In 2012 we learned that Los Zetas drug cartel had gained control over some of Coahuila state’s coal mining industry. The Zetas were engaged in business diversification -- that sounds cynical but that is the way some security officials and media described it. Well, that is what it amounted to. The Gulf cartel was also trying to get a piece of the coal action. It is not known how much of Coahuila’s coal business the cartels control. In 2012 it was believed that the Zetas had control of the production and distribution of 10,000 tons of coal a week. Like the Knights Templar out west, the cartels had essential tasks in order to seize control of a mining business: use physical threat against mining company officials and personnel and bribe local, state and federal authorities to ignore what was going on. Now criminal organizations in the state are looking to gain control over some of Coahuila’s natural gas reserves. The cartels are using the same techniques that worked with mining. They threaten land owners in the area in order to acquire territory. They also bribe officials who then certify the cartels’ holdings as legal. The Burgos Basin has very large natural gas reserves. The basin runs through three states; Cohuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. Organized criminal gangs have been stealing petroleum products for years. Now it appears they are trying to gain control of the reserves. (Austin Bay)
March 27, 2015: The leader of Chechnya’s pariament said that his government would has threatened to supply weapons to Mexican rebels weapons in order to fight the U.S. The Chechen politicians said that he made the offer because the American Congress wants the U.S. government to provide Ukraine with weapons.
March 24, 2015: The navy announced that its forces (probably Maines) arrested Ramiro Perez Moreno, a Zetas cartel commander, in an operation the city of Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas state) that involved the arrest of four other gangsters. Security officials had speculated that Perez Moreno might be in line to be overall commander of the cartel. Security officials said that the March 4 arrest of Zetas senior commander Oscar Omar Trevino has provided information that has led to the arrest of numerous other Zetas gang members in northeastern Mexico.
March 21, 2015: The National Action Party (PAN) reported that two of their youth organizers had been murdered in Chihuahua State (northern Mexico). The victims were working with the PAN’s Youth Action Secretariat and were murdered execution-style, with gunshots to the head and their hands tied behind their backs. Their bodies were discovered on the Aldama-Juarez Highway.
March 19, 2015: Five members of the Federal Police (Federales) new Gendarmerie were killed in an ambush in Jalisco state. Security officials reported that three of the suspect attackers were by return fire and two civilians died in the crossfire.
March 17, 2015: The government revealed that soldiers discovered 229 kilograms of opium paste in the mountains of Guerrero state earlier this month. The opium paste (which is used to produce heroin) was hidden in buried containers. Soldiers also found processing buckets and other material associated with extracting the paste from opium poppies.
Federal security officials arrested five members of the Los Zetas cartel in several operations conducted in Nuevo Leon state. Four gang members, included regional commander Daniel Menera Sierra, were arrested in the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia. Officials believe Garza Garcia directs drug smuggling and human trafficking operations in a corridor running from the town of Piedras Negras (Cohuila state) to Nuevo Leon state. A fifth gang member was arrested in the city of Apodaca.
March 14, 2015: Federal security agents arrested seven Federal police officers in the city of Matamoros (Tamaulipas state). The federal police officers were involved in an extortion and kidnapping gang. Federal officials said that the officers were involved in the kidnapping of the city’s Public Security Director. The seven are believed to be connected to 14 other Federales in Tamaulipas state that soldiers arrested in early March and charged with kidnapping.
March 13, 2015: President Pena is trying to portray the recent arrests of several drug cartel senior commanders as a major victory. The government claimed that the arrests have weakened the cartels. Well, the arrests are great but the president’s touts are attracting criticism. Here’s why: During his campaign for president, Pena deplored former president Felipa Calderon’s “kingpin strategy.” That is slang for arresting cartel leaders. Pena claimed he would fight the Cartel War differently from Calderon. Pena said he would reduce the military’s role and rely on a new “gendarme force.” It has not worked out that way. The military continues to direct operations in Michoacan state and is directing operations in northeastern Mexico. Calderon said he used the military because it is the government’s most reliable security force. Pena now appears to agree.
March 10, 2015: One person was killed and 22 injured in a grenade attack outside a hospital in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The brother of the senior commander of Guatemala’s Calle 18 gang was believed to be in the hospital. The gang has ties with Mexican cartels.
March 9, 2014: Cartel gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying the mayor of the city of Matamoros. Leticia Salazar. Salazar was riding in an armored SUV and was not injured. Police later arrested four men who participated in the ambush. The gang members told police they thought the convoy belonged to a rival gang.