Friday, March 28, 2014

Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies



On September 16, 2008, Carl Pike, the deputy head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division, watched live video feeds from a command center outside Washington, D.C., as federal agents fanned out across dozens of U.S. cities. In Dallas, a team in SWAT gear tossed a flash-bang grenade into a suburban home and, once inside, discovered six pounds of cocaine behind a stove, and a stockpile of guns. At a used-car dealer’s house in Carmel, Indiana, agents pulled bricks of cocaine from a secret compartment in his Audi sedan, while state troopers dragged a stove-size safe onto the lawn and went at it with a sledgehammer.

In the coming weeks, the net widened to include caches of assault rifles, a Mexico-bound 18-wheeler with drug money hidden in fresh produce, and a crooked Texas sheriff who helped traffic narcotics through his county. In Mexico City, a financier was arrested for laundering drug money through a minor-league soccer team named the Raccoons (and an avocado farm). After one especially large bust, when it came time for a “dope on the table” photo, there was in fact no table big enough to support the thousands of tightly bundled kilos of confiscated cocaine. They had to be stacked in the back parking lot of a police station. 

The raids and arrests were the final stage of a DEA-led investigation called Project Reckoning—18 months, 64 cities, 200 agencies—intended to cripple Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. Over the past two decades, the organization had built a drug empire that spanned across Mexico and into the U.S. It had become pervasive, hyper-violent, brazen. Cartel operatives had smuggled billions of dollars’ worth of narcotics into the U.S. 

They had assassinated Mexican politicians and corrupted entire police departments. One of the organization’s leaders had famously brandished a gold-plated .45 at two agents from the DEA and FBI traveling through northeastern Mexico. The cartel had even formed its own paramilitary unit, a band of former Mexican police and special-forces soldiers called the Zetas, to seize territory and dispatch rivals. The notorious syndicate became known as La Compañia, or The Company. (click to enlarge 'Inside Zetas Network side bar below)

Project Reckoning, authorities proclaimed, had dealt La Compañia’s business a “substantial blow.” The DEA’s Pike likened it to taking out 64 cartel-owned Walmarts. And once all the doors had been kicked in, the haul was indeed staggering: $90 million in cash, 61 tons of narcotics, and enough weapons to equip an insurgency. Among the 900 people rounded up across the U.S. and Mexico, the Justice Department indicted dealers, transporters, money counters, teen gangsters, and even the owner of a Quiznos franchise. One of those swept up in the net was a 37-year-old resident of McAllen, Texas, named Jose Luis Del Toro Estrada.

He seemed, at first, not particularly significant—a luckless guppy caught swimming with sharks. His arrest barely warranted mention in the local paper. His house, a well-maintained white-brick rancher with an arbor of pink flowers over the front door, contained no cocaine or caches of AK-47s. He lacked an extensive rap sheet and in fact seemed to have no criminal record at all. On the outskirts of McAllen, he ran a small, nondescript shop that installed car alarms and sold two-way radios. (for best viewing, enlarge to full size Del Toro's Plea Agreement-then adjust size to preference)
In the weeks that followed, a different picture began to emerge. Del Toro Estrada was neither capo nor killer, but he played a critical role in The Company. According to federal prosecutors, the shop owner—who went by the alias Tecnico—had served as The Company’s communications expert. He was the cartel’s in-house geek, the head of IT, and he had used his expertise to help engineer its brutal rise to power. Del Toro Estrada had not only set up secret camera networks to spy on Mexican officials and surveil drug stash houses, but he also built from the ground up an elaborate, covert communications network that covered much of the country. 

This system enabled the cartel to smuggle narcotics by the ton into the U.S., as well as billions of dollars in drug money back into Mexico. Most remarkably, it had provided The Company with a Gorgon-like omniscience or, according to Pike, the ability to track everything related to its narcotics distribution: drug loads but also Mexican police, military, even U.S. border-patrol agents. That a cartel had begun employing communications experts was likely news to most of law enforcement. That it had pulled off a massive engineering project spanning most of Mexico—and done so largely in secret—was unparalleled in the annals of criminal enterprise.

The godfather of the Gulf Cartel was not a drug kingpin but a contrabandista named Juan Guerra who began smuggling bootleg whiskey into Texas during Prohibition. In the decades that followed, Guerra expanded into prostitution and gambling along the Rio Grande, building out a small but profitable criminal enterprise. The business eventually passed to Guerra’s nephew, Juan Garcia Abrego, who in the mid-1980s identified an opportunity. Several years before, American drug agents had started to crack down on cocaine-supply lines from Colombia into Florida. 

Garcia Abrego approached the besieged Colombians with an offer: Instead of taking a transporter’s customary small cash percentage, he would guarantee cocaine deliveries through Mexico into the U.S. in exchange for 50 percent of each load. It was a riskier but immensely more profitable arrangement, and it eventually birthed one of Mexico’s first major narcotics organizations, the Gulf Cartel. In 1995, the FBI placed Garcia Abrego on its Ten Most Wanted list, the first drug trafficker to earn the distinction.

Garcia Abrego led the cartel until 1996, when he was arrested by Mexican police outside the city of Monterrey. His successor was a jug-eared, mercurial former auto mechanic and aspiring gangster named Osiel Cardenas Guillen, a.k.a. The Friend Killer. In the late 1990s, hoping to surround himself with an impenetrable security ring while also creating a lethal mercenary force, Cardenas Guillen formed a paramilitary unit composed largely of defectors from the Mexican police and military. 

Some, like Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, a.k.a. The Executioner, were commandos from an elite American-trained airborne special-forces unit. It was an epochal moment in cartel development. The Zetas—who reportedly took the name from their first commander’s military radio call sign, Z1—were highly trained and brutally efficient. They built remote narco-camps to train new recruits in military tactics, weapons, and communications. They recruited other special-forces soldiers from Guatemala, known as Kaibiles, a name derived from an indigenous leader who bedeviled Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century.

