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Military nabs alleged Zetas drug lord Miguel Angel Trevino Morales

  1. Rob Cypher
    A man said to be one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords has been captured: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, also known as "Z-40."

    Trevino Morales, alleged leader of the brutal Los Zetas cartel, was caught Sunday by Mexican Marines in a town called Anahuac near the border of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Le?n states, authorities say.

    In a press conference, officials said no shots were fired and three men were arrested with 2 million U.S. dollars in cash, three guns and multiple rounds. It was not clear what the precise roles of the two other suspects were, but Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez, Mexico's Assistant Secretary of Media and Security, said he believes one was in charge of finances and the other was a bodyguard. He did not answer when asked what role U.S. agencies played in capture.

    The U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for Trevino Morales.

    The Zetas cartel is among Mexico's most violent drug organizations, notorious for civilian killings and beheadings. Is leaders ordered the killing of 72 undocumented immigrants in 2010 in what is known as the San Fernando massacre. More recently in May, the Mexican army said their leaders ordered underlings to leave 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexico town square.

    Trevino Morales' brother, Jose, was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison in Texas for using a racetrack to hide illegal drug profits for his brothers.

    Las Zetas is one of eight major, rival drug cartels involved in an ongoing conflict for regional control.

    A horse ranch in Oklahoma was raided in June under suspicions it also hosted a money-laundering operation for Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.

    July 16, 2013



  1. Rob Cypher
    The captured head of the Zetas drug cartel has filed for legal protection over claims that he is at risk of torture or isolation during his detention, court officials said.

    A court official who visited Miguel Angel Trevino, alias "Z-40," determined that the drug kingpin has no grounds to complain and a judge will likely reject his bid in the coming days, one of the sources said.

    Trevino has been held at a facility of the federal attorney general's office in Mexico City since he was nabbed by Mexican marines in a pre-dawn operation in northeastern Mexico last Monday.

    Trevino -- himself accused of torture and murder -- filed four complaints against the attorney general's office for "the possible practices of torture, isolation and mistreatment that may have taken place or may take place," an official said.

    But the court official who visited him "saw that there is no isolation, nor mistreatment or torture, or the risk that this could happen," the official added.

    The legal protection Trevino is seeking aims to protect the rights of detainees but it would not lead to his release, the official said.

    Rights groups have accused authorities of committing abuses and torture against prisoners since troops were deployed to crack down on drug cartels in 2006.

    Agence France Presse
    July 18, 2013

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