Inside Mexico’s ultra-violent Gulf Cartel, linked to kidnapping of Americans

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When four Americans were kidnapped in the Mexican hot zone of Matamoros, on the border of Brownsville, Texas, last Friday — with two of them ending up dead — it was, apparently, ultra-violence business as usual for the area where the Gulf Cartel and its rival Zetas often engage in bloody battle.

The Gulf Cartel, which has controlled the area since the 1930s, is suspected of being involved in the deadly incident.

“They live off of extortion, kidnapping and protection money,” Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, author of “Los Zetas Inc: Criminal Corporations, Energy and Civil War in Mexico,” told The Post of the group. “They used to be primarily a drug organization. Now they control a number of other activities.”

Those activities include brutal crimes, as the Gulf Cartel will seemingly go to any length to turn an illicit profit.

“They are still involved in drug trafficking,” Robert Almonte, retired deputy chief of the El Paso Police department and former United States Marshall, told The Post. “But they are more involved in kidnapping and extortion, and they use deadly force when people don’t pay.”