Following Clinton and Co.'s visit to Mexico City, the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) put out a statement regarding the Gulf cartel/Zetas. They've "terrorized innocent people in Tamaulipas and throughout Mexico," OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin said.
Which begs the question: Chapo and his gang haven't? La Familia hasn't? Suddenly, the Gulf cartel is Public Enemy No. 1 and the others don't even warrant a mention?
And so goes the drug war. Chapo and his crew are actually already listed by OFAC, so it's not really a matter of anyone protecting them. But it does make you wonder...
The way I see it is this: the northeast of Mexico is back on the radar now that Osiel Cardenas Guillen has been sentenced to 25 years. The authorities likely have tons of info on operations in the region thanks to his cooperation; Los Zetas are already on the outs with the Gulf leadership (which has struck up a loose alliance with Chapo against those very same Zetas, remember).
Los Zetas, like La Familia before them, also represent an achievable target for the authorities. So much easier to go after a bunch of yahoos with guns than a seriously established organized crime outfit.
So that's my explanation for the OFAC report focusing on Gulf/Los Zetas.
My prediction for the next bigshot to go down in the drug war? Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, a.k.a. "El Lazca." He became head of Los Zetas after the war for Nuevo Laredo brought down a couple of his superiors.
PS - Clinton and co were surprisingly silent on the issue of human rights during their visit to Mexico City. Unless I missed something (and I may well have) this is about all the Sec. of State said:
"Well, human rights is a core value and is a high priority in our discussions. Every meeting we have includes an emphasis on human rights because we know, both of our governments, how important this is. And we know that in a violent situation like the one created by the drug cartels, it is necessary to work even harder to protect and promote human rights. And when you deal with people who engage in beheading, who murder children who won a football game, who are total non-respecters of life and human rights, you have to work extra hard to maintain human rights, to maintain the rule of law. We understand that. And the Mexican Government and the United States Government are deeply involved in programs that promote and protect human rights."
Not enough, really, particularly as it comes just days after members of the Navy and/or police appear to be implicated in the torture and killing of a drug suspect in Monterrey. That case isn't clear at all yet, but a few more words about human rights from the US government wouldn't have been missed.