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A killer of import?

23 April 2011

I seldom use “Borderland Beat”  as a source, considering it simply narco-war porn, but I was fascinated by the comments on an article on the arrest of Martin Omar Estrada Luna, aka “Comandante Kilo”, described by that site as “leader of the Zeta cell in San Fernando [Tamaulipas] “, and fingered as the intellectual author of the serial and mass murders in that community.

Commentators noted that “Kilo’s” tattoos (reprinted in Borderland Beat from  “Blog de Narco” photos) are those associated with a northern California prison gang, and … in the words of one anonymous poster:

He looks like some pocho from LA or NM. Wack ass vatos. Fat overweight and tattooed. he thinks he is sooo hard. This guy is a chicano bitch trying act hard in MEx.

The tattoo in question is “NORTEÑO” across his (paunchy) stomach. Not knowing a thing about the composition of various California gangs (nor, really, much interested in the subject), I’ll assume another commentator, “Cuete”, has more knowledge on the subject:

Yeah I read Norteno which makes me wonder too where he is from.. Im here in Ea$t Oakland shakin my head at this piece of shit…Iʻm Nue$tra Familia (if you know what a Norte is you know what I am) and Im just tryin to figure out why if he is a homeboy is he down there doin shit with the Zetas (whom usually fuck with $ureno$ or The Barrio Aztecas) but con$idering hes in trouble for killing civilians I could only assume hes been around too many $krapa$ that shit dont fly in the Northern Califa$

It didn’t taken the press long to figure out exactly where “Comandante Kilo” was from:  although Mexican-born, was made in the U.S.A. — Tieton, Washington (population about 1500) to be exact. As Mark Morey and David Lester of the Yakima Herald-Republic report:

Tieton police Chief Jeff Ketchum said he has known Estrada since Ketchem started working for the police department in 1994, about a year after Estrada started racking up his first criminal charges in juvenile court.

Acquaintances said Estrada left the Highland School District well before he would have graduated in 1995. That year, he pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in connection with the theft of a Ford Taurus from the school district. The sentencing judge ordered him not to have any contact with district schools as part of the plea.

Yakima County Superior Court records listed him as unemployed; the friend says Estrada supported himself in the drug trade.

Besides the burglary charge, his adult felony convictions in Yakima County involved a burglary and for brandishing a knife in Tieton.

When he was sentenced in 2006 for an immigration violation, federal prosecutors pointed out that he had managed to amass 16 felony and misdemeanor convictions.

Estrada was ultimately sentenced to 41 months for returning to the United States a third time after being deported twice before.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that he was deported in 2009 from Reno, Nev., after completing his sentence.

The ICE database shows no contact with Estrada since that last deportation.

However, the friend of Estrada said the last time they had contact, Estrada was living in Laredo, Texas, just across the border from Nuevo Laredo.

“Fat, overweight and tattooed”  doesn’t jive with our popular image of the Zetas as super-soldiers gone bad.  But, than, as I’ve said before, those Zetas paraded before the cameras tend to have a closer resemblance to the Bimbo Bear than Dolf Lungren or Jean-Claude van Damme. If anything, the 34 year old Estrada is a sorrier-looking physical specimen than other supposed Zetas I’ve seen in previous perp-walk photos.

Estrada’s gang-connections raise a question or two about the supposed role of the Zetas and other “cartels” in the U.S. narcotics trade.  While cooperation (or at least equal employment opportunity) for gang members from the United States in Mexico by the Zetas sounds more than plausible, and it’s been well-reported that Mexican “cartels” recruit U.S. criminals for their retail distribution (well… duh!), that these gangs are bitter rivals in the United States indicates that there isn’t some huge international criminal network involved in the narcotics trade, but that it works like any other commodities market… selling to various retailers who fight it out among themselves for market shares.

Estrada’s supposed residence in Laredo, Texas — hometown of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, aka “El Barbie”, is interesting. El Barbie, as you’ll recall was said to be the Zeta’st another “cartel top hit man and their leader.   After his capture (which itself was dubious, other “kingpins” not being taken alive) he was to be extradited to the United States last November and then disappeared from any mention in the press (presumably he is in the United States under “protective custody”… or not).

Although it’s not all that surprising that Mexican-Americans would be involved in exploiting Mexicans in the commodities growing and export trade,  the Zetas are the only one of the so-called cartels where U.S. export “kingpins” have surfaced born or bred gangsters have regularly surfaced. *

And, all this assumes he is, as said, the mastermind of these killings.  I must admit that the rapidity with which the crime was solved — not when people were being extorted, or began to disappear, or when migrants reported problems, or even when it first became clear that people were being murdered in San Fernando, but only when it became a political liability to the Calderón Administration — makes me question whether the “wack ass vato” is the intellectual author of the slaughter in Tamaulipas, and whether or not the real criminals are sitting across the border, simply writing off Estrada as “collateral damage” in their own war on the Mexican people.

