• Connect with us on Linkedin

The command structure of the brutal Zetas gang appears to have suffered existential blows under President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to a list of 69 crime bosses either captured or killed in the past year. But the overall criminal picture feels eerily similar.

Published in News Analysis
Sunday, 16 December 2012 13:13

Part III - The Battle for Monterrey

In October, the Mexican Navy killed the Zetas' top leader, Heriberto Lazcano, alias "Z-3." Lazcano was a mythic figure, evident in the way the group marshalled several fighters to steal his body from the morgue following his death. Lazcano was also perhaps the only thing standing in front of the complete fragmentation of this powerful organization. Indeed, the Zetas have been splitting at the seams since at least the middle of 2012. Various commanders have declared war on each other, and the new top commander, Miguel Treviño, alias "Z-40," is scrambling to keep the organization intact.

Sunday, 16 December 2012 13:03

Part II - The Zetas and Monterrey Math

Just days after the fire at the Casino Royale, authorities captured five suspects, one of whom was a state policeman. Officer Miguel Angel Barraza Escamilla later admitted to investigators that he was a member of the Zetas. Investigators told the press that he had various jobs, including as a lookout during operations like the tragic shakedown at the Casino Royale and driving members of the criminal gang in stolen vehicles.

Sunday, 16 December 2012 12:07

Part I - How the Zetas Took Monterrey

The Zetas have many sides. The group is at once sophisticated and ruthless, coordinating multi-caravan ambushes and sending hooligans to launch a wild assault on a police station. It has gang-bangers and Special Forces snipers on its payroll. It uses a sophisticated radio system and a machete in the same operation. It has a political platform that consists of shaking down the entire political class. And it has the accounting system of a multinational company, but the uncanny ability to destroy its own sources of income.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

Mutilated Corpses in Venezuela Point to Migrating Criminal Tactics

Mutilated Corpses in Venezuela Point to Migrating Criminal Tactics

Fourteen dismembered corpses have been found so far this year in Caracas, suggesting that the gruesome tactics of foreign criminal groups -- and possibly the criminals themselves -- have found their way to Venezuela's capital.

Read more

Latin America Stumbles On Road To Health-Based Drug Policies

Latin America Stumbles On Road To Health-Based Drug Policies

A consensus has been building in Latin America that drug use should be treated as a health and not a criminal issue. But has this rhetoric become an on-the-ground reality?

Read more

Peru Excludes 345 Candidates from Elections for Criminal Convictions

Peru Excludes 345 Candidates from Elections for Criminal Convictions

Authorities in Peru have announced the removal of over 300 political candidates with criminal records from upcoming elections, a decision that indicates a willingness to take action, but may not be an entirely fair response.

Read more

Latest Criminal Profile