Former Gulf Cartel boss Mario Cárdenas Guillén approved for U.S. extradition

 “MX” for Borderland Beat

Mario Cárdenas Guillén

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) announced yesterday that former Gulf Cartel boss Mario Cárdenas Guillén, alias “El M-1” and/or “El Gordo”, had been approved for U.S. extradition. Mario is the brother of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, who was once the top leader of the Gulf Cartel and its former paramilitary group, Los Zetas.

Mario issued a motion arguing that U.S. Embassy employees Dorothy Krebs Sarro and William H. Duncan were not eligible to request an extradition request on behalf of the U.S. government. However, a federal judge in the State of Mexico said that the request was valid and approved his extradition.

Mario is currently imprisoned at the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 (“Altiplano”), a maximum-security prison in the State of Mexico. He is wanted in the U.S. state of Texas for drug trafficking.

Earlier this year, Borderland Beat reported that Mario had been successful at halting his extradition to the U.S. His attorneys were able to convince a federal judge to re-review the prerequisites required for his transfer and that the prosecution had violated several articles of the Extradition Treaty between the U.S. and Mexico.


Mario was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, the historic home base of the Gulf Cartel, in 1964. He was imprisoned at a penitentiary in Matamoros in 1995 for drug trafficking and organized crime involvement.

While in prison, Mario was also known for holding large parties, inviting prostitutes, organized gambling rings for horse races and cockfights, and having all sort of commodities. He was also suspected of coordinating drug trafficking activities for the Gulf Cartel. Federal authorities then transferred him to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 2 (“Puente Grande”), a maximum-security prison in Jalisco.

He was released from prison in 2007 and resumed his organized crime activities. He rose through the ranks of the Gulf Cartel after the November 2010 death of his brother Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén (“Tony Tormenta”).

Mario was part of a faction known as Grupo M/Los Marinos, which was reportedly made up of former marines and was based in Matamoros. His code name was “M-1”, but it is often confused with the code names from another Gulf Cartel faction, Los Metros. Cartel member Lorenzo Cuéllar Botello from Los Metros also had the code name “M-1”. In September 2012, Mario was arrested by the Mexican Navy in Altamira, Tamaulipas.

Source: Sol de Mexico; Borderland Beat archives

Mario Cardenas Guillen – U…. by MX