In a wee-hours raid on June 12, heavily armed FBI and Border Patrol agents in 15 vehicles swept into the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino, in Ruidoso, NM, seizing dozens of racehorses. A simultaneous raid was carried out at Zule Farms, in Lexington, Okla, which apparently supplied horses to the Ruidoso track. A total of seven were arrested in the raids, accused of using the horse trade to launder money for Los Zetas drug cartel. Indicted in the case are accused Zeta commanders Miguel Angel Treviño Morales AKA “Z-40” and his brother Oscar Omar Treviño Morales AKA “Z-42”—who are presumed to remain at large in Mexico. (El Paso Times, AP, June 13; El Paso Times, June 12)
In another sign of “legitimate” businesses being co-opted by the cartels, a series of arson attacks were carried out late last month on five warehouses of junk-food giant Sabritas, Mexican subsidiary of US multinational PepsiCo, in Guanajuato and Michoacán states. Dozens of distribution trucks were destroyed in the raids by masked men who hurled firebombs. Authorities said the four arrested suspects are linked to the Knights Templar cartel. (AP, CNN, May 29)
The grisly human rights toll of the Mexican cartel wars continues to rise. On June 7, authorities found the mutilated remains of 14 people inside a truck parked in front of city government offices in El Mante, Tamaulipas. (CNN, June 9) In late April, four children who disappeared on their way to school were discovered suffocated and buried on a ranch not far from their homes in Tapijulapa, Tabasco. (AP, April 28) The attacks are presumed to be related to the Zetas’ war with their regional rivals the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels.