The third part of the research for the cartels of Mexico is the most bloody, the most fierce and the most violent. It conteins the bigest drug cartels and the worst part of the drug cartels war in the history of Mexico. President Felippe Calderon, seems to be unable to win this war!
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Mongols (motorcycle club)
The Mongols Motorcycle Club, sometimes called the Mongol Nation or Mongol Brotherhood, is a “one-percenter” motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate. The club is headquartered in southern California and was originally formed in Montebello, California in 1969 by Hispanic Vietnam War veterans who were refused entry to the Hells Angels because of their race.
Law enforcement officials estimate there are approximately 500 to 600 full patched members. The Mongols’ main presence is in southern California, with charters in 14 states, as well as international charters in Germany, Italy, Australia, and Mexico. The Mongols have a long standing friendship with the Outlaws MC.
Mongols vest with patch
|Territory||Mostly Southern California. Also Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Ohio|
|Criminal activities||Narcotics and Weapons trafficking, Grand Theft, Racketeering, Loan-sharking, and Murder for Hire|
|Rivals||Hells Angels, Gypsy Joker MC|
The Mongols members have had long-running confrontations with law enforcement in such areas as drug dealing (especially methamphetamine), money laundering, robbery, extortion, firearms violations, murder and assault, among other crimes.
In 1998, ATF agent William Queen infiltrated the club, eventually becoming a full-patch member and rising to the rank of treasurer using the undercover alias of Billy St. John. In April 2000, based on evidence gathered during Queen’s 28-month undercover time with the club, 54 Mongols were arrested. All but one of the accused were later convicted of various crimes including drug trafficking, motorcycle theft, and conspiracy to commit murder.
In 2002, members of the Mongols and the Hells Angels had a confrontation in Laughlin, Nevada at the Harrah’s Laughlin Casino, that left three bikers dead. Mongol Anthony ‘Bronson’ Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death; and two Hells Angels—Jeramie Bell, 27, and Robert Tumelty, 50—were shot to death.
On February 23, 2007, Hells Angels members James Hannigan and Rodney Cox were sentenced to two years in prison for their respective roles in the incident. Cox and Hannigan were captured on videotape confronting Mongols inside the casino. A Hells Angels member can be clearly seen on the casino security videotape performing a front kick on a Mongol which in turn started the ensuing melee.
Mongols member Christopher Ablett turned himself in to authorities in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on October 4, 2008 after going on the run for murdering Hells Angels President Mark “Papa” Guardado in San Francisco, California earlier that year. The San Francisco Police Department had issued a $5 million arrest warrant for him.
On December 20, 2008 in Las Vegas, Mongols members arrived at “A Special Memories Wedding Chapel” for a fellow member’s wedding, to find a local Hells Angels charter were just finishing up their own ceremony. It is reported by KTNV Channel 13 news, that the Hells Angels attacked the Mongols members, sending three to the hospital, two of which suffered from stab wounds. No arrests were made and local authorities report that they are looking for suspects said to be involved in the attack.
Operation Black Rain
On October 21, 2008, 38 members including Ruben “Doc” Cavazos were taken into Federal custody after 4 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents infiltrated the group for a second time, becoming full patch members.
110 arrest warrants and 160 search warrants were issued in California, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. On October 23, 2008, US District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper granted an injunction that prohibits club members, their family members and associates from wearing, licensing, selling or distributing the logo, which typically depicts the profile of a Mongolian warrior wearing sunglasses, because according to the police, they use the logo and names as an identity and as a form of intimidation to fulfill their goals.
Prosecutors requested the injunction after authorities arrested dozens of Mongols under a racketeering indictment. Several civil rights groups have called foul, claiming that the actions of the judge violate due process and property rights.
A planned weekend meeting in Lancaster, California, expected to draw 800 Mongols and their families, was blocked after city officials shut down and fenced off the hotel they had booked for the event, which coincides with the “Celebrate Downtown Lancaster” festival.
The mayor had previously threatened to shut down the hotel over unpaid taxes if the agreement to host the Mongols was not canceled. An attorney for the Mongols said he plans to sue the city and the mayor, potentially for civil rights violations, after previously threatening to sue the hotel for breach of contract should they comply with the mayor’s demands.
Mayor R. Rex Parris said he wants to keep the Mongols out because they “are engaged in domestic terrorism…and they kill our children.”
After a long legal battle over the Mongol’s MC patch, The Mongols won the rights to continued use and ownership of their patch.
