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The emerging Zeta Region
- Gordon Housworth [ 6/11/2011 - 00:06 ] #
First version of Zeta Region was originally released at Frontera List, Wed, 6 Apr 2011 12:53:58 -0400
The implications of Grann's A Murder Foretold* and Cirino's Latin America's Lawless Areas and Failed States are part and parcel of why I pay attention to the Zetas**, Zetas with gangs, Zetas in the Isthmus region, etc. Was in Guat decades ago when the military intelligence and commando units were "draining the sea" by day and the guerrillas were terrorizing those still alive by night. The only worse mass horrors were Africa. (The Indios to this day are still fodder for abuse, forced relocation and predation at will.)
Zetas unlike their criminal competitors
The Zetas are unlike other criminal groups of interest; they think strategically in a manner that I do not see in other cartels. A group of such vision is not one to overlook the corrupt, cooperative partner at hand. Guatemala is already a near-narcostate and almost went that way in a formal sense in a recent presidential election.
The Zetas are also positioned adjacent to, and in, Guatemala with the assets and skills to exploit a cooperative partnership with Guatemalan establishment enablers.
At the low end, the Zetas are already removing indigenous Guat drug competitors while recruiting Guat nationals. The moneyed oligarchy at the top will provide protection and influence for a price. See my earlier F-L note on Zetas now being the superior force against a weak Guatemalan state.
An emerging Zeta Region
Zetas are solidifying an arc from the Texas plazas south thru PEMEX and its illegal oil bunkering bonanza, through Chiapas and into Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala and its routes east to the Pan Am Highway and the Caribbean. (The Zetas are sufficiently adroit to have also commenced an out-of-area op to stake a position on the west coast (Colima, et al) to have access to inbound Chinese weapons, meth precursors and other contraband.)
Zetas are forming cooperative partnerships with Latin gangs in the Central
American/Isthmus corridor, going so far as to train the more aggressive members
of what have long been described as hyperviolent gangs.
I submit that the Zetas want nothing less than to solidify their control along the Central American corridor.
Such control would enable the Zetas to achieve a chokehold on the Isthmus drug pipeline, currently thought to be moving the largest percentage of cocaine into Mexico and then onto the US and Canada.
The Zetas will be able to control supply, either monopolizing and/or taxing transport to other buyers.
It is not unreasonable to suspect that other cartel groups understand the Zetas' direction and looking at variations of planning a countermove, planning a shift in allegiance or wondering how much time that they have given the changes afoot.
Unless competing cartels achieve a heretofore absent operational grasp, or external intervention backstops the remaining functional Guatemalan and Mexican assets, I see little on the horizon to slow the Zetas' advance.
* Grann does not mention any specific cartel. What Grann's story brought out in prose more gracious than mine was the corrupt nature of the Guatemalan oligarchy in and out of government. Their willingness to buy and be bought is touching in its completeness.
** The use of the term, Zetas, specifically refers to the airmobile commandos that the US trained, that later went rogue, and became known as the Zetas. The Zetas shifted from Praetorian Guard to cartel, appearing to lose none of their operational focus in the bargain. In contrast, other cartels increasingly draft younger unskilled recruits that indiscriminately spray rounds. Bowden's sicario, among many others, makes this point of rising unskilled assets. The Zeta organization of which I speak is really remarkable, quite unlike the other cartels in so many ways. We subsequently trained the equivalent Kabiles in Guatemala that the Zetas are now recruiting. We put structure and vision, tactics and strategy, into these people. We made them; the blowback is severe.
the ultimate political conspiracy.
El Salvador fears Mexico drug cartel violence overflow - BBC
International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Drug and Chemical Control
March 1, 2010
Bunkering in Mexico
March 03, 2009
In Mexico Drug War, Sorting Good Guys From Bad
By MARC LACEY
New York Times
November 2, 2008
Mafia & Co.: The Criminal Networks in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia
Juan Carlos Garzón
Translated by Kathy Ogle
The first edition of this book was published in June 2008 in Spanish.
This edition is an English language translation of the original.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Threat analysis: Organized crime and narco-terrorism in Northern Mexico
By Gordon James Knowles
Vol 88 no 1, pp73-84
A Contemporary Challenge to State Sovereignty: Gangs and Other Illicit Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) in Central America, El Salvador, Mexico, Jamaica, and Brazil.
Max G. Manwaring
Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College
The Maras: A Menace to the America
Are the Maras Overwhelming Governments in Central America?
Steven C. Boraz and Thomas C. Bruneau
Persistent Surveillance for Border Security
The Urban Threat: Guerrilla and Terrorist Organizations
Latin America's Lawless Areas and Failed States
Mexican Intelligence at a Crossroad
InfoT Public Infrastructure Defense Public Risk Containment and Pricing Public Strategic Risk Public Terrorism Public
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