Wednesday, October 10, 2012



"Chapo" Guzmán emerges as the big winner after Zetas leader's death
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
Posted: 10/10/2012 12:58:35 AM MDT
Reporter: Diana
Washington Valdez

The death Sunday of Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano will have two
major consequences in the drug world, an expert on the Zetas said:
Joaquin "Chapo" Guzmán, the notorious leader of Sinaloa drug cartel
leader, emerges as the big winner, and violence may increase.
George W. Grayson said Lazcano's death would leave Guzmán with one
less rival, which will affect his battle over the Juárez smuggling
corridor, where the Carrillo Fuentes cartel had formed a loose
alliance with the Zetas.
Miguel "Z-40" Treviño Morales, another high-ranking Zeta and a
fugitive, is considered next in line to take over the Zetas.
"Assuming 'El Lazca' (Lazcano) is dead, (Treviño Morales) emerges as
the uncontested leader of Los Zetas,"
Grayson said Tuesday. "He is prepared to advance his interest through
unspeakable violence. This infuses fear in foes and promotes
discipline within the ranks of Los Zetas."
Grayson said Los Zetas "have a line of replacements for (comrades)
killed and captured. The problem is that the new plaza bosses are
younger, less experienced in the use of weapons, more likely to use
drugs, and seek to earn their stripes through savagery."
Mexican authorities reported that Lazcano, 37, was one of two men
whom navy marines killed Sunday near El Progreso, Coahuila. On
Monday, an armed commando entered the funeral home where Lazcano's
body was being prepared for burial and snatched the body.
Officials have not confirmed whether fellow
Zetas took Lazcano's body.
In a previous body-snatching, Grayson said, Zetas gunmen broke into a
cemetery in 2007 in Poza Rica, Veracruz, "smashed open with hammers
the gravestone of their comrade Roberto Carlos Carmona, and carried
away the casket containing his body."
Grayson said Mexico's marines scored a major victory with Lazcano's
death. Grayson is co-author of a 2012 book about the Zetas, "The
Executioners' Men" (Transaction Press).
Mexican President Felipe Calderón commended the marines who took down
Lazcano in a firefight.
The Mexican marines responded to a tip that heavily armed men were in
El Progreso area, and were fired on by the suspects.
Officials said the suspects used military-grade weapons against the
marines, including grenade-launchers and assault rifles.
Authorities were able to identify Lazcano before his body was taken
through fingerprints and facial features that matched his
photographs. Officials had records of Lazcano from his days as a
Mexican special forces soldier.
In a June 27, 2011, article for Time magazine, journalist and author
Ioan Grillo said that Lazcano reportedly had received military
training from Israeli and U.S. forces. Lazcano belonged to the elite
Mexican Airborne Special Forces Group before he deserted in 1998 to
go work for the Gulf drug cartel under Osiel Cardenas.
He and other founding members of the Zetas broke away to create an
independent drug-trafficking organization that became known for
brutal violence, including skinnings and beheadings, and alleged mass
murders of rivals and immigrants.
The Zetas grew exponentially, expanding their influence to 11 Mexican
states, to several U.S. states and to Central America, South America
and Italy.
Its members are known for their military-style discipline and use of
advanced technology. They recruited and trained former Mexican
soldiers, police at all levels, and Guatemalan ex-special forces,
known as Kaibiles.
The Zetas had maintained a small and low-key presence in the region
that includes West Texas, Southern New Mexico and Chihuahua state.
But that changed in June when U.S. authorities indicted 14 alleged
Zetas members in connection with money laundering involving the
breeding and racing of quarter horses in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma
and California.
Some of the horses that allegedly belonging to high-level Zetas
leaders raced in Ruidoso. Zetas leader Miguel Treviño Morales and two
of his brothers were among those indicted in the horse-breeding and
racing schemes.
Authorities in Mexico and the United States together had offered a $7
million bounty for Lazcano.
Grayson said that the Lazcano's death will make Guzmán more powerful
in the underworld of drug trafficking.
Phil Jordan, former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center, said
that U.S. authorities continue to investigate alleged Zetas for
trafficking weapons to Mexico through El Paso and Juárez.
The Zetas, based in the state of Tamaulipas, are considered allies of
the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel, which includes La Linea in Juárez.
This week, Chihuahua state authorities linked the Zetas to the
slaying two years ago of activist Marisela Escobedo in Chihuahua City.
Mexican authorities also implicated the Zetas in the 2011 shooting
attack in Mexico against two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agents, Jaime Zapata of Brownsville, who was killed, and Victor Avila
of El Paso, who was wounded.
Jesús Enrique Rejon Aguilar, the Zetas' alleged number three man, was
extradited last month to face charges in the United States as a
suspect in Zapata's death.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at;

Sheriff Paul Babeu announces anti-smuggling posse
By: Steve Soliz/KTAR
Originally published: Oct 10, 2012 - 4:04 pm

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has created an anti-smuggling
possee to target drug and human smuggling because the federal
government has failed to protect the border.

The newly-formed posse will be armed and scattered throughout western
Pinal County, where trafficking has been known to take place.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the posse will work with the
county's SWAT team in the desert to fight against Mexican drug cartels.

Babeu said the posse won't cost anything to taxpayers. The posse will
be staffed with volunteers with prior military and law enforcement
training and experience.

"They are not given law enforcement authority to arrest, yet they can
use up to and including lethal force," said Babeu.

All volunteers will have extensive background checks and tactical

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