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Published:July 17th, 2013 08:28 EST
Mexican Zetas` Cartel Kingpin Trevino Morales Nabbed; What`s the Hidden History Here?

Mexican Zetas` Cartel Kingpin Trevino Morales Nabbed; What`s the Hidden History Here?

By John G. Kays

The capture of yet another Mexican drug lord near Nuevo Laredo early Monday morning, the notorious kingpin of the Los Zetas cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales (Z-40), went by mostly unnoticed, smothered by other stories in the news that have been overhyped. 

This writer, however, eyed the news for what it really represents, a very significant dent by the Mexican government, and specifically Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (who just assumed office in 2012), into the operations of the fierce-some, ruthless, and omnipotent Zetas.

The operation itself where Trevino Morales (who is only 40-years-old) was nabbed on some rural farm roads on the outskirts of Nuevo Laredo (in the state of Nuevo Leon) is quite impressive and it`s even suspected the US played a role.

Since it was rumored Morales would go down with guns a blazing, he was taken into captivity fairly incident free. One fact that was widely circulated in the news was that Z-40 had 2 million dollars in cash on him (I suppose it was just laying there on the seat of his truck); this is very strange!

Several reliable news services (BBC, AP, LA Times, and USA Today) offer good summaries of Trevino`s history, as well as cursory breakdowns of the highly complex cartel power plays, where once the Gulf cartel had the upper hand, but then the Zetas got a grip on this lucrative Northern corridor, which to my surprise (Texans are probably in denial on this fact) runs up into Texas! 

I read this morning, at one time, Morales himself operated out of Dallas; this is horrifying! In the `70s, `80s, and early`90s I would often visit the tourist-friendly borders of Mexico; those days seem like ancient memories now!

This is so troubling to me, since I have so many pleasant memories of visits to Mexico; but what I`m looking for, is a good history for how this tragedy got started, and exactly how it played out (this entails examining many gory crime scenes, I realize) over the past 20 years (we may need to go even further back in time to look for the cause and effect of a very unstable society). 

It just doesn`t make any sense to me; I always thought of Mexicans as friendly people, and they always were on my many visits to their country.

Will the capture of Trevino Morales tend to disperse or fragment the Zetas? Some experts are saying it will break the cartel up into pieces, who will now operate under a smaller radius of turf; allegedly, the reigns of leadership will be passed on to Trevino`s brother, Omar Trevino Morales, who is not thought of as strong a leader as his brother. 

Here`s a good break for me (wanting to know this cartel history), a USA Today article mentions two authorities on these Latin American hidden-histories who have written books - George Grayson, a professor at College of William and Mary, and Malcolm Beith, who has two titles on the Mexican drug wars.

In the meantime, I had to settle for a Daily Mail piece, which gives you a partial checklist of Morales` major crimes, as well as some very horrific photographs of the crime scenes. We tend to want to avoid these blood-stained galleries, but boy do they make what has happened down there real! How could this killer slaughter innocent migrants? 

And I still remember when a gunman killed 13 at a teenager`s birthday party in Ciudad Juarez; they got the wrong house! While it`s hard to do, all of us need to go back over these atrocities, as well as study 20 or 30 years of Mexican history. We can`t hope to reverse these changes until we know why it happened in the first place; I`m in the dark right now, and I live in Texas.