A group claiming to be the "Zeta Killers" say they're protecting citizens from the drug cartel. (Source: CNN)
Five burly men dressed in black and wearing masks say they have one goal in mind: to kill drug traffickers, or more specifically, members of the Mexican drug cartel known as "los zetas."
The video posted on YouTube has been circulating online for the last couple days, but its legitimacy is unknown.
A person on the video claims the group is the "people's armed wing."
He also said that as a principle, the group's members are prohibited from committing crimes, including extortion, kidnapping, theft, and anything that affects the well-being of Mexico and its people.
Reacting to the video, the Mexican attorney general's office issued a statement saying: "The only way to reach long-lasting security and peace is through the rule of law and the strengthening of our institutions. The fight against organized crime is the responsibility of authorities at the three levels of government. The federal government rejects any action outside the law as a means to protect the fundamental rights of people."
The video was released only a week after the bodies of 35 people were dumped on a busy highway in the city of Boca del Rio, Veracruz.
Handwritten signs that appeared next to the bodies said the victims were members of the zetas cartel and were executed for extorting people in the state of Veracruz.
The "Zeta Killers" paramilitary group has not claimed responsibility for the massacre.
It's also possible that the "Zeta Killers" are in reality enforcers for another drug cartel and not at all interested in protecting people and killing criminals as they claim.
Another paramilitary group that surfaced in 2007 making similar statements was in reality composed of mercenaries working for the Sinaloa cartel, according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the group.
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