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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gulf Cartel vs Zetas... One Year Later

The chatter began in September 2009. Mass emails and rumors began circulating stating relationships were being broken and new, previously unimaginable alliances, were being formed. "The War", as it was being called, was said to begin mid-month. I remember thinking: Just in time for Independence Day. Of course, September turned into October, October to November, and by the time New Years 2010 came and went, it was pretty much considered just another rumor.

On February 24, 2010 hundreds of trucks marked with C.D.G, XXX, and/or M3 hit the streets of northern Tamaulipas.

On that same day a tsunami of violence overwhelmed cities and towns south of the border with Texas. Shootings and grenade attacks in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Cd. Mier, Matamoros, Valle Hermoso, and Rio Bravo forced schools and businesses to close. The U.S. consulates and American Citizen Services closed in at least two of the border towns, with no specific date for resuming services.

For several days citizens remained locked in their homes. They watched in fear, shock and dismay as their towns became war zones. Neither police nor the military came to their rescue.

In Nuevo Leon, similar acts occurred. Unprecedented violence and executions also spread throughout the state, beginning in the towns on the state line with Tamaulipas and spreading to the mountain city of Monterrey.

The violence is said to have derived from the breaking of an agreement which was made between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas.

After the 2003 arrest and subsequent extradition of Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen, Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, El Coss, took charge of the Gulf cartel along with Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, aka Tony Tormenta, as Los Zetas are led by Heriberto Lazcano and Miguel Treviño Morales.

According to sources, until December 2009 the two groups had agreed to work on the same routes and defend their territory as if it were a single organization, but each with their own leaders.

U.S. officials stated that based on information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the relationship between Zetas and the Gulf cartel was formally broken on January 18, 2010.

The break in the relationship resulted when El Coss sent assassins to Reynosa to kill Victor Peña Mendoza, El Concord 3, the chief of finance for the Zetas, and close friend of Miguel Treviño Morales, Z-40.

Within days of the start, citizens began to take audio, video, and photographic documentation of the violent events. These echoes were posted by the dozens on You-Tube.

Although local media was silent, #Reynosafollow in Tamaulipas and Mexico Nueva Revolucion in Nuevo Leon, began to unite Mexican “Twiteros” to give 24 hour real time updates on happenings within their cities and towns. They alone took on what no other local media had dared: Reporting, debunking and confirming the suspicious acts, roadblocks, gunfire, grenade attacks, and kidnappings of two warring mega cartels. They were, and continue to be the eyes, ears, and guardians of many, if not all.

By early March 2010, although State authorities continued to down play the events, narco banners began appearing in which groups named La Nueva Federacion (New Federation and Carteles Unidos (United Cartels) requested permission from Felipe Calderon to exterminate the Zetas. At the same time videos signed by La Nueva Federacion and addressed to the citizens of each state began to appear on You Tube.

As the weeks turned into months, narco-banners, kidnappings, videotaped interrogations, beheadings, mass mutilations, executions, grenade attacks, car jackings, roadblocks, and massacres became of daily life for the population caught in the crossfire. The carnage started in Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas but spread like a cancer to states such as San Luis Potosi, Vera Cruz, Coahuila, Tabasco and Quintana Roo.

For the most part, citizens continue living their day to day lives: going to work, taking their kids to school, taking the family to the movies, buying groceries, visiting family and friends; but life has changed.

Every day is filled with looking over their shoulder, checking their surroundings, listening. Trust is non-existent. Everyone, everywhere, and everything is now thoroughly scrutinized.

Young children are taught how to survive shoot-outs in school. Parents talk less to their older kids about safe sex, drug use, or drinking and driving and more about what to do in case of a kidnapping, armed confrontation, or grenade attacks.

Preventative roadside “rules” are imperative: Don’t honk, don’t stare, don’t drive aggressively, yet don’t portray yourself as passive. Take house and/or business keys off your keyring, and remove all identifying documents from your vehicle.

Anxiety, insomnia, gastritis, panic attacks, and headaches run rampant in the young and old alike. Tension and fear is everywhere, there is no true "downtime".

At times these adaptations can feel less like living and more like waiting to die, especially for the small rural communities and ranches of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, where “The War” has held them hostage, literally cut off from the rest of the world.

Although attacks against civilians, mayors, police and prison officials, bridge hangings, car bombs, mass mutilations and mass homicides have caused an increase in Federal Police and Mexican Military units patrolling the affected states, the violence and insecurity has only increased. Now, one year and thousands of lives later “The War" continues its harvest in blood.


  1. So a whole lot of people have died during this year but has anything really happened?

    Will this just be an another Juarez with lots of senseless killing for apparently no effect at all?

