Friday, February 16, 2018

Elite Mexican Soldiers Recruited by Cartels

Posted by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Guardian

          "The training stays with you'': Say the elite Mexican GAFE Soldiers recruited by cartels.

 Feb 10, 2018

Last year, Mexico’s murder rate reached the highest level on record – and years of military defections are fueling the violence.

Delfino was handpicked twice. At 18, he was chosen by the Mexican army to join its elite unit, the airborne special forces group known by its Spanish acronym, Gafe, where he specialized as a sniper.

Ten years later, he was recruited again – this time by the very people he’d been trained to kill.

Nowadays, the only outward sign of his military background is the camouflaged hat on his head, and the Panther .308 sniper rifle slung across his back. 



Delfino specialized as a sniper in the Mexican army and is now a member of the Knights Templar Cartel.

Once a dominant force in the rugged western state of Michoacan, the group is now locked in a bitter
war for survival with rival criminal factions.

Delfino belongs to what remains of a cult-like drug cartel called Los Caballeros Templarios, or the Knights Templar, whose original leaders blended extreme violence with pseudo-religious teaching and claimed a mandate from God.

But Delfino describes himself as an instrument of divine justice. “God has his will,” he said. “But he still needs people to do his work here on Earth.”

Over the past decade, Mexico’s drug violence has undergone a dizzying escalation, claiming more than 230,000 lives and last year pushing the country’s murder rate to the highest level since records began. 

Security analysts and cartel sources agree that a key factor in the transformation of underworld rivalries into a full-throttle war has been the cartels’ recruitment of elite soldiers.

The leakage of Mexican special forces into organized crime began in the 1990s when the powerful Gulf cartel recruited a group of ex-Gafe troops to create its own paramilitary enforcement unit, known as Los Zetas.


They eventually turned on their masters, establishing the Zetas as a cartel in their own right. But other narco bosses followed suit, turning to the military for skilled recruits.

The scale of the problem remains unclear – not least because the Mexican government has been unwilling to release data, said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor at George Mason University and author of Zetas Inc.

“It’s an inconvenient issue for the government, so they deny freedom-of-information requests. But what we do know is that special forces helped turn Mexico’s narcos into the paramilitary armed groups we see today.”


                          GAFE: One day Mexican's Elite Military Unit , Later Los Zetas Cartel
According to Mexico’s defence ministry, about 1,383 elite soldiers deserted between 1994 and 2015.

Defectors included members of units that received training in counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence, interrogation and strategy from French, Israeli and US advisers, according to a 2005 FBI intelligence document.

Internal documents from Mexico’s attorney general’s office obtained by the Guardian also confirm accounts from sources in Michoacán that the Templars’ predecessor organization – known as La Familia Michoacana – sent envoys to Guatemala to recruit former special forces soldiers known as Kaibiles. 

Members of the Kaibiles unit, which has received US training since the 1970s, committed some of the worst atrocities in Guatemala’s civil war, notably the 1982 slaughter of 201 civilians in Dos Erres.

                                 Protesters After Dos Erres Massacre, Gautemala's Civil War

Mexico’s military has also received US support: between 2006 and 2017, Washington provided just over $2.7Billion in security assistance, including military and counter-narcotics support.

According to Kate Doyle, senior analyst at the National Security Archive in Washington DC, the US focus on military aid to the region has helped drive the militarization of Mexico’s drug conflict.

“That US military training and intelligence techniques ended up in the wrong hands is far from unusual. Its lethal spillage into the contemporary criminal context is one of the legacies of US security policy in Latin America,” she said.

Rarely, however, has a soldier-turned-narco gone on the record.

As he led the way up a steep path to a sniper’s nest of volcanic stone and brush, Delfino said he had his own reasons for speaking to a reporter. “We want the world to understand what we’re doing out here: protecting the communities against the enemies that come to rape and pillage.”

Below his lookout unfolded the scrubby plains and rugged canyons of Michoacán’s Tierra Caliente – the Hot Land. It was here that the former president Felipe Calderón first deployed the country’s armed forces against the cartels in 2006.

The military crackdown was eventually extended across the country, but its initial targets were the cartels of Calderón’s home state: La Familia Michoacana and its offspring, the Knights Templar. 

For a time, it seemed that the strategy was working. When the Templars finally collapsed under the joint pressure of federal forces and an armed “self-defense” movement in 2013, the government claimed victory.


But for every fallen kingpin, there was a host of would-be successors: organized crime in Michoacán shattered into a patchwork of warring fiefdoms. And though now reduced to a fraction of their former strength and cut off from vital trafficking routes, the Templars are still in the thick of it.

