Latin America: Mexico's Cartels Declare War on the Zetas

[Editor's Note: There is no Mexico Drug War Update this week. It will be back next week.]

With the prohibition-related bloodshed in Mexico continuing apace, Mexican drug trafficking organizations -- the so-called cartels -- are engaged not only in brutal conflict but also in shifting alliances. According to reports from Mother Jones and Al Jazeera, three rival cartels have joined forces in a battle to the death with the Zetas, the former soldiers turned Gulf cartel hit-men who eventually turned on their own employers.

Citing sources from the Mexican police and the DEA, Al Jazeera reported that the Gulf, La Familia, and Sinaloa cartels had formed an alliance to fight the Zetas in the border state of Tamaulipas, across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville and McAllen, Texas. Mother Jones reported that the alliance is known as the New Federation and has put out YouTube videos threatening the Zetas.

In one video directed to the Mexican public, the New Federation said: "Without the 'Z' you will live without fear... If you are a Zeta, run because the MONSTER is coming... the new alliance has raised its weapons to fuck the Zetas because they have undermined the drug trafficking business with their kidnappings, extortions, etc. To sum it up, they don't give a shit about the freedom and tranquility of the Mexican people."

"It's an issue of a common enemy," Will Glaspy, the head of the DEA's office in McAllen, told Al Jazeera. "The Zetas have been trying to wage war on everybody for a while," he said. "It's been well-documented that the Gulf cartel has formed alliances with the Sinaloa cartel and La Familia to wage war against the Zetas."

The Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has also been busy in Ciudad Juarez, where the Associated Press reported last Friday that the cartel had defeated the Juarez cartel in a bloody battle to control the lucrative "franchise" for smuggling drugs across the river into El Paso and beyond. The AP cited US intelligence sources and the FBI.

That sounded about right to Mexican Federal Police Chief Facundo Rosas, who said that while Mexican authorities are still working to confirm the US assessment, "These are valid theories. If you control the city, you control the drugs. And it appears to be Chapo."

"The onslaught against the Juarez cartel has been very brutal, not only by the Chapo Guzman cartel but also the military," said Tony Payan, an expert on the Juarez drug war at the University of Texas-El Paso. "I don't think by any means the Juarez cartel is done, but it's a shadow of its former self."

If true, a Sinaloa cartel victory in Ciudad Juarez could augur a decline in violence there. Some 5,000 people have been killed in the city since Guzman's gang moved in on Ciudad Juarez in 2008. Now, with the Sinaloa cartel in control of smuggling into and out of the city, the violence may be limited to local gang turf wars over retail drug sales in the city.

According to Payan, much of the recent violence in Juarez has been Guzman's men finishing off Juarez cartel "stragglers" who continued to deal drugs on city streets. The retail level violence has pitted Juarez cartel-aligned street gangs the Aztecas and La Linea against gangs affiliated with Guzman, including the Mexicles and the Killer Clowns.

"The killings, they are mostly small retail people," Payan said. "I think they are Aztecas, falling like flies all over the city."

And so it goes with Mexico's prohibition-related violence. Since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels in late 2006, deploying up to 50,000 military troops, several key cartel figures have been killed or arrested, but the cartels themselves always reconstitute, and the drug trade continues. Meanwhile, the death toll continues to climb, past 19,000 by the Chronicle's count, but now past 22,000 according to a Mexican government report released this week.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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I believe that Mexico is suffering all this corruption and insanity, because they have turned away from GOD. Money, power, and lust have taken over the hearts of our fellow neighbors. Then you have people judging the USA for having all the extra border patrol and strict vegilance. How can the USA help Mexico if Mexico does not want to help itself. Many people say the mexican goverment is corrupt, reality is the mexican people are the corrupted. People believe in La Santa Muerte, Santeria, they pray to the pope as if he was a God, belive in fast money, as far as slanging drugs. So there you have it until Mexico decides to put all these unresolved issues to the side, and let GOD take complete control of their minds, hearts, and souls, nothing can be done. NO negotiations until the Country publically declares that they are no longer a Roman Catholic nation. But instead they are believers of their only CREATOR. THOU SHALL NOT HAVE OTHER GODS BEFORE ME. I AM A JEALOUS GOD. says our Lord in the spriptures. Until then people will continue to perish. Innocent lives will be affected. Goverment officials will be murdered, mothers will loose their sons, and crime will only get worse. So its up to you MEXICO. What are you going to do to get rid of all these cartels that are destroying your children, and grandchildren. Most people know that cartels are runned by familes, positions are givin only if deserved, and can be very religious in the Catholic Church. So basically Rome is running Mexico. Thats your cartel boss. When drug dealers in Mexico have so much money that they do not know what to do with it, where does it go? HUh I think many times, it goes to local catholic churches. They try to make up for all the damage they know in their hearts they are doing. Not knowing they are supporting ROMAN EMPIRE.

McD's picture

God and Cannabis

Actually, I'm afraid you may be suffering from a common misinterpretation of God's will. Let me help you straighten it out: cannabis was created by God, like everything else, for a reason. Given the effect it has on mammals', and particularly the human, internal homoeostatic system, it's now safe to assume God did not make a mistake giving us this tool to regulate our (endocannabinoid balance) chemistry. If God gave it to us, it must be our responsibility to come to terms with, learn to understand and make use of it. It's a bit like nuclear fission in this respect. So, you see, actually, it's not the Mexicans who have lost sight of God's will by trying to help us in making use of this important tool He has given us; it's America that stubbornly remains in denial, refusing to accept God's will. What will the price of this denial be? A fall from Grace? Only time will tell, but so far it's not looking very promising.