Mongols MC Germany
A German chapter of Mongols MC was founded in Bremen by members of the local crime syndicate run by Kurdish immigrants in 2010. It was the first time that a Muslim clan-based crime syndicate in Germany became active in the field of outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Organized crime in Bremen is dominated by the Miri clan, a large family of Kurds from Southern Turkey with an estimated 2,600 members, who first migrated to Germany beginning in the late 1980s (originally claiming Lebanese origin), and rose to national notoriety with a number of large-scale criminal activities in 2010.
According to Andreas Weber, the state of Bremen’s chief of Criminal Investigation, the new Mongols chapter is only nominally a motorcycle group. Clan members do not have motorcycle licences and drive around the city in cars.
Presumably, they are interested in associating themselves with the US motorcycle club primarily to profit from their infrastructure and trading channels in drug trafficking.
The president of Mongols Bremen, “Mustafa B.” killed himself with his bike as a novice licence holder briefly after the chapter’s foundation. He was presumably succeeded by “Ibrahim M.”, who is on record with 147 felonies ranging from grievous bodily harm to illegal possession of a weapon.
Los Negros is a criminal organization that was once the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel and after a switch of alliances, became the armed wing of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel.
However, since early 2010 it has gone independent and has been contesting the control of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel. It is currently the criminal paramilitary unit of Édgar Valdez Villarreal (a.k.a. “La Barbie”) in Mexico. Valdez was arrested on August 30, 2010 near Mexico City.
The group was originally formed to counter Los Zetas gang and government security forces. Los Negros used to work with the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel but following Arturo Beltrán Leyva’s death in December 2009 during a shootout with Mexican Marines, infighting broke out for the control of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel.
One faction is led by lieutenants Édgar Valdez Villarreal and Gerardo Alvarez-Vazquez, while the other is led by the current cartel leader Héctor Beltrán Leyva and his ‘enforcer’ lieutenant, Sergio Villarreal Barragán.
Los Negros have been known to employ gangs such as Mexican Mafia and MS-13 to carry out murders and other illegal activities. The group is involved in fighting other cartels in the Nuevo Laredo region for control of the drug trafficking corridor.
Its operational area was originally Tamaulipas, and later extended its influence to Nuevo León and Coahuila states. They also had operations in San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Michoacán, Guerrero, Zacatecas and Sonora.
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, was at the center of a war between the Gulf Cartel’s Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel’s Los Negros.
Following the 2003 arrest of Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cárdenas, it is believed the Sinaloa Cartel moved 200 men into the region to battle the Gulf Cartel for control. The Nuevo Laredo region is an important drug trafficking corridor as 40% of all Mexican exports, a total of 9,000 trucks, pass through the region into the United States.
Following the 2002 assassination of journalist Roberto Javier Mora Garcia from El Mañana newspaper, much of the local media was silenced over the fighting. The cartels intimidated the media and sometimes use it to send messages to the general population.
In 2008, Édgar Valdéz placed an ad in the local paper accusing Los Zetas of being “narco-kidnappers” and purchasing protection from state officials and the attorney general’s office.
The drug war between the Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels had spread to Acapulco when a dozen or so members of Los Zetas attempted to kidnap Sinaloa Cartel members. Five of the Zetas were instead captured and taken to a safe house to be beaten, videotaped and murdered. Currently, Los Negros have an alliance with Los Zetas.
The Sonora Cartel, also called the Caro-Quintero Organization, was a Mexico based criminal cartel. Upon of the cartel’s disintegration, its leaders were incorporated into the Tijuana Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel. The Sonora Cartel, Colima Cartel and Milenio Cartel are now branches of the Sinaloa Cartel./strong>
The Sonora Cartel was considered by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to be one of the oldest and best-established cartels. The cartel′s roots are in the Guadalajara Cartel, which dissolved after the 1989 arrest of its co-founder, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo.
Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel’s brother, is in jail for his role in the killing of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camerena in 1985. The Sonora cartel had direct links to Colombian drug cartels and operated routes into California, Arizona, Texas and Nevada.
The Sonora cartel was headed by Miguel Caro Quintero and operated out of Hermosillo, Agua Prieta, Guadalajara and Culiacán, as well as the Mexican states of San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa and Sonora.
The Sonora Cartel was led by Miguel Caro-Quintero, brother to Guadalajara Cartel co-founder, Rafael Caro-Quintero, who was arrested in Costa Rica in 1985 in connection with the torture and death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar. Miguel Caro-Quintero would eventually be arrested in 1989, however it is believed he still maintains control over the organization from behind bars.
