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

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pena Nieto's decision

 Silber Meza Rio Doce December 10, 2012

Pena Nieto will go against the Zetas-Beltran-Carrillo alliance; Chapo will be the one who benefits.

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

Researcher Luis Astorga asserts that the problems in governance that these groups create are what keeps them in the cross hairs. 

Mexico City.-- The first thing one sees when you go into Luis Astorga's cubicle is a geographic map of Colombia and a cartoon that emphasizes his glasses and the abundance of nose on his face.

In UNAM's Institute of Social Research (Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales) work space is minimal. From that place, Astorga states that the die is cast for the Zetas-Beltran Leyva-Carrillo Fuentes alliance: in the upcoming six year term, they will take the hardest blows from the Mexican and the United States governments.  

"An organization that operates with a mafioso-paramilitary logic is potentially more dangerous than another that may be more powerful in economic terms, but that doesn't operate under those rules."

-- Can you put a name to these organizations?
-- The organizations that have a more clearly mafioso-paramilitary profile are these alliances between Zets-Beltran Leyva-Carrillo.

A desk, a personal computer and a pair of chairs for visitors barely fit in his office. In front of him are two bookshelves where his best known books stand out: El Siglo de las Drogas (The Drugs Century), Drogas Sin Fronteras (Drugs Without Frontiers) and Mitologia del Narcotraficante en Mexico (The Mythology of the Drug Trafficker in Mexico).

Astorga explains that they, the Zetas-Beltran Leyva-Carrillo, are the ones who create more problems for governing the country and have become a threat for the United States. Another factor against them is that they have touched the political elite, as in the murder of the son of the former national president of the PRI and ex-governor of Coahuila, Humberto Moreira.

The Zetas' border violence includes Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas.

"One very clear indicator is the security policy that Obama announced last year. Which are the global organizations that the Unites States government points to as being a high priority for attacking? It doesn't mention Chapo (Guzman), it mentions the Zetas," he points out, in a barely domesticated Sinaloa accent.

"For anybody who reads the political messages from the United States, that is very clear: they have them in their sights. And it will be a priority (for them) whether the Mexican government, this one or the next, likes it or not."

But the benefit that Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel obtain will not be based on a policy of government protection, he makes clear, but as a result of the strategy.

"(The Mexican government) doesn't even have the ability to coordinate its security institutions, how are they going to coordinate the security institutions to protect one group over another! That doesn't make sense", he says with an ironic smile.

Agreement or confrontation

The subject of drug trafficking is full of myths, and Luis Astorga has dedicated a good part of his scientific research to debunking them. One of those (myths) has to do with agreements between politicians and drug traffickers.

The PhD.,  with a doctorate in the Sociology of Development from the Sorbonne University in Paris, says that during the PRI era, drug trafficking was subordinated to the political power.

"Anybody who went against the rules of the authoritarian game knew he had three options: get out of the business, go to jail or die," he says.

With the transition [from PRI to PAN], the model changed; criminals have learned to create relationships with local powers from different political parties: power is distributed. Also, they are not domesticated like before. The State no longer has total control over them and it faces a new challenge.

"The political power is the one that now has three options: do nothing and let the criminal organizations dominate the political, negotiate agreements with the criminals for economic gain...or the third option, that the Mexican political class will assume that it is part of the State, its responsibilities, because they have positions of power."

-- Is there a possibility that the PRI will negotiate with the narco so the violence will go down?
-- That comes from the false idea that there has never been any negotiation. In the transition era, what we have seen is that those three options have been in operation in the country, what we don't know is to what extent one predominates over the other, but that doesn't mean here have been no arrangements".

Drug trafficking, Astorga underlines, cannot be understood without the political system; that is why you have to know both and observe their interrelationship.  

Pena Nieto has a strong opportunity to decrease violence if he manages to discipline the PRI municipal mayors and governors. PRI officials not only govern a large part of the Mexican territory, they are also in the most violent places, he explains. 

"It would be to his advantage to discipline his own governors and mayors and make an example (of them) to show he is serious. And if he is serious, some governors, mayors and local business leaders will have to go if the law requires it."

There have always been agreements between politicians and drug traffickers, Astorga reiterates, what is not yet known is which strategy Pena will devote more effort to: to the State-organized crime confrontation or to agreements with (organized crime).

March of the military

In (public) discourse, one hears very clearly that the military should be taken off the streets and towns of Mexico, however, this is impossible, given the condition that Mexico is in, says the Sinaloa native.

"It's not a matter of taste, but, rather, the capability of the Mexican State," he advises, in a voice that contains both serenity and sadness.

