After reading the international gangster shit posted at this blog, someone asked me a theoretical question: “Yakuza vs. Zetas… who’d win?”
Hmmmm… both of those criminal organizations are pretty hardcore so it’s tough to say. It’s a concept that makes for a kick-ass crossover movie, ala Alien vs. Predator and Freddy vs. Jason. As much as I respect the classier yakuza, I might have to roll with the Zetas in this imaginary war; them south-of-the-border niggas is crazy.
Case in point: Mexican drug cartels are now equipped with RPG-7 shoulder-fired rocket launchers, adding more firepower to an arsenal that already includes armor-plated trucks. RPG-7s can take out helicopters and were used in the Black Hawk Down episode in Somalia back in 1993.
Peep this excerpt from Time World:
When a Mexican SWAT team stopped a stolen Cadillac van in the border city of Piedras Negras, it was not a surprise when they were greeted by a tirade of bullets as the criminals blasted and ran. But after they kicked open the trunk, the officers realized they could have been victims of more catastrophic firepower. The gunmen had been in possession of an arsenal of weapons that included three Soviet-made antitank rockets complete with an RPG-7 shoulder-fired launcher. The rockets, found on Saturday, are part of an increasingly destructive array of weaponry wielded by Mexican drug cartels, like the feared Zetas, in reaction to attacks on them by police and soldiers.
The shoulder-fired rockets cause particular worry because of their range and explosive power. Mexican dignitaries often move in helicopters with the army flying Black Hawks supplied by the U.S. under the Mérida Initiative. “The RPG-7 is a weapon that causes incredible devastation from Iraq to Afghanistan,” says Rachel Stohl, an expert on arms proliferation at the Stimson Center in Washington. “When they fall into the hands of criminal groups, it changes the dynamics and escalates the conflict. Instead of just a gunfight on a street, you have military firepower.”
The gun trade has been a long-running bone of contention over the Rio Grande, with Mexico complaining that most of the firearms used by cartel assassins are purchased from U.S. stores. Of almost 100,000 guns seized at Mexican crime scenes since 2007, 68% have been traced to the U.S. The U.S. gun lobby argues that heavier weapons such as the Soviet rockets and fragmentation grenades come from the other direction, smuggled from Central America. Thousands of RPG-7s were used by all sides in the region’s Cold War conflicts in the 1980s. Since then, gangs have stolen many from lingering stockpiles in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras to sell them on the black market.
The Honduran government reports that it lost 22 RPG-7s and several rockets in a single 2010 theft. On a visit to Honduras earlier this year, a senior police officer said he had intelligence of Zeta operatives going to the capital, Tegucigalpa, to buy hardware.