Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The Zeta Control of Coahuila

Sunday, November 4, 2012 |

Borderland Beat



Of course this is not news to us in Coahuila, and there are some inaccuracies in the report, such as the number of disappeared which even by government approximations there are over 1400.   But it is a little insight to the hold Zetas have of the state....Paz, Chivis
 
Few outside Coahuila state noticed. Headlines were rare. But steadily, inexorably, Mexico's third-largest state slipped under the control of its deadliest drug cartel, the Zetas.
The aggressively expanding Zetas took advantage of three things in this state right across the border from Texas: rampant political corruption, an intimidated and silent public, and, if new statements by the former governor are to be believed, a complicit and profiting segment of the business elite. It took scarcely three years.
What happened to Coahuila has been replicated in several Mexican states — not just the violent ones that get the most attention, but others that have more quietly succumbed to cartel domination. Their tragedies cast Mexico's security situation and democratic strength in a much darker light than is usually acknowledged by government officials who have been waging a war against the drug gangs for six years.
Raul Vera
"We are a people under siege, and it is a region-wide problem," said Raul Vera, the Roman Catholic bishop of Coahuila. A violence once limited to a small corner of the state has now spread in ways few imagined, he said.
What sets the Zetas apart from other cartels, in addition to a gruesome brutality designed to terrorize, is their determination to dominate territory by controlling all aspects of local criminal businesses.
Not content to simply smuggle drugs through a region, the Zetas move in, confront every local crime boss in charge of contraband, pirated CDs, prostitution, street drug sales and after-hour clubs, and announce that they are taking over. The locals have to comply or risk death.
And so it was in Coahuila. One common threat from Zeta extortionists, according to Saltillo businessmen: a thousand pesos, or three fingers.
With the Zetas meeting little resistance, wheels greased by a corrupt local government, there was little violence. But the people of Coahuila found themselves under the yoke of a vicious cartel nonetheless.
"It was as if it all fell from the sky to the Earth," said Eduardo Calderon, a psychologist who works with migrants, many of whom have been killed in the conflict. "We all knew it was happening, but it was as if it happened in silence."
The "silence" ended in rapid-fire succession in a few weeks' time starting mid-September. Coahuila saw one of the biggest mass prison breaks in history, staged by Zetas to free Zetas; the killing of the son of one of the country's most prominent political families (a police chief is the top suspect); and, on Oct. 7, the apparent slaying of the Zetas' top leader by federal troops who say they stumbled upon him as he watched a baseball game.
"Apparent" because armed commandos brazenly stole the body from local authorities within hours of the shooting. The military insists that the dead man was Heriberto Lazcano, Mexico's most feared fugitive, acknowledging that he had been living comfortably and freely in Coahuila for some time.
"He was like Pedro in his house," former Gov. Humberto Moreira said, using an expression that means he was totally at home and could go anywhere.
The Zetas had such confident dominion over the state that Lazcano, alias the Executioner, and the other top Zeta leader, Miguel Angel Trevino, regularly used a vast Coahuila game reserve to hunt zebras they imported from Africa.
Since their formation in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a paramilitary bodyguard for the then-dominant Gulf cartel, the Zetas operated primarily in Tamaulipas state on Mexico's northeastern shoulder and down the coast of Veracruz and into Guatemala.
For most of that time, Coahuila, rich in coal mines and with a booming auto industry, was used by cartels as little more than a transit route for drugs across the border. The Zetas maintained a presence limited to Torreon, the southwestern Coahuila city that served as a bulwark against the powerful Sinaloa cartel that reigned in neighboring Durango state.
In 2010, the Zetas broke away from the Gulf cartel, triggering a war that bloodied much of Tamaulipas and spilled over into neighboring states. Coahuila, with its rugged mountains and sparsely populated tracts, became a refuge for the Zetas, and they spread out across the state, including this heretofore calm capital, Saltillo.
Even if the violence hasn't been as ghastly as in other parts of Mexico, nearly 300 people, many of them professionals, have vanished in Coahuila, probably kidnapped by the Zetas for ransom or for their skills.
 
The man in charge of Coahuila during most of the Zeta takeover was Moreira, the former governor. After five years in office, he left the position a year ahead of schedule, in early 2011, to assume the national leadership of the Institutional Revolutionary Party on the eve of its triumphant return to presidential power after more than a decade.
But scandal followed Moreira, including a debt of more than $3 million he had saddled Coahuila with, allegedly from fraudulent loans. He was eventually forced to quit the PRI leadership, dashing what many thought to be his presidential aspirations.
Tragedy followed when Moreira's son Jose Eduardo was shot twice in the head execution-style in the Coahuila town of Acuna early last month. Investigators believe that most of the Acuna police department turned Jose Eduardo over to the Zetas as a reprisal for the killing of a nephew of Trevino. The police chief was arrested.


