Dreaded Mexican drug cartel received training in the U.S.
Zetas responsible for massacre of 72 immigrants
The fearsome Zetas drug cartel, arguable Mexico's most violent are accused of gunning down 72 immigrants outside a ranch in Tamaulipas state near the U.S. border in late August. The bodies were left to rot in the hot sun. One of the more shocking details to emerge in the case was the fact that members of the Zetas received training in the United States.
In the ongoing Mexican drug war, the Zeta gang is considered among the most violent and ruthless.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some of the cartel's initial members were elite Mexican troops, trained in the early 1990s by America's 7th Special Forces Group or "snake eaters" at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, a former U,S, special operations commander says.
"They were given map reading courses, communications, standard special forces training, light to heavy weapons, machine guns and automatic weapons," Craig Deare says, who was the former special forces commander who is now a professor at the US National Defense University.
"I had some visibility on what was happening, because this [issue] was related to things I was doing in the Pentagon in the 1990s," Deare says.
The Mexican personnel who received U.S. training and later formed the Zetas came from the Airmobile Special Forces Group, which is considered an elite division of the Mexican military.
Their U.S. training was designed to prepare them for counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations, according to Deare.
There is nothing unique about Mexican operatives learning counter-insurgency tactics at the facility, as military forces from around the world train at Ft. Bragg. However -- critics say the specific skills learned by the Zetas primed them for careers as contract killers and drug dealers.
"The Zetas definitely have the reputation of being the most dangerous, the most vicious, the most renegade of the cartels," Kristen Bricker, a Mexico-based research associate with the North American Congress on Latin America says.
About 29,000 people have died since Felipe Calderon, Mexico's president, declared war on the drug cartels in 2006.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Zetas, drug cartels, Mexico, operative training
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Americas News
- Is the 'human cost' in the war on drugs too high?
- High-tech Indiana Jones team discovers the fabled lost city of Ciudad Blanca
- Has the lost 'White City of gold' been found at last?
- Why did the world's laziest workers destroy a treasured Mayan pyramid?
- Scientists discover 'Brazilian Atlantis' off Rio coast
- Would emergency parachutes in high-rise buildings stave off another 9/11 disaster?
- Obama: Guantanamo 'is not in the best interest of the American people'
- Mexicans view U.S., Obama more favorably, 20 percent would immigrate illegally
- Declared the antichrist, three-day-old baby burned to death by Chilean cult leader
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?