Tuesday, April 13, 2010


According to an investigator with the Federal Police, Raymond Pequeno, the Zetas now control up to 80% of Tamaulipas and their former employer, the Gulf cartel, has now joined up with its former enemies, the Sinaloa cartel and La Familia
Michoacana in order to defeat the Zetas.
For those of you not aware, the Zetas were birthed from a previous US war on drugs effort in the 90s when US military personnel trained Mexican special forces on counter-insurgency and drug warrior tactics (does this sound familiar?). These newly-trained, US-approved drug warriors then switched sides, offering their services to the Gulf cartel as bodyguards, enforcers, and assassins. Now, a decade later the Zetas have become powerful in their own right and have branched out to create their own bonafide cartel, an organization that has seen WalMart-like expansion in the last few years such that the other cartels are now threatened. So much so, that they have even displayed public banners telling President Calderón to remove the army so that they can eliminate the Zetas. I guess they regard the military as more of a nuisance rather than a threat to their operations.

And the killing still continue, regardless of the intense rhetoric on both sides of the border, with 31 added to the yearly total now at 2,898.  


  1. I am currently living and working in Mexico, and a member of LEAP. I couldn't agree more with your overall analysis of the "war on drugs" and the deleterious effects of U.S. drug policy on Mexico (not to mention Afghanistan and South America). However, the claim that the Mexican special forces personnel who later deserted to Los Zetas were trained by the U.S. is factually inaccurate. I know that this theory has been floated for a while, but I believe it to be completely unsubstantiated. I am not aware of a single Zeta member, alive or dead, who was trained by or in the U.S. If you disagree, post just one name and I'd be more than happy to check it out.

  2. Of interest is the fact that LEAP (of which I am a board member) is in the process of creating a chapter in Mexico.

    As for your query, this is from Wikipedia:

    In the late 1990s, the Gulf Cartel leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, wanted to track down and kill rival cartel members as a form of protection. He began to recruit former Mexican Army’s elite Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE) soldiers, originally trained in counter-insurgency and locating and apprehending drug cartel members. It is believed they were originally trained at the military School of the Americas in the United States[10][11] and by other foreign specialists of the United States, France and Israel. They were trained in rapid deployment, aerial assaults, marksmanship, ambushes, small-group tactics, intelligence collection, counter-surveillance techniques, prisoner rescues and sophisticated communications. Cardenas Guillen's top recruit, Lieutenant Arturo Guzmán Decena, brought with him approximately 30 other GAFE deserters enticed by salaries substantially higher than those paid by the Mexican government. The role of Los Zetas was soon expanded, collecting debts, securing cocaine supply and trafficking routes known as plazas(zones) and executing its foes, often with grotesque savagery.[3][6]

    Some of the original members are:[22] Arturo Guzmán Decena, Rogelio González Pizaña, Heriberto Lazcano, Jaime González Durán, Efraín Teodoro Torres, Raúl Hernandez Barrón, Óscar Guerrero Silva, Luís Alberto Guerrero Reyes, Jesús Enrique Rejón, Mateo Díaz López, Jorge López, Daniel Peréz Rojas, Sergio Enrique Ruiz Tlapanco, Nabor Vargas García, Ernesto Zatarín Beliz, Eduardo Estrada González, Flavio Méndez Santiago, Prisciliano Ibarra Yepis, Rogelio Guerra Ramírez, Miguel Ángel Soto Parra, Galindo Mellado Cruz, Gonzalo Ceresano Escribano, Daniel Enrique Márquez Aguilar and Germán Torres Jiménez.


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