After years of living in fear from a Mexican drug cartel responsible for countless horrors, residents in the border city of Piedras Negras are no longer afraid to call out politicians with family ties to those criminal organizations.
Recently Breitbart Texas published an expose on the relatives of a political candidate. One of the relatives was the top regional leader of the Los Zetas cartel, while two others are convicted drug traffickers and a third was executed in a drug dispute. The story revealed that candidate Lorenzo Menera Sierra is the brother of jailed Los Zetas boss Daniel “Danny” Menera as well as convicted traffickers, El Chico and Rufino. A fourth brother nicknamed el Japo was wanted by U.S. authorities but he was killed in Mexico.
One day after the publishing of the expose, the area’s largest news outlet Grupo Zocalo and one of the main radio stations in the region, Rancherita Del Aire published stories about the expose crediting Breitbart Texas. Menera Sierra, has since published a Facebook video where he claims that while his brothers are in fact drug traffickers and the story is accurate, it is all an attempt to tarnish his reputation for political reasons.
Daniel Menera was arrested by Mexican authorities in March 2015 near Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. According to Mexican authorities, Menera took over the Los Zetas operations in Piedras Negras as a top leader in 2013. Menera oversaw drug trafficking, human smuggling and was behind enforcement operations. As part of ruling with an iron grip, Danny Menera was responsible for dozens of kidnappings, murders, and attacks on police forces by his gunmen.
As Breitbart Texas reported, from 2011 to 2013, Los Zetas cartel was responsible for hundreds of kidnappings and executions in northern Coahuila where the cartel incinerated the bodies of their victims in make shift ovens or in 55-gallon drums. About 150 victims were incinerated in the Piedras Negras state prison, the crimes were covered up for years by local and state authorities.
In Mexico, news organizations live under fear from cartel members who use violence in order to control the narrative and keep stories negative to the cartel out of the public eye. Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the imposed silence on news organizations in various Mexican state such as Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Chihuahua. In October 2015, the newspapers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas did not publish a single story about the capture of a Gulf Cartel boss who was captured in that city. The capture made national news, but in Matamoros, the outlets remained silent.
This year, Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach was murdered by operatives from the La Linea faction of the Juarez Cartel after exposing that the mother in law of one of their leaders was planning on running as a mayoral candidate in Chihuahua. Just weeks before Breach was murdered, two other journalists suffered a similar fate in Mexico. Shortly after Breach’s murder, Maximino Rodriguez was murdered by cartel gunmen in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.