Reporting from Mexico City —The Mexican drug kingpin known as “Tony Tormenta,” a top leader of the powerful Gulf cartel, was killed Friday in a ferocious gun battle with military forces in the northern border state that had long been his tightly controlled home turf.
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, alias Tony Tormenta or Tony the Storm, was killed along with three of his henchmen after hours of battle in the city of Matamoros, in Tamaulipas state just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, the Mexican government announced.
Two members of the Mexican navy’s special forces were also killed, as was a Mexican reporter. It was unclear whether other civilians died.
Cardenas, 48, had acted as one of two top commanders of the Gulf cartel after his brother, Osiel, longtime leader of the group, was captured in 2003 and extradited to the United States, where he was sentenced to 25 years in U.S. prison in February and ordered to forfeit $50 million in assets.