The Gulf cartel (Spanish: Cártel del Golfo) was a Mexican drug trafficking organization and one of the country's oldest drug cartels.
The cartel was founded by bootlegger Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1930s, during the Prohibition era in the United States. In the 1980s, the organization began smuggling cocaine into the United States for the Colombians, and were the second biggest drug cartel, second to only the Guadalajara cartel.
In 1986, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo met Guerra and convinced him to enter the cocaine trafficking business as allies to get into a better negotiating position with the Cali cartel. However, Guerra seized the opportunity and made a better deal with the Cali cartel, betraying Félix Gallardo; resulting in the cartels declaring war against each other.
After the disintegration of the Félix's organization in 1989, Guerra and Juan García Abrego met with the leaders of the new drug cartels splintered out of Félix's organization, and promised peace.