Zetas

Beginning as a group of Special Forces deserters at the service of the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas would go on to become one of the most powerful and feared cartels in Mexico before infighting and the loss of leaders began their decline.

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Latest News

HUMAN RIGHTS / 17 JAN 2022

Reported kidnappings have decreased significantly in Mexico, but in recent years, at least one out of every 10 kidnapping victims…

JALISCO CARTEL / 17 DEC 2021

The United States and Mexico have officially entered a new phase of their partnership to tackle transnational organized crime groups…

COCAINE / 8 NOV 2021

Cocaine, synthetic drugs, weapons, migrants, gasoline - this range of criminal economies has seen violence escalate in Mexico's northern state…

FEATURED / 6 OCT 2021

It was so simple once. The Gulf Cartel and its ancestors maintained control of Tamaulipas for eight decades.

GULF CARTEL / 30 AUG 2021

It was a Saturday, around 12:30 p.m. local time, when a caravan of three vehicles loaded with well-armed men and…

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 12 AUG 2021

Mexico's process of criminal fragmentation has been a slow burn. Many of the country's mightiest criminal groups have been unable…

Key Actors

Heriberto Lazcano, alias 'Z3'

MEXICO / 2016-10-20 19:47:17

Heriberto Lazcano, alias "Z3," was a former commander in the Mexican special forces, before going on to head the Zetas’ drug trafficking operations. He was killed in a shootout…

Miguel Angel Treviño, alias 'Z40'

MEXICO / JULY 17, 2021

Miguel Angel Treviño, alias "Z40," was a top commander of the Zetas criminal organization in Mexico before his capture by Mexican Marines on July 15, 2013. …

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26 NOV 2021

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InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

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