US-trained cartel terrorises Mexico
Founders of the Zetas drug gang learned special forces techniques at Ft. Bragg before waging a campaign of carnage.
Chris Arsenault Last Modified: 20 Oct 2010 20:14 GMT
It was a brutal massacre even by the gruesome standards of Mexico’s drug war: 72 migrant workers gunned down by the "Zetas" - arguably the country's most violent cartel - and left rotting in a pile outside a ranch in Tamaulipas state near the US border in late August.
The Zetas have a fearsome reputation, but the real surprise comes not in their ruthless use of violence, but in the origins of where they learned the tricks of their bloody trade.
Some of the cartel's initial members were elite Mexican troops, trained in the early 1990s by America’s 7th Special Forces Group or "snake eaters" at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, a former US special operations commander has told Al Jazeera.
“They were given map reading courses, communications, standard special forces training, light to heavy weapons, machine guns and automatic weapons,” says Craig Deare, the former special forces commander who is now a professor at the US National Defence University.Read More...