Old School Zetas Aligned with Renegade Gulf Cartel Members vs. Cartel del Noreste?
Note: I posted most of this in the Gulf Cartel thread but decided to post it separetly as there may be many idividuals interested in this information that do not read that thread.
Valor por Tamaulipas reports a continued wave of violence in Ciudad Victoria which includes 42 year old Dimas López Hernández being found dead last night at a gas station in the ejido Los Olivos with the following anti-CDN message left on his body:
The message is signed by three individuals. Unless this is the case of a code name being used by another individual, Z7 refers to Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar, alias "El Mamito", who was arrested on July 4, 2011 and extradited to the United States on September 11, 2012. In February 2013 he pleaded guilty and reportedly received a mandatory mininum 10-year to maximum life in prison sentance. However, there have been recent rumblings that he has already been released and is back in Mexico. Another possibility is that this is actually Carlos Vera Calva, generally known as "Z-18", though according to Bjeff, some sources have referred to him as Z7.
A signature by Z6 is problamatic, as this code name is generally associated with Oscar Guerrero Silva, alias "El Winnie Pooh", who died on February 1, 2004. This may be a case of another individual taking up his code name, though there is also the possibility that this is Mateo Díaz López, who is generally known as Z-10, but, according to Bjeff's information, has sometimes been referred to as Z-6.
The third name on the list is someone we have already been talking about, Luis Reyes Enriquez, alias "El Rex"/code name Z-12, who has been mentioned as fighting for the Tampico plaza alongside members of the Gulf Cartel. (An article on Valor Tamaulipeco claims that Antonio Haro Maya, alias "El Toñin"/code name "R2" has fled to central Mexico and has left "R7" in charge as he fears the return of the "old guard" of the CDG to the Tampico area. A prior article claiming that Héctor Crescencio de León Fonseca, alias "El Teto"/code name "R3" has already been released received a comment that was included with this article. It claims that Luis Reyes Enriquez, alias "El Rex", (arrested in 2007), Daniel Antonio Villegas Vazquez, alias "El 20" (plaza head of Tampico arrested in November 2009), Javier Garza Medrano, alias "El K14" (plaza head of Tampico arrested in February 2014), and Luis Manuel Kadour Ponce, alias "El Visketín" (plaza head of Tampico arrested in March 2015) have all been released from prison and have been fighting for control of the plaza against the new Los Rojos.)
The final name, Coma Pitalua, is a bit of a question mark. I assume Coma is short for Comandante. Doing some quick research, I can only find two Zetas that incorporate Pitalua in some form. The first is Omar Lorméndez Pitalua, alias "El Pita"/code name Z-8, who was arrested September 21, 2005. However, I doubt this is him as it would be expected that his name would be signed Z8 and Pitalua, being his mother's last name, would be unlikely to be used to identify him. I find it much more likely that this individual could be Carlos Pitalua Carillo, alias "El Bam Bam", a former plaza head of the port of Veracruz who was arrested October 25, 2011, though there is always the possibility that Pitalua is a previously unknown indiviudal.
There is a lot of room for discussion, but in a nutshell it seems that southeast Tamaulipas is being contested by a group made up primarily of old school Zetas, Zetas from Ciudad Victoria, and former members of the Gulf Cartel from the Tampico plaza.
Re: Old School Zetas Aligned with Renegade Gulf Cartel Members vs. Cartel del Noreste?
Very interesting, Itzli.
One thing is for sure and that is that the driving force behind this is El Rex Z-12. He became plaza boss in Ciudad Victoria back in 2005, and he wants it back. He has been cleaning house ever since he came out of prison.
I would say it is very unlikely that they are referring to original zetas z6 and z7. El Rex has probably assigned codes to new people. More research ahead and more violence for the people of Mexico unfortunately.
I've always seen it as old school vs new school. It was very obvious when Tampico was constantly being fought over when K14 was in charge after the arrest of El Sierra. That was when the Los Fresas/Rojos started coming in and trying to take the plaza away from the old school CDG. They seemed to have power in numbers at that time as a bunch of younger CDG cells from the surrounding little towns/plazas seemed to join up with Los Fresas and then adopted the new Rojos name. It's very obvious that the younger crowd is very hungry and don't respect the elders and take what they want.
It seems like the younger guys have been taking hits lately and with this recent round of prison releases the old school CDG has enough power back to take it back along with some old school Z. Alot of these guys seems to have worked together before the split and were incarcerated afterwards so no hard feelings between the 2.
