July 16, 2014
07/16/14 Reforma: Sergio Aguayo – Translated by Mexico Voices
It is the war’s worst slaughter. In Coahuila in 2011 Los Zetas disappeared 400 people. The PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution, Peña Nieto’s party] state government investigated but, instead of reporting it, passed the information to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) of Marisela Morales and Felipe Calderón, who secretly buried it.
In the municipality of Allende, two young men from wealthy families and prestigious private universities–José Luis Garza Gaytán and Héctor Moreno Villanueva–worked for Los Zetas; one day they ran away to the United States with five million dollars [sic] and a notebook containing compromising information. Drug boss Zeta-40 spoke clearly: if the fugitives didn’t return the money and notebook, Los Zetas would kill their families. They didn’t respond, and the Zetas occupied Allende (March 2011); then, aided by police in the municipality governed by the PAN [National Action Party of President Calderón], they snatched [disappeared] about 300 men and women, elderly and children, relatives and employees; they took the opportunity to kill 100 of them.
July 9, 2014
07/09/14 NBC News
The gunmen nabbed watermelon farmer Jesus Manuel Guerrero as he drove from his ranch to buy supplies and held him for five painful days in the trunk of a car.
When family members finally paid a $120,000 ransom and they released him, he was urinating blood.
He’s just one of hundreds of victims of a wave of kidnapping that’s swept this once peaceful farming town, about 130 miles south of Texas.
But almost three years after his brutal abduction, Guerrero, who is now the mayor, says his town has become safer, the kidnappers scared to enter.
May 12, 2014
USA Today, 5/11/14
One of the military deserters who helped found the gang that grew into the brutal Zetas cartel was among six people killed during a gunbattle in a border town, a Tamaulipas state security official said Sunday.
The official said authorities confirmed that Galindo Mellado Cruz was one of five gunmen who died Friday in a shootout that also killed a Mexican soldier in Reynosa, which is across from McAllen, Texas. The official was not permitted to be quoted by name for security reasons.
The official said that Mellado Cruz was one of the 30 ex-special forces soldiers who created the Zetas gang to serve as enforcers for the Gulf Cartel before splitting off in a bloody breakup with its former ally. The official said Mellado Cruz no longer held a Zetas command position.
February 24, 2014
The Associated Press, 2/21/14
A Guatemalan court on Friday convicted three Mexican men and six Guatemalans of murder and kidnapping for the 2011 massacre of 27 farm workers. It sentenced them to 106 years in prison each. Judge Jeannette Valdez Rodas said in announcing the verdict that the evidence showed “a scene of terror” at the killing site at a ranch in the northern Peten region. The killers showed “maximum cruelty, with minds that display the maximum degree of dehumanization,” said Valdez Rodas, noting that one of the victims had been essentially gutted and had the letter “Z” carved into his stomach.
One of the Mexican men sentenced Friday, Jorge Hernandez Mendez, denied he had committed the crimes. “The truth is, I don’t regret it, because I didn’t do it.” The killers are believed to have been working for Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel. They decapitated most of the victims. The bodies were so badly mutilated that authorities originally put the death toll at 29 because there were so many body parts lying around.
February 12, 2014
Hundreds of skeletal remains have been found scattered around ranches along the U.S.-Mexico border, during a police search for missing people. The remains had been left in the open and burned, making identification difficult for the Mexican authorities. The discovery, announced by Coahuila state prosecutor spokesman Jesus Carranza on Monday, came as 12 bodies were unearthed in southern Mexico, and two months after 67 bodies were found in the west.
Such discoveries remain common despite government claims that the number of killings has gone down in the past year. Police in Coahuila haven’t said whether an organized crime group is suspected in the discovery of skeletal remains, but the area is known to be dominated by the violent Zetas drug cartel. Officers have arrested 10 men, including four police officers suspected of aiding a criminal group, the state attorney general’s office said in a press release.
July 19, 2013
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English-language press had to say…
This week’s most important headline was the capture of Miguel Angel Treviño Morales –Z40 head of Zetas Cartel and one of Mexico’s most brutal drug lords. The capture of Mr. Treviño is the first arrest of a top cartel leader since Mr. Peña Nieto took office. During the capture, a navy helicopter intercepted the truck which Mr. Treviño was riding. The capture may have remarkably weaken Zetas, a cartel Mr Treviño Morales is believed to have controlled for about eight years, however, other Mexican cartels such as the Sinaloa and Caballeros Templarios remain powerful.
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July 18, 2013
Fox News, 7/17/2013
Honduran migrant Samuel Alberto Centeno Vazquez was approached to work for the Zetas drug cartel as he made his way along the railways that lead to Mexico’s border with the United States. The members of the criminal gang carried pistols and made promises of a $1,000 monthly salary, girls and drugs.
He was offered the money to help the Zetas in their criminal activities, which include murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion. Mexico’s drug cartels are increasingly recruiting undocumented Central American migrants to join their ranks, non-governmental groups say. Although the number of Mexicans making the journey north to the United States is at a low, Central Americans are streaming across Mexico from troubled countries like Honduras in search of a better life.