* Boz pointed out in his comment a egregious mistake on my part, which — as it stood — suggested the Zetas were a U.S. controlled gang.  They could be, although only in the sense that that’s where the money (and weapons) ultimately are.  Edgar Valdez so far is something of an out-lier among the Mexican gangster community, in that he really was a faction leader of some importance, and a foreigner.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 April 2011 5:58 am

    Barbie worked for Chapo and Beltran Leyva at various points, but never the Zetas as far as I know.

  2. 23 April 2011 8:03 am

    Boz is correct.

    This vato ain’t nothing but a thug with an attitude. The same source also had an article about how this POS was whining about his “mistreatment” at the hands of the authorities.

  3. ElChismoso permalink
    23 April 2011 10:24 pm

    I hope you’re not using Cuete as source for any real information. Cuete claims he is a Nuestra Famila member. which is total bullshit. Nuestra Famila are “made” mebers of northern California street gangs. Cuete is more than likely a wanna-be gangster who is 15-16 years old.

    He also wonders how a “norteno” like El Kilo is working for the Zetas who also work with surenos and Barrio Azteca. Barrio Azteca gang is assosciated with the Juarez Cartel who are rivals of the Zetas.

  4. DUKEVJT13 permalink
    26 November 2011 11:19 am



    • el h-r permalink
      7 November 2012 10:11 am

      fuck all you wack ass surenos and northenos its all about the west coast

  5. sick-south-side permalink
    10 December 2011 10:52 pm


  6. osmar permalink
    18 March 2012 3:23 pm

    norteños es una clika mexican american,

  7. whoevercares permalink
    4 October 2012 11:49 am

    I knew kilo an he took care of his frnds an family everyone has problems in there life you have to do what it takes its a struggle out here on the streets. im not saying what he’s done is right but fuck all you haters..rep your set an respect all who earns cops an correction officers do treat people an inmates like shit that why when the get out the reoffend the need to train cops an correction officers better an have a better prison structure when the homies do get out there educated an ready for the real world set buy the goverment,, work an pay bills.. the never ending story. PUT A ANIMAL IN A CAGE FEED IT MENTALY BEAT IT AN THEN LET IT LOSS ON THE PUBLIC. SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

  8. FDG permalink
    7 July 2013 6:47 pm

    What they should do is get an education, get a job and act like humans. Just because you grew up in the “Hood” or “Ghetto” doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I grew up dirt poor and look at me you don’t see me doing none of that stuff.
    No one hates on these people, they just say what they see and they see nothing positive about these people.
    I don’t think we should blame the system or the government, we should blame the criminals. Cops and COS are well trained. What they should train is criminals. The prison system is fine the way it is. Prisons are not made to have a good time, prisons are made to punish people. My personal opinion is that the government should have strict laws and maybe beat the crap out of people like Mexico and other countries do. It would be nice to see someone getting punished this way. It shouldn’t bother anyone unless you’re the criminal or related.


  9. Emiliano Zapata permalink
    1 September 2013 9:55 pm

    Pinches Chicanos pendejos, ustedes no saben lo que es ser un verdadero Mexicano. Trabaja duro y cuida tu familia. Malditos pandilleros, son una verguenza a la raza. Idiotas como ustedes contribuyen a la erosion de un pais lleno de cultura y valores. Tomen ejemplo de sus papas, ellos fueron los que realmente sacrificaron para dar nos ese buen nombre y ruputacion.

    • 29 May 2014 2:23 am

      Pendejo piasano! Los mexicanos so los que vienen paca y no son papas a sus hijos. Los dejan correr en la calle. Por eso hay una guerra en estados unidos, por tu culpa cabron mendigo. Esta mejor si te quedas en tu pais

  10. 29 May 2014 2:08 am

    This foo was a homeboy from Yaks. After his brother got killed he put in hella work and dusted some scraps and made a run for the border. Thats where he met up with the zetas. After his brother got killed he fell off his rocker, so who knows what homeboy was thinking but from what i heard he did some dirt so when this (zeta) opportunity come up im sure it wasnt a problem.

    • permalink
      15 November 2014 11:20 pm

      Kinda looks like Mr. Malo XIV from yaks? Last I seen him maple lane

  11. 26 February 2015 8:14 pm

    That foo a estrella fuck that mothafucka my cousins from mcs nd homies used to have alot of beef with that buster! He a norputa from la raza gang aka la masa haha fuck that mothafuxka he aint shit I used to see that nigga around…

  12. frontncenter permalink
    11 February 2018 12:32 am

    I’ve grown up around and associated with gang members all my life. I went to high school with Nortenos and Surenos in Alameda/Oakland. Some were cool, some were dicks, some fake, some real. I’ve made music for Crips and Bloods for over 20 years. I know a few Hells Angels and Mongols too.

    The one thing I’ve learned is that life is too short for bullshit. Everybody’s struggles the same, no matter where they from. Life is bigger than just enimigos and crosstown’s. The real enemies are Corporations. Crime only pays the Corporations with investments in private prison systems.

    Big Pharma CEO’s make 80,000 to 400,000 a day, selling drugs twice as bad that kill three times as many people. And they get bonuses and golden parachutes for it. If you ask me, that’s more gangsta than anything.

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