The Sonora Cartel is believed to be one of the earliest cartels to begin shipping cocaine from Colombia, particularly from the Cali Cartel. The cartel was involved in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana primarily, however secondary functions include the transportation and distribution of methamphetamine.
Operating out of northern central Mexico, the cartel was believed to smuggle drugs into Arizona, Texas and California from a network of ranches along the northern border region where the drugs are stored prior to shipment. The Sonora Cartel has been specifically linked to operating out of Hermosillo, Agua Prieta, Guadalajara, Culiacán, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Sinaloa and Sonora.
Miguel Caro-Quintero was born in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico, in 1963. Previously arrested in 1992 on charges of tax evasion, he was found not guilty, which the DEA attributes to the use of threats and bribes by Caro-Quintero. While imprisoned, it is believed Caro-Quintero was still running the Sonora Cartel, where he is purging a prison sentence for racketeering, drug smuggling and money laundering.
Caro-Quintero was arrested in December 2001 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa. Prior to his arrest he repeatedly stated he is innocent of the charges and has accused the DEA of pursuing a vendetta against him for his brother, Rafael Caro-Quintero’s, alleged role in the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.
Miguel Caro-Quintero is noted as having called into a radio station to profess his innocence, stating: “If I had a cartel, I’d have a lot of money and my brother wouldn’t be there (in jail)” and claiming to be an innocent rancher. He further stated he does not believe his brother was involved in the killing of the DEA agent.
Rafael Caro-Quintero is the co-founder, with Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, of the Guadalajara Cartel and Sonora Cartel. He was arrested in Costa Rica on April 4, 1985 for the kidnapping, torture and murder of federal agent Enrique Camarena Salazar, and was also charged with violent crimes in aid of racketeering, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine, murder, continuing criminal enterprise.
Sureños (Spanish for “Southerners”) are a group of Mexican American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California. There are hundreds of Sureño gangs in California, and each has its own identity on the streets. Although they are based in Southern California, their influence has spread to many parts of the US and other countries as well. The gang’s alleged roots came from a jail dispute between the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) and Nuestra Familia (NF).
Those that sided with the NF aligned themselves in Northern California (norteños=northerners). Norteños appear mostly in the northern areas of California, but are also present in numbers in western states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Utah. Besides Southern California, Sureños can be found in more than 20 states (primarily in southwestern, central states) and small presence in Central California, and Northern California. The largest population of Sureños can be found in Southern California, specifically in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire region. Norteños appear mostly in the northern areas of California, and also in southwestern and central states.
Gang’s name tattooed on gang member’s back.
|In||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Years active||1950s–present|
|Territory||Southern California, small presence in Central California, and Northern California, all southwestern states, some central states, some northwestern states, and some southern states and eastern Latvia|
|Ethnicity||Latino (mainly Mexican-American)|
|Criminal activities||Murder, drug trafficking, extortion,assault, auto theft, robbery|
|Allies||Mexican Mafia, Sinaloa Cartel,18th Street Gang, Tijuana Cartel.|
|Rivals||Norteños, Wah Ching, Asian Boyz,Bloods, Crips, Fresno Bulldogs,Latin Kings.|
The term “Sureños” meaning Southerner in Spanish. Sureño (male) Sureña (female) are the basics on what they are separated by. They originated from Southern California prison and made their way through “barrios”(hoods/neighborhoods).The Sureños identify with the color blue which comes from days past when the prisons offered two standard colors of bandanas, blue and red.
Their enemies are Norteños (Northerners) and have been at war since the beginning. The term was first used in the 1960s as a result of a California prison war between the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) and Nuestra Familia (NF). This war resulted in a territorial division between gang members from norteño (northern) California who aligned with NF, and those from southern California aligned with La Eme.
As Eme members paroled to the streets, they were tasked with creating new cells to help facilitate more crime. In addition, paroled members explained the North versus South war occurring in prison to the young street gang members. The youngsters were told that when they did enter the prison system that they should align themselves with the other Surenos. The term Sureno was soon adopted by Hispanic street gang members throughout Southern California.
Symbols and culture
Sureño gang members often identify themselves with the number 13; to represent the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the letter M. This is used to pay homage to the Mexican Mafia. Surenos will use the symbols Sur, XIII, X3, 13, and 3-dots in their graffiti and tattoos. In many parts of the country they will identify themselves with the color blue. Mexican Mafia members may have Sureno idenitifers as they were probably a Sureno gang member before being recruited into the Mexican Mafia.
