Monterrey, the wealthy capital of Nuevo Leon state in Mexico, is "in danger of 'falling' to organized crime," and is suffering a mass exodus of fearful residents that "includes businesspeople, artists and young professionals" as reported by Daniel Hernandez for the Los Angeles Times.
Los Zetas has been battling with the Gulf cartel for control over Monterrey and smuggling routes into the United States.
The drug cartels increasingly have diversified their rackets to become full-fledged organized crime groups, and extortion, robbery, prostitution and other crimes supplement their earnings.
Last August Los Zetas set fire to the Casino Royale in Monterrey in a suspected shakedown against the establishment which resulted in the deaths of 52 patrons, and the alleged mastermind was killed last Wednesday in a shootout with army troops as reported by Fox News Latino.
Monterrey is about two hours south of the Texas border, and many American companies have plants and offices there.