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Zetas

WORLD
June 22, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
A top leader of the notorious La Familia drug-trafficking gang, locked in an especially deadly internal fight in recent months, has been captured by Mexican federal police, authorities announced Tuesday. Jose de Jesus Mendez, alias "El Chango," one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords, was taken into custody in the central Mexican state of Aguascalientes, apparently without a struggle, authorities said. Mendez led a faction of La Familia, the ruthless and sometimes cult-like network that authorities say specializes in producing and shipping methamphetamine to the United States.
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WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- At least 15 people were killed in brazen shootouts over the weekend in the large coastal city of Tampico, in a border state that had been experiencing a relative lull in organized-crime-related violence. Mayor Gustavo Torres said Monday that the gun battles began Saturday night and lasted, sporadically, until Sunday night. He said the gunmen and victims were from the Gulf cartel, a drug-trafficking network that dominates part of Tamaulipas state. Many in Tamaulipas said they feared a return to the recent past , when the Gulf cartel, backed by members of the larger Sinaloa faction from the Pacific Coast, waged vicious, near-daily fights with the Zetas, a paramilitary force that had broken off from the Gulf cartel.
WORLD
October 19, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
The callers to the radio program were voicing their support for the Matazetas, the Zeta killers. Better they fight among themselves. Let them kill each other. Anything to rid us of the thugs who long ago took control of our city and are slaughtering our people. It is a sign of the desperation and deep outrage over surging drug-war violence that a shadowy group of vigilante killers is not only tolerated but welcomed by many here in Mexico's third-most populous state. Full coverage: The drug war in Mexico Yet it also comes with a disturbing question: Just who is behind the killings of Zetas — another drug gang?
WORLD
May 15, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood and Alex Renderos, Los Angeles Times
At least 27 people were slain early Sunday in a remote area of northern Guatemala that has become a key base for Mexican drug-trafficking groups, authorities said. Police said a small army of gunmen attacked workers on a coconut farm in the northern province of Peten, a zone that has become increasingly dangerous as Mexican drug smugglers extend operations in Central America to escape a crackdown at home. The victims included 25 men and two women, all of whom were decapitated, according to Jaime Leonel Otzin, director of Guatemala's National Civil Police.
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.
WORLD
February 12, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Mexican soldiers have arrested a suspected drug cartel hit man on accusations that he orchestrated the killing of retired army Brig. Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello, who had been hired to root out corruption in the resort town of Cancun, a Defense Department official said. Prosecutors also asked a judge to place under arrest Cancun Police Chief Francisco Velasco as they investigate whether he protected the Zetas, a group of hit men for the Gulf cartel, said Marisela Morales, deputy attorney general for organized crime.
NEWS
July 3, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The state of Texas is warning Americans to avoid travel to the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo this holiday weekend because of an anticipated surge in drug cartel violence aimed at Americans. In a news release   Saturday, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Webb County Sheriff's Office said their sources indicated that the Zetas drug cartel was "planning to target U.S. citizens who travel to Nuevo Laredo this weekend. "  Steven C. McCraw, the department's director, also said in the statement:  "According to the information we have received, the Zetas are planning a possible surge in criminal activity, such as robberies, extortions, car-jackings and vehicle theft, specifically against U.S. citizens.
WORLD
February 22, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Guatemalan authorities said Friday they had not yet recovered the bodies from a gun battle between Mexican drug traffickers in a remote part of the country where one of the world's most-wanted fugitive kingpins is known to operate. Reports of the shootout on Thursday led to wide speculation that the dead might include Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, billionaire chieftain of the powerful Sinaloa cartel and the much-wanted mastermind of Mexico's largest and oldest drug-trafficking organization.
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
October 9, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - Seven people were killed in a shootout between police and suspected members of “an organized criminal group” in Tepatitlan, a city of 136,000 residents northeast of Guadalajara, Mexico,  officials in the state of Jalisco said Wednesday. Three police officers were killed and four were injured in the shootout Tuesday night,  according to a statement released the next day. Four of the suspects also died, and a fifth was reportedly arrested.  State investigators told the Guadalajara newspaper El Informador that the civilians involved in the shootout were members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG.  State officials said that a group of local police surprised the men, who were “consuming drugs in a public street.” Mayor Jorge Eduardo Gonzalez Arana told local media that the confrontation began after a neighbor called and complained about four people shooting their weapons in the air. [Link in Spanish]
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