They secured new drug routes, attacked other gangs, and even instituted an accounting system—the Zetas kept detailed ledgers and employed a dedicated team of number crunchers—that has since become nearly as legendary as the group’s capacity for bloodletting. “Before the Zetas, it was basically low-quality foot soldiers and enforcer types,” says Robert Bunker, a visiting professor at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute. “What the Zetas brought to the table was that [military] operational capability. The other cartels didn’t know anything about this. It revolutionized the whole landscape.” 
It’s impossible to say exactly why the Zetas chose to build the radio network, but given their military and law-enforcement background, it seems likely that Z1 and his capos understood that a widespread communications system would provide a crucial competitive edge over other cartels. Radio was the clear choice. Unlike cell phones, which are expensive, traceable, and easily tapped, radio equipment is cheap, easy to set up, and more secure. Handheld walkie-talkies, antennas, and signal repeaters to boost transmissions are all available at a good radio shop or from a Motorola distributor. A radio network could provide communications in many of the remote areas in Mexico where the cartel operated. And, if they suspected law enforcement eavesdropping, the cartel’s drug smugglers and gunmen could easily switch frequencies or use commercially available software to garble voice transmissions. 

How Jose Luis Del Toro Estrada was tapped to develop the covert radio network also remains a mystery, but as his system grew, it supplied the Zetas with what’s called a command-and-control capacity. “It essentially linked all the different members of the cartel—the people doing the trafficking and the people doing the protection—so there was a communication between them,” says Pike, the DEA special agent.

Armed with handheld radios, the cartel’s street-corner halcones, or hawks, could help commanders avoid arrest by alerting them whenever police set up checkpoints. A midlevel boss in Nuevo Laredo could monitor a semitruck carrying several tons of cocaine as it trundled across the border into Texas. Most crucially, Zetas gunmen could use the system to attack and seize plazas, or smuggling corridors, held by other drug gangs. 

“With a network like this, you can take what resources you have and maximize them for effectiveness,” says Bunker. “If [the Zetas] are going into a different cartel’s area, they can bring resources in,” such as weapons, vehicles, and reinforcements. “It means for every one enforcer or foot soldier, you get a multiplier effect. From a command-and-control perspective, it’s phenomenal.”
With the advantage of Del Toro Estrada’s radio network, The Company grew quickly, dominating rival groups—but lasting relationships are fleeting in the criminal underworld. In 2010, after several years of internal friction, the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas severed ties. (Causes of the split are murky, but many analysts say the breaking point occurred when the Gulf Cartel kidnapped and killed the Zetas’ chief of finance after failing to persuade him to switch allegiance.)
In the years that followed, the influence of the Gulf Cartel, once the most powerful in Mexico, waned dramatically. At the same time, the influence of the Zetas grew rapidly. Their business portfolio expanded to include drug running as well as kidnapping, human smuggling, pirating DVDs, and even selling black-market oil. In some regions, they began to operate with such impunity that their authority eclipsed that of the Mexican government itself. The Zetas’ military training and ultraviolent tactics were crucial for propelling their rise to power, but one other factor was essential: After splitting from the Gulf Cartel, it was the Zetas who maintained control of the radio network.


After Project Reckoning, Del Toro Estrada became a ghost. Neither the DEA nor the Justice Department would discuss his case. Letters to the Reeves County Detention Complex in West Texas, where he was housed for a time, remain unanswered. Before his arrest, though, Del Toro Estrada had lived openly in Texas for at least a decade as a resident alien with a green card. He ran a small radio shop called V & V Communications that sold walkie-talkies and other equipment. He and his wife owned several modest properties around McAllen, including a nicely wooded ranchito with a small horse stable and a swimming pool. An American flag hung from the front porch. 

Many details about Del Toro Estrada’s involvement with The Company remain opaque. It’s unclear whether he was recruited in McAllen or placed there as an operative. Also unclear is whether he was a formally trained engineer or some kind of criminal autodidact who spent years steeping himself in the finer points of radio-broadcast engineering. Either way, he did not match the profile of a typical cartel member. “He wasn’t an assassin. He was a geek, a technician,” says a former federal counter-narcotics official who now runs an intelligence consulting firm in Arlington Virginia.

Yet a technically savvy radio operator living near the U.S. border was precisely what the Zetas required. According to the former official, the Zetas first began building the radio network in Matamoros, a border city across from Brownsville, Texas, around 2004. Del Toro Estrada probably served as the project’s overseer. Initially, the small cluster of radios and antennas were tools to monitor police and other drug gangs. But then-president Felipe Calderón deployed troops and tightened security around air and sea routes into Mexico. 

With its ports of entry blocked, the cartel looked south and began establishing a strong presence in Guatemala. The country’s 600 miles of remote, porous border abutting Mexico made it an ideal overland entry point for narcotics. Drug runners could land multiton cocaine loads from Colombia at remote jungle airstrips in northern Guatemala and truck them across the border; at least 125 road entries allow vehicles to pass without inspection. From there, they would drive loads north to busy U.S. ports such as El Paso. The route was costly and logistically complex, so around 2006, the Zetas began expanding the radio network to help manage it: first along the Texas border, then down the Gulf Coast to Guatemala, and eventually into Mexico’s interior. 

In any new city where the cartel wished to expand, Del Toro Estrada’s first step would have been to map the local radio spectrum. Identifying who operated on what frequencies and which had the lightest traffic would preclude, for example, a local taxi company’s radio chatter from disrupting a coordinated attack on a police station. In urban areas, Del Toro Estrada often affixed a cartel antenna to an existing commercial radio tower. He also hijacked radio repeaters—devices that receive and boost radio signals—from companies like Nextel and reprogrammed the equipment to use the cartel’s preselected, low-volume frequencies. (Nextel maintains both cellular and, for its push-to-talk phones, radio networks). In at least one location, Del Toro Estrada installed a repeater on the roof of a Mexican police station, either a brazen display of the cartel’s impunity or a signal of the department’s corruption. 