He declares that there is not a single city mayor who believes that he can go it alone with only the police officers who work for him. Institutional weakness still predominates.  You can't do it with the weak signals that Pena Nieto has sent, we know he's going to reorganize the security system, but one cannot see any great changes in the short term. 

If the National Police (Gendarmeria Nacional) project goes forward, patterned after the French model, explains Astorga, it would be the military itself who would make up that agency. The military forces would be deployed to rural areas and the Federal Police to the cities.

"The problem is not the military forces, but the nonexistent internal and external checks and balances."

These changes will show results if a grand political agreement is reached and a State policy is chosen, to include the Federal government (la Federacion), the states, the municipalities and the Legislative Branch. Even then, he warns, the results will not be seen quickly, much less a 50% reduction in homicides and kidnappings, as Pena Nieto promised. 

"It's like the fifteen minutes it was going to take (Vicente) Fox to fix the Zapatista problem. The tendency for politicians to promise the impossible is already in their DNA. One shouldn't take them seriously and it will be easy to criticize him because he will not be ale to accomplish it," he declares.

Legalize mariguana

Luis Astorga is one of the first academics to have collaborated on creating legal initiatives to legalize mariguana.

With the approval of recreational use of the weed in Colorado and Washington, the debate reignited in Mexico. Although this is a positive indicator for legalization of this drug in the United States, in our country and in the whole world, the effects of the application of the new law are yet to be known, because they will begin to take effect in a year and a half or more. What's most interesting is that the debate in Mexico reopened.

Another place that will set the agenda is Uruguay, a country that is debating legalizing it. This would be the first nation to do this.

"It doesn't make much sense to combat mariguana if it's going to be legal over there, in the United States," he argues.

The laundering machine won't stop

Despite efforts by Mexico to promote a law against money laundering, it will be very complicated to stop it, declares Astorga. No country, not even Italy, has been able to dismantle the financial structures of organized crime groups. 

"If even in the United States they don't know how (to do this), with all the laws and controls they have, how can we think that a law against money laundering will be more effective in one or two (presidential) terms than has been possible in the United States," he criticizes with a hint of desperation.  

Neither is the U.S. "black list" [Kingpin Statute] of much help because the majority of businesses it addresses are small scale (businesses), he states, and when it involves a medium or large scale enterprise, as is the case with the Santa Monica dairy, which belongs to the family of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, new contradictions arise.

"Just think how many people it employs, so what is going to be your priority: whether  it's linked with some member of a criminal organization, or whether you have an impressive number of employees and it is providing relatively stable jobs for many families. That's just one of many examples. A beauty salon that employs five people is not the same as a business that employs hundreds." 

[Added to article]  Maps of Influence and Background Information
The Beltran-Leyva organization's network stretches over a large portion of Mexico, from the Pacific Coast into the northeastern regions. The group was a part of the Sinaloa cartel until 2008. After becoming independent, it grew in power, assisted by a sophisticated intelligence network and an active relationship with the powerful Los Zetas to broaden the control of territory. But on Dec.16, 2009, their leader, Arturo "Jefe de Jefes" Beltran-Leyva, was killed in a gunfight with Mexican troops. His brother Carlos was arrested soon after Arturo's death. A rift over control of the group has formed between the remaining brother, Hector, and another powerful leader within the organization, Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal, since then Valdez has been captured.

Continues on next page

Los Zetas
Los Zetas is one of the most powerful and violent cartels in Mexico. Started by a group of former military commandos and led by the now deceased Heriberto "El Lazca" Lazcano Lazcano, and Miguel Trevino "Z40", Los Zetas gained a reputation as ruthless enforcers and forged relationships with other cartels. It formed an alliance with the Beltran-Leyva organization, in part to fight their common enemy, the Sinaloa cartel, and also to extend their presence into Central America. They now find themselves in a violent struggle with the New Federation, a recent faction consisting of the Gulf, La Familia and Sinaloa cartels.
 Juarez Cartel

The Vicente Carrillo Fuentes organization, or Juarez cartel, is headquartered in Ciudad Juarez. The area is considered one of the most coveted trafficking routes in the Americas. The cartel's enforcement arm is a gang called La Linea. The group was founded by Vicente's brother, Amado, who died in 1997 while undergoing plastic surgery. The cartel's influence has dropped because of the arrest in 2009 of its financier, Vicente Carrillo Leyva, and its ongoing battle with the Sinaloa cartel over control of the Juarez region. The continuing conflict made Juarez the most violent city in Mexico and has given it one of the highest murder rates in the world.



