A notorious paramilitary group tied to a Mexican drug cartel is openly advertising for new recruits.
The Zetas group, which operates as hit men and enforcers for Mexico's Gulf drug cartel, boldly posted "Help Wanted" signs in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, according to the Associated Press.
Among the displayed ads was a huge banner that stretched across a city street. A translation of the banner read, "Operative group 'The Zetas' wants you, soldier or ex-soldier. We offer a good salary, food and benefits for your family. Don't suffer anymore mistreatment and don't go hungry."
Mexican soldiers quickly took the banner down. [Watch video.]
The Zetas is a mercenary group comprised of former Mexican military officers and police. The group is well-trained in military tactics and employs high-powered U.S.-made assault weapons and sniper rifles.
As reported earlier on the Blotter on ABCNews.com, Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials say more than 90 percent of weapons seized from the Mexican drug cartels have been traced to U.S. gun stores and gun shows.
Earlier this year thousands of troops were sent to Nuevo Laredo and other border towns to combat the Zetas, resulting in a number of bloody shootouts. Officials believe the government crackdown has forced the Zetas to actively seek new recruits.