Expanding into more remote areas, like the jungle in southern Veracruz state, was more technically challenging: Towers had to be built atop high vantage points—a volcano’s summit, for example—to ensure surrounding hills or other natural obstacles didn’t block transmissions. Del Toro Estrada then installed repeaters and antennas on top of the tower, and in some instances, the structure was painted a dark green to camouflage it amid the foliage. To provide power, he wired the equipment to car batteries or, in many cases, photovoltaic solar panels. In Veracruz, a string of about a dozen tower installations provided a 100-mile radius of communications capability—meaning the Zetas could track anything that moved, whether encroaching Sinaloa cartel gunmen or military convoys, in at least 10 towns and cities. 

“It was just a constant flow of information,” Pike says. “I equate it to the scene in Black Hawk Down when the chopper’s taking off from the military base and the child up on the mountain with the telephone calls down and says, ‘They’re coming.’

As subnetworks went live in new areas, Del Toro Estrada daisy-chained them together into a larger, interoperable system. This ability to link different units of the cartel was the network’s strength, more than anything else. With commercial software from companies like Motorola, he could remotely manage thousands of walkie-talkies at one time. If a frequency in one area became too congested, he could switch users’ radios to another. 

If a local boss in Matamoros had to coordinate a drug load with someone in Monterrey, Del Toro Estrada could connect them. If Zetas were captured, he could disable their handsets to thwart eavesdroppers. He also used digital inversion software, which scrambles radio transmissions into garbled, R2-D2–like squawking. The cartel even established regional command centers to manage some of its communications. In Coahuila state, Mexican soldiers raided a Zetas-occupied home that contained networked laptops, 63 digital walkie-talkies, a central processing unit to remotely control repeaters, and a digital radio that communicated with airplanes. 

By 2008, Del Toro Estrada’s infrastructure was operational in most states in Mexico (and likely in the U.S. borderlands as well). Local bosses chipped in for equipment, and the Zetas maintained ledgers detailing outlays for communications gear. Del Toro Estrada himself employed a team of specialists—his own cartel Geek Squad—to research new technology and program equipment. The network’s architecture, like the nodes of routers that undergird the Internet, was resilient: If the Mexican military knocked out one tower, traffic could likely be routed through another. And it was, relatively speaking, cheap: The Company probably spent tens of millions of dollars building the network—a capital investment that would have paid for itself with the delivery of one large cocaine shipment into the U.S.

“This thing was huge,” the former official says of the cartel’s communications system. “It was extensive, and it was interconnected. It was the most sophisticated radio network we’d ever encountered.” 

To manage a system of this size, Del Toro Estrada likely required a base of operations. His McAllen radio shop, V & V Communications, could have been an ideal location. It was unremarkable, close to the border, and, with radios purportedly for sale to the buying public, it provided a veneer of legitimacy. 

The building—a white, single-story box with mirrored windows—still sits on a barely trafficked side street on the outskirts of the city. A 30-foot antenna tower juts from the roof. Customers must buzz in through the locked front entrance. A surveillance camera monitors the door; two more cover the store’s interior. Inside, there are no handheld radios on display, no repeaters, no cables or chargers—no inventory at all, save for a few aged and disused radio-equipment pamphlets in a dusty glass case. The woman working the counter speaks only Spanish, and she seems neither prepared nor pleased to have visitors. On her business card is a nonworking email address and a website that does not exist.

American officials have not publicly discussed the Zetas’ radio network, but it’s obvious there’s an inverse relationship between it and the stability of the Mexican state. The larger the network grew, the more imperiled the state became. The flow of drugs north enabled a flow of cash south, which the cartel could use to buy off police, politicians, and public officials, as well as to hire new recruits and purchase guns—lots of guns. In 2008, soldiers raided a Company stash house containing the largest weapons cache seized in Mexican history: 500 handguns and assault rifles, a half-million rounds of ammunition, 150 grenades, seven .50-caliber sniper rifles, an anti-tank rocket, and 14 sticks of dynamite. 

In recent years, the specter of midday combat in Tamaulipas, where the Zetas were battling their former employers for control, has grown increasingly common. In 2010, Zetas gunmen kidnapped and executed 72 Central American migrants, perhaps because they feared the Gulf Cartel might have hidden newly recruited assassins among them. 

That July, a heavily armed contingent of Zetas in Nuevo Laredo used an elaborate system of narco-blockades, or stolen trucks and buses parked in intersections, to funnel rivals into deadly ambushes. After a running, midday shootout that lasted hours, authorities recovered among the assault rifles and dead bodies a number of walkie-talkies—a sign, very likely, of Del Toro Estrada’s handiwork. The governor of Tamaulipas soon declared the region “ungovernable.” 

With the Zetas at the center of the violence, the Mexican military decided to strike back at their most valuable asset: the radio network. Battalions of troops were dispatched, and the military began attacking the system, probably aided by DEA-supplied intelligence directly from Del Toro Estrada, who began cooperating with the agency after his arrest and provided information about the system’s infrastructure. During one operation in 2011, Mexican marines discovered several 18-wheelers housing mobile communications systems in Veracruz. Another operation spanned four states and resulted in an astonishing haul: 167 antennas, 155 repeaters, 71 computers, 166 solar panels and batteries, and nearly 3,000 radios and Nextel push-to-talk phones. Later, marines discovered a 300-foot-tall antenna tower by a major highway.

After the raids, masked soldiers posed with enough seized equipment to supply several Radio Shacks, while a military spokesman announced the disruption of the Zetas’ “chain of command and tactical coordination.” This was perhaps true, but the cartel also simply reinstalled towers and antennas once the military pulled out. It’s also possible that the organization had conscripted a skilled, though unwilling, workforce to keep its radio network functioning after Del Toro Estrada’s arrest. 

