Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez is a former Mexican drug lord and top leader of the criminal drug trafficking organization known as the Gulf Cartel. He was among Mexico's most-wanted drug lords.
He joined the ranks of the Gulf Cartel in the late 1990s after he had served as a policeman in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Under the tutelage of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, Costilla Sánchez became a lieutenant for the cartel and started controlling several drug trafficking activities for the organization. In 1999, two U.S. federal agents were stopped at gunpoint in Matamoros by several gunmen of the cartel while conducting an investigation. Among the dozen heavily armed men were Cárdenas Guillén and Costilla Sánchez. After the tense standoff, the agents persuaded the gunmen to let them go but Costilla Sánchez and the other cartel members earned a U.S. indictment.
When Cárdenas Guillén was arrested and extradited to the United States in 2003 and 2007 respectively, Costilla Sánchez took the control of the cartel along with Antonio Cárdenas Guillén, who was later killed in a gunbattle on November 2010. Amid the power struggles, Los Zetas separated from the cartel to work independently, transforming northeastern Mexico into a "war zone" with daily confrontations and gruesome assassinations.
Costilla Sánchez was arrested by the Mexican marines in the city of Tampico, Tamaulipas, on 12 September 2012. The Gulf Cartel, however, was suffering from an infighting by the time of his arrest.