Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Zetas Split Points to More Violence, New Alliances

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 |

By: Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor


A criminal organization born out of betrayal has been weakened greatly by a game of alliances and double-dealing as Mexico’s drug war continues to play out like a TV drama.

So says George W. Grayson, author of the book The Executioner’s Men, which details the history and operations of the Zetas drug gang.

Grayson told The Monitor that the cartel’s internal struggle is to blame for the recent upswing in violence in Monterrey, one of the larger metropolitan areas in northern Mexico.

“Monterrey has erupted into a firestorm of violence,” said the professor of government at the College of William and Mary, who cited “30 killings in two days” last week in the city.

“In Monterrey, you have two factions of the Zetas fighting there,” Grayson said. “The Gulf Cartel is involved, too. You also have the forces of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

The Zetas’ internal battle for control of drug smuggling routes into the U.S. also has spread to the cities of Guadalajara, San Luis Potosí and Colima, he said.

While the fighting is taking place in Mexico, Americans, too, have cause to be cautious because the conflicts have the potential to spread. For certain, anyone with loved ones in northern Tamaulipas has reason for concern.

And though the factions fighting the Zetas’ internal battle may be targeting each other, the clash puts the wider public at risk, as well, said Luis Rosas, a former Mexican military officer who now holds crime prevention seminars.

Because criminal organizations operate on both sides of the border to cross their goods, it is common for drug lords to have family members living on the U.S. side and for the drug lords themselves to occasionally hide out there, too, Rosas said.

FAMILY BUSINESS
“Tamaulipas is deeply ingrained in the drug trafficking business,” Rosas said in Spanish.

“There you have relatives, compadres and close friends all working in the business,” the security analyst said.

But when a criminal organization splinters, those relatives and compadres’ loyalties are thrown into question as new alliances form and new battle lines are drawn.

“‘Well, since you work for him and my boss is against your boss, I have to come after you,’” Rosas said. “‘If I can’t get to you, I will get your son, your brother, your friend, your cousin, your mom or anyone that I can use to get close to you or to hurt you.’”
That is part of the reason why we are seeing a large increase in kidnappings, the security analyst said.



ZETAS HISTORY
The former military and federal police officers who would one day form the Zetas drug gang were first recruited into the Gulf Cartel by its leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, to act as his organization’s enforcers. He had risen to the top by killing his rivals and feared the same fate would come to him, according to Drug Enforcement Administration documents.

Cárdenas’ caution may have paid off: He’s alive, but in a U.S. prison. After he was arrested in March 2003, the Zetas became their own organization — separate from, but affiliated with the Gulf Cartel. It wasn’t until 2010 that the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas turned their guns on each other.

And now it’s the Zetas playing out a bloody, internal power struggle.

Rosas said the root of the split within the Zetas is the greed of No. 2 leader Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, known as “El 40” or “Zeta 40.”

“He planted the seed of discord within the organization. Originally the group had a military structure, which allowed the organization to rise to the top over other cartels,” he said. “They weren’t the most powerful, but they were the most organized and disciplined. Then you have this guy (Treviño) who wasn’t one of the original Zetas come in and quickly rise even over some of the original members and became power-hungry.”

In order to stabilize his power base, Treviño began creating groups of individuals loyal to him within the organization, Rosas said.

Now that the lines have been drawn, the Zetas’ No. 1 and No. 3 men — Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano and Ivan “El Taliban” Gonzalez Caballero — have joined forces to take out Treviño, Grayson said.

“It looks like El Taliban is backing El Lazca to the hilt, and he is in San Luis Potosí doing his best to recruit supporters,” Grayson said. “The problem is that (the former soldiers who were) are fewer and fewer, and most of the current plaza bosses have been recruited by El 40. He is the stronger player.”

A Mexican intelligence official and Grayson both pointed to a possible alliance between Lazcano’s group and members of the Gulf Cartel — primarily the forces loyal to Jorge Eduardo Costilla, who are commonly known as the Metros — in order to take out Treviño once and for all.


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29 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

If this is True Z-3 and Z50 gonna need all the help they can get to defeat 40cent and his Zetas. Anyone know who's side the BLO are on? I got this horrible feeling there maybe with 40cent,hope im wrong.

Anonymous said...

That last video is BS, Trevino was NEVER in the Military and he was not a founding member of the Z. He was too busy washing cars. If you are going to post the video at least let the reader know that not all of it is true.

Anonymous said...

I thought Coss's men were Los Rojos, not Los Metros. Also is Coss still with CDG there were rumours on BB that he defected to CDS.

Anonymous said...

So, Travino started the war between the Golfos and Zetas? Now Lazca and the Golfos are allying against Travino to wipe him out? Makes sense, really, I dont think anyone in the Zetas have had any trust in Z40 for a long time. Everything bad that happens involving the Zetas has Z40s name stamped on it. Z40 is a dickhead, nobody likes him, it will be the whole drug underworld against him soon. He will get his sooner or later.

Damn, this Mexican drug war just keeps getting weirder and crazier.

Anonymous said...

To see the continued breakdown within the cartels as far as violence against other Mexicans is very disheartening... back in the day it was unheard of to horrifically take out a cartel members entire family, video taping it and posting it for all the world to see no less! The savage decline has hurt the entire country and just how does Mexico plan on recovering from that? Why have the old time cartel bosses allowed for these things to happen? It has harmed smuggling up and down the board and has not helped if anything its made matters worse so its difficult to understand when people say that its "strictly business"...CHIVO

Anonymous said...

First it was Z-40 vs Lazca. Then it was El Talivan vs Z-40 & Lazca. Now its Taliban and Lazca vs Z-40. It's going to be quite some time before all is said and.
In my opinion the Zs should put down their guns, take their go money, live on cruise ship and and their skins. Let El Chapo take over.

