Mexico Captures 'El Taliban' Cartel Boss

Zetas arrest could end surge in massacres

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 27, 2012 4:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mexico appears to have struck a major blow against one faction of the hyper-violent Zetas cartel. The country's navy says it has captured one of the country's most-wanted drug traffickers, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, known as "El Taliban." The drug lord has been fighting a bloody internal battle with top Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, and officials have said the split was behind a recent surge in massacres and shootouts, particularly in northern Mexico.

"A person who is presumed to be, and acknowledges being, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, was captured in the state of San Luis Potosi" in north-central Mexico, the navy says in a statement. Velazquez Caballero, also known as "Z-50," has a $2.3 million reward on his head. If confirmed, Velazquez Caballero's arrest could calm some of the brutal violence that has hit border cities like Nuevo Laredo in recent weeks.

Velazquez Caballero was feuding with the alleged leader of Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, alias Z-40.
Velazquez Caballero was feuding with the alleged leader of Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, alias "Z-40."   (AP Photo/Mexican Attorney General's Office website)
A member of the Mexican Navy stands guard over equipment seized from the Zetas cartel.
A member of the Mexican Navy stands guard over equipment seized from the Zetas cartel.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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