Photo: Los Zetas arrested in Northern Mexico
Nine Los Zetas drug cartel members were captured in separate operations in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila and more than 50 firearms, five rockets, drugs and thousands of rounds of ammunition were seized, the Navy Secretariat said Wednesday.
The arrests were made on Monday in the cities of Piedras Negras, Nava and Monclova, where marines spotted the suspects while on patrol or received tips from citizens, the secretariat said in a statement.
The suspects admitted that they belonged to Los Zetas and distributed drugs in Coahuila or worked for the cartel’s communications network.
Guillermo Federico Suevich Mora, who “apparently is one of the inmates who recently escaped from the prison in Piedras Negras,” was among those arrested, the navy said.
A total of 131 inmates escaped from the prison in Piedras Negras on Sept. 17 in a jailbreak blamed on Los Zetas, with an undetermined number recaptured.
Marines seized more than 520 kilos of marijuana, 56 rifles and handguns, five RPGs, more than 14,000 rounds of ammunition, eight hand grenades and $8,500 in cash, among other property, from the suspects.
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, the top Los Zetas boss, was killed in a shootout with marines in Coahuila state on Oct. 7.
Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” 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.
The cartel, which has expanded into Central America, is also involved in kidnappings, extortion rackets, people trafficking and murders, among other crimes.