Hey Itzil do you think Z-12 Rex goes by the nick name as "El Licenciado"??? There was a rumor that Z-12 Rex is in San Luis? Check out this narco rap song they mention El Lic or Licenciado that has power and a lot of people escorting him all the time.
@Bjeff I didn't remember that Z-12 was plaza boss in Ciudad Victoria before but that adds a significant layer to the whole situation. I agree that it would be more likely that Z6 and Z7 are not the originals but it is nevertheless odd to me that "El Rex" would reassign those codes being that a lower number implies superiority. Plus they are mentioned before his name and his as "also...". I'm wondering if there is more going on than we are aware of, with even bigger players in charge.
@ToPHeR I very much agree with your line of thinking. There has been a significant shift of new blood in the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas willing to push out the established leadership in order to gain power. Besides your about working together before the Zeta/CDG split, it is also quite possible that within Los Zetas we are seeing an increasing anti-Treviño family movement which may have smoothed over past grevances.
@Quema Cocos I have never seen Z-12 referrred to as "El Licenciado" but I would think it's a good possibility as some of the high ranking old school Gulf Cartel/Zeta members used "El Licenciado" as a nickname, for instance "El Lazca" and "Tony Tormenta". It almost seemed like a leadership rank and not just a nickname.
@Itzli: There are definitely more going on than we are able to find out. The info will seep out long after the incidents, after he is arrested again or killed. The numbers don't signify superiority though. There are many examples of high ranking people with high numbers (z-40, z-42, C-900, L-98), that has more to do with cunningness and skills I think. I believe Mamito also said something about that in his testimony.
I rather think El Rex is old-school, wants revive the greatness of the past and are filling the ranks with z1, z2, z3 etc.
Im not sure a lower number would imply seniority. Im a firm believer that these cartels run much like a corporation, in that those who prove their worth regardless of number are given the more powerful jobs.
A good example of this would be M-60/Polimenso and M-32/Salinas.
It is my understanding that Polimenso was ranked higher than Salinas, so this would mean a number is just an indication of when that person joined and not their standing within the cartel.
Re: Old School Zetas Aligned with Renegade Gulf Cartel Members vs. Cartel del Noreste?
@Bjeff & Best I very much agree and did a poor job explaining my train of thought; I was thinking more in the vein of the new Los Rojos, "El Chive" restarted the group and dubbed himself R1, his brother R2, ect. so we see with them that lower numbers are more powerful positions.
@Jesse: L-98 is Juan Francisco Carrizales Lara AKA Juanito, originally part of Héctor Manuel Sauceda Gamboa AKA El Karis' crew, but one of the leaders of the modern Los Metros faction and plaza head of Rio Bravo. It was a major arrest.
Just gotta say for that main board article referring to me, I am in agreement with Oscar Guerrero Silva being Z6 and Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar being Z7 orginally. When I say that some sources refer to other claves, those are not sources I consider reliable, but I kept them because there are so many disputing those numbers, and for something to come back to.
The number assigning I did, is for the most part based upon testimony from protected witnesses, which in this case, I consider most reliable.
I also did a thorough check based upon age of references, and what I discovered is that Mexican media outlets are so freaking bad that if one fly catch some dirt, all the other ones come flying too. In clear speak, e.g. El Kelin suddenly became z-2 in one article and it caught on, even Wikipedia refer to him as Z-2 nowadays, but he was never, and if you search for time frames e.g. 2000-2003 or even longer back, you'll never find that reference. He was with the cartel back in the 90's, never a soldier and placed there by Osiel to run Los Zetas because he was a long-running and trusted friend of his. I think it was 2008 or something that every agency started calling El Kelin that.
In that main board article it sort of sounds like I believe in alternative codes, but I really don't. It just that I'll never be 100% sure. It is not only a war on drugs, it is a fog of war too.
@Bajadrone Good point. It seems like all too often these guys go right back to where they were. My guess if he really is free and active again it would be that he found the opportunity to seize power due to an overall leadership void attractive.
Bjeff I know exactly what you mean. Before I ever came to Borderland Beat I tried to make a list of Zetas in similar fashion to yours and ran across those same contradictions, you'd have something like 90% saying a code name was used for a guy and then some say different, you really don't trust the different information but hate to dismiss it completely due to a few occasions when conventional wisdom is obviously wrong. Personally, I've always felt anyone that was on the list with the HK numbers is solid and not much room for debate. The whole "El Kelin"/Z-2 situation is a mess, we've talked about it before and it's pittiful how the myth has become the "truth".