Mexican Drug Cartels Join Forces to Wipe Out Rival

War against Zetas fueling surge in violence along Rio Grande
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2010 5:54 AM CDT
Mexican Drug Cartels Join Forces to Wipe Out Rival
A truck carrying Mexican army soldiers drives past a pedestrian bridge where a giant banner signed by the Zetas hangs.   (AP Photo/El Manana de Nuevo Laredo)

Three of Mexico's warring drug cartels have agreed to stop shooting each other for as long as it takes to wipe out a fourth, up-and-coming cartel, the BBC reports. Anti-narcotics authorities say that the Sinaloa, La Familia, and Gulf cartels are seeking to exterminate the Zetas, a breakaway group of hitmen from the Gulf cartel seeking their own slice of the cross-border drugs trade.

The Zetas—who count many Mexican Army deserters among their number and are famed for beheading their enemies—control the drug trade along much of the lower Rio Grande. The area, which had been largely untouched by the drug violence of the last several years, has seen dozens of killings in recent weeks. "They kill a person faster than killing a cockroach,” a city official in Reynosa tells the Houston Chronicle. “Because killing a cockroach dirties their boots.” (Read more Mexico stories.)

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