Since 2009, reports have surfaced of communications specialists and engineers disappearing across the country. In one of the first known cases, nine Nextel technicians were kidnapped from a hotel in Nuevo Laredo. The men had planned to work in the area for several months expanding the company’s spotty radio coverage, said Amalia Armenta, the wife of one of the victims. On June 20, she says, they were taken in the middle of the night by armed gunmen. None of them has been located. At least 27 other engineers and specialists from companies like IBM, ICA Fluor Daniel, and Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex have also since disappeared. Even without their chief radio architect, the Zetas were not going to give up one of their prized assets easily. 

By 2011, Del Toro Estrada was being held in the federal detention center in Houston, a hulking granite edifice in the city’s downtown that houses about 1,000 inmates. Most await trials or sentencing in the federal district court several blocks away. On May 11, Del Toro Estrada appeared before a federal judge for a final sentencing hearing, and then on June 21, 2012, after serving less than four years for having built one of most elaborate criminal infrastructure projects in history, he walked out of the prison’s grim sprawl into the bright Texas sun. 

He had pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, but while in custody, the prosecutors had offered to seek a lighter sentence in exchange for information about his former employers. Acting as a snitch would have made him a marked man, so following release, Del Toro Estrada may have disappeared into witness protection. He also may have fled back to Mexico, although this would have almost certainly made him more vulnerable to the cartel’s reach. Or, perhaps he and his wife decided to hide in plain view. Four months after his release, the couple’s white-brick rancher in McAllen still appeared occupied.

It’s also plausible that the Zetas, increasingly under pressure by both rival cartels and the Mexican government, had been forced to concentrate on bigger problems. In July 2011, Mexican authorities arrested a top Zetas commander named El Mamito and soon nabbed another, who called himself El Taliban. A year later, soldiers stumbled upon the Zetas’ top commander, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, at a small-town pickup-baseball game in Coahuila state. After a gunfight, they shot and killed him, along with two bodyguards. He was, by most estimates, the most high-profile narco to fall in the drug war, and the government proudly trumpeted his death as an important victory—one that dimmed somewhat after a contingent of gunmen spirited his body from the funeral home just hours after his death. In mid-July 2013, his successor, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, was arrested in Tamaulipas, reportedly with assistance from U.S. intelligence. 

The arrests were deeply symbolic—tangible signs of progress against the cartel. In reality, though, they just masked a much deeper problem. Del Toro Estrada’s radio network was only the first step in the Zetas’ information war. At the height of its power, the group developed a Stasi-like army of spies and integrated technology and social media into their operations. The result, according to a report from the Mexican attorney general, was an intelligence network “without equal in the Americas.” 

The Zetas monitored Twitter feeds, blogs, and Facebook accounts. They reportedly employed a team of computer hackers to track authorities with mapping software, and, according to one paper, 20 communications specialists to intercept phone calls. On the street, the cartel’s informants included taxi drivers, taco vendors, shoe shiners—and often the police. In Veracruz, an entire department was dissolved after a commander was recorded ordering subordinates to serve as what the Mexican public, increasingly wary of its law enforcement, has come to call “polizetas.” 

According to a woman in Tamaulipas who had been involved with a midlevel member of the Zetas, the cartel was also sufficiently organized to divide busy urban areas like Nuevo Laredo into sectors made up of about a dozen streets, with each sector containing some 20 halcones—meaning hundreds of vigilant sentinels deployed across a given neighborhood.

 “They are usually hired for 10,000 pesos [about $750] and provided two cellphones and a radio,” she says. “They check who is walking down the street, and with whom. Usually it’s the police, the military, and other gang members. You can see them sometimes at each corner, depending on the zone, even in the outskirts near the highways. It extends all over the city.” 

In just one location, a network of this size would generate hundreds if not thousands of texts, cellphone calls, and radio messages each day. Could a criminal organization be sophisticated enough to parse such a sea of data? Was there a roomful of bespectacled analysts somewhere, collecting and sifting through intelligence, then sending actionable leads up the chain of command? The answer, according to the former official familiar with Del Toro Estrada’s case, is essentially yes. In Nuevo Laredo, he says, the Zetas had so deeply infiltrated the city police force that they were able to use the department’s C4 office—Mexico’s version of 911—to control its information network. 

With the loss of its top leadership, the Zetas’ power—just like that of its predecessor, the Gulf Cartel—seems to be waning. But profound success does not go unnoticed in any business, particularly one with billions of dollars at stake. The legacy of Del Toro Estrada’s radio network and the Zetas’ ruthless efficiency may have forever revolutionized the nature of cartel operations. In pioneering the use of new technologies and tactics—coordinated infantry-style attacks, hyperviolent “psy-ops” campaigns, sophisticated intelligence collection and communications—the Zetas created a new road map for criminal enterprise. 

To remain competitive, other cartels have created their own paramilitary units, and the Sinaloa Federation, Mexico’s largest and most powerful drug-trafficking organization today, also reportedly has its own radio network. This is what some analysts have dubbed the “Zetanization” of Mexico. Cartel-deployed aerial drones and sophisticated data-mining software that tracks law-enforcement patterns and predicts ideal smuggling schedules and routes may not be far off. Such a nightmare scenario, if realized, will have started with humble beginnings: an anonymous shop owner armed with only a radio.

Source: Popular Science   posted by Chimera on BB Forum

86 comments:

  1. Very good article... shows how the sapetas expanded and took over territory... one diaper at a time.

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    1. 11:05. Dittto. Got to admit though that tech guy was brilliant.lol.

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  2. Homero Cardenas Guillen esta muerto los pinchez Wachoz van a mamar por todo Matamoros

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  3. Can outrun the radio, this is why the police and military forces of the world are effective, instead of wasting resources going in blindly you can send in a few guys with radios and they can also monitor the other guys as well

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  4. Close one organization and 5 more spring up.

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  5. Amazing post! One of the best i have read here on BB!