Killing the son of a former governor — and nephew of the current one, Humberto's brother Ruben — was a rare strike by drug traffickers into the heart of Mexico's political elite.

In mourning, Humberto Moreira gave a series of remarkably candid interviews in which he accused entrepreneurs from Coahuila's mining sector of sharing the wealth with top drug traffickers who in turn used the money to buy weapons and pay off their troops. They killed his son, he said.

Mining in Coahuila is huge and notoriously dangerous, with companies routinely flouting safety regulations and workers dying in explosions and accidents. The depth to which drug traffickers have penetrated the industry is being investigated by federal authorities.

The question on the minds of many Mexicans was: If Moreira was so aware of criminal penetration, why didn't he stop it?

Critics suggest that during his tenure, he was happy to turn a blind eye to the growth of the Zetas as long as he could pursue his business and political interests. He denies that now and says fighting organized crime was up to the federal government; the federal government blames state officials, in Coahuila and elsewhere, for coddling the drug lords.

"The northern governors have long cut deals with the cartels that operate in their domains. The pattern in the north is cooperation," said George W. Grayson, a Mexico scholar at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., who has written extensively on the Zetas and Mexican issues.

"The Coahuila police are among the most corrupt in all Mexico."

The extent to which the Zetas' tentacles had penetrated state government became clear this year when federal authorities discovered a protection racket that dated well into Humberto Moreira's administration and was led by none other than the brother of the state attorney general. According to the federal investigation, he and 10 other state officials were being paid roughly $60,000 a month by the Zetas to leak information to the gang.

The nearly 3 million residents of Coahuila, meanwhile, find ways to survive and accommodate.

In rural areas where the Zetas are most commonly seen on the streets, people have learned to be mute and blind. In cities such as Saltillo, they change their habits, don't go out at night, send their children to school in other cities.

A businessman whose family has lived here for generations said, "We are in a state of war, without realizing when or how we got there."
LA Times

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44 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

lazca diea and now they got control of coahuila?i dnt ppl i dnt want to start with the death n alive thing but is weird dnt u think?

Anonymous said...

Is that 300 in 6yrs or 300 just this year?

Anonymous said...

Ha in the. Photo lazca shows how asshole he is he went to tijuana and killed one of those donkeys with fake stripes looking like a zebra fuck you in hell lazca. Poor donkey got misstaken by a zebra noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Chivis said...

thats a good question. But I think if it were for one year it probably would say so. but i could be wrong. I will say that there are no official records in drugwar crimes in Coahuila so everything is conjecture. Isn't that amazing?

Anonymous said...

And dont you forget it.

Anonymous said...

The Zetas have always controlled Coahuila since they broke away from CDG if that's what you're asking, cuz "I can't understan' tha words tha are comin outta ya mouth!"

Anonymous said...

Pudranse todos


Atte:lazcano

Anonymous said...

jeez mexican people, if you know where a wanted man is or where he haunts, and are afraid of these cartel people finding you out, download the tor browser, it enables you to go online without being "seen" contact the dea collect the loot get the fuck out.. no biggie.

Anonymous said...

I'm not type to say that The U.S. Should invade México. I know the infinitesimal problems that that would bring. But.... If the situation worsens, there might be trouble. The cartel a-holes wont like having the U.S. in their business. We come in heavy and step hard. If they can't behave then I could envision U.S. military intervention. I know about Mexico's constitution and their sovergnity so i am only talking about as a last resort.

Anonymous said...

Jajajajaja poor burro

Anonymous said...

You say "us in Coahuila".....do you even live in Mexico?

Anonymous said...

not invade but use the same tactics that u.s. use for law infosment if they use the same way of dealing with criminals and get red of all derty politicians we would see a inormes change jst by doing that. starting by the MORDIDADAS and keep going up till everything gets better.TODO POR UN MEXICO MEJOT

Anonymous said...

To the outside eye, Acuna has seen relatively little cartel violence, while right down the road in Piedras there has been a lot.

Chivis said...

violence has erupted in acuna also since september. none hits the media...until Zs say so. example is night of Lalo's death...the 4 guys killed and tossed in the rio bravo. one guy was not dead he made it to the Del Rio side and was in the hospital.

me and a friend are sure that he is Victor. He was in geo and deported w/o ID he was using a ficticious name. he was "apprehended" shortly after with healing marks and scabs on his face.

Anonymous said...

Who is victor

Anonymous said...

Can anybody tell me if Pedro,Mora of Acuna,cauh Mex was he kill by the Cartels in the summer of 2008..or was it an accident..

Anonymous said...

@10:18 se llama zonki jajaja

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the news we never hear in the USA. We barely get the mews when it happens here..."EL CHAPO MAYBE DAUGHTER." I pray for all the people of Mexico who are victims of the cartels and the drug addicts in the USA, all who contribute to this nightmare!

Anonymous said...

