A self-styled drug-trafficking group calling itself the “Zeta Killers” claimed responsibility this week for the recent murders of at least 35 people believed to belong to the Zetas, Mexico’s most violent criminal organization.
The claim by the “Mata Zetas” has stoked fears that Mexico, like Colombia a generation before, may be witnessing the rise of paramilitary drug gangs that seek society’s approval and tacit consent from the government to help society confront its ills, in this case, the Zetas.
(Via AoSHQ Headlines) Before you start cheering, the WSJ article goes on to note that these guys (they call themselves Los Mata Zetas, or “Zeta Killers”) are probably not so much ‘annoyed Mexican citizens taking the law into their own hands’ as they are ‘rival drug gang members using vigilantism as a cover’ – although I suppose that you could be a violent drug gang member and still find the Zetas appalling. Which they are. It’s just that it’s an open question whether these people are any better: while the WSJ did report that the group assassinated 35 people, the AP notes that that total “included 12 women and two minors.” While killing hangers-on of a drug gang may be an effective terrorist tactic, it is nonetheless still a terrorist tactic. And it’s a tactic that suggests that angels – even the Old Testament (read: scary) ones – are thin on the ground in Mexico right now. Continue reading Drug-related/vigilante/(both) violence escalates in Mexico.