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  6. They have taken down the towers/network for the Zetas in Acuna twice in the last month. The most recent incident was last week and they located them in the alley ways of the city. ....Lacy

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  7. This is a great article, I lived thru the Juan O G admintration of the GCd, Your information is correct. Remenber the Boss Juan N, He was not in the drug business. What ever happen to "El Prope" worked for Juan, I think went in to government witness program?

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    1. 5:46am

      Please tell us more

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  8. when the Zetas took over they are bunch of dumb guys, they do not know how to do business. They just like killing. They enjoy killing over making money, its a power thing. The best one when they kidnapped a little old lady and took her $300 pesos. Great PR Zetas!!!!!!!! When Juan was around he would have given her $3000 pesos Z's u are dumb guys

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  9. their tactics and methods are pretty messed up but the cdg and z are what made mexico what it is. They invented the paramilitary here in mex. I remember in the 90s 2000s Chapos, beltranes, michoacanos all were expelled from tamaluipas CDS WOULD GET THEIR ASS KICKED all day every day pelones negros, CDG lost many soldiers in the war but los texas chapos were kicked out ever since then this border has been on lock for them. Just tell before them who was doing it like this with paramilitary, communications. One thing for sure the corridos from this side of mexico are all true while them CDS ones have been nothing but false over exagerated crap. Dont get me wrong they are a cancer in our society but its amazing how they from a simple cartel became in my opinion one of the most strong .

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  10. like i said its impossible to bring down los zetas there very military like there not youre regular cartel

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  11. So Chivis, you forgot to tell us how many USERS the DEA busted.
    This is all about the evil sellers, and not one iota about the sons of bitches that use the drugs in this country and have the bloodiest hands.
    Do an article of how the laws were changed back to the 60's when the juniors were getting busted with drugs with Daddy's money and the laws were changed so that these sons of bitches would go to rehab and not jail.
    Cocaine and Heroin are the drugs of the rich.
    Present an in-depth article on that.

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    1. Maybe it's the classic self hating Mexican journalists to portray Mexicans as the problem instead of these American ultra nationalists who can't seem to stop snorting cocaine ..

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  12. Glad to hear that mugrozaz international powerful terror empire is seemingly declining they thought they'd enslave Mexico forever? I agree on 7:03 about them corridos but your average Mexican citizen would prefer sinaloas fantasy corridos over terrorist corridos gacho culero cruel corridos although mostly true apeztozaz corridos

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  13. Z's are no more.Now they are a bunch low life thugs,those days are over

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  14. @8:24
    --the zetas in spite of all their training, pedigree and background, never were military, due to the lack of moral fiber.
    --when you believe you must obey " orders" and expect that the superior "ordering" will be responsible, you are not a soldier, but a mercenary at the orders of powerful criminals without a soul.
    --the trials of Nuremberg discounted that claim as not really an excuse.
    --the original zeta boss, Z1 was by then on a new job as a federal police commander, and moved on to serve osiel cardenas guillen and attracting other gafes and whatever.
    --from killing hungry farmers on Guerrero State, they moved on to work on the corrupt federal police, and then further down to drug traffickers and druglord sicarios.
    ---zetas military? never, they never had the manhood, the class, or the honor it takes to be military, and never will.
    --you are supposed to care for those that can't care for themselves...
    not to abuse them like a coward...

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    1. if you say that then the us military are mercenaries too. Going into foreign countries taking all their resources by force and call it democracy.

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    2. Thank you for posting a very good point. I would encourage the satanistic cartel cheerleaders to analyse your post and to try to comprehend each point. A sociopathIc person won't understand Why these ratas aren't para-military and the founding members were never really soldiers. They are criminals that were lucky enough to see military training alongside real men. Even the title of 'mercenaries' is too good for someone who slaughters innocents, preys upon others and revels in the ill gotten gains of crime. These cartels a made up of sociopathic criminals who lack any ethical morals, they follow orders out of fear, are a burden on society rather than contributing to its betterment and are the direct opposite of what a soldier represents. True Soldiers havetw good heart at the core of their being. They build upon that with honor and discipline, hard work and selfless service. A soldier lives these values for life. The zeta founders sold out like the greedy low life's that they always were.

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    3. 12:55pm

      Sorry dude but you never make any sense.

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    4. The Z have no honor or discipline like dedicated soldiers do. There is nothing to praise as far as evil is concerned. Los Z are evil incarnate. Hell is too good a place for any of them, or their kind. NUKE 'EM!

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    5. 11:14 so, go back to posting your "chapo snitched" full of sense rants, my comments are for more enlightened people, if you tried any harder, the oyster you have for a brain might just burst, but you'd be gone trying to be a genius.
      Better to be at the bottom of the cream than at the top of a pile of shit...
      recommended reading: @11:03... thanks!

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  15. Lol is not about fighting and wo wins, is about making money and the Sinaloense are #1 at that remember Tijuana cartel are sinaloenses Juarez cartel are Sinaloenses , Sinaloenses are all over there the ones making the most money , and enjoying life that's wat the game is all about and the Zeta Will never get close to the lol lol ol ol people here just talk shit but they don't know anything

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    1. You are wrong cds cheer leader. The ones making money are the national banks that launder dirty money.

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  16. Illigal capitalist at work. They learned from their daddy capitalist america. The unites states once again spreads its poison

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  17. Lacy...was that in zocalo? where were they?

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  18. March 29, 2014 at 8:50 AM
    "Cocaine and Heroin are the drugs of the rich"
    Oh you idiot?Go tell that to the slangers doing 1 for 5 and 4 for 15,real rich people.

    ReplyDelete
  19. March 29, 2014 at 12:56 PM
    "Maybe it's the classic self hating Mexican journalists to portray Mexicans as the problem instead of these American"
    Oh shit get the violins out.Who lives in Mexico again?Remind me?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh oh its turning into the whine about the US post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4:25 look who is whining, whining whiny winnie...
      ñaaah, ñaaaaah, ñaaaaaaaaaah! mooooom!

