Unfortunately no. It is rather hard to find pictures online from the 90s. Did you look at Norte's archive? Is it a national library you visit for the prints?
I have noticed that google come up with different results depending on what country you are searching from. So I have actually used VPN to simulate access from various IP's abroad. It is tedious though.
I’m working on a post about the fugitive Zetas founders / originals.
1. Zeferino Pena Cuellar AKA Don Zefe
2. Gustavo Gonzalez Castro AKA El Erotico
3. Omar Lormendez Pitalua AKA El Pita
4. Jorge Lopez Perez AKA El Chuta
5. Carlos Vera Calva AKA El Vera
6. Daniel Enrique Marquez Aguilar AKA El Chocotorro
7. Prisciliano Ibarra Yepis AKA El Yepis
8. Benjamin Torres Sosa
9. Eduardo Estrada Gonzalez
10. Rogelio Guerra Ramirez AKA El Guerra
Am I missing anyone else or have it wrong? This is the list I’ve compiled. Thanks!
Do you know anything about, Z13-HK10 Ernesto Zataraín Belíz AKA El Traca: one of the first Zeta casualties he was the first one that introduced walkie-talkie civilian (halcon) thing
Suicide, Dec 10, 2001
(Some sources refer to him as Z-10)
What kind of info are you looking for? I'm sharing my notes:
Ernesto Zatarain Beliz was born in Guasave, Sinaloa. He joined the Mexican Army on 1 May 1993 and left on 16 February 1998. He was placed in the reserves. Ernesto committed suicide in December 2001 inside a Grand Marquis that was raffled in a party held by Tony Tormenta in Matamoros. This info was revealed much later in a protected-witness testimony from "Rafael". Ernesto was an expert in communication equipment and radio interception. Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) released a picture of him in 2003 in their most-wanted page online. The page is no longer available but perhaps we can retrieve it through their transparency law. He had a brother named Miguel Angel Zatarain Beliz, who was arrested in Mexico City in September 2003.
Also, what about Eduardo Almanza Morales aka Gori II? I think he wasn´t an original member of the Zetas hardcore, but he was there quie¡te since the begining. I´ve heard rumours about being killed in 2012, but also I´ve seen his picture in a high-profile ``wanted´´ list.
There was also rumor that he got killed during the prison break in Zacatecas, in the winter of 2009, when the Zetas stormed the Prison, he might been part of the assault group. But MX gov didn't confirmed his death, I'll post the citation asap when I'll be back at home.
@redlog: You're totally right about Eduardo Almanza Morales AKA Gori II. He was never confirmed dead in December 2009 (which is his earliest mention of him being killed). You'll find sources much later that go back and forth about him being live or dead, like this reliable source from 2016.
Would you guys consider Gori II a Zetas "founder" or "original"? Let's be clear that this naming convention was / is a media creation. It is also important to highlight that Los Zetas were not formed overnight and that a lot of the ex-military founders/originals left the armed forces sporadically. There seems to be a misconception in the media that the 40 or some ex-military guys who eventually formed Los Zetas left the armed forces together, which isn't true.
From what I know, these were the criteria used when considering someone a "founder" or "original" Zeta:
1. The individual was generally ex-military
2. Deserted prior to March 2003 (when Osiel was captured)
Under this criteria, Gori II would not qualify since he left the military in October 2003. By that time Los Zetas was already considered an established armed wing and Osiel had been captured.
Feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm working on a main board post and will mention how this report was a collaborative effort.
Gori II is definitely not a founder or original. I cannot really distinguish between those two terms, but if you trace back Los Zetas was often called los 14 in 1999 and Beto Quintanilla came out with "Escolta Suicida" in 2001, where some of the "lyrics" reads:
Soy del Grupo de los Zetas
que cuidamos al patron
somos 20 de la escolta
I guess that song was on commission.
Another good source to consider is Mamito's testimony.
It is hard to say if it was Osiel himself or El June or Zefe who was the founding father, or if it was Decena who came forward with the idea. Decena recruited some of the members up until his death, but I don't think it exploded before Z3 was in charge and changed the strategy.
Also, many of the members precede Los Zetas as members of CDG. We know quite a few were Tangos before, and Z2 (Betancourt) was working as a pilot for Osiel.
Good observation. In fact, if you read about Z2’s (Betancourt) arrest in November 2001, sources do not refer to him as a Zetas member. The media had no idea of the group’s existence at that point. The Zetas’ first mission was in 1999 during the failed hit against Rolando Lopez Salinas so they had been around already.
Thank you for your response. I will keep these points in mind.
Completely agree. From my previous research and notes my understanding is there were originally 7 "founding" members of Los Zetas, that is original members as they were first formed. Sometime thereafter, 7 more were recruited, becoming the "group of 14". Then there was another round of addition, leading to the 20 number referenced in the "Escolta Suicida". Eventually more expansion lead to the numbers reaching somewhere in the mid to high 30s.
In addition, my understanding was originally it was elite military members, then opened to more general military, then police officers, and a round of expansion with Los Texas/Los Lobos/Nuevo Laredo Gulf Cartel members before generally opened up to greater expansion.
Arturo Guzman Decena (Z1) and Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano (Z3) first worked for Gilberto Garcia Mena (El June) and Zeferino Pena Cuellar (Don Zefe) in 1997 in Miguel Aleman Municipality. Osiel Cardenas was working for the police in Miguel Aleman Municipality at that time and began "borrowing" Z1 and Z3 because he was friends with El June. Los Zetas' first mission under Osiel was in the failed kill attempt against Rolando Lopez Salinas in February 1999.
If you take a look at the bodyguards Osiel had in November 1999, during the Matamoros standoff with the two U.S. agents, most of them were members of the local police. None were ex-military. That means "Los Zetas" as we know them were not formed or under him completely at that time. They were under El June and Don Zefe.
Once El June was arrested and Don Zefe fled in 2001, Osiel regrouped them in Matamoros.
Now, I found that Alejandro Lucio Morales Betancourt (Z2) began working as a pilot for Osiel in 1998, a year after Z1 and Z3 began working for El June and Don Zefe in Miguel Aleman. Z2 was stationed in the Federal Judicial Police barracks in southern Matamoros.
That would mean that there were at least 3 originals at the beginning (Z1 and Z3 first, and then Z2), before the other remaining eleven came along.