In a desperate bid to cling to its remaining territory, the group has joined forces with a former rival: a fast-growing cartel called the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

Their current enemies are a group of former allies, to whom Delfino refers contemptuously as “locusts”.

Up on the hill, Delfino eyed the enemy positions through his scope. "Locusts" surrounded his position on three sides and had attempted to overrun the Templars several times in recent months.

But Delfino was dismissive of his counterparts, who he said were untrained boys sent into battle doped up on crystal meth.


               “The difference between them and us is that we always take precise shots,” he said.

"We want the world to understand what we're doing out here: protecting the communities against the enemies that come to rape and pillage", says Delfino.  Photo: Falko Ernst

Most of Delfino’s own fighters were barely adults, but he still claimed to abide by the principles of his military training. “The strict rules, the way they prepared me psychologically, morally and practically – that stays with you forever,” he said.

Delfino’s training began not long after he joined the army in 1996. After selection for the GAFE,  he underwent months of instruction, including courses in jungle survival and amphibious combat.

After specializing as a sniper, he was deployed in counterinsurgency operations in the southern state of Chiapas, where the indigenous Zapatista guerrillas had risen up in 1994. 

                                  Indigenous Zapatista Guerillas during the Uprising in 1994

Later, he was moved to the Pacific port city of Lázaro Cárdenas, where he became involved for the first time in counter-narcotics: his unit was tasked to chase speedboats bringing cocaine from South America.

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But off-duty, Delfino and his fellow soldiers came into contact with narco bosses in local nightclubs. Before long, he was receiving expensive bottles of Scotch – and then job offers.
“They knew exactly what they were looking for: our knowledge, our professionalism, our loyalty,” he said. 
Delfino resigned from the army, and in 2006, he joined La Familia Michoacana. 
The cartel presented itself as the only force able to provide stability in a region long neglected by the Mexican state. 
Delfino specialized in tracking down alleged kidnappers. “I just grabbed them and handed them over – that was my job. Others would then take care of the rest,” he said.
“The rest” was La Familia’s trademark brutality: alleged wrongdoers were killed, beheaded and mutilated, their bodies then dumped with messages justifying the murder. 
Vigilantism helped win some local support; it also removed criminal competitors, and by 2009, the group had become one of the most powerful in the country. 
But what set the group apart was its home-brewed ideology, which blended the language of self-help with fire-and-brimstone theology.

When La Familia’s ideological leader, Nazario Moreno González, was killed in 2014 the religious aspect faded. But Delfino still claims he’s following a divine mission.
"Technically it's not correct to take somebody's life," said Delfino. But then he reached for a biblical justification. "Not a leaf moves without God's permission."

At the height of the cartel’s power, nothing in Michoacán moved without the cartel’s permission. It monopolized crime, but it also penetrated ordinary life, using the threat of lethal violence to arbitrate anything from land disputes to marital conflicts.
That soft power was fused with strategic sophistication, thanks to the influx of former soldiers , said Correa-Cabrera. “Their rapid expansion, the way they controlled territories, used communications and armament – they were now doing it like the army,” she said.


The involvement of veterans has enabled cartel combatants across the country to organize tactical responses to the deployment of troops and paramilitary federal police. More recently, the CJNG has become notorious for a string of ambushes that have killed dozens of federal officers.

In Tierra Caliente, such head-on confrontations have given way to a constant state of low-intensity warfare. In 2017, 1,510 murders were registered in Michoacán, a state of 4.5 million inhabitants.
Delfino’s role in the bloodletting is no secret to his former brothers in arms. He remains in touch with soldiers on active duty, and even meets up to reminisce when security conditions allow, he said. 
“We like each other, and they respect my decision,” he said, “but if they learn that I’m out here doing something which doesn’t square with our values – if I mess with innocent people – they will come for me. From them, there’s no hiding.”

54 comments:

  1. it's not only the GAFE but other especial forces.When I visit culiacan ,sinaloa from Washington DC in a Bar met two Russian and 1 kaibil who where defectors from Elite Commands i guessed they probably work for some cartel up there Because cartel will pay big sums of money .I even got approach by some locals some how they found out I was a Ex USA marine. They offered anything if I trained a couple of guys wich i refuse with respect and they say no problem have a nice day Senor

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    1. Russians and especially British soldiers are known to do mercenary work.

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  2. Well this article explains why the cartel violence today. I dont believe it has anything to do with a crack down on cartels a decade ago causing splinter cells, 2 headed dragon theory or anything the US did. You have elite trained killers on the loose working for cartels...and even if you cut off ALL guns from the US to Mexico it wouldn't help. You think billionaires with a global reach can't buy milirmil grade weapons???