      Delete
  21. Lol is not about fighting and wo wins, is about making money and the Sinaloense are #1 at that remember Tijuana cartel are sinaloenses Juarez cartel are Sinaloenses , Sinaloenses are all over there the ones making the most money , and enjoying life that's wat the game is all about and the Zeta Will never get close to the lol lol ol ol people here just talk shit but they don't know anything
    March 29, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Why does everybody love to ride Sinaloa's d###? Hate all you want but what took Chapo and Mayo 30+years to accomplish the Zetas did in a handful of years.

    Who started levantones?
    Who started convoys de camionetas blindadas?
    Who started wearing military fatigues?
    Who started bringing in military tactics into cartels?
    Who started diversifying into other ways to make money?
    Who started chopping heads off rivals?
    Los Zetas. And now all the Sinaloenses copy them.

    I could go on and on. But the Zetas forever revolutionized organized crime. The Sinaloenses might make more money drug trafficking but the Zetas cartel is still way stronger in terms of manpower and whenever Zetas and CDS fight the Zetas always come out winning. No mames cuantas veces han hecho emboscados la gente de Chapo y Mayo por los Zetas? There's a reason Chapo could never take Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz etc and that's because of the Zeta cartel. While other cartels failed to stop CDS encroachment the Zetas killed them off and even took territory away from them.

    And it is about who wins. And the Zetas won the war when they kicked out all the Sinaloenses out of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coauila. And to add insult to injury they even took plazas away from the Sinaloenses.

    No trying to dick ride the Zetas but I'm tired of everybody blinding dick riding the Sinaloenses while giving no credit to the Zetas and for that matter the rest of the Tamaulipecos. also los del Noreste. It's crazy how people eat up all the propaganda CDS pushes out their ass with music and mantas etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot to mention extortions and taxation without representation thats were the z screwed up

      Delete
    2. Your are stupid or wat! levantones, camionetas blindadas , military fatigue, ex military as personal guards , cutting people heads hahaha Sinaloenses have been doing that since the 70s haha lololo u don't know shit about the drug game in Mexico Sinaloenses are part of every cartel in Mexico because they have the best connections and better at doing business , zetas just a bunch of killers and thieves they don't really have money the smart ones had to suck Sinaloenses dick to survive

      Delete
    3. Pendejo ustedes sinaloaenses no comensaron eso pendejo las blindadas,los convoys,los basukasos,los topones ,la formacion militar jajaja ustedes eran puro ranchero con zombrero pendejo asi que no bengas con tus mamdas d corridos pendejo jajaja...ustedes comenasaron el narco pero alos vergasoso ustedes son.culos

      Delete
    4. Si pues ya dejensen de mamadas niñas ,bola de alucinadas mejor hay que ver el partido america vs chivas

      Delete
  22. --when you believe you must obey " orders" and expect that the superior "ordering" will be responsible, you are not a soldier, but a mercenary at the orders of powerful criminals without a soul.
    --the trials of Nuremberg discounted that claim as not really an excuse.

    No. Fuck the Nuremberg trials. The only reason they were discounted was because Jews were crying to prosecute everyone, including those that had no responsibility. And yes when you are a soldier you must obey orders. Should Texas officers who execute criminals be sent to jail? After all they are murdering somebody but just following orders. Should Air Force pilots who drop bomb on innocents just to kill one terrorist be sent to jail? Dumb gringo. FYI there's no difference between American military who kill in Iraq and Afghanistan from Zetas who kill in Mexico. Don't even talk about those morals like honor or manhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @5:36 the US department of defense authorizes the US military to carry out acts x y z officially...
      Nobody has authorized the zetas to be such a bunch of cheap murdering assholes, officially...

      Delete
  23. Thank you 1255 you will never see a American special forces soldier work for trash like them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually its already happend so look it up

      Delete
  24. Excellent work by the reporter.
    Fuck La Zetas.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Aliester Crowley went to Mexico around 1900. Is it a coincidence this residual evil is still lurking there? Just look up Aliester Crowley in Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The old original Zetas when they were part of CDG was more of a military cartel. Z3 is alive & well he is hiding deep south of South America. This Zetas now in days don't have the same power they had before. CDG is gaining ground for a good reason now. They been hiring Marines & Army soldiers from The USA military to train them once again. Sinaloa soldiers always get there ass kick by Zetas. I know its hard for some of yall to believe it because yall cheerleader for CDS. CDS has been loosing plazas because BeltraneZ & Zetas & Tijuana are becoming strong once again. One thing 4 sure don't believe a lot what Sinaloa corridos say...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Is not about been cds cheerleader cartel de sinaloa doest not exist that's the name the government gave them is about all the Sinaloenses in the drug bussiness there about making money, they got everything and the zetas don't got shit, look around and see who's enjoying life better zetas o's Sinaloenses and I am not talking about CDS! All the Sinaloenses in the game cartel de tijuana are from Sinaloa beltran leyva are from Sinaloa cartel de Juarez are from Sinaloa and cdg has sinaloenses in there cartel too and every other cartel too ; so that's wat we Sinaloenses care about Sinaloenses are the big dogs in the game so hate all u want while Sinaloenses are living the life and the zetas are in a shit hole

      Delete
    2. 8:48 PM and 10:15 AM: Reading your comments is like listening to two little boys arguing over a make-believe war between their G.I. Joe action figures.

      Delete
    3. The cdg and the zetas are few of the mexican cartels that do not have shit to do with sinaloa.cdg is tamaulipas homegrown organization and they been around 35 or more years and still there and autonomous from outside influences.that means they run they're own shit. And in the fucked up world of crime such as it is thats something to be proud of.To some of the cds cheerleaders and to some of your previous posters is because of cds and their greedy bosses that mexico is how it is.t Traying to take over plazas that belong to other people because they dont wany to pay taxes on their loads

      Delete
    4. Hahahaha halo lololo were u think Jesus Albino Quintero is from Sinaloa and he was a big dog in the Cartel del golfo he bought Veracruz for 10 million fro Villanueva look it up

      Delete
    5. He might of been big but not big enuff to command their most priced plasas.carlos rosales was big in the cdg too but again he didnt command Matamoros or reynosa or rio bravo ...

