Entries in Los Zetas (3)


Drug Cartel Rivals Behead Zetas on Camera

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In the latest example of Mexico's warring drug cartels taunting each other with gruesome online videos, footage posted on a popular cartel-tracking blog shows members of the Gulf cartel interrogating and then beheading at least three members of the Zetas cartel.

The grainy three-minute video, which appeared on Wednesday, depicts five shirtless men on their knees, their chests painted with large black "Z"s, surrounded by masked members of the Gulf cartel wielding machetes.

Each Zeta prisoner states his name for the camera, at the prompting of an unidentified voice behind the camera. When asked who sent them, each responds "Z-40." "40," as he is known within the Zetas organization, is Miguel Angel Treviño Morales -- the cartel's second-in-command. The U.S. has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of "40," and he and his two brothers are also under federal indictment in Texas for alleged laundering of cocaine profits through a U.S. horseracing venture.

"You find yourselves here because you came to f*** us," says the narrator of the video, after the hostages have finished speaking. "Pay attention, men."

Then the slow and bloody process of hacking off their heads begins. "This is how all your filthy people are going to end," says the narrator as the victims plead for mercy.

Over a minute later, the video ends with masked Gulf members holding up three severed heads for the camera. "Very good, very good," says the narrator. The two other Zetas prisoners are not shown.

According to, the video was shot in Río Bravo, Mexico, on the U.S. border just south of McAllen, Texas in the state of Tamaulipas. Río Bravo is six miles from the Donna International Bridge border crossing. No date is given for the creation of the video.

The Gulf cartel has been operating out of Tamaulipas state since the 1970s. In 2010, when the Zetas cartel, which had once worked as the Gulf cartel's security force, went into business for itself, violence in Tamaulipas and the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon soared, with 2,000 dead in 2010 alone. Multiple mass graves have been discovered in the region and beheadings, hangings, and other forms of torture are common.

In January, Los Zetas released a video in which they hanged two members of the Gulf cartel. Last month, another video showed 49 decapitated bodies of migrant workers being dumped on a highway by alleged members of Los Zetas, with warnings to other cartels to expect similar treatment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


18 Headless Bodies Discovered in Mexico Tourist Area

HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/GettyImages(MEXICO CITY) -- Police found 18 mutilated, headless bodies near a lake popular with tourists just outside Guadalajara, Mexico, a massacre that authorities blamed on the Zetas drug cartel.

A phone call alerted police to two vans on a dirt road near Lake Chapala early Wednesday morning. When police opened the van, they found 18 headless and dismembered bodies inside. Some were so badly mutilated that police have still not determined their gender. The bodies appear to have been refrigerated after death.

Handwritten messages were found in the van. "They are clearly messages between rival groups that are in conflict," said Tomas Coronado, prosecutor for the state of Jalisco. Officials said the notes were signed by the Zetas.

The Zetas have been battling the Jalisco New Generation gang, a minor cartel allied with the Sinaloa cartel, which is the Zetas chief rival for dominance of the Mexican drug trade. The Zetas cartel, which was founded by ex-members of the Mexican military, controls most of eastern Mexico and much of the north.

A woman detained Wednesday in connection with the separate kidnapping of 12 people in the same area told police that the abductions were connected to events in Tamaulipas state. Two dozen men and women were found decapitated or hanging from bridges in Nuevo Laredo, on the border with Texas, on Friday, where the Zetas are battling the Gulf cartel, another Sinaloa cartel ally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Female Hit Squad Leader Linked to 20 Murders Arrested

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MEXICO CITY) -- Mexican police say they have arrested a female drug cartel assassin whose hit squad carried out at least 20 murders, including a hit on a policeman.

Maria Jimenez, AKA La Tosca, or "The Tough One," allegedly led a group that included men, women and teens and was paid $1,700 a month by Los Zetas, Mexico's most violent and second-biggest drug cartel, to carry out hits in Monterey, Nuevo Laredo and other cities in Northern Mexico.

According to the Mexican newspaper El Milenio, police said Jimenez "was directly involved" in the murder of Detective Antonio Montiel, who was killed in his pick-up truck by a fusillade of .9 mm bullets. Jimenez allegedly used an ATV to cut off Montiel's vehicle and force him to stop.

Jimenez, 26, and her alleged accomplices were arrested in a stolen gray van on May 1 in Monterrey.

The Zetas cartel, which controls the drug trade in much of north and east Mexico, is considered the main rival to the Sinaloa cartel for dominance. The cartel was formed by a group of former soldiers hired in 1999 as a private army by the Gulf Cartel who then split off to form their own rival drug trafficking organization. Many members have police or military backgrounds, including some soldiers who have special forces training.

The Zetas, who also operates in Guatemala, have been a major target of Mexican President Felipe Calderon's attempted crackdown on drug cartels. More than 50,000 people have died in the crackdown, and the Mexican Attorney General estimates that 7 percent of the casualties are military or police officers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio