State Media: Mexico Captures Zetas Cartel Leader

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Miguel Trevino Morales. Courtesy: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

(CNN) — Mexican authorities have captured the leader of the ruthless Zetas cartel, state media reported Monday.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, known as Z-40, was detained by federal authorities Monday morning in an operation in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, Mexico’s state-run Notimex news agency said.

His arrest is the most significant blow to drug trafficking in Mexico since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December.

Mexican authorities had been offering a reward of 30 million pesos (about $2.4 million) and the U.S. State Department had been offering an award of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.

Trevino was arrested in the border city Nuevo Laredo, known as the headquarters of the powerful cartel.

The Zetas started out as the enforcement arm of Mexico’s Gulf cartel, but later split off and formed their own drug trafficking organization.

They have since branched out into extortion, kidnapping and human smuggling.

Last year Mexican authorities announced that they had killed Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, who had been the cartel’s leader.

The high-profile arrest came the same day that Mexico’s defense secretary and the head of Mexico’s navy met with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A senior State Department official praised Mexican authorities for the arrest.

“Credit goes to the Mexican government for this,” the official said. “It is a very big get.

“We work well with these guys and congratulate them,” the official said.


By Catherine E. Shoichet. CNN’s Elise Labott, Mariano Castillo, Ariel Crespo and Michael Roa contributed to this report. The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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    "The Zetas started out as the enforcement arm of Mexico’s Gulf cartel." OK, let's get this story straight. The Zetas were originally Mexican military special forces trained by U.S. special operation units to fight the war on drugs. After these individuals realized that their newly found skill-set could be used to work for,or takeover the cartels and control the monetary value of the drug trade, it was all down hill from there. We should congratulate Mexico, because they are killing the monster that we created.

    Anyone can research this and find it to be true. Well anyone except a news station that just regurgitates whats handed to them.

    Everything said, does anyone really believe that the government wan'ts the war on drugs to be won? Or for that matter any war, and if so why haven't we sealed the border (cocaine, meth), Afghanistan (opium, lithium), Middle east (oil). The list goes on, to much money to be made.

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