January 22, 2013
Authorities in Mexico have arrested 14 people accused of belonging to the Zetas drug cartel in the northern city of Monterrey. The gang has become the largest in the country, making its money by trafficking drugs and carrying out kidnappings and assassinations.
But some Mexicans in rural areas have become frustrated by what they see as a lack of response by the authorities to the drugs violence and have formed their own vigilante groups.
December 21, 2012
InSight Crime, 12/19/2012
The Zetas’ top leader is dead and the group is seemingly splitting into pieces, but they remain Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s biggest security challenge. In this context, InSight Crime delves into the battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.
November 19, 2012
The Mexico institute is proud to be hosting Steven Dudley as a scholar in residence at the Wilson Center. Dudley arrived at the Wilson Center in September, 2012, and has been working on a book that analyzes the evolution of criminal organizations in Mexico. His research focuses on the 2010 massacre of 72 migrants by members of the Los Zetas drug trafficking organization on a ranch in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, an event that was widely reported but has received limited analysis. Dudley is working to chronicle the events, understand the forces that led to such horrific and seemingly senseless massacre, and consider what lessons can be drawn about the evolution of Los Zetas and the organized-crime landscape in Mexico. His is also working with Eric Olson, Associate Director of the Mexico Institute, on a project looking at civic engagement and public security and has been a panel member for a related Wilson Center-sponsored congressional briefing.
As a longtime reporter and founder of InSight Crime, Steven Dudley brings a wealth of experience to these efforts to understand the evolution of organized crime groups and the promotion of public security. Dudley is a longtime reporter, investigator and consultant who specializes in breaking down security issues on-the-ground in conflict situations; studying trends and tendencies of organized crime; analyzing political crises; investigating international and local justice systems; and reporting on corporate social responsibility, environmental subjects, and human rights issues. He is an expert on Latin America, where he lived for over 15 years, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Dudley is the Co-director of InSight Crime, a joint initiative of American University in Washington DC, and the Foundation InSight Crime in Medellín, Colombia, which monitors, analyzes and investigates organized crime in the Americas. Based in Washington D.C., Dudley works with a team of eleven investigators and various contributors throughout the region to give the public a more complete view of how organized crime works in the Americas, as well as its impact on public policy and communities throughout Latin America. Prior to running InSight Crime, he worked as a journalist for the Miami Herald, National Public Radio, the Washington Post and other media organizations. He has won various awards for his writing and in 2007 was named a Knight Fellow at Stanford University.
November 9, 2012
Los Angeles Times, 11/08/2012
An alleged local commander of the Zetas paramilitary cartel in the troubled border state of Coahuila has been captured, the Mexican navy announced Thursday, expressing hope that he might lead authorities to the notorious group’s remaining top leader.
Said Omar Juarez was taken into custody on a prominent street in Saltillo, Coahuila’s capital, the navy said in a statement released as the suspect was presented to reporters in Mexico City. In his possession were weapons and packages containing what may be cocaine and marijuana, the statement said.
October 11, 2012
Southern Pulse, October 2010
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano is dead, according to the Mexican Navy. If true, his death will precipitate a rise in criminal action across the country as Los Zetas rights itself from this crippling event. Cities such as Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Zacatecas, and perhaps even Guadalajara will all feel the fallout of one man’s removal from the Mexican criminal system. But Ciudad Juárez, once the most violent city in Mexico, will remain calm…
To read the rest of the new Southern Pulse report on Ciudad Juarez click here
September 27, 2012
BBC News, 9/27/12
Police say Ivan Velazquez Caballero, known both as El Taliban and as Z-50, is a commander of the violent criminal network, the Zetas.
However, the identity of the man in custody has yet to be confirmed.
The arrest in the city of San Luis Potosi comes days after it was reported that Velazquez had split from the Zetas and joined the rival Gulf Cartel.
August 22, 2012
Miami Herald, 8/22/2012
Mexico’s largest crime group, Los Zetas, appears to be splintering into two rival factions locked in occasional open warfare with each other, experts say.
The factions are tussling for control of the central states of Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi and are battling each other in parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.
What sparked the rift is unclear, but signs of the apparent split have come in public banners left at crime scenes, replete with accusations of betrayal and treason between factions led by the two top leaders, Heriberto Lazcano and Miguel Angel Trevino.
August 9, 2012
The Washington Post, 8/9/12
As Mexico’s drug violence gets bloodier, with cartels competing to leave ever-bigger piles of slaughtered victims, drug traffickers are being tagged with ever-grittier, low-brow nicknames to reflect their impersonal, almost industrial style of violence…
“What we’re seeing today is a different kind of nickname, that reflects a different way of criminals identifying themselves, and these new forms of violence,” said Martin Barron, en expert in criminology at Mexico’s National Institute for Penal Sciences…
Even more chilling are the nicknames considered so dangerous that no one even dares to pronounce them, Barron notes.
Mauricio Guizar, an alleged regional leader of the Zetas in southern Mexico arrested in July, was nicknamed “Yellow” (El Amarillo) in an apparent reference to his skin color. But the Mexican navy says many just called him “The Color,” apparently because even mentioning his name was considered off limits.
July 9, 2012
The Wall Street Journal, 07/09/2012
A Mexican cocaine-trafficking cartel used accounts at Bank of America Corp.to hide money and invest illegal drug-trade proceeds in U.S. racehorses, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
The alleged ties between the violent drug gang known as Los Zetas and the second-largest U.S. bank by assets were described in a 35-page affidavit filed in federal court in Texas last month. According to an FBI agent, a horse-buying and training business created to launder drug money had accounts at the Charlotte, N.C., bank.
July 3, 2012
The Bloomberg, 07/03/2012
Incoming Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will inherit a drug war that has cost more than 47,000 lives since 2006. He’s betting that the Colombian general who helped take down kingpin Pablo Escobar will help him win.
He tapped General Oscar Naranjo, the former head of Colombia’s national police, as his security adviser last month and aides say the new president will seek greater intelligence sharing with the U.S. to help break the cartels.