Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zetas Now in The Crosshairs

New Federation unites criminal gangs to subdue maverick cartel

The Monitor

The cartel warfare crippling Mexico will continue until the Zetas, a powerful offshoot of the Gulf Cartel, are subdued by other drug gangs or Mexican authorities, according to a new report.

The report, by Austin-based “global intelligence” firm STRATFOR, details the bloody battle between the Zetas and their onetime allies. Increasingly outflanked by the Zetas, the Gulf Cartel has reached out to other criminal groups and formed the “New Federation,” a unified front against the Zetas, according to STRATFOR.

“Fearing the might of Los Zetas, the Gulf Cartel reached out to their longtime enemies, the Sinaloa Federation, and asked for their assistance in dealing with Los Zetas” wrote Scott Stewart, a STRATFOR analyst. “The leader of the Sinaloa Federation, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Loera, has no love for Los Zetas, who as the former military arm of the Gulf Cartel engaged in many brutal battles with Guzman’s forces. Together with another enemy of Los Zetas, La Familia Michoacana, Guzman joined forces with the Gulf Cartel to form an organization known as the New Federation.”

As the Zetas and other groups targeted by the New Federation come under increasing pressure from the government and rival cartels, the violence across Mexico’s northern border may increase.

STRATFOR maintains a network of sources, including members of the Mexican news media, that help the company gather information. The firm sells general and customized intelligence reports to both individual and corporate clients.

The New Federation aims to destroy the Zetas and the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, also known as the Juarez Cartel, according to the report. If the New Federation succeeds, and manages to marginalize the Arellano Felix Organization, also known as the Tijuana Cartel, it could dominate Mexican drug smuggling routes into the United States, according to the report.

Less competition between warring cartels would reduce the violence, Stewart said. But during the short term, the aggressive move by the New Federation will likely increase the bloodshed, he said.

“These cartel capos are really businessmen, and they make more money when it is peaceful and the dope is flowing,” Stewart said.

Allowing U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and special operations units to operate inside Mexico would also put additional pressure on the cartels, but Mexico has limited U.S. involvement to protect its sovereignty, according to the report. STRATFOR’s analysis suggests powerful Mexicans tied to drugs have also helped limit U.S. involvement.

“We are talking … 40 billion dollars, and that is a lot of money,” Stewart said. “All that money is not being kept at El Chapo’s basement or under his bed.”

“Through financial institutions, it is being laundered in construction projects, resorts and all kinds of financial things, and a lot of people getting rich off the drug trade,” Stewart said.

Officials from the Procuraduría General de la República — the Mexican attorney general’s office — had no comment on the report. The Ministry of Public Safety, which contains an intelligence unit, didn’t return calls.

Last week, STRATFOR offered insight into the death of an American on Falcon Lake, which garnered widespread media attention.

The firm’s sources suggested David Hartley, 30, had been mistaken for Gulf Cartel spies by Zeta scouts. Hartley and his wife, Tiffany, drove from McAllen to Falcon Lake in a truck with Mexican license plates, and crossed into Mexican territory on Jet Skis.

While there, Tiffany told investigators, gunmen shot and killed her husband. She told investigators the gunmen approached in three boats, and that she was forced to flee.

STRATFOR blamed “Zetitas,” low-level Zetas, for Hartley’s death. The firm’s analysis suggested the perpetrators had been eliminated by higher-level Zetas, and that Hartley’s body has been destroyed.

Mexican authorities launched an extensive search, but found nothing.

STRATFOR also noted the beheading of State Police Comandante Rolando Armando Flores Villegas on Oct. 12 “was a specific message from Los Zetas to Mexican authorities to back off from the investigation.”

Mexican authorities have denied that report. To date, no suspects have been named for Flores Villegas’ murder.


  1. I'm not impressed with STRATFOR. The people/companies paying them can get better fresher information just by coming here for free.....

    It just seems like they read this site and some others and then write summary reports.

  2. I can't believe people actually pay Statfor for information when you can get more and better reliable information here on BB. Any reader here is better informed than one of their experts there.

    I mean if you are a die hard BB reader you know what I am talking about

  3. are really on the ball only took them what 10 months to arrive at this long ago where the banners hung proclaiming the nueva fed, and the declared war on the Z ...what a joke...

    the gob de mex just needs to get the fuck out of the way and let the NF do their job de limpia el basura...the ejercito is only in the way...this shit would have ended months ago if the Z allys the army y the policia federal would have let the NF take care of it , at first these guys were optimistic about getting rid of the pinches Z culeros, and expected the authoritys to be happy about it , they were and still are mystified about why the army and policia are killing them , and letting the Z get is obvious that the gob is in cahoots con el Z...i have personally had dealings with some of both sides, CDG Y pinches Z...even though the CDG are bad guys they have rules and some code of operation, it includes not harming civilians and definately not fucking up the business, when they ran the show , calle Madero en Monterrey was safe at any hour day or night, nobody fucked with nobody without permission, now that the Z has so much power , it ain't safe at any time, this is in large part due to the help given the Z bastardos by the various goberierno agencys, in life often you have the choice of the lesser of the two evils , that is the case here , and the NF is without a doubt the lesser of the evils , half of the raggedy ass Pinche Z 's are not even Mexican, y they don't give a fuck about are always gonna have crime and vice, but it really makes a big difference who is running the show, now thanks to the gob, the hometown boys are being pressed hard to hold on, if they lose, esta es chango todo por siempre...just my opinion

  4. stratfor is totally crap, this information is old, a this dates to February 2010. Really this is news?

  5. Yeah, I've read this same story like 10 times now, it's dated. I thought maybe they had some updates with Zeta's numbers, strongholds, etc etc, maybe to compare to CDG. That would be an interesting article. Agree with poster two above me about the Zeta's and New Federacion. Also, is there any evidence at all to the claims that NF is also against Juarez and Tijuana? I swear articles just throw that in there just because. Cartel Del Golfo has nothing to do with Juarez, that is all Chapo's offensive.

  6. it seems to me that the only people that are dying in these battles are sicarios, mexican government employees, and innocent civilians. these siciarios got to smarten up and know they just get used as bait. i dont know why these cartels just dont go after the big dogs in the organization and finish the job already. am pretty sure if they wanted to find each other they can.

  7. Calmado Amigos Chapito de Sinaloa y Los del Golfito. El mensaje es chingan grandotes los Zetas pendejos que no respetan nadie. Hagan la paz y mandan la droga a los gringuitos pobrecitos! Todo bien.
    Puro Sierra Madre de Chihuahua

  8. really stratfor???? what a joke!!! lol... I'm with the person above my comment. Once one of the top leaders of the Z's like Lazcano go down, it will be a domino effect and the end of war would be near. Z's are nothing more but thugs lacking the mental capacity of maintaining structure. It is a reason why many ex Z's went to work for CDG. CDG and co. are slowly but surely making their way to Zeta territories and it should and will get very ugly. My hope is that this war between the cartels will end soon so people of Mexico can live normal lives once again.

  9. nambre pinches gringos pendejos esta noticia esta mas vieja q mi abuelita, la DEA osea los US siempre son los ultimos en darse cuenta de todo lo que pasa.

  10. Ya no se aporren culeros ya vivan la vida comO dios manda sin andar chingando la madre, bueno no tienen ni puta madre


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