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Blog del Narco: Zetas Boss Wanted for Nuevo Leon Massacre Killings Arrested in Mexico
Photo: Zeta arrested for Massacre
A suspected Los Zetas boss arrested by the army last week was behind a massacre in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon and led the drug cartel’s push in 2008 into Guatemala, battling rival criminal organizations, a Defense Secretariat official said Monday.
Daniel Elizondo Ramirez, who was arrested on May 18, was paraded before the press Monday in Mexico City.
Elizondo Ramirez “belonged to a group of hitmen led by (Miguel Angel) Treviño Morales who entered Zacapa province, in Guatemala, to expand the organization’s control in that country,” general staff deputy operations chief Gen. Edgar Luis Villegas Melendez said.
Elizondo Ramirez, known as “El Loco,” participated in “various clashes with local groups in which Guatemalan drug trafficker Juan Jose Leon Radon, alias ‘Juancho Leon,’ died,” Villegas Melendez said.
The suspect, who was arrested in a military operation in the city of Guadalupe, was a member of the group that carried out the March 25, 2008, massacre of 11 people in Zacapa, which is in eastern Guatemala.
Elizondo Ramirez received his orders directly from Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” and had gained control of Cadereyta, a city in Nuevo Leon, for the cartel.
The suspect “participated in various attacks on the authorities and the rival Gulf cartel, carrying out kidnappings and executions,” the general said.
Elizondo Ramirez was behind the killings of 49 people whose bodies were found earlier this month on the side of a highway in Cadereyta.
He is also suspected of being behind the murders of several people whose bodies were burned and buried over the past few months in Sabinas, another city in Nuevo Leon.
The Los Zetas drug cartel has been battling the Gulf cartel for control of smuggling routes from Nuevo Leon into the United States.
Lazcano Lazcano deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.
After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.
Los Zetas has been blamed for several massacres in recent years.
The cartel was accused of staging the Aug. 23, 2010, massacre of 72 migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, at a ranch outside San Fernando, a city in Tamaulipas state.
Los Zetas has also been blamed for the massacre of 27 peasants in May 2011 at a ranch in Guatemala’s Peten province, which borders Mexico and Belize.
Zetas gunmen set fire to the Casino Royale in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, on Aug. 25, 2011, killing 52 gamblers and employees trapped inside, most of whom died of smoke inhalation.
The wave of drug-related violence in Nuevo Leon claimed the lives of 2,003 people in 2011, official figures show.
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