Maybe I'll have enough material to publish a companion report when the book comes out.
Just before we sent in the final version of the manuscript, we managed to insert the Monterrey casino firebombing, assuming at the time that it was Los Zetas, but we just missed the recent death of Metro 3, who was the Gulf Cartel man in Reynosa who allegedly killed Concord 3 and sparked what we call the "War in the North" between Los Zetas and the Unified Cartels - the Sinaloa Federation, the Gulf Cartel, and the Familia Michoacana.
A year and a half after Concord 3's death, Los Zetas are still fighting the Unified Cartels, though it appears as though the alliance has run out of steam. La Familia Michoacana has devolved into the Knights Templar; the Sinaloa Federation appears to be more interested in protecting turf on the pacific side of the country; and, the Gulf Cartel continues to expand its influence and territory beyond the Frontera Chica area, where it appears to retain some level of control.
Just this morning, I came across some news of a sicario who police captured in Campeche. He claimed to be a Zeta and explained how he had received 15 days of training in the mountains of Veracruz. Judging from his picture on mundonarco, he didn't appear to be in great shape, nor look as though he could have lasted for even half of the reported two-hour morning PT his 30-man cohort endured every morning before beginning their day.
Apart from the unsurprising account of learning how to field strip, clean, and re-assemble AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, and other sidearms, the more interesting aspect of his confession was what he called "la guerra." The former Zeta stated that at the conclusion of training, his commanders sent the cohort to Nayarit, where Los Zetas are pushing into El Chapo territory.
A quick scan of Mexican media reveals some Zeta activity in Nayarit, though nothing that appears more volatile than Nuevo Leon or Tamaulipas, where the group continues to play tug-o-war with the Gulf Cartel. Rarely does media accurately cover the whole truth about criminal tactics in Mexcio, but it's interesting that Los Zetas may be training scores of men to throw to the fight in Nayarit. Survivors, the trainee said, return to Veracruz, where they then receive an assignment to work in another - presumably more peaceful - plaza in Mexico. Talk about trial by fire.