News / Americas

Leader of Brutal Mexican Drug Cartel Captured

This mug shot released by Mexico's Interior Ministry on July 15, 2013, shows Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino after his arrest.
This mug shot released by Mexico's Interior Ministry on July 15, 2013, shows Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino after his arrest.
TEXT SIZE - +
Greg Flakus
— The arrest of one of Mexico's most notorious and brutal drug cartel leaders is being hailed as a major victory for the Latin American country's president, Enrique Pena Nieto and the U.S.-Mexico cooperative program to fight drug trafficking.  But the capture of the leader of the Zetas kingpin is also a gain for his rivals in the illicit trade.
 
Mexican Marines apprehended Miguel Angel Trevino on a road south of Nuevo Laredo, which sits on the U.S. border across from Laredo, Texas.  The reputed leader of Los Zetas was with two associates in a car that contained large amounts of cash, automatic weapons and ammunition.
 
The security spokesman for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez, says Trevino is facing a long list of charges in Mexico.
 
He says the charges include involvement in organized crime, murder, torture, possession of illegal firearms, money laundering and the murder of immigrants from Central America and elsewhere who were kidnapped by the Zetas.
 
Coming one year after the Mexican military killed the former head of the Zetas, this is a strong blow to the criminal organization and a grand prize for the Mexican government.  But Mexico expert George Grayson, who teaches at the College of William and Mary and who wrote a book on the Zetas, says the real beneficiary may be Mexico's top drug lord.
 
“The big winner is (Joaquin) El Chapo Guzman, who is head of the Sinaloa cartel, because he has been trying for years to gain access to Nuevo Laredo, which is the major portal for shipping goods, services, drugs, illegal immigrants and cash between Mexico and the United States," he said. 
 
Grayson says the Zetas, which began as a renegade military outfit that provided protection to the Gulf cartel along Mexico's eastern border with the United States, no longer operates with a vertically structured command. 
 
"Los Zetas have lost most of their founders and most of their key regional leaders.  Over the years, they have evolved from a vertical organization, with an extremely competent control and command capability, into McDonald's-like franchises," he said. 
 
The loose structure may have contributed to reckless acts of violence that have made the Zetas the most hated and feared organized crime group in Mexico. 
 
Miguel Angel Trevino is an example of the "new" Zetas, who have no military background.  He was born in Mexico, but raised around Dallas, Texas and went back to Mexico as a young man to earn a reputation as a ruthless killer. According to indictments against him in the United States, his brother once told an informer that Miguel Angel Trevino had killed more than 2,000 people, including 385 U.S. citizens.
 
Trevino also is accused of ordering the murder of more than 260 migrant workers, mostly from Central America, whom the Zetas kidnapped as they made their way north to the U.S. border in 2010.  Grayson says the gang often obtained as much ransom money as possible from relatives of kidnapped migrants before trying to force them to work for the gang.
 
"In addition to extorting them, they would also recruit them as possible lookouts, couriers and maybe, ultimately, gunmen.  And if they resisted, they would bash their heads in with sledge hammers.  Cruelty, meanness, sadism was the brand of Los Zetas," he said. 
 
In the United States, there are federal indictments against Miguel Angel Trevino for drug trafficking and weapons violations.  A few years ago, the U.S. government issued a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. 
 
George Grayson says it is very likely that intelligence from U.S. law enforcement agencies played a role in guiding the Mexican Marines to his location in northern Mexico.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Audit Finds US Housing Aid Program in Haiti Falls Short

Results show post-earthquake USAID program has delivered only a quarter of planned number of homes at nearly twice the budgeted cost
More

Mourning, Memories in Garcia Marquez's Languid Hometown

Nobel Prize-winning author's early years in Aracataca inspired characters, tales for major novel
More

Powerful Earthquake Rattles Mexico

US Geological Survey says quake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale, was centered in the western state of Guerrero, north of Acapulco beach resort
More

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support
More

Colombian Novelist Garcia Marquez Dies at 87

Author of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982
More

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies in Car Crash

Police say singer was alone in his jaguar when he hit a post before sunrise Thursday
More