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  3. Cartels might hire elite Mexican soldiers but they do not seem to know how to use them most of the time except for fuckin ambushes where there are 50 of them per say vs 2 or 3 from a rival group. Yet they boast about their fuckin "victory"! Worst yet the fuckin Navy still wipes there asses them. Fuckin retards!!!

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  4. he lies to himself, there is no honour in abducting people to be murdered without a proper trial.

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  5. Is it more money and great benefits

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  6. Mexico really sucks when the army joints the cartel. Mexico has meet its end. They want the southwest back , they can't manage what they have now. There is no food stamp in mexico. So u guys in the southwest becarful whst u wish For?

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  7. This drug war/business will never stop its just a circle that keeps repeating itself

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  8. Why doesn't bb post the execution vids anymore? Honest question. Since most contain information like the interrogation or commentary as to why or who is involved, wouldn't they be beneficial? Even if a warning is added because of the graphic content.

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  9. For those that wonder, locust????Well a locust is a bug, a grasshopper in spanish known as a (varies by region) saltamontes, "chochos" also "Chapulines" which cartels use to describe those that switch sides. Translation of slang gets confusing..


    ....... I doubt that whats left of CT joined CJNG, more likely LNF, but then again the autodefensas that took then the are the ones that formed H3 and viagras who later joined forces and became LNF, unless the cells fighting h3 are the ines that joines CJNG and the cella figjting cjng joined lnf

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  10. So hes a former soldier who switched sides to his enemy, a cartel. And then being in a cartel he again switches sides to his new enemy now to cjng. And he calls his rivals chapulines???

    How ironic

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  11. The most elite cartel soldiers are Gente Nueva and Antrax Special Forces

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  12. Replies
    1. HEY BUGGS BUNNY, YOU MADE bail!

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  13. Now they found a massive number of dead dogs somewhere over in mexico. They start with animals but they move on to people after that thats the a problem

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  14. Elite Mexican soldier is only good at killing injuns and protecting the criminal government!

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  15. Are those the soldiers who only 20 rounds each?
    or those guys get 25?

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  16. In the book El Sicario by Mark Bowden, the subject was already on the payroll of the narcos when he became a police cadet. Conceivable that deep-cover moles may have penetrated Elite forces as well.

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    1. In San Luis Potosi you do not get into the police academy if you have not been sent by the cartel, Los Zetas when Enrique Francisco Galindo Ceballos was SSP del estado...then he had to resign and became EPN and MAO Osorio Chón's SSP de la republica until he had to resign over the "Crime of State Tanhuato"...G

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  17. Wow fucking mexican armed forces helicopters fall down from the sky by themselves.

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    1. 3:44 are you spying on me?
      I'm watching one crash on TV right now, an earthquake brought down the chopper...you better stop that crap Russian spy...

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    2. It's pretty normal for helicopters to fall and crash, one false move and you crash and die. Happens in the U.S every once in a while.

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  18. 2.7B? its ironic that the u.s sends so much money and equipment yet they the u.s smuggle most of the drugs across from mx

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  19. I see he's running a DPMS .308 AR but I'm assuming thats just another of the myriad of weapons acquired by the narcos randomly... does anyone if Mexico has an officially adopted sniper rifle? I know they have M82/M107's but that technically ain't a sniper rifle. I'd assume if anything they probably use surplus M24's?

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    1. @ 4:29pm
      It looks like the 308 or 7.62x51 is most often found. The optics are what I wonder about as well as suppression.

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    2. GAFE uses PSG1, M24, 700 variants and 50 BMG.

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    3. Real mexican police are still using WWII surplus rifles,
      Most state police use Vietnam war era surplus,
      federales use surplus from the first Iraq invasion,
      --but private security mercenaries use the most sophisticated weapons, and blended metal ammo since they started their contract on Iraq in 2004, some have been to court for their murdering ways.

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    4. Dude, thanks. I should've considered they probably use PSG1's and MSG90's considering Mexico loves them some HK

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    5. yo tengo dos resorteras un machete ,un picahielo oxidado y una revoler calibre 22.

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    6. Well he is a trained Sniper. The .308 ammo is likely easier to gain access to compared to more exotic calibers. The DPMS rifle is way cheaper than lets say than the Springfield M1A or any other higher caliber sniper rifles.

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  20. You’re talking about when the gulf cartel recruited ex gafes and formed the zetas, but in between you put a pic of cjng. People reading this will think that this is a pic of original zetas which is not the case.

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    1. Did you read the article? It's about a guy named Delfino, who had nothing to do with Zetas or CDG. Familia Mich. Then Knights Temp. who are working with cjng. Just trying to help you follow the story, bro.

