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Arturo Guzman Decena.jpg
Arturo Guzman Decena
Biographical Information
Aliases Z-1
Gender Male
Born 13 January 1976
Puebla, Mexico
Died 21 November 2002
Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Affiliation Los Zetas
Title(s) Don

Arturo Guzman Decena was the founder of Los Zetas, a mercenary group of former Mexican Army troops formed under the Gulf Cartel in 1999. He was succeeded by Rogelio Gonzalez Pizana as boss.


Arturo Guzman Decena was born in 1976 in Puebla, Mexico. He served in the Mexican Army's special forces while he was a teenager to escape the poverty that his family suffered from, and he was a talented and bright soldier. Trained by the United States and Israel's armed forces, he received counter-insurgency training, acquired skills in explosives, and learned how to track down and apprehend enemies. Decena later took bribes from the Gulf Cartel while still in the army, and in 1997 he defected to work full-time for the cartel. For years he recruited fellow army soldiers for the Gulf Cartel, and founded the armed wing of the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas, which became a powerful cartel in its own right. He became the right-hand man of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the boss of the Gulf Cartel.

In 2002, Decena was tracked down to the city of Matamoros on the border with the American state of Texas by the Mexican Army as he ate at a restaurant. After having a few strong drinks and snorting a line of cocaine, Decena headed to meet with his mistress, but he was found defenseless by the Mexican Army and was gunned down. His second-in-command Rogelio Gonzalez Pizana became the new boss of the family, and Cardenas Guillen killed four government officials in revenge for Decena's death (he would be arrested four months after the downfall of Decena).