      Delete
    6. Wat matters is that Sinaloenses have there hands everywhere in the Drug game

      Delete
  27. very interesting post. How horrifying it would be to be enslaved by the zetas

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  28. Attn Dear chivis hidalgo sheriff lupe trevino resigned couple of days ago now. Short version is he will draw cash against his pension before his arrest. Still had over a year to serve before elections. please look into it and post. His campaign manager resigned the day before he did.. His son and a group of hand picked officers were escorting drugs through the rgv for cartels. They were the aptly named panama unit.

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  29. It is interesting to see that when they arrest many of these groups of Zeta's. They are over weight and sloppy looking. They maybe just train some of their people at the top, and people that are higher paid. These are the people that give orders to the the fat and sloppy looking people at the bottom of the food chain. Look at many of the pictures of the people they catch. They are not paramilitary trained looking people. Those trainable types of people are not easy to find. They just have numbers, weapons and the ability to hide and surprise people that are not armed. One armed man can terrorize a hundred unarmed people. They can hide among the people, and can even play the part of the police with fake uniforms. Straight up in battle they loose to the Marines, or they run away and hide.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Michoacanos kicked zorras out of theirstate yy'all must've forgot like rjj once said.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Why do you sinaloca fanboys think they are the only ones making money? And balls, please! Look at how they left Chapo alone to beg for his life. Make a parade because the jefe would have loved that! No, your jefe would have wanted the 300 talimamones to come and rescue his pitiful a$$. Los Zetas demise is hiring bums off the street. CDS was doomed from the jump. NO BALLS ! ! !

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  32. Very good article and web site. B.B rocks

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  33. I do realize the people in government r making so much money off the cartels. just look at Tomas Yarrington he rich. look who is in control Pena! he PRI, Tomas is protected. They are wonderful people Viva Pena. do u think these guys care about the poor people of Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  34. 1:38 pm that's right one of the few states that resisted mugrozaz intrusions a round of applause to michoacan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rats did not come in due to all of the snakes. Both bite humans and make life a living hell.

      Delete
  35. I was born and raised in Nuevo Laredo till I was 15 and all this fuckers are scumbags regardless. ... But the truth is that back in the day this was a business of man and real man that had balls... now they are all dead and the generation shift ducked up Mexico... men died and was taken in majority by kids and drugs (back in the day it was weird to know somebody that did drugs).... Second from the previous comments it is true... Sinaloa couldn't ever take Tamaulipas from Tamaulipecos they always had their ads kicked.... CDS is good because the way they treat people and do their business... And people were I am from are ruthless real pieces of shit they are bastards... and I accept that..... Third::: Heard from a friend that came to the US about 3 years ago from Guadalajara... He was a transit cop he was abducted by CDS and asked to work for them he got scared and fled and after a couple of months he heard that those guys were all wiped out by the Z. .. Isn't guadalajara a CDS terretory??? We're CDS balls and shit???.... well as of now I think Guadalajara is back to CDS thanks to the government and the Marina. ..
    Fourth:::that shit about the DEA it's all BULLSHIIIIIIIIT... The only cartel involved with DEA is CDS. .. everything else is white people's bulls hit cause that's all they know to do TALK SHIT.... There is no DEA involved in anything of the killings of high cartel members or captures... All its simply because somebody "puso dedo" or somebody made a better offer to the SIDE guy in charge

    And Fifth:::: I hope Mexico changes for all the people cause people do not deserve What this animals are doing to them... but theres a problem "El Mexicano chinga Al mexicano" ...

    Simple way to solve this problem......
    School system, Education
    Nothing else get real teachers instead of those parasites doing strikes in the capital pieces of shit...

    And the dream that probably will never come true (maybe if we fix the first one)... A real Justice System....

    GOD Bless everybody

    ReplyDelete
  36. 11:14 two lines, full of nothing, that makes a lot of sense, nice disertation, you pass, get your master's degree out of the crapper

    ReplyDelete
  37. 12:37 PM : The people in the military are people who kill for a living--there's not much else too it.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Zetas are the real and the others are the fakes. If you remember the original GAFE soldiers who became Zetas were chopping off ears, noses and heads of the Zapatista rebels in the 1990's. Its nothing new for them. The other Cartels had to change in order to keep up with what was being brought to the table. In other words "step their game up". Zetas beat Chapos boys all across mexico and the other Cartels aligned themselves with Chapo because they couldn't fight the Zetas on their own. The CDG made a vital mistake making a truce with the Sinaloa and ultimately they may have to eat crow in order to even be able to exist. I can see CDG being absorbed by the Zetas and start working for their former employees. There is a reason for the Zetas being able to maintain their terroritory even with major hits to their hierarchy. I don't believe any other cartel has been able to go from enforcers to the bosses like the Zetas have. I don't have a dog in this fight but I acknowledge from a far what the Zetas have done.

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    Replies
    1. All you people saying that chapos people got beat up this and that first ya they did I wont deny that then they made groups like GENTE NUEVA , LOS ANTRAX and many more then they started beatting zetas ass look at the report they did on the GENTE NUEVA some had military stance most were were ex military im not a fan boy im just setting shit straight

      Delete
    2. Los Antrax where made to protect El Mayo and his family.

      Delete
    3. Yeah you're not a fanboy at all.

      Delete
  39. the mexican gov is either complicit or very very stupid...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @12:46 de ninguna manera, todo lo contrario
      Not, not by any means, you got it all backwards

      Delete
  40. The Z is number 1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's the last letter of the alphabet.

      Delete
    2. Your comment has been noted and logged.
      Japanese Zeta

      Delete
    3. 3:45 JAPANEZITA= JAPONEZITA, nice rice-burner...

