Top Zetas leader captured
Mexico arrested one of the top traffickers of the Zetas drug cartel accused of overseeing the feared gangs' operations across the south of the country, the navy said today.
Naval forces captured Mauricio Guizar, known as "El Amarillo," in a hotel in small town in the central state of Puebla where he was hiding armed with up with 20 grenades, an anti-tank bazooka and a submachine gun, the navy said in a statement.
Guizar is implicated in the killing of four soldiers in the Gulf state of Veracruz in April.He is accused of being a lieutenant of one of the Zetas' top commanders, Oscar Omar Trevino, and running operations in five southern states for the cartel, which traffics cocaine and other narcotics to the United States.
The Zetas were founded by army deserters and authorities say they are responsible for some of the bloodiest massacres in Mexico's drug war.
More than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since outgoing president Felipe Calderon launched an army-led offensive against the cartels shortly after taking office in late 2006.
A new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, from the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was elected on July 1st promising a change in security strategy as many voters tired of the spiraling violence.
President Calderon claims high-level captures of drug capos as a success in the drug war, with security forces succeeding in detaining or killing around two dozen of Mexico's 37 most wanted kingpins over the past six years.
But analysts say attacking top cartel leaders has led to internal splits in the criminal organisations and caused more violence.
Trevino and his brother Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, one of the alleged leaders of the Zetas, are both at large and were charged this year in the United States with laundering drug proceeds by buying, breeding and racing American racehorses.
Guizar's arrest follows the detention of other alleged Zetas this week in Puebla, including William de Jesus Torres, known as "The Worm Eater," who gave authorities information about the cartel's structure.