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Dispatch / The Mexican Drug War / March 24, 2009
By Pancho Montana

I was talking with a friend the other day, who is much more connected than I am, and we were smoking (yes, we smoke a lot) and talking about what El Canicon’s arrest means for my city’s plaza. “Not a fucking thing,” my buddy said. The sicarios are still patrolling and the tienditas (known as puntos to insiders) are still bustling with business. In short, the narco-economy is still a-bustling: getting money and creating jobs for Mexico.

But that does not mean there will not be a backlash. The governments of both Nuevo Leon and neighboring Coahuila, where El Canicon was captured, are scared shitless of a coming wave of violence in response to his capture. And they’re probably worried less about retribution and more about the uptick in Cartel on Cartel competition. La Familia may see this as a sign of weakness from the Gulf Cartel/Zetas and move in harder on their territory. Who knows. At this point, this is just speculation.

But the situation isn’t good for the Zetas. Since the El Canicon’s capture, the army has been reinforcing their operations in the state of Coahuila; setting up checkpoints, doing aerial surveillance, stepping up urban patrols, and raiding warehouses and residences on information they’ve been beating out of their new detainees. All this is an effort to distrupt the network he had been laying there.

What this means for the local rivalries is still uncertain, but I look at this as a good development, peronally. At least the Zetas are going to be rotating command, so there’ll be another guy coming to take over Monterrey’s plaza. And that’s good enough for me. There’ll be some new faces that don’t know the old faces, and don’t care about the old rivalries.


As a native of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, located in northern Mexico, Mr. Montana lives in Gulf Cartel territory. That means the streets belong to the Zetas, a paramilitary organization trained by the Yankees and hired by the Gulf Cartel to keep things civilized and business booming. Read his last dispatch: Showdown in Monterrey: La Familia Vs. Los Zetas.

You can reach Pancho at

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  • 1. Chema Pino Suarez  |  March 24th, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Ahh a post full of such wonderful mexican nicknames. What will come from the continuing fragmentation of the drug cartels in respects to the drug economy will be interesting to watch.

  • 2. mx?  |  March 25th, 2009 at 12:08 am

    I know…there is a rumor that the plaza is about to go hot again

    Stay tuned people, because Hector Huerta “La Burra” (The donkey) just got nabbed this afternoon as a result of a military operation.

    When I heard it I couldnt believe it, this guy is old school local “pesado” since 2005 and way back.

    He was the main guy for the Beltran Leyva Cartel here in Monterrey so consequences are almost certain.

  • 3. Hilda OROZCO  |  March 25th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Why mariguana became such a BIG problem in México, some South America countries and US? I meant in this particular way, extra-hyper-violent and extremist. I’m amazed of how in this forsaken Europe “EVERYBODY” smokes a “Porro” everywhere, all the time, sometimes with a member of their families. Maybe mariguana legalization is the solution, but I think that it’s a cultural issue too. We need to stop thinking that mariguana it’s so bad and that we will go to hell. Yes it’s a drug but I think we are overacting. Right now we can not change things so easily because we created a big monster and for kill it we need the help of another bigger and rich. I doubt that this war will finish peacefully; we need to change our minds too to win in our house and community. We have the right of fuck our life. Are we ready to be responsible at that point? Don’t think so and that sucks! But we must to get the right of doing it, that kind of protection of the Government its ridiculous! Ok DAD this the last time.

  • 4. Chema Pino Suarez  |  March 25th, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Cartels would not be eliminated overnight with legalization. If the government where to decide to make drugs insanely overpriced like the proposed cost for medicinal marijuana in Oregon than the black market would continue.

    Making drugs a low priority through decriminalization and legalization would be a massive blow to the prison industrial complex and to many police departments who rely on government money to combat drugs. I mean a rapist is no where on the same moral level as some guy who had a few plants in his house.

    Also Miss Orozco your quite cute.

