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WORLD
June 1, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
CULIACAN, Mexico - For generations, the extended Hernandez family tended fields of marijuana high in Sinaloa's western Sierra Madre highlands. They sold their crops to representatives of the Sinaloa cartel for a fraction of what the drug would bring at the U.S. border and eked out a pittance. Barefoot children never went to school; they just helped their dads with the planting and harvest. Women washed clothes in the river. They burned pine sap for light at night because there was no electricity.
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WORLD
August 30, 2010 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
For the second time in two weeks, the mayor of a Mexican city has been slain by purported drug traffickers, authorities say. Marco Antonio Leal Garcia, the mayor of Hidalgo in the violent border state of Tamaulipas, was shot to death Sunday. His young daughter was wounded in the attack. Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, is the same state where a drug gang is suspected in the massacre last week of 72 migrants and where the battle between rival cartels has left a bloody trail of death, cowed authorities and terrified citizens.
WORLD
July 10, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Gunmen targeting a rival drug cartel opened fire in a crowded bar in the northern city of Monterrey, killing at least 20 people and wounding several, authorities said Saturday. The attack occurred late Friday in the Sabino Gordo bar in downtown Monterrey, a prosperous and once-orderly industrial hub that has been buffeted by more than a year of fighting between the Zetas, known as the country's most violent drug gang, and the Gulf cartel. Authorities said most of the dead — four of them women — were bar employees.
NATIONAL
July 21, 2009 | Richard Marosi
Federal authorities announced indictments Monday against the reputed leaders of Mexico's Gulf cartel and its paramilitary force, the Zetas, accusing them of trafficking tons of cocaine and marijuana from South America through the Texas-Mexico border. Three of the men are identified as the "triumvirate" that manages the far-flung enterprise, dividing its territories among themselves.
WORLD
March 22, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
The Mexican drug gangs rapidly infiltrating Central America call El Salvador "El Caminito," the little pathway. Once a bystander in the region's narco-business, this tiny country now finds itself enmeshed in an expanding drug trade, a shift brought on in part by the presence of a new, U.S.-funded highway that provides an overland route for shipping cocaine north. For years, traffickers used speedboats and small submarine-type vessels to move drugs from Colombia to northern Guatemala or Mexico, using water routes to circumvent much of Central America.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MONTERREY, Mexico - It is one of those small, hopeful signs that this traumatized city may be awakening from the nightmare of Mexico's drug wars: Armando Alanis once again feels safe enough to stop off for a late-night nosh at Tacos Los Quiques, a beloved sidewalk food cart. "We couldn't have done this two years ago," Alanis, a 44-year-old poet, said recently as he chowed down on tacos gringas in the dim glow of inner-city streetlights. "It would be wrong not to recognize what we have regained.
NATIONAL
May 23, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A Mexican drug cartel commander pleaded guilty Thursday to murder and attempted murder in a 2011 ambush south of the border that left one American agent dead and a second injured, and which sharply strained U.S.-Mexico relations. The commander, Julian Zapata Espinoza, 32, also known as Piolin, joined three other defendants who had previously pleaded guilty to various charges related to the shooting. The developments in federal District Court in Washington also provided new details about the attack.
WORLD
May 13, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - Mexican authorities responding to an anonymous tip discovered about 50 mostly mutilated bodies dumped on the side of a highway between Monterrey and the U.S. border, a region where rival gangs are battling for control over a lucrative drug-trafficking corridor. The bodies of at least 43 men and half a dozen women were found Sunday in plastic garbage bags near the town of Cadereyta Jimenez, the location of a large state-run oil refinery, officials in the state prosecutor's office told The Times.
NATIONAL
March 5, 2011 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
A gun used in a fatal attack on a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Mexico last month has been traced to a Texas man suspected of attempting to deliver at least 40 firearms to a Mexican drug cartel, federal authorities said Tuesday. Thomas Crowley, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Dallas, said the weapon was one of three used in the Feb. 15 attack on Agent Jaime Zapata and his partner, Victor Avila, who survived. FOR THE RECORD: Gun arrests: An article in the March 2 Section A about the connection between three Texas men and a weapon used in the fatal shooting of federal officer Jaime Zapata and the wounding of his partner, Victor Avila, incorrectly identified the officers as Border Patrol agents.
WORLD
August 17, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leader of the Gulf cartel, one of Mexico's oldest drug-running groups, has been captured, Mexican officials said Saturday. Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño was apprehended by the Mexican army Saturday morning, according to a government statement. The arrest took place in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border, Mexican media said. Ramirez, 51, known as “El Pelon,” or “The Bald One,” was indicted on drug distribution charges in a U.S. federal court in 2008.
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