Tag Archives: Zetas

Capture of fugitive ex-governor rekindles debate on official corruption

The arrest in Italy of former Tamaulipas governor Tómas Yarrington (1999-2004), based on information provided by the U.S., and fresh revelations on how he avoided arrest since an arrest warrant was issued in 2012 have spurred new debate on official complacency (at best) in prosecuting senior PRI officials in Mexico.

Amazingly, it appears that while Yarrington was a fugitive, the state attorney general’s office in Tamaulipas under PRI governor Egidio Torre (2012-16) was paying eight bodyguards to protect him.  This came to light only after a PAN governor was elected and took office in October 2016.

Surreal. Kafkaesque. Incomprehensible.  The PRIista government commissioned and paid for his bodyguards, but didn’t know where to find the fugitive ex-governor?

questioned columnist Héctor de Mauleón.

It was only after these revelations that the current federal PGR issued a Ps. 15 million reward for Yarrington’s arrest, and he is believed to have fled the country.

Both the U.S. and Mexico are seeking to extradite Yarrington.  He is alleged to have worked with both the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, protecting state and municipal police and mayors who were in the pay of the cartels, and laundered millions in drug proceeds.  He was indicted in Mexico in 2012.

 

The Peña Nieto government has also drawn scorn from the press for trying to take credit for providing Italy with information that led to his arrest.  According to official Italian statements, it was U.S. Homeland Security and ICE that provided the intelligence that led to his capture.

It’s the corruption, stupid! In a country that is becoming more and more disappointed and skeptical, corruption has become one of the most painful and important political issues

writes Sergio Sarmiento today.

Sources:  El Universal, Breitbart Texas, Reforma, El Pais,

War between Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas fingered as behind the killing of gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre

The assassination of Rodolfo Torre Cantú, the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas, is the country’s most serious political killing since the 1994 death of Luis Donaldo Colosio, the PRI’s presidential candidate.

Today’s NYT story has the basic information as currently known.

Most speculation in Mexico points to the violent struggle between the Gulf Cartel (CDG) and Los Zetas—formerly the armed wing of the CDG, and now their rivals—as the proximate cause of the surge in violence in Tamaulipas this year.  The Zetas, in particular, are suspected of being behind the ambush that killed Torre Cantú and four of his campaign staff.

Several items are worth noting:

  • Torre Cantú had recently gotten enhanced security.  The Ministry of Defense had just assigned him a new head of security, General (ret.) Roberto Miranda, who handled security for then-presidential candidate Ernesto Zedillo after the Colosio assassination.  (Universal 6/29)
  • In May, the PAN mayoral candidate for the town of Valle Hermoso, José Mario Guajardo Varela was assassinated. Valle Hermosa was where Torre Cantú was heading when his caravan was ambushed.
  • In eight of the 43 towns in the state, either the PRD or PAN did not field mayoral candidates, mostly because of intimidation and fears for personal safety.
  • In February, the U.S. DEA warned their Mexican counterparts of the growing wave of violence in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon because of the war between the two groups. (Excelsior 6/29)

Ninety more killed, including 15 Federal Police

Without respite from the violence of the previous week, the death toll from gang-related violence reached 90 on Monday.  A convoy of Federal Police was ambushed in Zitácuaro, Michoacan; 12 federales were killed, and more than a dozen wounded.  In Chihuahua, three more Federal Police were killed while on patrol in the state capital.  In Sinaloa, an armed group believed to be members of the Los Zetas paramilitary gang broke into the high security wing of a prison near Mazatlán and executed 29 prisoners.  (Universal 6/15)

Army captures senior Los Zetas figure, narcos try to shut down Monterrey in reprisal

The Army captured Héctor Luna, aka El Tori, in Monterrey yesterday.  “El Tori is considered by military intelligence to be one of the most powerful members of the Los Zetas armed group  in northeastern Mexico,” according to El Universal. Within one half hour, cartel members staged 28 “narco-blockades” on roads and highways across the metropolitan region, according to Nuevo León’s Government Secretary. Motorists abandoned their cars and shopkeepers closed their stores, fearing shootouts between the authorities and the gangsters. Shots were also fired at various security installations in the city. El Tori was transported to Mexico City by the Army.  (Universal 6/10)

Government arrests PRD candidate for governor of Quintana Roo on drug charges

The Justice Ministry (PGR) arrested Gregorio “Greg” Sánchez, the PRD-PT-Convergencia candidate for governor of the state of Quintana Roo.  Sánchez is the mayor of Cancún, and was charged with violation of drug laws, racketeering, and use of illicit funds. PGR sources said he was linked to the Los Zetas paramilitary gang and the Beltrán Leyva cartel.  His administration has been under suspicion at least since the kidnapping and murder of General Mauro Enrique Tello in February 2009. PRD Senate leader Carlos Navarrette angrily denounced the arrest in a press conference as a political provocation. “As president of the Senate, I consider it completely unacceptable to use the PGR for purely electoral and political ends….This situation will have an enormous cost for democracy in Mexico,” he said.   (Universal 5/26, Reforma 5/26)

Drug war escalates in Nuevo León and Tamaulipas

Three policemen were killed and a fourth gravely wounded when a patrol car was ambushed in the Monterrey suburb of San Nicolas. This attack follows by a week attacks where grenades were thrown into the police compounds of five Monterrey suburbs; only two of the grenades exploded. The Army warns that the Gulf cartel and the Zeta paramilitary gang are battling for control of the cities and transit routes in Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, with at least 17 confrontations between the two gangs since Feb. 25. Nuevo León governor Rodrigo Medina (PRI) fired his minister of public security and brought back Luis Carlos Treviño Berchelmann, who was Justice minister in the last government. (Reforma 2/28, 3/5, 3/5, 3/6)

More drug violence rocks Nuevo León

A shootout at a major intersection in the Monterrey suburb of Juárez left at least 12 dead, including a leader of the Los Zetas paramilitary gang who was believed to be behind the November assassination of the police chief of the neighboring suburb of García. Hours later, an armed gang attacked a police detention center in another suburb and freed 23 suspects, including 15 alleged members of Los Zetas. (Universal 12/5)