Oct 7, 2011

Drug Cartels: The Myth of a 'Good Guy' Drug Cartel in Mexico

InSight Crime: "The use of coy vigilante messages ("I killed them to protect you") is a fixture in the Mexican cartel conflicts. Some groups -- notably the big Sinaloa Cartel (but less so the rapacious Zetas) -- seek to curry public favor by claiming that hits on rivals are done to safeguard the citizenry. In analyst jargon, the Sinaloa Cartel has long presented itself as being only a "transactional" drug smuggling corporation (i.e., seeking only to smuggle drugs through Mexico and not prey directly on Mexican citizens), while the Zetas, using naked force, make no bones about being a "territorial" cartel (claiming ownership of everyone and everything on Zeta turf, and mercilessly exacting tribute).

When put that way, the best option for Mexico might seem clear: Leave the good-guy smugglers alone to clean up the bad-guy predators, in hopes of an imperfect peace."

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