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Monday, April 19, 2010c c


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Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) appear to be in


agreement that @  have become a common threat to
their operational venues. However, the common belief among
the narcoterrorists is that the Zetas are much too powerful to
be challenged without help from those with similar massive
narco-dollar pursuits. c

These interesting alliances of convenience are actually an act


of desperation for each DTO to slow down or stop a rival
opponent from monopolizing the drug trafficking trade. There
are no real loyalties in these alliances and the chess-like
movements of all the major DTOs is a recipe for disaster.c
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The Zetas (their moniker "zeta" is the name of the letter Z in


Spanish) rise to power and influence has been through
ruthless murdering modus operandi and superior firepower. A
violent behavioral identifier, the result of these bad apples c

upbringing as former paramilitary commandos ² trained killers


and weapons experts. c

The growth of the Zetas from humble beginnings as recruited


enforcers for the Gulf Cartel in the 1990s, led them
opportunistically into a realm of extended organized crime as
kidnappers, extortionists, and agents of human smuggling.
They were quick to expand their power and influence stature
by beheading rivals and others that stood in their way.c

And now it appears that the not so clever decision of three


rival DTOs (Sinaloa, La Familia, and Gulf), to merge into a
mutual agreement to target the Zetas for extinction, was an
unwise act of believing there is strength in numbers.c

In what one might see as somewhat morbid humor, the united


cartel¶s bold placing of banners around cities announcing the
stand against the Zetas as if they were saviors of the streets.
Too, a banner was reported to urge President Felipe Calderon c
to remove the Army and allow ³them´ to eradicate the plague
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known as the Zetas. This, their version and a convenient way


of toning down the violence so business as usual can prevail
and murder more cleverly concealed as a rite of passage.c

The rival DTOs and some recent media accounts of the Zetas
portray a Zeta organization heading south into El Salvador and
Guatemala, as if in fear or retreat of this unholy alliance in
pursuit of their heads. c

The facts add up to the Zeta movement being a proactive


movement and not a reactive strategy of retreat. This is a fluid
organization that trains professionally as a force of power and
instruments of death as their guiding mandate. Their ³reach´
into Central America corrupts police, recruits talent, and trains
willing agents in Guatemalan camps.c

The Zeta area of influence is a clear indicator of turf


superiority, for that territory range extends from Central
America, along the Caribbean and Atlantic coastal states, and
into the lower Texas border. This transnational influence is
responsible for the long distance cocaine shipping from South
America, and through the risky Central America drug pipeline
into the lucrative North American drug markets. This
awesome endeavor requires a power that must prevail against
all obstacles designed to interdict. c

Do the Zetas have a real concern of the rival DTOs alliance


against them? They would be foolish not to. However, they
have not come this far to turn tail and run from violence
directed at them. In fact, they appear to be in the right
geographical location to expand and strengthen not only in
power, but also in massive numbers. c

In El Salvador alone, the strong and violent Mara Salvatrucha


(MS 13) gang is a ripe recruiting ground for the Zetas. There
are law enforcement and government concerns, and fear that
power alliances by the Zetas could lead to jail breaks to free
previously captured members. Some captured Zetas are in
custody in Guatemala. Guatemalan police have reported
death threats made by the Zetas against their President.c

The current threat assessment for Mexico reveals a potential


reality that is a culmination of greed, vengeance, and
preparation for battle. At the other end of the spectrum is the
real catalyst of all the motivation ² the drug trade billions of
U.S. dollars which, eventually, DTOs will not want to share
with any rival.c

This equation is the new crime-terror nexus. The


organizational similarities of organized crime and terror have
merged to essentially form a single merchant of violence and
death, available to the highest or most powerful bidder or
survivor. c

²²²²²²²²²²
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International
Associates, a global risk mitigation firm headquartered in
Northern Virginia. His website is located at www.cjiausa.org.
jbrewer@cjiausa.org cc

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