandpa used to work for the Guerra family driving some of their trucks from their trucking business and, at one point, was a personal driver for Mr. Guerra. My father has pictures of him and some of Guerra's sons and also one with Abrego.
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Re: Matamoros

griefer
In reply to this post by defaoite62
I was happy when Juan Garcia Abrego was captured. That was a good day.
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