Marines Seize ‘Zetas’ Communications Equipment

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Mexican authorities reported dismantling a communications system, most likely used by the Zetas drug cartel, in the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, drawing attention to the group’s independent telecommunications network.

Over the past month, marines have dismantled some 15 installations that allegedly formed part of the group’s communication system, reported Proceso. The seizures included a communications tower over 50 feet tall, located on the highway between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey. A working two-way radio system was also found in an abandoned camper truck in Tamaulipas.

Another 13 communication installations were found near the extinct volcano Cofre de Perote in Veracruz, reported Univision. The seized materials included antennas and Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultrahigh Frequency (UHF) radio equipment.

InSight Crime Analysis

If the seized materials do in fact belong to the Zetas, they would appear to indicate that the Zetas continue to use fairly sophisticated equipment to communicate with one another, and, presumably, to monitor the movements of the security forces in the area. The Zetas’ reliance on such radio technology is illustrative of the emphasis that the group places on coordinating their activities.

This recent seizure is also suggestive that much of the Zetas’ telecommunications network is understandably based in their strongholds, in Veracruz and Tamaulipas. Last year saw two seperate, major seizures of the Zetas’ communications equipment in these two states, as InSight Crime reported at the time. The equipment included antennae, cellular phones, laptop computers, and radio handsets.

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