Patrick Corcoran writes about What Three New Books on the Zetas Tell Us About the Legendary Crime Group.
Corcoran starts with a brief history,
But there were early signs that the Zetas were not a run-of-the-mill outfit of toughs. Their roots in the special forces of Mexico‘s army, including reports that founding members had received training from the United States, bestowed upon them an air of sinister competence. This was coupled with an unprecedented emphasis on firepower: The Zetas‘ outsized arsenals –grenades and automatic weapons became standard– sparked something of an arms race across Mexican criminal groups, which multiplied the group’s destructive impact far beyond its specific area of operation. The Zetas‘ emergence also offered a hint of the challenge for the Mexican state: Not only were the country’s best and brightest forces incapable of defeating the cartel threat, they were also working on the wrong side of the law.
The three books are
Corcoran points out,
It wasn’t just that the Zetas were more bloodthirsty than their peers, but that they used this attribute to evolve into a new sort of entity. The Zetas‘ taste for violence was intimately linked to their existence not as a mere drug trafficking organization, but as a criminal conglomerate, with an appropriately diverse range of activities: extortion, human trafficking, retail drug sales, piracy, kidnapping, and black-market oil and gas sales.
Read the article, buy the books.