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A living capo?

16 July 2013

While it looks like Miguel Treviño Morales — supposedly #1 guy in los Zetas — had a rough time at the hands of the Mexican Marines that captured him yesterday (15 July), it’s Z-40probably a small sign of improvements in human rights and the Mexican justice system that he was even alive. Not that anyone was losing too much sleep over the string of deaths in shootouts with police or military units of so-called #1 guys in the various organized crime groups (aka “cartels”… or for those addicted to using cute bureaucratic acronyms meant to justify stimulus packages for military hardware and “services” providers… “TCOs” — transnational criminal organizations, which sound a lot scarier than “gangsters”).

During the Calderón era the only honchos of note taken alive either had significant ties to the U.S. (like El Barbie — Edgar Valdez Villarreal, the U.S. citizen who headed the main faction within the Beltran-Leyva “cartel”) or, like Vicente Zambada Niebla, the son of one of the Sinaloa “Cartel” leaders, may have been “protected” by either the U.S., the Mexican or both governments:  Aside from more than rumors that the Calderón Administration (and possibly the present one as well) has some sort of agreement with them,  Zambada Niebla claimed in open court that the Sinaloans had an “understanding” with U.S. authorities.

Treviño Morales is not connected with the Sinaloans…  nor does it appear he is a U.S. citizen. However, most of his immediate family lives in Dallas, Texas, and “You cannot understand this man and what he’s become without looking at his time in Dallas” in the words of one U.S. official.  With most of his immediate, U.S. based family either in custody, under indictment or cooperating with the authorities — and with gangsterism in Mexico being largely a family business —  one might think that much of that particularly nasty gang’s financial and operational direction was coming out of the United States as well.

I wouldn’t be surprised if on one pretext or another, the United States gets first crack at the latest living capo… and he is extradicted without answering questions in a Mexican court.  That would leave us  once again with only rumors and the official story.  Valdez Villarreal and Zambada Niebla seem to have “disappeared” from the U.S. penal system… supposedly as protected witnesses (against whom exactly?) and have completely dropped off the radar.  If they’re still alive.  Taking Treviño Morales alive in MEXICO means we might get a chance to hear what he knows about the Zetas and the people who profit from their …. er… enterprise.  Which might not be something those north of the border want to know… or want US to know.

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