  2. I live in Monterrey and I'm here to tell you that no real progress has been made on THIS side of the border.. The problem will never be corrected until the police start doing their job... In fact, the police half the time are the ones doing the kidnapping and such and it doesn't end there.

    While the Mexican Military lacks proper compensation as well as resources such as weapons and aircrafts and the likes, the stupid NACOS (cartels) are armed with RPGs and AK-47s or anything you can imagine. The military kills 10 of them and the next day they just go out on the street and grab 20 more desperate and ignorant/uneducated poor people who need money..

    For this to end, Mexico WILL need direct help from a stronger and more equipped military.

  3. Outside Mx the media concentrates on Juarez and Chihuahua, and largely ignores what is happening in Tamps. They do cover the Mty story because of its world recognition. But the media is so blind to the poor people of tamps and their plight, THERE lies the story, a state that is controlled by MDCs, the first to have entire cities forced to leave. So sad.

    In Coahuila we haven't really had much in comparison. There are the dissapeared and some violence,in my city we have had buildings burned, killings and kidnappings and our police chief killed, chapo came last spring made a run at it, but Zs held fast. but nothing in comparison to Tamps, or NL. I expect that to change, we are all waiting to exhale.

    Another original post by Ovemex, thank you sir

  4. I read somewhere that CDG was making a run into Saltillo, anyone else have any info?

  5. if the fukn gob de mexico hadn't of sided with the z would have been over already...

  6. The entire northern border of Mexico has fallen into the hands of the cartels. If you were to cross the border into Mexico all the Police and Federalales that you will see are all Cartel members. They run what is the "other side of the river" from Falcon Lake to Brownsville. They are in complete control, much the same way that Fallujah was occupied By the Pig shit group, Al Qaeda for awhile.
    Americans should understand this and pay close attention to whats happpening 100 feet from our Southern Border.
    This is a national security issue that can be dealt with by a few special tactical forces backed by the best eyes in the sky in the entire world.
    We can , should and will take these worthless common criminals out.
    The game changed forever when this savagery got completely out of control and the gangbanger, coked up teenagers took to the streets on serial killing rampages.
    Attacking the power stucture of the Goverment by killing police, Military personal, mayors, and all of the disrespect for public safty. These worthless filty pigs will be dealt with by the ones who can get this shit back under control, Uncle Sam and his crew!!!!

  7. @ 5:29

    I have not heard that, it has been Sinaloa trying to displace Zetas..but of course everything is so fluid ...where did you hear that? You know who lives outside Saltillo? So I would be surprised.

    Hey are you Hombre? Seems you were MIA for a few days

  8. i followed the link on #renoysafollow that is in this post and I was very happy i did. that is excellent the way citizens took matters in their own hands to get the news of danger out to protect the people.

    like the underground newspapers of WWII but computer-age technology

  9. The communications from CDG to the people are surreal, in their directness and the impunity at which they seem to operate. I don't see this conflict going anywhere, for now.

  10. @B

    k onda guey hussy... have you been ,,,ok i hope

    i have been at my cabin..and i have no internet there ..and it is remote and not even a cell phone works there...been doing some work on my land ..fixing my road...exciting stuff like that....been shooting my new shotgun....looking to do some turkey hunting..getting my garden ready...this year i am gonna grow a hundred tomato plants...

    and feeling overall blessed that i am an
    American and can at least have the illusion of freedom and safety

  11. its crazy whats happening in mexico.its mostly because of the poverty and the big money to be made in the narco biz..but is all the killings worth it from europe and follow the news in mexico daily

  12. Speaking of Saltillo:

    Joaquin Lopez-Diriga just tweeted:
    Informa la Armada que esta mañana en una finca de Saltillo detuvo a "El Toto", jefe del Piolin implicado en el asesinato del agente de Ice.

    El Toto, the boss of El Piolin, who was arrested in connection to the murder of ICE Special Agent Zapata, was detained in Saltillo this morning.

  13. Zocalo Saltillo just posted the arrest, but did not give a name just that the "Chief" of El Piolin was arrested in a raid...I have no clue who this guy is...too many damn Zetas.

    @ Brito...yes La Hussy misses certain peeps when it gets too quiet I conduct a head count! JAJA..probably best without internet, or one never relaxes. but before we got internet at our mountain home in the SoCal mts (last yr) I used satellite connection using Hughes wireless card. God forbid we missed anything.

  14. Tamps is supposed to get really hot this week, keep your heads down. There's gonna be a huge push and a lot of house cleaning coming up.

  15. From CDG.
    And again there are more rumors that Z40 is getting sold out by Lazca.
    Shit went down in Valle Hermoso the other night was rumored to be Zs hunting Z40.
    Its gonna be a long month.


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