  • 5. Tommy Jefferson  |  March 25th, 2009 at 6:05 am

    This is a minor victory for the evil Mexican government. The violence created by the Mexican government’s stupid “War on Some Drugs” will not last forever.

    Every Mexican citizen has the natural right to keep and bear arms. More AR15’s to more Mexicans means more jobs for American manufacturers, more safety for Mexican citizens, and more freedom from government oppression.

    We must work to ship and many guns as possible to Mexico. We must work to break the government-created drug cartels and let the profits from supplying drugs to North Americans spread to every Mexican citizen willing to work hard planting, harvesting, processing, transporting, and marketing.

    Free enterprise will win in the end.

  • 6. buzz  |  March 25th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    well after 75 years of drug prohibition and the 45th year of nixon’s ‘war on drugs’, i’m glad that their finally making some progress.

    thank you hillary.

  • 7. Eye  |  March 25th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t want AR15s, that’s for pussies. I have the natural right to drive a T-72. And to launch atomic missiles…

    It’s the best way to defend my freedoms from government oppresion. And more T-72s and atomic missiles mean more jobs for Russian manufacturers.

  • 8. captain america  |  March 25th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    i personally can’t decide between an AK-47 or an AR-15. maybe both?

  • 9. Baltimoron  |  March 26th, 2009 at 4:39 am

    It’s pretty disappointing that this feared underboss is just some fat dude who should have taken fewer trips to the taqueria. The way these guys are described in the news media, you expect them to look like Fender from “Cyborg”

  • 10. CasinoInWest  |  March 26th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    lol, I like the Ak

  • 11. mx?  |  March 26th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    some sicarios look like straight-up dumbasses but you wouldnt believe their aim.
    For being coked-up most of the time they are pretty good shots, well youve seen the pictures right?

  • 12. PassingByandWondering  |  March 27th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Felicidades Compadre! Excellent post..

    So Mexican Army is started to kick ass and take names in and around N.L. …Canicon is in lock up, el “burrito” de Centrito has said “adios”, now…when are they gonna’ get the “Mero Mero”? When are they going to start Operation Clean House in the streets of N.L.?

    Nati’s working overtime announcing to the 4 winds “he had nothing to do with these busts, it was the Mexican Army all by themselves”..He’s got at least $7 million a year lined up on beefing up security to ex- officials and God only knows how much to cover his own sweet nalgas—Que onda? What’s your take?

  • 13. mx?  |  March 28th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    This looks more like some group is trying to open the plaza than the army kicking ass.

    Most people “inside” believe El Chapo Guzman is behind the Army operations.

    As for the Gov, well that trash will be dealt with when he no longer holds office I believe.

  • 14. Anonymous  |  March 28th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    He may look fat to you, but he looks like one mean scary thug to me. I don’t want to pretend that people’s looks tell everything about them, but the haircut and expression make it clear that looking like a nice guy is nowhere on his to-do list, and his body looks like it has a lot of muscle, and not enough fat to sag or slow him down much, but enough for him to stay mean strong and fast after being starved for a few days. He’s also short, sturdy, and compact, without the tall broad shouldered lean build fighter pilots and politicians tend toward. The ultra-lean muscle you see in Calvin Klein underwear ads is actually as impractical as the skin and bones female models, and a truly strong and tough body looks a little different, and not at all attractive to American eyes. Frankly, I’m not all that close to this shitstorm, but that photo reinforces my feeling that I’d feel better knowing this guy was dead, and I feel worse knowing there are more like him operating out there.

  • 15. PassingByandWondering  |  March 29th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Chapo behind all of the military operations? Hell, it’s scarier than I thought were you are. Is he setting up his own people to clean up new and start with fresh thugs?

    It’s a shame. Mexico is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people (ok, – the drug thugs, I guess they’re not so beautiful, but you get the gest.)

    Do you actually see an improvement for Nuevo Leon, Monterrey or all of nuevo Leon, or is this just a calm before the storm?

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