      Delete
  41. Actually the Juarez Cartel was started by ---- Pablo Acosta Villarreal aka "El Zorro de Ojinaga" ---- until he was BETRAYED by....... YOU GUESSED IT one of those pussy sinaloas, with the help of their fed buddies. Puro Chihuahua!!! El Estado Grande ES Puro Territorio Chihuahuense!!!

    las panochitas de sinaloa salen corriendo cuando no esta su papi el gobierno....The u.s & mx feds bet on the wrong Gallo (if you could call the sinaloas gallos).

    SIDE NOTE: Im sorry to break this to you guys, but all war is the same & what i mean is civilian populations are ALWAYS targeted its sad, BUT TRUE. Read up on the history of just a few wars & you will notice all sides targeted civilians INCLUDING innocent Men women & Children in one way or another & if they didnt its becuase they couldnt. War is war Just becuase war was "declared" by rich people with official gov titles doesnt make it "real" or honorable (unless its DEFENSE). Just becuase one person has more training & official uniforms and their opponents dont, doesnt make them "real" or "honorable" soldiers. Its just reality. "War is Hell" as they say.

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    Replies
    1. 9:45 There is war and there are war crimes, and war criminals, crimes against humanity, and plain crimes and plain criminals, who at the end of the day are the losers who end up losing everything at a young age, and nobody will do anything for them, not even those losers that egged them onto their crimes but still hang on to their gains. The master minds behind the common criminals don't know anything about them when the going gets tuff, and you know it, you seen osiel cardenas guillen crying in prison and court?
      While it is true that the winners write the story, I don't think any cartel members will have a chance to write about any war wins worth mentioning...especially regarding crimes against the people.

      Delete
  42. @5:36 at Nuremberg, the accused nazis did not claim innocence, or that the jews were makng things up.
    they claimed they were innocent or not guilty or both, because they were just simply "obeying" orders from their superiors, pointing fingers all the way up to democratically elected Hitler.
    later claims denying the holocaust, and their propounders, are just the machinations of the neo-nazi fascistoid movements trying to take us back to a supremacist culture with all the accoutrements and perks THEY will be entitled to when they win, a very iffy situation, the people will always awake up before that happens.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Tambien tenemos tecnologia extraterrestre. No llores when we come at you with alien basters.

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  44. Chivis,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your article. I learn so much from you and the other BB reporters. Thanks for the detailed and extremely interesting article.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great article chivita ur # 1

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  46. I been a soldier for almost 18 yrs now and there comes a time in your military career when you question your decision to join the armed forces. As time goes by a list of things you dont like/agree with starts to accumulate. It may be pay, promotions, assignments but the issue which really screws soldiers is their first line supervisor. It seems good elements have an "idiot" as a senior who has no common sense, initiative or vision but some how managed to get promoted. It always happens. I read one of the post where someone was using the term "superior" to refer to someone with higher rank. Im sure he used the wrong term but just because someone hold a higher position then I do doesnt make him/her better person then me. I was raised in Reynosa Tamps and i remember when the Zetas started out I was also at la Feria cuando mataron al Vale....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. el vale, Valentin Elizalde, everybody still loves and respects him, sus enemigos, mainly el hummer will rot in jail for a long long time, and he was zeta, ex-gafe, military, now he is just all bofe.
      Sigan chillando culebras, su mero padre rifa vivo o muerto, las zetas no rifan ni vivos ni muertos, una gran diferencia.

      Delete
    2. @10:48 the superior refers to higher rank only, it has nothing to do with moral, physical or intelectual capabilities. I personally believe that any soldier of the lowest rank sshould have the right and possible the duty to speak their mind and refuse to obey blindly any superior ranks, and to take or be taken to a court martial as needed.
      I'd say there is nothing worse than being harassed or attacked by your own comrades, but as we know, shit happens, so let it fly and pray there is enough for everybody...

      Delete
  47. People actualy believe thier own made up bullshit on here aha you guys are soo lost having no idea what is really going on

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ese wey de valentin (may he rest in peace) he sure did fuckin sucked at what he did....that fool got killed because he started singing a song to the girl of the cdg boss of reynosa that was in first row of the palenque with the guy in front of him... not because of the shity corridos but because the other dude got jealous. ... and that its the true story everything else is a lie

    ReplyDelete
  49. LO MEJOR QUE DIO EL ESTADO DE SINALOA FUE ARTURO BELTRAN LEYVA: EL BOTAS BLANCAS, EL JEFE DE JEFES. OTRO JEFE COMO EL EN SINALOA YA NO SE VOLVERA A VER. SONORA ERA DEL SEÑOR Y MUY RESPETADO ALLA POR TAMAULIPAS Y NUEVO LEON. LUPE TIJERINA, JUAN VILLAREAL, RAMON AYALA, EL VIEJO PAULINO, SERGIO VEGA, CHUY VEGA, ES MAS LA DINASTIA VEGA LE CANTARON CORRIDOS. SEÑORES HABLO DE UNA GRAN CANTIDAD DE CORRIDOS Y NO CHINGADERAS COMO LAS QUE GERARDO ORTIZ CANTA PARA EL CHAPO Y EL MAYO


    Ahora si vengo con todo no me van a detener
    Y si no aceptan ni modo me les tengo que meter
    Me cambiaron el apodo y lo voy agradecer

    Me dicen Jefe de Jefes eso ya lo demostre
    Esa plaza de Caleta tambien se las puse arder
    Yo respetaba al gobierno ya cambio de parecer

    El Comandante Magaña al comando de LoZ Zetaz
    Pedia refuerzos al Chuky para protejer la fiera
    Los 2 perdieron la vida con honor se les recuerda

    Primo Joaquin compa Mayo Que antes jalaban conmigo
    Ahora me llaman culpable de los males que han tenido
    Me han 'chacado sus muertes sabiendo que no es mi estilo.

    Soy el Jefe y no estoy solo tampoco me vivo ondeado
    Tengo las mejores armas ademas carros blindados
    Cuento con un buen cerebro lo que a otros les a faltado.




    ReplyDelete

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