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MS-13 and Los Zetas Drug cartels stealing millions of barrels of oil and taking over control of the drug trade.

Los Zetas vs Ms 13

Los Zetas is an armed criminal gang that operates as a hired army for the Gulf Cartel. The group is believed to be led by Heriberto “The Executioner” Castanon.

Los Zetas, the Ninth Cartel

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 |  Borderland Beat Reporter Buggs
In only 13 years Los Zetas, a group that was formed by former military soldiers and army deserters, went from being an appendage of the Gulf cartel to becoming an autonomous organization. 
Since last January the DEA considers Los Zetas to be the ninth cartel in Mexico. Now, the organization headed by “Hidalguense” Heriberto Lazcano is the best armed and has influence in over 20 states across the country.
Mexico - At year end in 1997, the armed group Los Zetas burst into the public arena as a protective shield of the Gulf cartel and its leader, Osiel Cardenas Guillen.

Thirteen years later, with reinforcements and diversification of their criminal activities, the group named the “armed forces of the narco” is a cartel that is actively in a struggle for control of a dozen Mexican states. 
Mara Salvatrucha refers to large gangs in Central America and the United States. The gang names are commonly abbreviated as MSMara, and MS-13, and are composed mostly of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and other Central Americans. The Mara Salvatrucha gangs have cliques, or factions, located throughout the United States and Latin America.

MS-13 & the Drug War

People are fascinated with MS-13, the same way they are fascinated with the Los Zetas. The level of brutality they bring to gang and cartel wars is tremendous. Tracking these two groups is somewhat difficult, and often facts are disregarded in exchange for jaw dropping headlines.
MS-13 is being sought as a valuable asset to major drug cartels. The large network MS-13 has provides a perfect landscape for distributing drugs. The Los Zetas were the first major drug cartel to make a major push into Guatemala. In doing so they not only brought their own members down south, they also recruited large numbers of Guatemalans to work for them. Guatemala and El Salvador governments have both made public statements, saying that MS-13 gang members are being recruited and co-opted into the Los Zetas.
Street gangs in general are a must for drug cartels. With the high level of casualties in Mexico, street level gangs members are used as disposable tools that work for low pay and drugs. They are often low risk, as the level of intelligence they are given about operations are very limited. The death or arrest of a group of street level gangs members has no impact on cartel operations.
Oil exports represent Mexico’s largest source of revenue, just ahead of tourism. However, just as the cartels now threaten the country’s tourism industry with daily shootouts and beheadings, Mexico’s oil industry is being threatened by the powerful drug cartels as well.
On Tuesday, reported that since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, “crude oil is being stolen on a wide scale, and the groups behind the theft are not small-scale gangs or businessmen gaming the system, but rather criminal networks like the Zetas.Furthermore, instead of reselling the oil at Pemex stations, the criminal groups are exploiting their international reach to sell it on to US refineries.”
To avoid detection, the thieves often inject water into the pipelines to account for any drop in pressure.
It is also dangerous work.
In December 2010, a pipeline exploded in central Mexico when thieves drilled into it. The explosion killed more than two dozen people.
Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel are reportedly the biggest offenders in this very lucrative racket. More at source
GUATEMALA CITY — — Hardened in the streets and prisons of California and deported in the 1990s to the Central American countries where they were born, the members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang swiftly grew into a force of heavily tattooed young men carrying out kidnappings, murder and extortion.Now, Guatemalan authorities say, they have begun to see new and disturbing evidence of an alliance between the Maras and another of the most feared criminal organizations in Latin America — a deal with the potential to further undermine that U.S.-backed effort to fight violent crime and narcotics trafficking in the region.
 The Zetas, formed more than a decade ago by defectors from Mexico’s army special forces, have already joined forces with local drug kingpins in the Guatemalan countryside, and recruited turncoat members of Guatemala’s military special forces for operations in Mexico and Guatemala, officials in the two neighboring countries have said.There is some evidence that other Mexican cartels have paid Central American street gangs to sell drugs for them. And Salvadoran authorities said they are aware of informal links between the Zetas and local cliques of the Mara Salvatrucha paid to sell individual shipments of drugs, but officials have seen no proof of any formal deal between the gangs.But a formal, durable alliance with the Maras could bring the Zetas thousands of new foot soldiers, extending the cartel’s reach into the cities of Guatemala, and, potentially, other countries in Central America where the Maras maintain a grip on urban slums.


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