Zetas Narcomanta Challenges the Government
december, 8 2011
Mexican media began reporting Dec. 2 of a narcomanta attributed to Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, the overall No. 2 leader of Los Zetas, that appeared in an as yet undisclosed city in Mexico. In a clear threat to Mexican authorities, the banner read, “The special forces of Los Zetas challenge the government of Mexico.” The banner went on to say that “Mexico lives and will continue under the regime of Los Zetas. Let it be clear that we are in control here and although the federal government controls other cartels, they cannot take our plazas … Look at what happened in Sinaloa and Guadalajara.” The last sentence is a reference to the mass killings and body dumps attributed to the Zetas in Culiacan and Guadalajara discovered Nov. 23.
The language used in the banner is intriguing; never before has a cartel referred to itself as a “regime,” and such brazen, adversarial terminology directed against the Mexican government is uncommon. It is difficult to imagine a drug cartel with a pedigree as violent as the Zetas wanting to assume governmental duties. Historically, while cartels have exerted influence over portions of Mexico, they have not sought to actually govern. Instead they use corruption or fear to ensure an unrestricted ability to conduct their criminal operations.
Though it specifically references the incidents in Culiacan and Guadalajara, there is no way to verify that Trevino actually commissioned the banner. Trevino has commissioned banners in the past, and, given his predilection for violence, his underlings would be unlikely to author something on his behalf without his approval. The fact that the message in this banner is so out of character suggests the possibility that it is a disinformation campaign directed against Los Zetas. If this is indeed a disinformation effort, the Sinaloa Federation, which, as the other pre-eminent cartel in Mexico, has the most to gain from increased government action against the Zetas, cannot be ruled out.
What is more interesting than the content of the banner is how little is known about its origins. No media agency has definitely stated where the banner was found — or if there were others like it. Narcomantas are prevalent in Mexico, and details of their appearances are not hard to come by in the media. Also, major messages are frequently left with the bodies of mutilated enemies to prove bona fides. But for whatever reason, no agency has been able to ascertain the location of this banner (a rumor surfaced that it appeared in Ciudad Victoria in Zetas territory, but that rumor remains unconfirmed). That six days have passed without any indication of the location suggests the Mexican government, which is constantly attempting to maintain an image of control in the war on drugs, is taking the threat seriously and is disallowing the details of the banner’s location to come out.
This is what we have precognized taking into account the possible scenarios for the presidential elections in 2012; more is still to come.