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    2. If u don’t follow the natural order of things “bro”. Each pic was placed in the middle of the story that corresponds “bro”. Stop trolling

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    3. Try reading above and below the picture of cjng which at that point is referring to CDG and zetas, which the picture isn’t of

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  21. That's what happens when you can't find a job in Mexico. Too much money in Mexico but the government just use it all up for themselves, starting from the president all the way down. After the Spanish conquest Mexico has been out of control. Aztecs had a great system of government but the,only bad thing was the sacrifice but if you think about how much people are killed because of the failed government, It's no comparison. Mexico could be a first word country if all the money was used properly but instead it's misused by the greedy pieces of shit!

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    1. One of the reasons the Spanish won was because the Aztecs were such assholes the other tribes sided with the Spanish. Agreed that the leadership has always been bad.

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    2. 11:26 the spanish "won" because they imported their pestilence and smallpox that decimated the aztec people, just when they had had their fill of the spaniards and the horses they rode in, they even beat the crap out of them on "la Noche Triste" when 'Tonatiuh' the red sun pedro de alvarado ended up crying like a little girl because of the beating suffered at the hands of aztec warrior leader Cuitlahuac who fell to the smallpoz soon after...
      if you don't know aztec history, shut the fack up

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    3. They actually did a test like a x ray on Aztec land and they found a large city the size of Manhattan burried underground. They did one in Maya territory too and it was a huge city too. Crazy that they don't know what happened to the Mayas, il tell you, they got slaughtered and the rest killed by the new diseases like small pocks . Don't know why the history books don't say it, just saying....they took their gold, murdered their people and destroyed their city in the name of god

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  22. Did anyone see vicente fox on bill mahers show. When bill ask him wld you run for president of the usa vicente fox asked "how much does it pay?" Thats the mentality of this people all they care is money instead of serving their country. Youre not supposed to be elected to mayor or governor or president so you can get paid you do it so you can lead and serve your town or state or country. If you want to get rich go into business instead.

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    Replies
    1. Lmao politics and business are the same exact thing.

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    2. Businesses control politics

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    3. But it shdnt be. I see this old world way of thinking that one shld get rich thru goverment positions and its not supposed to be like that.

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    4. America’s political theater is no different from Mexico’s political structure. Lobbyists from big banks / corporations dictate how and what financial gains and regulations are implemented! This through means of financial assistance / support to political parties ( ones personal pockets).

      Truth!!!!!!!!


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    5. Can’t anyone understand a joke anymore ? Fox on BMaher, ie......ya I did see it.

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    6. Yaqui . Yea its funny in a ironic kinda way

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    7. 4:53 It's usually the butt of the joke doesn't get it,
      because it hurts,
      sometimes BIG SHOES hurt worse than little shoes on little feet, Bill Maher asked our former President Fox (who in real life is a facking SKUNK) if he was holding, also said he knows a pusher, "just by coincidence", Bill Maher needs to be arrested por mariguano.

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  23. Anything for a buck, even turning on your own bros...Nothing but greed and death in Mex

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    Replies
    1. All of which imported from the U.S of A. They arming and training these murderers

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  24. Eran gafes casco negros

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  25. Does anyone have old Los zetas videos/photos?!

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    1. First the free illegal small MINERS from Pachuca went robbing iron ores from siderurgica Las Truchas, or Lazare Cardenas then it was bankrupted and sold as scrap to Arcelor-Mittal, who organized the whe rigmarole.
      Them the zetas came to michoacan to keep exploiting miners and robbing arcelor-mittal who ended kicking them outta the area...
      But before that, michoacano José Luis Gazcon and his brother were musicians with Los Yaqui del tamaulipeco Benny Ibarra de tamamulipas AND BEFORE THAT, PEDRO INFANTE was making music with huapangos y huapangueros de Las Huastecas

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    2. 10:02 no mames güey, you need to offer money for originals, i'd love to buy one, or two, but i'd rather pirate them for free.
      "Las Aguilas Andan Solas" or "El Patrón de los Zetas", that is two songs of Beto Quintanilla, two of many, I am not a zeta fan or with any cartel, I just appreciate Beto, ugly singing and all, he ain't no "opera singer".
      For a love song try, "Los Pilares de la Carcel or Mi Ultima Contrabando"

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  26. Maybe I am reading too much into this post but it seems to me Delfino doesn’t just do his job for the money. It appears he is worried about for keeping his turf safe for citizens. Obviously he is getting paid well for his service but his longevity in the biz shows his crew has a code to live by. His buddies in the military know what he does but don’t seek to jail or kill him. He stalks his prey, kills them or abducts them and then hands them over to his superiors. This sicario is the first I have ever heard of who actually had a moral code.

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