Arturo Guzmán Decena (January 13, 1976 - November 21, 2002) was a Mexican Army Special Forces soldier who, in 1997, defected to the Gulf Cartel, where he founded and commanded Los Zetas, the mercenary gang at thefd service of the cartel's drug lord, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén. Guzmán Decena was born in a poor family in Puebla and joined the military as a teenager to escape from poverty. While in the military, he was a talented and bright soldier, earning a position in the Special Forces of the Mexican military by the mid-1990s. During his military career, Guzmán Decena received counter-insurgency training, acquired skills in explosives, and learned how to track down and apprehend his enemies from an elite combat group trained by the U.S. Special Forces and the Israel Defense Forces. He began to take bribes from the Gulf Cartel while still serving in the military, but eventually defected to work full-time for the criminal organization in 1997. For years he recruited other members of the Mexican Armed Forces to form Los Zetas, the armed wing of the Gulf Cartel, along with Cárdenas Guillén. He served as the right-hand man of Cárdenas Guillén until 21 November 2002, when he was gunned down and killed by the Mexican Army in the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas.