Óscar Guerrero Silva

Óscar Eduardo Guerrero Silva (1971 – 1 February 2004), commonly referred to by his alias Z-8 and/or The Winnie Pooh, was a Mexican drug lord and high-ranking leader of Los Zetas, a Mexican criminal organization.

Óscar Guerrero Silva
Óscar Guerrero Silva.png
Born1971
Died1 February 2004 (aged 33)
Cause of deathSuicide
Other namesZ-8
El Winnie Pooh
OrganizationMexican Army (1992–1999)
Los Zetas (1999–2004)

Shortly after marrying, Guerrero Silva joined the Mexican Army in early 1992 and became an infantry soldier. After being promoted to corporal the following year, he deserted from the military in 1999, and began to work as an assassin for the Los Zetas and Gulf Cartel, a drug trafficking organization, along with other ex-soldiers. His life as an outlaw overwhelmed him, and he later committed suicide through a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Criminal careerEdit

Óscar Eduardo Guerrero Silva was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas around the year 1971, and joined the Mexican Army on 28 January 1992 as an infantry soldier. The following year, he was promoted to corporal. Nonetheless, he eventually deserted from the Armed Forces in 1999 and was recruited by the drug trafficking organization known as the Gulf Cartel, becoming one of the 50 most-wanted criminals in Mexico during his time.[1][2][3]

He was recruited along with several other soldiers of the Mexican Army in the late 1990s by Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the former leader of the Gulf Cartel, to work as hired assassins and bodyguards, where he earned the alias Z-8.[4][5] The newly formed group founded by Guerrero Silva and other ex-soldiers became known as Los Zetas, and they were highly trained and equipped, enticed with greater salaries than in the Army.[4][6][7] Los Zetas continued to expand by hiring former police officers and gang members alike, and diversified their criminal agenda aggressively by including kidnappings, extortions, oil theft, piracy, and other rackets into their revenue, instead of focusing solely on the international narcotics trade.[8][9]

On December 2002, gunmen of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel wearing police uniforms raided a prison in Matamoros, Tamaulipas and liberated three men accused of drug trafficking and a woman imprisoned for homicide. The Mexican authorities alleged that Guerrero Silva was involved in the raid.[10][11][12] Later on in January 2004, Apatzingán, Michoacán was the scene of a massive prison break when over 50 uniformed gunmen of Los Zetas, including Guerrero Silva, stormed several prison cells and liberated at least 25 inmates, including several high-ranking drug lords of the Gulf Cartel, in less than 15-minutes.[13][14]

Guerrero Silva was known for having one of the most bizarre and unique Mexican criminal nicknames, Winnie Pooh, but he was "hardly a lovable bear".[6][15]

DeathEdit

On 1 February 2004, elements of the extinct Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) raided a residence at the Riveras del Río neighborhood in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, near the city of Monterrey, and discovered the corpse of Guerrero Silva.[16]

His temple had a gunshot wound from a 9mm pistol, suggesting that his death was an apparent suicide. Guerrero Silva was reportedly overwhelmed after the Mexican authorities had him under surveillance and because he believed his own accomplices were going to betray him.[17][18]

Personal life and familyEdit

Gilberto López Barrera, the brother-in-law of Guerrero Silva and a member of Los Zetas drug cartel, was arrested in downtown Monterrey on 22 May 2005 and charged with a number of crimes. He is the brother of Ivonne López Barrera, a former romantic partner of Guerrero Silva.[18]

In 1990, two years before joining the Mexican Army, Guerrero Silva married Gabriela Cervantes Zamorano. Both of them stopped seeing each other in 1997, and his wife later found out that he had deserted the military and was working for Los Zetas.[19] Gabriela recalls that Guerrero Silva would send her money and call her on the phone every now and then, but that he seemed uninterested in their matrimony. Although married to Gabriela, Guerrero Silva had a romantic relationship with another woman, which explains why he visited Guadalupe, Nuevo León from Reynosa, Tamaulipas (his actual residence) periodically.[19]

See alsoEdit

SourcesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Grayson 2010, p. 282.
  2. ^ "Los soldados que trajeron el caos". El Siglo de Torreón (in Spanish). Editora de la Laguna. 11 August 2006. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  3. ^ Castillo, Gustavo (4 February 2004). "También catean vivienda de Los Zetas en Nuevo León". La Jornada (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b "El origen de 'Los Zetas': brazo armado del cártel del Golfo". CNNMéxico (in Spanish). Turner Broadcasting System. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  5. ^ Vega, Aurora (5 July 2011). "Cae el tercero al mando del cártel de Los Zetas". Excélsior (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b Jordan, Mary (21 July 2004). "Betrayal on the Mexican Border". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  7. ^ Livington, Andrew (Summer 2011). "A Reputation for Violence" (PDF). Colgate University. p. 18. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  8. ^ Grillo, Ioan (13 January 2012). "Mexico's cartel army, Los Zetas, is drug war's scourge". GlobalPost. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  9. ^ Grayson, George W. (May 2008). "Los Zetas: the Ruthless Army Spawned by a Mexican Drug Cartel". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  10. ^ González, Iván (3 February 2004). "El 'Winnie Pooh' era parte del comando armado que rescató a 25 reos del penal de Apatzingán". Esmas.com (in Spanish). Televisa. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  11. ^ Lira Saade, Carmen (29 December 2004). "Detienen y trasladan al DF al director y 5 custodios de penal". La Jornada (in Spanish). Mexico City. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Los Zetas, principales sospechosos en la fuga de reos". La Crónica de Hoy (in Spanish). 1 July 2004. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  13. ^ "AUTO DE FORMAL PRISIÓN EN CONTRA DEL DIRECTOR Y CUSTODIOS DEL PENAL DE APATZINGÁN, MICHOACÁN" (in Spanish). Attorney General of Mexico. 9 March 2004. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Por la puerta grande y con choferes escapan 41 internos en Matamoros". La Jornada (in Spanish). 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  15. ^ Stevenson, Mark (18 July 2004). "Outlandish Nicknames Suit Mexican Criminals". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Catean casa en la que fue encontrado cadáver de narcotraficante". La Crónica de Hoy (in Spanish). 3 February 2004. Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  17. ^ Cardona, Jorge (3 February 2004). "Autoridades creen que elementos de la banda de narcos 'los zetas' estén en Monterrey". Esmas.com (in Spanish). Televisa. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  18. ^ a b (subscription required) lvarez, Mario Alberto (22 May 2005). "Detienen a cunado de zeta". El Norte (Monterrey) (in Spanish). Editora El Sol, S.A. de C.V. p. 7. ProQuest 311696323.
  19. ^ a b (subscription required) Ramírez, Rodrigo (6 February 2004). "Interroga la PGR a esposa de 'Zeta'". El Norte (Monterrey) (in Spanish). Editora El Sol, S.A. de C.V. p. 5. ProQuest 315773925.

BibliographyEdit