Mexican navy: Zetas leader captured

Suspected members of the Zetas drug cartel wait in court for a judgment in Guatemala City on June 27, 2012.

Story highlights

  • The navy says its marines captured Ivan Velazquez on Wednesday
  • He is one of Mexico's 37 most-wanted traffickers
  • More details on the arrest are expected later Thursday

Mexican forces scored a potentially strong hit against the Zetas drug cartel with the capture of one of its top leaders, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, alias "El Taliban."

Mexican marines arrested the person "presumed to be and who says he is" Velazquez in the north-central state of San Luis Potosi on Wednesday, officials said.

Velazquez is "one of the principal leaders of the Zetas cartel," the Mexican navy said in a statement.

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Additional details were to be released Thursday.

Velazquez's name appears on the list of Mexico's 37 most wanted traffickers. Authorities were offering a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.3 million) for information leading to his arrest.

Bodies dismembered in cartel violence
Bodies dismembered in cartel violence


    Bodies dismembered in cartel violence


Bodies dismembered in cartel violence 02:06

The Zetas are one of Mexico's major drug cartels, known for its violence.

Recent reports indicated that Velazquez was in a power struggle with another Zetas leader, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.

If confirmed, the capture would be another success for Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on the drug cartels, which has left tens of thousands dead, but done little to reduce the amount of drugs transported through the country.

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