  1. I just cant believe with all the wars CDS has caused they get off the cross-hairs.

  2. bullshit!! Pena Nieto and Chaou (secratary of interior) are in cahoots with the zetas! if anything its chapo's turn to get persecuted.

    1. Why does everybody say that, where are the facts. why would nieto favor the zetas, when his best interest is sinaloa they can offer way more money then the zetas and the z are the most hated so its a win win or nieto take out the z

    2. Plus right after the elections everyone knew that Pena nieto was on chapos side... in case u don't know theres pics from Pena and chapos cousin next to each other ... and they look really happy like really good friends..

  3. Fuck chapo and his nutthuggin cheer squad.

    1. Get the z and all will calm so relax buddy.

  4. Arrival El Chapo que estate limpiando zacatecas details rataZ

  5. chapo is the cause of all bloodshed greedy mofo!!!!

  6. The writer is from "snitchaloa" go figure..

  7. This is all Pure B.S. whatever you read is usually pure unadulterated B.S. when it comes to either the PRI Or the PGR and allways has been..! Their all in it togaether. Take it from someone that was in Vincente Fox's administration when he was Young and Dumb.

  8. Vincente "Coward" Carrillo is no way near as powerful as he once was.He now hides out in Belize with an entraouge of sicarios and his close family
    sending msg.s to anyone who will listen La Linea
    and a few holdovers from his heyday but he mostly
    sits back and counts his dinero; said to be close to a Billion. His nephew is turning states evidence against him and La Linea for a better deal and to not be extradited to the sates.

  9. I knew he would buy and bribe his way out of this one. It was only a matter of time. We have been saying it for years now on BB. They would strike a deal with chapo to let him have control and let every cool down back to the way things were.

  10. This article is BS (in my opinion) and I will tell you why.....before becoming President where did Pena Nieto work at?? He was Governor of Mexico City, during his time of being Governor who were the known plaza bosses of that area?? It was the Beltran Leyva brothers in particular Arturo,and Hector Beltran my opinion El H was funding Pena Nietos campaign with a lil help from Z40 Z42 and Vicente Carillo Fuentes. I doubt that when Governor of Mexico City he didn't know nothing about the BLO,im pretty sure that they had some sort of communication or agreement

  11. About time something that is written properly!!!

  12. isnt it chapo sending his people to the golfo and juarez to fight zetas and carillo fuentes? hes the one making the mess.

    1. Hes the one cleaning up holmes get rid of the filthy zetas

  13. Cero tolerancia!!!!!!!

  14. Puro choix y arriba el chapo..sinaloa once again shows its muscle

    1. Not really, estan donde esta porque los dejan. El govierno les permite. En un dia pueden ser los consentidos, pal otro pal pozo. Lo que tienen son buenos contactos dentro del govierno y cerebro. Mis respetos por eso, pero los demas carteles tambien tienen los de ellos. Mientras le den dinero los corruptos cierran los ojos. Si no fuera por la corruption el govierno tenria los carteles bajo sus huevos. En vez de capturar halcones deben de detener los corruptos k les dan las llaves de ser lo que kieran

  15. Que viva el Chapo Guzman ajua

  16. The story is correct peña nieto will ease off on chapo and his sinaloa cartel. Theres already evidence of the pri siding with cds just look at what happen in spain when el chapos cousin got arrested with that guy from the pri that had several pictures of him with his close associate peña nieto. If the coke bust in spain didn't happen el chapo would have had communication threw his cousin with the pri guy which in turn would have contact with peña nieto. Another point is when the zetas killed humberto moreiras nephew. That shows pri and zetas are going to have beef also Enrique promised to stop focusing on the druglords and the major drug trafficking they do. The now president has said he going to reduce violence and murders but not just that he said he also going after the ones who do extortion the most also taking down kidnappers. In simple terms he going after the loose cannons which in the pri's eyes are los zetas and its allies.

  17. Bunch of bullshit...The author frequently contradicts himself, ying and yang of a confused author.

    1. Then go read something else and stop making comments that are not constructive.

      It is a complex story and you probably don't understand without more pictures.

    2. @ December 15, 2012 4:10PM....Only a moron like you will find this trashy article "complex"...You must be "the ying and yang" of this confused all the drug cartel sucmbags & their bastard cheerleader.


  19. Hey dumbass,Pena nieto was governer of estado de Mexico not Mexico City. Mexico City is its on entity , Distrito federal. Baboso!

  20. @8:25am hahahahahaha CDS cells been busted extorting and kidnapping innocent businesses CDG cells have been busted extorting and kidnapping innocent can they say Zetas alliance is worst when they all do it.
    All you Chapo nutthuggers can bullshit all you want the proof is in the pudding,just look back through the BB archives and the proofs there....these cartels are all the same. cjng extort and kidnap innocents fkn wake up ppl's!!!

