Los Zetas

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Nolita Oliveira
Wayland Baptist University
Dr. Paul Lankford

Borderland Beat Reporter Overmex (2010, August 26), reported 72 illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil, were found dead on a ranch in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, which is 150 km from the U.S. border city of Brownsville. This discovery came from one survivor who found his way to the Navy troops and reported members of the Los Zeta cartel at the nearby ranch. According to the Borderland Beat; 21 rifles, six 5.6 mm M4 carbines, three 7.60 mm AK-47, seven 12 gauge shotguns, five .22 caliber rifles, 101 magazines, two ammunition belts, six thousand 649 cartridges of various calibers, four bullet proof vests, one helmet, four trucks, one with the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), were also found at the ranch. With such a rich supply of ammunition and a massacre of men and women with their hands and feet tied, the question remains, how have the Los Zetas become so powerful? Los Zeta’s was originally founded by a group of highly trained Mexican Army Special Forces deserters and has expanded to include corrupted former federal, state, and local police officers hired by Mexico’s Gulf Cartel (Los Zetas, 2010, November 22). The group originally consisted of 31 members with the first leader, Lieutenant Arturo Guzman Decena using his Federal Judicial Police radio code to become identified as Z1. This code was given to high-ranking officers for the Commanding Federal Judicial Police Officers in Mexico. Zeta is also named for the letter in Spanish. Decena was born in 1976 and trained with an elite Mexican military group called Grupo Aeromovil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE) which were trained in counter- insurgency and locating and apprehending drug cartel members, with Decena came 30 other GAFE deserters. Decena was killed in 2002 and his second-in-command Z2 was captured in 2004 (Decena, 2010, November 27). The current leader is Z3 Heriberto Lazcano. Los Zeta’s was originally hired to track down and kill rival cartel members and provide protection for the Gulf Cartel. Their power has grown and their savagery has had no boundaries. In 2003 Los Zetas negotiated a pact with the Gulf Cartel and the Beltran –Leyva Cartel to engage their own drug shipments (Los Zetas, 2010, November 22). Seven years later after the pact, Los Zetas have violently turned against their former partner, the Gulf Cartel, and have formed alliances with the Juarez Cartel, Tijuana Cartel and the Beltran- Leyva Cartel. The other major faction alignment includes the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, and La Familia Cartel. In response to the Los Zeta’s savagery the Sinaloa Cartel hired another armed enforcer gang, Los Negros, to fight back. Los Negros have also turned their back and become independent are gaining more control of regions. As with other terrorist organizations, such as al Qaeda, there are roots to the source of the evil. According to Brookes (2005), it is important to understand the many reasons for the terrorist phenomenon includes radical religious ideology, poor governance, a lack of economic opportunity, social alienation, demographic pressure, and political isolation (page 11). Although Los Zeta’s. Los Negros, or other Mexican Cartels have not been listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. Department of State their actions are in compliance with the different definitions of terrorism. Narcoterrorist would describe what these Mexican Cartels are. The statutory definition used by National Counterterrorism Center NCTC states that terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence directed against non-combatants (Benjamin, D. 2010,August 5). According to Narcoterrorism (2010, December 6), former Peru President coined the term narcoterrorism when describing terrorist-type attacks against nation’s anti-narcotics policy. The term was originally understood to mean “the attempts of narcotics traffickers to influence the...
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