HomeNewsBriefCo-Founder of Mexico's Zetas Leaves Prison
BRIEF

Co-Founder of Mexico's Zetas Leaves Prison

MEXICO / 15 SEP 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

One of the founders of Mexico's Zetas cartel has been released from prison, raising the possibility that he could reassume control of the criminal organization, which has suffered a significant loss of leadership in recent years.

On August 30, Rogelio Gonzalez Pizaña, alias “Z-2”, was released from prison after he was absolved of homicide and organized crime charges, reported SUN. His release came after a court in Guadalajara modified a previous ruling -- which had sentenced Pizaña to 16 years in prison on drug trafficking charges -- and only found him guilty of carrying a weapon and cartridges reserved for military use. The court reduced his sentence to six years and determined that because Pizaña had already spent over nine years behind bars, he could be released. 

Pizaña was captured in 2004 during a gun battle with law enforcement officials that killed one federal police officer and injured two others. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Due to intense pressure from security forces, the Zetas have suffered a major loss of leadership in recent years with many of their founding members either killed or captured. It is possible that Pizaña -- the only founding member of the Zetas who was not a defector from Mexico's armed forces -- may be able to strengthen leadership within the weakened cartel. 

SEE ALSO: Zetas News and Profiles

The Zetas suffered a series of blows beginning in 2011 with the capture of high-ranking member Carlos Oliva Castillo, which was followed by the killing of Heriberto Lazcano, alias "Z-3", by marines in 2012. Ivan Velazquez Caballero, alias "El Taliban", was captured in 2012 amidst reports that Zetas leaders were losing their power to local cells. Shortly after, a faction of the Zetas formed a splinter group dedicated to waging war against their former boss, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias "Z-40", who was captured by marines in July 2013.

Pizaña's release came two months after the Zetas met with other criminal organizations including the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), and the Juarez Cartel for a "narco summit." The criminal organizations reportedly met in order to divvy up Mexico's drug trade and commit to challenging the Sinaloa Cartel's dominance. It remains to be seen whether Pizaña's release will provide some badly needed central leadership to the Zetas as they pursue this new strategy.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 7 APR 2013

Mexico's authorities refused a freedom of information request for details on the country's drug cartels, further evidence that the Enrique…

MEXICO / 11 JAN 2013

The first month of President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration appears to have offered no letup in the violence plaguing…

INFOGRAPHICS / 19 JUL 2012

Mexico's presidential election was relatively peaceful, with only a handful of isolated attacks and threats of violence towards politicians. InSight…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

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…