Your current president is actually doing the most damage by not seizing the nettle and taking advantage of the opportunity his fresh start has given him to turn America onto an enlightened path. Will he be able to make sufficient progress in time, or will the loss of hope in his potential sound a death knell for his lost nation? The answer is simple and clear: revoke prohibition and you may prosper; permit and support the status quo and you can't really expect to see much more success and progress than you have so far. If you look carefully, as the failure of the status quo to make things any better becomes more obvious, dramatic and violent, you can see how increasingly annoyed God is getting with it. It might be wise to stop now and try something else before something really nasty happens, because after the event it will be difficult to say, 'Well, who could have known - who could have seen it coming?'

McD's picture

God and Cannabis

Ooops - double posted; this second post has been removed by editing (deleting text).

first know what your saying

every cartel leader believes in god, they wear religious necklaces, chains and bracelets first know what your saying and information to back that up.

We're feeding the fire

I see your're argument and I agree somewhat. But please be carefull of what you say. Don't rally up the entire Mexican people in the same category, not all work as elected officials or cops. Theres are fathers mothers and sons and daughters that GREATLY outnumber the Cartels and gangs, the only thing is the cartels and gangs are the the ones that we here about. I wish merely doing all the things you suggested would solve OUR problem but it won't. One way to stop them if us American would stop buying their drugs but WE won't.

You are soo RIGHT!

You are COMPLETELY right. That is the whole reason of why Mexico is in the state it is. And true, to the post before me, they do somewhat believe in God. However, they also believe in la Santa Muerte, La virgen, and alot of other saints. WHERE in the Bible does it say to pray to other saints???? WHERE in the Bible does it say to PRAY and WORSHIP (b/c that's what it seems like) the Virgen Maria? WHERE does it say that the Pope is so important? that's just corruption in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church. I say, Mexico PLEASE.... Turn your hearts towards God. I'm NOT forcing religion in anybody's throat. I'm just asking for mexico to please believe and pray to GOD. That's it. Have a relationship with him. Religion only keeps people chained. Religion is kind of like the opposite of what God wants. He doesn't want rules nor lengthy procedures. HE WANTS YOU. Then, will things change drastically. Love God with ALL of your heart and leave ANY other saints or idols behind. They're not worth it, trust me.

your nuts, Leave the

your nuts, Leave the Catholics alone

Jean Boyd's picture

I didn't read that comment about God

"The killings, they are mostly small retail people," Payan said. It is not just cartel who are being killed. Anyone now is being killed and with the support of the United States and because of the US. The money for the guns coming from US. Just a simple signature from someone, saying that the war is over, will end the massacre. Prohibition is over. Over. People who understand the simple falacy of present day drug policy, will remember the people who stood in the way of "ending the war on drugs" after it started ending. I want to sign the bloody bill.

The Mexican Empire

Mexico has always been a very complicated place, from its early start Mexico had the makings of a great powerful people, smart ( Aztec calender ) very religious and very passionate . But something is dying inside us these days, our beloved Mexico is turning into Columbia reborn . Our country is slowly dying the Cartels are destroying an entire generation, and all we do is watch in horror..How I miss my beloved Mexico. Still proud to be 2nd generation Mexican, why because Iam a mexi CAN

God, and Mexico


this is the most interesting comments I have read. I say that as the National Mexican Himn says: "for your eternal destiny was written by gods finger"

I tell you what,,,first, I stop being a mexican then letting God write my destiny. cause if the National Himn is true, then, I don't want any of it...I much prefer to be in charge of my own destiny, as god has made a mistake in mexico if the mexican national himn is true.

Now, it is the mexicans that do make the country the way it is. Mexicans are lazy, the want to have Virgen Mary do the praying for them ("madre de dios, ruega por nosotros ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte" ("Mary, mother of God, pray for us, now and in the hour of our death").

Why can not the mexicans do their own praying? 

but noooo...they want some else to do the praying and adore statues while they are busy contemplating them selves as hard working people? Hello...???

Further, then national himn also says that "If an enemy shall traspass into our soil, there is a solder in each son of Mexico...(si un extrano enemigo, profanara con su planta tu suelo, un soldado en cada hijo te dio").

I ask, where are the sons of mexico that are proud to be called Machos, and are not fighting the enemy. or is it not corruption, drugs, the cartesls, homosexuals, etc. the enemy?



Please, if you disagree, send me an e mail...but somehow,,,I have no idea what happend to the Mexican people,,,,is there a true Mexican? I tend to observe that foreigners (germans) have done more for mexico than the own natives.

I disagree and Agree with you

I disagree and Agree with you xD Wow you made me laugh with the "Mexicans are lazy and ask la Virgen Maria to pray for them." Epic LOL. Good job. (: However, that's exactly what it is. By them doing that, it shows that the Mexicans aren't taking action! Ok, so they see cartels going into their family's home and killing them.... now what??? They do NOTHING! Why won't they get a couple of guns and shoot them? Illegal weapons my butt. There are ways of acquiring them! Even a kitchen knife would work. Just fling it to the cartel member. hahaa. But i agree, WHERE IS THE STRENGTH OF THE MEXICAN PEOPLE? They are acting like a bunch of wussies. TOUGHEN UP. I'm pretty sure the normal Mexican People outnumber the cartel members. Everyone just has to work together to get rid of the cartels from their respective town. Or just ask Guzman for help (: haha jk. xD

About your comments

I can't not believe how you americans talk so much about god and at the same time you let your government to kill people in other countries. Is that the god in which you believe? A god that aswers violence with violence? May be the mexicans could be better if you start by educating your children to not consume drugs and not consuming in excess natural resources. Religion only devide people. Islam vs jews, catholic vs christians, etc etc etc, is that the world you want? What religion is the best? The one that gets more money?. All of them are just business.

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