The Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations remains the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States. According to Drug-Enforcement-Administration's investigations over the course of several years the Mexican TCOs have expanded their influence to different regions of the United States, showing clear signs of growth and particularly within San Andreas by using highly sophisticated command-and-control structures outside the United States; they produce, transport, and distribute illicit drugs domestically with the assistance of DTOs that are either a part of or in an alliance with the cartels.
Violence has reached unimaginable levels but still, Mexico remains a conservative, deeply traditional, country, with a lot of passion and love. It has the most corrupted politicans in North America. But in the eyes of the world? Mexico known only for its' massive narcotics industry. On the streets of every major city, the influence of drug money can be seen like for example expensive shops, big fancy houses and in the ridiculous exclusive suburbs. The narcotics business attracts a lot of people, as it's the key to wealth and abundance above everything else. The power of the drug cartels is linked to Mexico. now deeply integrated corruption, and the strong contrasts between rich and poor.
In the huge narcotraffic-war around the late 90s the Gulf Cartel found themselves in a violent turf-war so they lured more than thirty deserters from the elite "Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales" (GAFE) to become thier loyal mercenary wing. These deserters were enticed with salaries much higher than what they were paid by the military, some of these former GAFE members reportedly received training in commando and urban warfare from the Israeli and U.S. Special Forces — The "Zs" was effective as they won the war on the streets, once the Gulf Cartel consolidated thier power, they expanded the responsibilities of Los Zetas.
After a few memebers of the Gulf Cartel witnessed their power growing more and more in the federation they marked them as a threat
Upon the arrest of Guillen in March 2003 and his extradition to US in 2007, the Zetas took a more active leadership role within the Gulf Cartel and their influence grew within the organization.
Los Zetas became so powerful that they outnumbered and outclassed the Gulf Cartel in revenue, membership, and influence by 2010 leading The Zetas to perceive his leadership as a threat to the organization. As a result of this imbalance, the Gulf Cartel tried to curtail their own enforcers' influence and ended up instigating a civil war. A whole lot of turfs had been taken by the Los Zetas Cartel in the huge civil war
that broke out against their old leaders. After their impressive impact in the narco-economy it didn't last long as they took over states near borders from the Gulf Cartel. Controlling borders changed their infulence in the political atmosphere within Mexico as they have a long range of network (corrupted politicians) their infulence was unstoppable. Analysts indicate that Los Zetas are the largest organized crime group in Mexico in terms of geographical presence. They are primarily based in the border region of Nuevo Laredo and Coahuila with hundreds more throughout the country. They have placed lookouts at arrival destinations such as airports, bus stations and main roads. In addition to conducting criminal activities along the border, they operate throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and the Zacatecas state. In the southern states of Tabasco, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, and Chiapas, and in the Pacific Coast states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Michoacán, as well as in Mexico City.
Los Zetas, with its origin in the Gulf Cartel, had experienced few instances of infighting within the cartel compared to its parent organization. However, as several leaders of Los Zetas were arrested and extradited to the US, the cartel became more unstable and struggles for power within the organization or over different geographical areas increased. August 2012, a U.S. law enforcement official told the press that Miguel Treviño Morales, the former second-in-command of Los Zetas, had reportedly taken the leadership of the cartel and displaced Lazcano, the long-time leader. Due to his violent and confrontational personality, Treviño Morales began the process of taking over the assets of Los Zetas and removing Lazcano in early 2010. At the beginning, Lazcano was happy to have a man like Treviño Morales in his ranks, but he reportedly underestimated him and gave him too much power. The active role of Treviño Morales got him the loyalty and respect of many in Los Zetas, and eventually many stopped paying loyalty to Lazcano. Personality-wise, Treviño Morales and Lazcano are opposing figures; Treviño Morales tended to prefer violence, while Lazcano was a lot steadier, and preferred to keep his organization as a stable group. Lazcano reportedly wanted Los Zetas to be less of a problem for the next political administration of Enrique Peña Nieto; in contrast, "Treviño Morales was someone who wanted to fight the fight."Los Zetas are inherently an unstable organized crime group with a long history of brutal violence, with the possibility of constant internal crisis if the organization exists without its central command.
The two Los Zetas factions, the Cártel del Noreste faction, and the Old School Zetas faction, got involved in a deadly fight for the control over territory and drug trade in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state, in the beginning of 2016. One of the most common methods for the factions to use in their fight against each other was to leave the mutilated and decapitated bodies of their opponents on the streets of Ciudad Victoria alongside with threatening messages, so-called narcomantas. The non-state conflict between Los Zetas – Cártel del Noreste faction and Los Zetas – Old School Zetas faction was first included in UCDP data in 2016. In July that year, fighting between the two factions for the control of Ciudad Victoria city resulted in more than 25 battle-related deaths.
Rumors say Zetas had recruited around 30 ex Kaibiles to train Zetas-sicarios. Hector Tocarruncho was one of the commandos, In 2013 he formed the "Los Zacatecas" cartel cell to control and distribute the unrepped Zacatecas state. Los Zacatecas ordered their operations and tactical cell to expand behind the borders with the sole goal to distribute the product, launder money, apply infulence, gain support of hispanic gangs.
In February 9, 2018 "Vieja Escuela" faction (therefore, the original group of Los Zetas) was completely dismantled with the capture, of José María Guizar Valencia , alias Z-43 , in Mexico City as a result of it Los Zetas Cartel ceased to exist as whole and are divided to independent cartel cells that only took a bit of the Los Zetas culture and are limited on controlling territories and not allied to one another:
Cartel de Noreste, Los Talibanes, Cartel de La Laguna, Los Dorados, Grupo Operativo Zetas, Fuerzas Especiales Zetas, Los Taxes, Cartel de San Luis Potosi Nueva Generation, Cartel de Los Alemanes, Los Zacatecas.
Reyes de Las Colinas aka Los Ligeros is drug trafficking organization that was established by Ian "Money" Garza and his associates, the origins of the group dates in the late 2007 operating within the east side of Los Santos — In 2010, the "Garza DTO" and the "Hillside Militia" merged, becoming an independent local criminal organization around Las Collinas Valley calling themselves "The Kings of the Hill".
In October 2017, The Kings of the Hills DTO was forced into a war with other local groups to claim territorial dominance in the hills of the Northen Valley, as a result of it the The Kings of the Hill disbanded, absorbing a great hit which led to Ian Garza's departure. After the alleged neglation of "Money" and his faculty the faction got rehabilitated by Juan "El Ligero" Arevalo. After profound investigations, it is believed that the Los Ligeros DTO claim ties to the Los Zacatecas cell in San Andreas.