Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Familia Claim Split with 'El Chango' Over Zetas Alliance

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 |

With a series of public banners posted around the Mexican state of Michoacan, the Familia drug gang has sought to distance itself from recently arrested boss Jose de Jesus Mendez, alias 'El Chango,' and his alliance with the Zetas

Written by Patrick Corcoran
In Sight

After Mendez, one of the Familia's leading figures, was captured some days previously, the government said the group was in its death throws. But the new messages cast doubt on that diagnosis, and suggest that with Mendez out of the picture, the split between the Familia and splinter group Los Caballeros Templarios may be salvageable. Far from heralding its decline, this could clear the way for the gang to become still more powerful.

As the banner’s authors wrote:

To the society of Michoacan as a whole: you are hereby informed that the Familia Michoacana distances itself from all acts carried out by El Chango Mendez and his people, who were part of the Familia Michoacana, in fact Chango was one of the bosses but with his degrading actions, a front was formed to combat him, and he was later expelled upon the discovery of his links to the social cancer the Zetas.

We wish to make clear, we the Familia are Michoacanos, not Chango Mendez. We appeciate the support of the Michoacan guard and the Caballeros Templarios for their assistance in expelling Chango Mendez from Michoacan, because his group stole, extorted, raped, while unfairly using and referring to the sacred name of the Familia Michoacana
.


The expression of support for the Caballeros is striking, because it contradicts the dynamic that had seemingly prevailed in Michoacan for the past several months. As InSight has reported, the Familia, led by Mendez, had been fighting with the Caballeros, headed by Servando Gomez, alias "La Tuta," a former Familia boss and enemy of Mendez.

Whether or not the Familia did in fact expel Mendez, the message indicates that there is a significant portion of his faction eager to end the recent bloodshed driven by the two groups' rivalry, and work with Gomez’s gang. This could lead to an easing in the recent outbreak of violence in the southern Pacific state, which is home to fertile drug production zones, key trafficking routes, and one of the nation's largests ports, namely Lazaro Cardenas.

The banner slams Mendez for his alliance with the Zetas, who the authors call a “social cancer.” This is not the first demonstration of the unique distaste the Zetas inspire in the rest of the Mexican drug industry. Following his arrest last year, Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias "La Barbie,” blamed the group for the surge of the violence in Mexico, saying that "not even their mothers love them.”

In recent months, the Gulf and Sinaloa Cartels have allied themselves with the the Familia in a grouping known as Carteles Unidos Contra los Zetas, or Cartels United against the Zetas.

In contrast, the Zetas only seem to find allies among gangs on the verge of sliding off the map. Mendez’s alliance seems to have been born out of desperation, as he fought a losing fight against both the Caballeros Templarios and the security forces. The Zetas also recently announced an alliance with La Linea, a Chihuahua group that has suffered significant setbacks in recent months, to the point that the government says that the gang is practically dismantled. It appears as though the Zetas become an attractive ally only when there is no other choice.

There are a number of possible reasons for the general enmity towards the Zetas. One is that, unlike the traffickers from Sinaloa and elsewhere, Zeta leaders like Heriberto Lazcano did not go through a gradual process of making their way up the drug trade’s totem pole. The group was notorious essentially from the moment of its founding, as hit men in the service of Gulf boss Osiel Cardenas in the late 1990s. In less than a decade, the surviving founders were heading one of the foremost networks in Mexico. In other words, they barnstormed to the top in a way that would provoke resentment in any industry.

The Zetas also have a reputation for being freer with violence, which draws the attention of the authorities and alienates the civilian population, causing problems for the operations of the entire drug trade. But most importantly, the Zetas are expansionists. Not content to operate in their homeland on the Gulf Coast, they have steadily advanced south and west, increasing their presence in various regions, such as San Luis Potosi, Coahuila, Jalisco, and the Yucatan Peninsula. This makes them a dangerous force for instability and a driver of violence, resented by the other trafficking groups.

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15 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Aren't the Beltran Leyva or some of it's byproducts aligned with the Z now?

