Crime and Violence

Officials confirm crime groups’ alliance against Zetas

On April 12, Ramón Eduardo Pequeño García, the head of a section of the Federal Police (Policía Federal), announced that they had confirmed that there had indeed been an alliance between the Gulf Cartel and La Familia (another drug trafficking organization based mainly in Michoacán) against the Zetas. Three captured members of La Familia—including a leading member in charge of drug trafficking in Guanajuato—confirmed officials’ belief that the two criminal organizations had allied themselves to push the Zetas from the state of Tamaulipas, a major drug route and the traditional stronghold of the Gulf Cartel.

In a past entry on April 5, Justice in Mexico discussed how the Zetas used to be the enforcement wing of the Gulf Cartel until long-standing tensions led the two groups to formally separate earlier this year. An article by the Mexican media outlet MILENIO suggested that the Zetas have slowly been losing the fight in Tamaulipas. Furthermore, messages believed to have been made by the Gulf Cartel state that the criminal organization wishes to avoid harming civilians and that its sole focus is on eliminating the Zetas, who it sees as traitors.

The Zetas have clashed with both the Gulf Cartel and La Familia for control of their traditional territory. The Zetas have fought La Familia for control of a port city in Michoacán, which was the latter’s territory. According to Pequeño García, this is an important reason why the Gulf Cartel and La Familia decided to ally themselves against their common rival.


Ballinas, Víctor. “Muertes de civiles en el combate al crimen, ‘daños colaterales’: Galván.” La Jornada. Abril 13, 2010.

Notimex. “Usa cártel del Golfo a La Familia contra Los Zetas en Tamaulipas: PF.” La Jornada en La Línea. Abril 12, 2010.

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