    1. Agree with you all drug cartels are scumbag bastards and their cheerleaders are coward sons-of-bitches.

  21. you people are stupid, only reason Peña Nieto is president is because Moreira became an embarassment for the party after his scandalous behavior as governor of Coahuila. If anything, the new pres. is indebted to the zetas.

    Only within certain circles of Mexican society do people realize that at this point every single cartel is resorting to money making enterprises outside of drug trafficking. Only when there is some semblance of hegemony does relative peace prevail in Narco ruled Mexico. That being said it is commonly accepted that the Sinaloa Cartel had its time to take over the nation with the assistance of the Mexican Gov and he failed miserably so common sense dictates that if they cant take over why continue along that line of action? A loose alliance between Z-BLO-Juarez has proven too much for Sinaloa alliance, and this is the logical direction the country will take because once the power shift occurs this alliance will once again focus on drug trafficking and will cease the activities that directly affect society like kidnapping and extortion. Again Sinaloa Cartel extorts and kidnaps, and when they lose their drug trafficking supremacy their other activities will be negligable and easily snuffed out because contrary to general belief there are simply not that many of them so they will be easy to erase from the earth.

    1. I travel all over Mexico...and honestly,with out favoring one cartel or another...what you wrote...IS THE EXACT TRUTH!!!

  22. Who fucked up Peña Nieto's bodyguards and almost killed his kids in the Port of Veracruz a few years ago? Did they ever say which cartel was to blame? Seems like they called it a case of mistaken identity... Either way, it might shed some light on his loyalties nowadays.

  23. Agreed get rid of these animals terrorizing mexico .

  24. Can you imagine how messed up Mexico would be not that it isnt already but if there were no cds or golfo think about it if the z beltran and juarez and la linea were controlling mexico it would be insane so its in the government interest to go after these ruthless criminals and bring some peace to mexico rather than have increased violence think about .who benefits more ?

  25. One thing that makes BB an interesting site is being able to post comments and speak your mind. Unfortunately most of it is assumptions and speculation, but the mystery and secrets of the mafias is what makes them intriguing. Iin no way support what they have turned the country into or the senseless violence committed against mexicos people. The stories and news covering drug wars always requires a bit of imagination by the reader because getting every detail is just impossible. Thanks to the staff of Borderland Beat for the daily read.

  26. Chapo!!! You big jokster you!!!! Did you write this article?! Haaha who else buys this?

  27. Does it really matter? Nieto will be no more effective at ending the drug cartel violence than Calderon! Nobody controls the cartels, in effect, the cartels control the politicians, via bribes and corruption! It's a no brainer really, you want to bring the cartels to their demise? You gotta start internally in the Gov't and combat the corruption and eradicate the cartel's ability to payoff gov't officials! There is no other way! How many articles have we read and events have we seen, where the police, military, and high ranking gov't officials are on the "take" essentially protecting cartel leaders and their assets!!!

  28. Please give us an update. There's so much information now, I don't know what to believe. Was the plane that crashed and was confiscated by the DEA really given back to Nunez??? If so, that plane had previously crashed and was unfit for anyone to fly,even after crappy repairs.Thanks for your help.

  29. This is the last story that posted to my FB favorites. Is anyone else having this glitch?

  30. Felipe Calderon started the Drug wars in order to place his own people or help others to take over the drug trade in Mexico.... fact he killed his chief of police in mexico df... right off the bat from when he was elected as presidente... next he took out the congressmen and had them arrested who he knew would stop him.... next, he set up alot of media and ppl officials and got them killed then made it look like drug dealers or traffickers... to start wars .... he then got alot of his own ppl killed he didnt like and didnt care about for pretending there was a bigger problem, to make ppl support him. Crime rates went up under Felipe... Vicente kept the peace, and crime went down, ppl were killing , drug wars didnt exist on the streets and in public places, ppl had respect for communities and kids and elderly and good ppl. Car theft rings and arms trafficking went up since felipe calderon was pres... its no wonder the ppl are confused and abused and terrorfied. they elected a Tyrant dictating Murdering Drug Dealer for Pres. Now they wont trust anyone... they need to deal with Felipe to set the record straight first... make his family pay and him. let him know what its like. the rest of this is mere propaganda to help those who Felipe helped. they are trying to balance the power and take some money for themselves on their backs and death of their own ppl.. thats not a president.. hes worse than sadaam Huessain.. hes lucky the GOP or republikkkan govt didnt get into office last two terms in USA... they would of killed him and ravished the oil in Mexico.


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