Anonymous said...

It's true about it being a family business. I find it hard to read these because of where I live makes it impossible not to know people on both sides. I know these are monsters, but I also know these are humans and the thought of just letting them kill each other, as many love to post, angers me as a human, as a Christian, as a conservative, and as a neighbor. I just wish Mexico had something else to offer these young boys.

Anonymous said...

El Lazca is gonna kick Z40's ass!!

Anonymous said...

When Did they confirm lazca joined with taliban?does anyone have info on this

Anonymous said...

I HAVE SAID IT OVER AND OVER....THEY ALL JUMP SHIP AND SWITCH UP SOONER OR LATER. CARTEL DEL GOLFO IS ABOUT TO REGAIN MTY AND NL. THAT WILL BE THE BEST THING FOR MEXICO....EXTERMINATE THE ZETAS ONCE AND FOR ALL. THE MX MILITARY, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SHOULD COOPERATE AND SUPPORT CDG IN THIS REGARD. TRUE ALL CARTELS ARE VIOLENT AT TIMES BUT CDG AND CDS KEEP IT CONFINED TO PEOPLE IN THE BUSINESS AND DINT KILL INNOCENTS LIKE ZETAS.

Anonymous said...

September 5, 2012 6:44 PM You are so right. Unfortunately a lot of the police and military are on the Zeta payroll. In the next BB story you can read how they captured a CDG leader - why? They're on the Zeta's payroll!

Anonymous said...

BUGGS, ARE THESE SOURCES ACCURATE?? SOUNDS A BIT SLIMY..

Anonymous said...

You are so Wrong!!! that my friend is a straight out lie"keep it confined to pple in the business" they may not extort like the ZETAS but they do kill innocents that just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time..stop massaging chapo's ball sacs!!

Anonymous said...

8:47 Trevino did not start the war,CDG did when they didnt hand over the killer of one of the zeta capo's....thats what started the war. CDG killed one of the Zeta Capo's,with that slimy Guzman in the background.

Anonymous said...

I think they do the killings and videos now is thanks to mass media, they didnt have internet or social media back in the day, if they wanted to make a point they would kill a musician look up Chalino Sanchez.

Anonymous said...

The Gulf Cartel caused the split,they kidnapped "concord3"(zeta leader) too force him too join CDG, he declined so they beat him and executed him(by the hands of Metro-3)then Z-40 found out about what had occured and demanded he be handed the killer by so many days...they ignored Z-40,Z-40 killed 16 CDG members then war prevailed.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know more about Lazcanos sister being the woman of Z40. I heard they are mixing their families and that way reinforcing trust. That would be a valuable move they are learning from the older and smarter bosses el Chapo and Mayo and los Torres, getting thier families to marry each other. This makes me think Z3 and Z40 are not enemies, but anything can happen.

Anonymous said...

I think some people here are overly paranoid about the corruption in the government. Yes some police and military work with cartels and are on their payroll but not all of them!!! after all we do routinely hear about the military and police getting shot at or shooting cartel gunmen. That obviously would not happen if they were on their payroll now would it?

People will probably say I am foolish to think there's no corruption but I am not saying there is no corruption, there is! I am just saying its not AS BAD as many people think.

Believe it or not a lot of Federals and Military do actually want to put away or kill the bad guys to make Mexico a better place.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Chapoarry Nacho Coronel's daughter? Not a fool proof method I would say

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone know more about Lazcanos sister being the woman of Z40"
In the past,Trevino did tap her.But there are many pictures of Lazcanos wife and sons mixing with Trevinos family.Some of Hummers son with Lazcas sons as well.They on Metroflog,all kinds of shit on there.

Anonymous said...

Hector Beltran Leyva has contact with Lascano but also with Z40 & Z42.

I'm pretty sure he's gonna let them fight it out that's not his problem ,if he is forced to choose sides,no doubt hes gonna have Z3 back

Anonymous said...

yea CDG invests in shops & small bussinesses like barber shops fine restaurants etc. in Matamoros - TWISTER

Anonymous said...

Family ain't shit to this cartel punks... Edgar Guzman(Chapo son) was killed by Mayo's people.. mistaken identy but still tho.. and the guy who killed him is still alive.. Manuel torres son was killed by the orders of some woman from CDS too.. look this up.. not making any of it up... This guys have no respect .. los beltrans and Chapo are cousins and look at them now...

Anonymous said...

"Chapo son) was killed by Mayo's people.. mistaken identy but still tho.. and the guy who killed him is still alive"
Macho Prieto?Cause he was in a certain car or some shit?Same thing happened with La Puerca, Fernández Valencia son.El Guacho paid with his life for killing the wrong guy,thought it was Guzmans son,for BLO.

Anonymous said...

Chapos son was killed by el Guacho from BLs

Anonymous said...

Yes it was Macho Prieto.. el guacho paid for it tho.. that's who Mayo tried to blame.. el Nino zambada sent macho Prieto to that club or disco and they smoked him...todos en culiacan save pero se asen pendejos... No quieren Que el Chapo y el Mayo se pelen...

Anonymous said...

its all up in the air.when you are dealing with people in the drug biz you cant trust anyone.not even your friends.that is who drugs are a filthy game.

Anonymous said...

the drug biz in mexico or antwhere for a fact is not going to go away anytime soon but it looks like the cdg are the best of this bunch.they have morals that the zetas dont have

Anonymous said...

What CDG got Morals? yeah plenty,plenty enuph too throw pineapples into night clubs and kill innocents partying....yeah plenty.

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