The Northeastern Cártel as it is known, was first born in 2014 after an attempt by the leadership of Los Zetas to consolidate power in Nuevo Laredo - their sort of ancestral home.
The reason for this was that Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo relied on a number of less sophisticated gangs of youths in order to operate, and as a result the need to form a more sophisticated organizational structure in the city was necessary. This resulted in the formation of the Cártel del Noreste, which incorperated elements of the Néctar Lima and Unidad Zetas into it's fold, along with a number of other smaller gangs that worked with the Z's in the city.
This organization did not begin to publish it self as an entity separate from Los Zetas in its Narcocorridos or Narcomantas until later, and we have really seen them come into their own since the Zetas fracture of December 2016.
Since then they have made much stronger efforts to express their identity as an organization separate from other members of the so called 'school of the Zetas'.
As an organization, El Cártel del Noreste is strongest in Nuevo Laredo, but has ties to many of the major cities in Tamaulipas as well as Nuevo León and even Coahuila. Like the original Zetas, their territories stretch far and wide - though they do not appear to be as well entrenched as their former parent group.
The schism has left them fighting amongst their territories all over again, similarly to what happened when Los Zetas split away from the Gulf Cártel. Their primary enemies being the opposing faction, Vieja Escuela Zetas. Aka the Old School Z's.
The reason for this fracture is two fold. First and foremost, older and more experienced members of Los Zetas felt disrespected when Z-40 and Z-42 elected their younger nephew, Kiko Treviño to lead the organization after the arrest of their heir apparent, Comandante Rama (aka, El 7-4). They felt there were candidates whom were more experienced and better qualified to take the reigns, but that Cmdte 40 and 42 instead desired to keep the Cártel under control of the Treviño clan.
Secondly, these older members also felt disgruntled in the sense the leadership of the CDN in Nuevo Laredo was held by so many young men and women aside from just Kiko. Many of the CDN's Comandantes and Plaza Bosses are only in their mid-20's or younger due to the rapid changing of heads that occurred with the Zeta/CDG split. Which had resulted in so many of the old guard being murdered or arrested.
Such examples of this lay in individuals like 'El Viejito' (aka El Sinvergüenza), nephew of the now deceased Comandante Camarón, who was reported to lead an estaca of some five to six sicarios prior to the age of 19. Not much has been seen of him since his 2017 prison escape in Güemez. One suspects age has taught him to keep a lower profile, a good plan since he was included in a list of 10 most wanted criminals in the Nuevo Laredo area in September 2018, thus speaking further to his importance in the CDN structure despite his young age.
Another important example is El Takia, originally of the NectarLima Zetas, who along with sicarios such as Kalia, Werco and Kenzo Domínguez all worked closely and were mentored by Comandante Rama during his tenure as CDN boss. Takia, like Viejito, has since gone on to become an important commander of the CDN himself, and has had several songs written for him as a show of his exploits. He was also the unfortunate target of what appeared to be a personal vendetta by the likes of Comandante Bravo 01 of the Vieja Escuela Zetas, whom chose to have nine members of Takia's family viciously murdered in Nuevo Laredo on July 27th, 2017.
As far as the old guard was concerned, these younger, newer Commanders of the CDN were considered to be far less predictable and prone to violence, reportedly making them much more difficult to do business with.
This also means that the heads of estacas are changed out frequently due to continuing, unabated violence. Their youth leads them to feel as though they are perhaps invincible, living incarnations of the idea of Rambo or Tony Montana. Unfortunately, this is not the case, though it is perhaps an explanation as to why CDN's younger commanders seem so ready to act on their desires, if not addictions, for violence.
One also considers the idea that they have grown up in an arena of horror, where Los Zetas had dominated the area through sheer terror since the early 2000's. Those who were children during those times are now teenagers or in their early twenties, and they are replacing the old guard to become the new bearers of madness. This includes such well known names as Werco Kilos, P-90, El Kalia, Fercho, Chanio, Viejito, Takia, Ranchi, Wero Texas, Nyw, and countless others.
A tablear inscribed with the name of Werko Kilos.
Despite the arguably lesser experience of CDN members, they remain a force to be reckoned with in all the states they inhabit. Their gunmen are often portrayed in Narco Rap songs on Youtube, and many pictures of them can be found online, along with their gruesome works.
They are ruthless and brutally efficient, with many of their more important youthful gunmen and women hailing from military and policing backgrounds similarly to the original Zetas. They are also exceptionally well armed with high powered rifles, radio networks and armored cars and trucks which they use to stage abductions and ambushes on their rivals.
Similarly to new school Gulf Cártel members, the CDN seems to rake in a lot of it's cash from extortion and kidnapping. An unfortunate reality in Mexico's criminal world today.