Ajuste de cuentas (m): Settling a score. Getting even. Revenge. alt. ajusticimiento
ATF: Agency of Department of Justice— the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Aztecas (los): Barrio Azteca. Narcomenudistas working for Juarez cartel. A steet gang with strong ties to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Controlled by La Linea.
Beltran Leyvas: brothers and childhood friends of Joaquin Guzman. Broke with him after the arrest of El Mochomo Beltran Leyva and engaged in a bloody dispute for territory. Relocated to Nuevo Leon in aftermath.
Cartel: 8 organizations in Mexico are the Golfo, Sinaloa, Tijuana, Juarez, Beltran-Leyva, Amezcua-Contreras, Los Zetas, Diaz-Parada, & La Familia Michoacana.
Cartel del Poniente: A place of the Sinaloa cartel usually found in Durango and Gomez Palacios
C.D.G.: Gulf Drug Cartel
CECJUDE: Centro de Ejecución de las Consecuencias Jurídicas del Delito.
Chapos or Chaparrines: The troops of Joaquin Guzmán Loera's Sinaloa Cartel. Derived from Guzmán's nick name of "El Chapo."
Charoliar: Pretending to belong to a cartel and having a lot of inside knowledge of cartel activities.
CNDH: Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos.
Coddehum: la Comisión de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (Chihuahua).
Cortar cartuchos: armatillar. Ready to fire. to cock a weapon.
Cuerno de chivo: AK-47, the preferred weapon of drug cartels. Some (e.g. Roberto Saviano) have claimed that the AK-47 has been used to kill more people than any other weapon. 90% of arms used in Mexico originate from the United States and arms dealers in Arizona and Texas.
DTO: Drug trafficking organization.
El Señor de los Cielos: Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the Lord of the Skies who helped consolidate the Juárez cartel. He died in 1997 undergoing plastic surgery in Mexico City (Polanco).
Encajuelados: Victims found in the trunks of cars.
Encintados: Vicitims found bound and blindfolded with tape.
Encobijado: a common way that sicarios dispose of bodies — wrapped in a blanket, rug, or tarpaulin and taped.
Familia (la): 'de Michoacan'. DTO that specializes in synthetic drugs (crystal) and with a religious code. Extremely violent and unpredictable.
FFL: US legal term for federal firearms licensees. Approximately 6700 operate in American Southwest.
Foco: crystal meth.
Fuero (el): (jurisdicción) jurisdiction (privilegio, derecho) privilege;
Gente nueva (la): Chapo Guzman sicarios (Chihuahua).
Guachicol: oil product stolen from PEMEX and then sold back to business under duress. A practice common in Tamaulipas.
Halcon (los): There are two meanings here. In the border area, "halcones" are lookouts and street level informants (falcons) who warn the drug cartels about intrusions from other DTO's, police or army manoeuvers. Halcones are also an elite squad of commandos that have a notorious reputation for violation of civil rights and abuse.
Hormiga (el correo de..): an ant run. Big result of lots of little additions and purchases.
ICESI: Instituto ciudadano de estudios sobre la inseguridad.
IOI: US DOJ-ATF agents investigating gun movement. Industry Operations Investigators.
Jefe de Jefes: Capo de Capos. The name applied to the most prominent drug chief in Mexico. Most frequently is associated with Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. Popular corrido of Los Tigres del Norte, although Miguel Felix Gallardo denies that the song is about him.
La Última Letra: Los Zetas
Levantón (m): Abduction. Term used in northwest Mexico to describe forced seizure of a person. Most of the time, the "levantado" is never seen alive again. Secuestro is the term used more often to describe kidnapping.
Linces (los): a unit of sicarios employed by "El Viceroy" Vicente Carrilo-Fuentes and the Juárez cartel. May have evolved from "La Linea". This group is apparently composed of military deserters (like the Zetas) who are well trained, use military ordnance, uniforms and vehicles. The Mexican military argues that this group is responsible for most human right violations in Chihuahua.
linea (la): sicarios in employ of Juarez DTO.
Matapolicia (f): bullets of heavy calibre that can penetrate vests. Police killers — ordnance used when attacking police or members of the military.
Matazetas (los): a name used by a group that has executed members of Los Zetas. It's most likely that the matazetas are members of a rival cartel, but it's possible that they are actually an independent group.
Maña: a local name for cartels in Tamaulipas, most often used to refer to Los Zetas or other sicarios working for Gulf cartel.
Mota (f): marijuana.
Narco: General term for drug trafficker
Narcobloqueo: A barricade in the streets with vehicles that are carjacked to delay the arrival of the police or military.
Narcocorrido: a version of a corrido that deals with a drug theme. Some narcocorridos are commissioned by the drug dealers in order to "sing their praises", but others share much in common with morality plays because they sing about the negative consequences of drug dealing. See the excellent book by Elijah Wald describing narcocorridos.
Narcofosa: narco cemetery; body disposal place, usually clandestine and used for a period of time. Have been found in at least 8 Mexican states.
Narcomanta (f): a banner or a poster placed in a prominent location with a message. Most frequently, the messages seem to originate with the drug organizations, but the message may also be aimed at the drug trafficking organizations.
Narco tienditas or picaderos: Businesses where they traffic drugs.
Operation Coronado: The code term for the DEA/FBI/ICE coordinated arrest of La Famila de Michoacana members on Oct. 24 2009.
Pelones (los): sicarios that were originally assembled by the Beltran Leyva brothers for the Sinaloa Federation.
Perico (m): cocaine. A parrot. Nickname based on the idea that it "goes up the nose".
Pez gordo (m.): big fish, big boss.
PGR: La Procuraduria General de la Republica. The institutional agency of the Mexican Attorney General.
Pista (f): the 'game'. Literally, 'the track' as in racing. Refers to the business at hand.
Plaza (f): Territory, turf. Can also refer to the product being moved or in dispute.
Polizetas: Policemen at the service of the narcos. It originated from Nuevo leon, Tamaulipas region where the Zetas were deeply embedded with the Zetas.
Pozolero: A person within the cartel who has a knowledge of chemistry and disposes bodies.
PROCAMPO: Federal program to provide financial support for farmers and ejiditarios. Recent revelations indicate that it has been a cash-cow for agribusiness and PRI party members. Little of the original program (to provide irrigation etc.) has benefitted the poorest farmers.
Project Gunrunner: US DOJ and ATF plan to disrupt illegal flow of guns from US into Mexico.
Rematar: literally "to re-kill". the prefix re is used to indicate "once again" when it precedes a verb. rematar is used when a means of execution is especially brutal, and also used to mean "slaughter", "finish off."
Sicario (m): the word used to describe an "assasin" or hitman for the cartels. The word has roots back to Roman times. Sicarios are sometimes young and "throw-away" bodies recruited by the cartels, but can also be well-trained military deserters or police (e.g. Los Zetas).
Sistema SNSP: Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública.
SSP: Secretaria de Seguridad Publica.
Straw purchasers: surrogate purchasers of guns— someone who is licensed to purchase a gun but does so on behalf of someone who is not. Cartel sicarios have a system of straw purchasers.
Tiendita: Excact location where drugs are sold.
UIFA: Unidad de Inspección Fiscal y Aduanera.
WATCHIVATO: Mexican "narco artist" who has produced iconic images of Jesus Malverde. Artist images can be seen on BB.
Wathivato (El): Mexican artist famous for narco images — especially iconic images of Jesus Malverde. Artist on BBC site Narco Mexico.
Zetas, (los): now la Compañía. Paramilitary force formed by Gulf Cartel and now independent. Deserters from Mexican army GAFE unit; highly trained anti-terrorist unit.