In May 2010, with help from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in California, forty-three suspected Sureño gang members were arrested and two others are wanted after a year-long investigation of the gang’s activities in California. Police also recovered heroin and methamphetamine from suspected street-level drug dealers.
The majority of the arrests were for trafficking and possessing guns, gang participation, drug charges and violating probation terms. Several men were arrested more than once over the course of the year, according to the Police Department.
Los Zetas Cartel is a criminal organization in Mexico dedicated mostly to international illegal drug trade, assassinations, and other organized crime activities. This drug cartel was founded by a small group of Mexican Army Special Forces deserters and now includes corrupt former federal, state, and local police officers, as well as ex-Kaibiles from Guatemala.
This group of highly trained gunmen was first hired as a private mercenary army for Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. Since the arrest of the Gulf Cartel’s leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, as well as other events, the two entities became a combined trafficking force, with the Zetas taking a more active leadership role in drug trafficking. Since February 2010 Los Zetas have gone independent and became enemies of its former employer/partner, the Gulf Cartel.
Los Zetas are led by Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano and are considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as probably being the most violent paramilitary enforcement group in Mexico. Los Zetas have expanded their operations to Italy with the ‘Ndrangheta.
The group’s name Los Zetas is given after its first leader, Lieutenant Arturo Guzmán Decena, whose Federal Judicial Police radio code was “Z1″, a code given to high-ranking officers. The radio code for Commanding Federal Judicial Police Officers in México was “Y” and are nicknamed Yankees, for Federal Judicial Police in charge of a city the radio code was “Z,” and thus they were nicknamed as the letter in Spanish, “Zetas.”
In the late 1990s, the Gulf Cartel leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, wanted to track down and kill rival cartel members as a form of protection. He began to recruit former Mexican Army’s elite Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE) soldiers. It is argued that they received some of their specialized military training in counter-insurgency and locating and apprehending drug cartel members at the military School of the Americas in the United States, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and by other foreign specialists of the United States, France and Israel.
They were trained in rapid deployment, aerial assaults, marksmanship, ambushes, small-group tactics, intelligence collection, counter-surveillance techniques, prisoner rescues and sophisticated communications. Military forces from around the world train at Fort Bragg, so there is nothing unique about Mexican operatives learning counter-insurgency tactics at the facility.
Cardenas Guillen’s top recruit, lieutenant Arturo Guzmán Decena, brought with him approximately 30 other GAFE deserters enticed by salaries substantially higher than those paid by the Mexican government. The role of Los Zetas was soon expanded, collecting debts, securing cocaine supply and trafficking routes known as plazas (zones) and executing its foes, often with grotesque savagery.
Guzmán Decena (Z1) was killed by a rival cartel member on November 2002 in a restaurant, while he was dining, so Heriberto Lazcano (Z3) ascended to the leadership of the paramilitaries.
In response to such aggressive efforts on the part of the Zetas to defend and control its smuggling corridors to the United States, the rival Sinaloa Cartel established its own heavily armed enforcer gang, Los Negros. The group operated in a similar fashion to the Zetas, but with less complexity.
Upon the arrest of Gulf Cartel boss Osiel Cardenas Guillen in 2003, Los Zetas negotiated a collaboration pact with the Gulf Cartel and the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel to engage in their own drug shipments.
In February 2010, Los Zetas (and its ally, the Beltran Leyva Cartel) engaged in a violent turf war against its former employer/partner, the Gulf Cartel, in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, turning some border towns to “ghost towns”. It was reported that a Gulf Cartel member killed a top Zeta lieutenant named Victor Mendoza. The Zetas demanded that the Gulf cartel turn over the killer. However the Gulf Cartel refused and an all-out war has broken out between the two criminal organizations.
Since February 2010, the major cartels have aligned in two factions, one integrated by the Juárez Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, Los Zetas and the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel; the other faction integrated by the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel and La Familia Cartel.
Los Zetas have set up camps to train recruits as well as corrupt ex-federal, state, and local police officers.In September 2005 testimony to the Mexican Congress, then-Defense Secretary Clemente Vega indicated that the Zetas had also hired at least 30 former Kaibiles from Guatemala to train new recruits because the number of former Mexican special forces men in their ranks had shrunk. Los Zetas’ training locations have been identified as containing the same items and setup as GAFE training facilities.
