Mexico: Mata Zetas jack up Veracruz body count
Another 32 bodies were found in three houses in the Mexican port city of Veracruz Oct. 7, the latest in a series of attacks on presumed members of Los Zetas narco-network by a rival group calling itself the Mata Zetas, or Zeta Killers. The Mata Zetas announced their existence in July, but made their presence known dramatically two weeks ago, leaving 35 bodies on a busy Veracruz highway during rush hour traffic. They later claimed responsibility for the massacre in a video posted to the Internet, in which hooded men presenting themselves as if at a press conference urged Veracruz residents to say 'no' to extortion and intimidation by the Zetas. But authorities say they believe the Mata Zetas are an arm of the New Generation cartel, which is resisting Zeta control of smuggling routes. "The phenomenon in Veracruz is a result of a rivalry between two criminal groups," said President Felipe Calderón's national security spokesperson Alejandra Sota. "Therefore, they must be taken on." (CSM, Oct. 7; LAT's World Now blog, Sept. 30)
See our last post on Mexico's narco wars.