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October 08, 2011

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A couple of errancies here I'd like to point out.

1. La Barbie is in solitary confinement in jail so he is not "running" anything.

2. There are only two main groups left. Thus the violence is ever more so regionalizing into contested zones of drug sales. Zetas want to own entire plazas for drug sales, and extortion. Sinaloa would like to own drug sales and keep the Zetas from the extortion industry. Sinaloa doesn't do extortion period, nor do they tolerate it.


3. Matazetas work for the Sinaloa Cartel to allow local drug gangs like La Gente Nuevo to gain control of local plazas so they can continue being the nation's distributor.

4. Your point about La Linea is kind of not so true. La Linea is pato frito. The Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel are doing battle over Juarez now with Julian Leyzaola cleaning up the plaza for the Sinaloans.

The arrest of El Flaco this week signified a major turning point in the war on drugs IMO. I believe it could escalate into more organized executions like the ones we've seen recently.

The violence will become more organized not less like so many analysts have said. Executions of all members of an opposing cartel will become commonplace. With no signs, no intimidation. Just execute and replace.

It's all about control now not propaganda.

The problem about zetas in Monterrey, Mexico (where I live) its that they were a military structure, but now its too weak, but they are recruiting every day, with the gangs in the poor neighborhoods like Independencia or Cerro de la Campana. And whats the problem with that? that they are recruiting gang teenagers. And its the dream of all gangster, money, firearm, and power. But they cant control the AR-15 they are too stupid and they dont have the experience, but they have the guts. What Mexico need is education, and sports centers to take away from the street all the gangs.
I dont think that there ar paramilitaries in Mexico, just stupid teenagers with arms. They start as paramilitaries, but now the 80% of the ones who started the zetas organization or whatever, are dead.
And if you dont have a lot of money, you are not a drug dealer or junkie, the possibilities to get caught by a bullet are too low. I´ve been in two "narco bloqueos" and nothing happend just take a U-turn and find another way.

"Los Zetas (in their former iteration under the Gulf), Los Pelones, Los Negros, La Linea, and the latest version of the Mata Zetas are operating with a military structure and conducting armed operations against an occupying power - their rivals that are occupying a desired piece of territory."

I think that this is where the controversy lies. Are they operating with a military structure or are they just carrying arms and executing orders for the drug dealers? What is the difference between military structure and regular ordinary structure? Do these Mexican gunmen implement military training and tactics?

And does that definition of 'occupying power' imply solely 'political power'? Or can the definition also be expanded to include a any power? If so, then are the armed gangs of New York, LA and Chicago also paramilitaries? They are in a turf battle with each other, after all. What about Al Capone back in the 1930's, then? He was organized and was fighting for power--were his gunmen paramilitaries?

Until I know the distinctions between these groups, I will have a hard time believing that Mexico has paramilitaries.

There are some worrisome signals surrounding the events in Boca del Rio. First of all, dumping 35 bodies to a central avenue is actually escalating the war.
A few weeks before the events in Boca del Rio several Marines were kidnapped and executed by Zetas (http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2011/10/zetas-linked-to-kidnapping-and-murder.html), the Marines had begun a series of operatives to counter the strong presence of Zetas in most cities in Veracruz, but the kidnappings of Marines triggered a strong reaction from the Marina. They took down lots of communication equipment established by the zetas also.

Then during the same month there were simultaneous mass prison escapes from prisons, underscoring the incredible levels of corruption of the state authorities (http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2011/09/thirty-two-escape-in-simultaneous-jail.html).

My reading is that the Marina's strategy is terminal, that the killings are somehow related to all these events and that this would have never occurred had the zetas not kidnapped the marines, had they not escaped from jail, had they not exposed the huge networks of corruption that made it possible.

Because in order for the zetas to be able to kidnapped the three Marines, they had to resource to their network of informants in the streets of Veracruz, and it was them and the zetas who killed the Marines, they perfectly know that many people participated in the kidnapping, from street vendors to local transito or police officers, to prostitutes and local dealers.

Among the 35 people dead were some people who reported to zetas and were probably informants, like Brigitte (http://www.mundonarco.com/2011/09/brigitte-el-famoso-sexo-servidor-entre.html).
Why was he/she killed? Clearly she was not a gunmen. But she was probably an informant of the zetas, an halcon, part of the spying network of the zetas.

My feeling is that some sectors of the Marina have grown tired of this war, that they don't see any hope in detaining or arresting criminals anymore, because they sense they will either be set free by corrupted judges or MPs, or escape from prison in great numbers thanks to a corrupted government structure.

In many ways the Marina, the Army and the Federal Police forces have been left alone to their own resources in this war.

I have a growing feeling that what we are seeing here is the massive elimination, termination or the entire network, not just the leaderships, but their entire network of informants, vendors, etc.

Jose,

Very interesting analysis. It all sounds very logical.

We *might* be seeing the introduction of a force similiar to 'los Pepes' who dismantled Escobar's network in Columbia. They did it by doing just what you say--taking down the entire network. It was messy, extrajudicial AND effective.

Yes it's messy, extrajudicial but like in Colombia it worked. And the remnants that remain most undoubtedly will be whatever is left of the Sinaloa Cartel based on sheer manpower and numbers.

Well based on your information part of La linea is not true and for example in one of your coments about Juarez supposedly La linea wants to protect Juarez from sinaloa because they want to take the control over Juarez. On one of the the chanle news in el paso they were discussing about this topic. What they said about La Linea being one of the lowest gangs. I think this is why they want to protect juarez now.

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