Los Zetas are primarily based in the border region of Nuevo Laredo, with hundreds more throughout the country. In Nuevo Laredo it is believed they have carved the city into territories, placing lookouts at arrival destinations such as airports, bus stations and main roads. In addition to conducting activities along the border, they are visible throughout the Gulf Coast region, in the Southern states of Tabasco, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Chiapas, and in the Pacific Coast states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Michoacán, as well as in Mexico City. Evidence also indicates that they may be active in Texas, other U.S. states and in Italy with the ‘Ndrangheta.
Some of the original members are:Arturo Guzmán Decena (Z-1), Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar (Z-2), Heriberto Lazcano (Z-3), Carlos Vera Calva (Z-7), Galdindo Mellado Cruz (Z-9), Flavio Méndez Santiago (Z-10), Jaime González Durán, Rogelio González Pizaña, Efraín Teodoro Torres, Raúl Hernandez Barrón, Óscar Guerrero Silva, Luís Alberto Guerrero Reyes, Mateo Díaz López, Jorge López, Daniel Peréz Rojas, Sergio Enrique Ruiz Tlapanco, Nabor Vargas García, Ernesto Zatarín Beliz, Eduardo Estrada González, Prisciliano Ibarra Yepis, Rogelio Guerra Ramírez, Miguel Ángel Soto Parra, Gonzalo Ceresano Escribano, Daniel Enrique Márquez Aguilar and Germán Torres Jiménez.
Over time, many of the original 31 have been killed or arrested, and a number of younger men have filled the vacuum, forming something that resembles what Los Zetas used to be, but still far from the efficiency of the original Zetas.
Los Zetas are extremely well armed and equipped; they tend to wear tactical gear such as body armor and ballistic helmets, and wield an arsenal that includes AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, MP5 submachine guns, heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, surface-to-air missiles, dynamite, and helicopters. They are known to operate with modern wiretapping equipment.
Los Zetas are known to operate with a higher tactical degree than the local authorities, often disguised as Federal Police and driving vehicles stolen from or disguised as law enforcement vehicles. The group has been linked to the monitoring and kidnapping of journalists and killings of rivaling cartel members and their families. Los Zetas cartel has been known to hire US gangs such as the Texas Syndicate and MS-13 to carry out contract killings.
In addition to the commandos, there is a hierarchy within the group:
Los Halcones (The Hawks) keep watch over distribution zones and use 2 meter radio band.
Las Ventanas (The Windows) comprise bike-riding youngsters in their mid-teens who whistle to warn of the presence of police and other suspicious individuals near small stores that sell drugs.
Los Mañosos (The Tricky Ones) acquire firearms.
Los Leopardos (Leopards) are prostitutes who slyly extract information from their clients.
Dirección (Command) are approximately 20 communications experts who intercept phone calls, follow and identify suspicious automobiles, and even conduct kidnappings and executions.
Los Zetas are involved in a myriad of criminal activities. They have branched out into kidnapping, murder-for-hire, extortion, money-laundering, human smuggling, and oil siphoning. For security purposes, Los Zetas have adopted a cell-like structure to limit the information that any one member of the organization knows about his associates.
Law enforcement raids
Following a joint investigation, titled Operation Black Jack, by the ATF, DEA, ICE and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the FBI, two Zeta safe houses were identified and raided, recovering more than 40 kidnapped individuals.
On October 26, 2008, the Washington Times reported of an FBI warning that Los Zetas’ cell in Texas were to engage law enforcement with a full tactical response should law enforcement attempt to intervene in their operations; their cell leader was identified as Jaime González Durán (The Hummer), who was later arrested on November 7, 2008, in the border city Reynosa, Tamaulipas. In this operation, three safehouses in Reynosa were raided by elements of the Mexican Federal Police and Mexican Army, yielding the largest weapon seizure in the history of Mexico; it included 540 rifles including 288 assault rifles and several .50-caliber rifles, 287 hand grenades, 2 M72 LAW anti-tank weapons, 500,000 rounds of ammunition, 67 ballistic vests and 14 sticks of dynamite.
In February 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced a program called “Operation Border Star Contingency Plan” to safeguard the border if Zetas carry out their threats to attack U.S. safety officers. This project includes the use of tanks, airplanes and the National Guard “as a preventive measure upon the possible collapse of the Mexican State” to protect the border from the attack of the Zetas and receive an eventual exodus of Mexicans fleeing from the violence.
The History of Gangs in Mexico part 1