I need to go to Morelos,cauh but I'm scared...I haven't gone to Mex in 7years...how is crime there??

Anonymous said...

I have always said that all was way to calm on the surface in Coah. and that i always suspected that the Zeta leadership enjoyed a very high level of comfort in that state. It offered a natural geographical and political safe-haven for the Zetas, but my question is what now? The lid is off and what will come in the future for this state? EPN the new president was and probably still is friends with Bert Moreira and the Moreira Clan, will it be business as usual once EPN take power, will the PRI make a pact like in the past with the criminal underworld just to have a semblance of peace. will El CDS and El Chapo come back to Coah. and claim back a state that years ago belonged to them and by trying to take Coah. from the Zetas the state will become the next big front on Cartel vs. Cartel war? I have questions way to many question?? Cristero

Anonymous said...

Can anybody tell me if Pedro,Mora of Acuna,cauh Mex was he kill by the Cartels in the summer of 2008..or was it an accident..

Anonymous said...

...lots of good info on this site...'stumbled' upon it by chance reading up on the Lalo Moreira murder in Acuna...my family is originally from Acuna, lived there until we started receiving kidnap and extorsion threats and the local police wouldn't help...been six years now, and my family weren't the only ones this was happening to back then...there are lots of us..problem is, you report it to the police (who are all working for the cartels), and the threats become worse...ask around, this is not a new issue, been going on since Garza and his cronies were in the Presidencia Municipal...

Chivis said...

sorry folk I was missing a part of this...it is up now :(

Thanks DD

Anonymous said...

for 6:38
why do you ask about chivis in coahuila? what a loser you are. she is very known here. search the BB for the article ovemex wrote about her trip from coahuila to mier. she is the real deal. we are fortunate to have her and her work in mexico and centro americano

Chivis said...

Victor is victor sifuentes the police supervisor that helped in the killing.

@ 5:00

hes just my blog stalker. he is the same troll who ask how i can vote in Mx. He is a Tex truckdriver banned from forum. he is coo koo for coa coa pufffs.....Paz, Chivis

Anonymous said...

@ Chivis...he is back again? Dang, thought maybe he just showed up the one time. Good article!....Texpat

Anonymous said...

The Knights Templars are a joke,they extort and kidnap in Michoacan and now they want territory in the north,hypercritical pieces of shit.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that the Zetas were trying to cover their tracks through an effort to kill the police supervisor?

Anonymous said...

Z have had Coahuila since CDG assigned z42 there way back in 2005 that's not new news.

Anonymous said...

This year

Anonymous said...

Yo chivis who am I have I ever been to acuna

Anonymous said...

I have always said that all was way to calm on the surface in Coah. and that i always suspected that the Zeta leadership enjoyed a very high level of comfort in that state.In my work with impoverished people and my fight against cartel thugs,i have faced down many on my own and i am winning in my battle.If only as human beings we can come together?
What a coming that would be?Just think of it?
Maybe in the future it would be possible,but i will continue on my path of self worth and education.
Cristero

Anonymous said...

"hes just my bog stalker" ?

Anonymous said...

Redneck trucking troll from Texas....hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

@8:30
So what do we do as human beings?

How do we come together?

E.

Anonymous said...

10:30 good question. one heard from each generation of humans. I think we can stop waiting for the world to change, and make a different in our world as individuals. Help a cause or a single person. do something.

Anonymous said...

Oh shit heres the forum trolls getting hysterical again.Fucking comical idiots

Anonymous said...

Ooohhhh chivis what you been up to?
Truck-drivers ehh

Anonymous said...

"Redneck trucking troll from Texas....hahahaha"
Who,,,,,you? jajajajajaja

Anonymous said...

Chivis y didnt u post my comment about the violence in piedras n of celsos right hand man being killed?

Anonymous said...

"n of celsos right hand man being killed"?
Is Celso still in jug?I know he got arrested,but who knows what happened to him?He was pretty powerful that guy didn't he get his relative released from jail by threatening to raise cain?And who was his right hand man?C,mon man clear some shit up for us.Post some more comments on it,and about whats goin on?Any idea about where Martinez is now?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 6:41PM...Not me but your so called father (hopefully the red neck trucker is your dad, not sure though) since your mother worked at that night sleazy joint down the highway...Hopefully you stupid redneck can locate your stalker "so called dad"....hahaha OR maybe you have lots of trucking dads.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:24
Thats right my dad was a trucker and worked long and hard to get to your mama,and give her some money hahahahah we cant have her working the street all the time can we lol
Peace Baggy~

Anonymous said...

Caw Caw Caw went the Black Raven and Coo Coo Coo
went the White Crow..! So let's see what Now Happens in Beautiful Down Town Saltillo Coahuila.
Torreon is allready bought and paid for, so let's see what the new Year brings? Omar and Big Hermano
Miguel are running but not Scared!

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