Anonymous said...

La linea is part of Juarez cartel no?

Anonymous said...

Hahahahah..that's helllaaaa funny....So Chango gets caught...La Familia now gives Los Caballeros props, after los Caballeros killed over 50 F.M since their war started(less than a few months)...I see what's left of L.F.M tryin to call peace with Los Caballeros and hook up with them...Krazy shit...

Anonymous said...

It did not take long for the narco PR to come out in full force.

What is with every article that mentions Zetas says they are being more violent than other cartel? They are just as bad as everyone else..

Anonymous said...

Beltran leyva started an alliance about 2 years ago but rumor is Zetas started operating in their territory and broke the alliance.

Anonymous said...

"El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta." zeta pendejos; don't you know? The establishment always wins!


Ha!!! Finally!! An article that addresses the zeta appearance of strengthening through expansion. Its obvious that zeta alliances are built from CANCERS within the other cartels; partnerships with outlier fringe factions in other criminal groups is a survival strategy and not a show of strength.

Those Stratfor maps with red all over the east coast are wildly overstating the Zeta's case [they are accurate only if trying to exhibit zeta influence; out there in the middle of rural areas where the jackrabbit and the roadrunner are way more influential, too]. ...then again... For groups like STRATFOR and the Media groups that follow it (including us here on the beloved BB), a "Cartel made up of Mexican GAFES" is a lazy media conception that can be easily used to sell even more media. The profile of a zeta today is that he's likely a reject from another gang that couldn't tolerate fuck-ups.

But, I'm not hating on STRATFOR [they have very good stuff, too]. I just think they're a little oversold.

Just sayin....


AR
por la Albeca Chavez en
Matamoros

Anonymous said...

There is another very note worthy distinction to point out between the Zs and the more traditional traffickers. In northern Sinaloa we have not experienced the extortion, kidnapping, and other crimes that the Zs, LFM, and now apparently the CDG have resorted to. For this reason, my friends and the elite in the non-drug trafficking community do not resent the cartel. The cartel moves their dope north (b/c if not them someone will), and the Sinaloa does not victimize us that have no dealings in it. That is what is universally called intelligent business.

'lito'brito said...

@ anon June 30, 2011 8:55 AM


good point..and i think that is about the best we can hope for for the near future..back to the days of "honest" smugglers..one thing is for sure ..the pinches leytra has got to go ...Monterrey was safe as houses before the fukn Z crawled in

Anonymous said...

So there's 3groups in michoacan. LFM,CT, and changos people? Thats a lot of idiots in one state. I think the zetas will eventually betray the beltranes and juarez cartel. These guys can't be trusted

Anonymous said...

You got to admit la barbie called it the Zetas are the lowest of the low. With their expertly trained 2 month pregnant 15 year old sicarias.

Anonymous said...

"Social Cancer?" ALL Drug Cartels are not only a "Social Cancer" but a SOCIAL EVIL that will ELIMINATED From Mexican Society Lord willing. Then and only then will Peace come back to Mexico.

" ¿Cáncer social? " TODOS LOS cárteles de la droga son no sólo un " Cancer" social; pero un MAL SOCIAL que ELIMINÓ de querer mexicano del señor de la sociedad. Entonces entonces y solamente paz vuelven a México.

Anonymous said...

Are the Zetas really what they are being sold as in the Media? When a gang of commandos dressed in Military Fatigues conducts well organized political assassinations and mass killings. How does one distinguish "Zetas" from the actual Military or Police? It could be that the "Zetas" are a cover for extrajudicial murder on the part of the Security Forces of Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Where is la barbie and where is el Lasca?

Exactly.

Anonymous said...

a zeta captured in houston confessed that the buses hijacked in san fernando people were separated into young men, young women, old or cripple, old women. The young men were made to fight each other with machetes and hammers to the death winners got to live to join them, the young women were kept for raping and the older males and females were murdered. Several buses met this fate.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:30 barbie is in prison. Lazcano?who the hell knows

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