Saturday, October 1, 2011
Zetas linked to kidnapping and murder of Marines arrested in Veracruz.
Semar, Mexico's Naval Ministry, announced the capture Friday of two Zeta operatives linked to the kidnapping and execution of three Marine officers in the port city of Veracruz on July 29 of this year.
The Semar communique identified the two Zetas as Ángel Manuel Mora Caberta, “Comandante Diablo”, an alleged "jefe de sicarios" for Los Zetas (a local coordinator of operations for cells of Zeta gunmen), and Gregorio Maldonado García, "El Panadero”.
Both men were flown to Mexico City and transferred to the custody of Siedo, Mexico's federal organized crime task force under the Attorney General's Office.
Angel Mora's area of operations was the Sotavento region of the state of Veracruz, which includes the municipalities of Boca del Rio and the port of Veracruz.
According to information gathered by a naval intelligence unit, the three officers were off duty and travelling in an unmarked car when they were abducted by a Zeta cell led by Mora.
In a similar incident, a naval cadet was reported missing after he failed to return from liberty on August 8th. According to naval intelligence the cadet is also believed to have been abducted by Los Zetas.
Veracruz is home to Mexico's Naval Academy.
The following video is from a Milenio TV news story released in early July of this year. The news report shows the fate of two Mexican Army soldiers abducted in Veracruz. (see at 1:17 and 4:07)
Milenio confirmed that the two men beaten to death were support troops performing administrative functions at a military base in Veracruz.
The Milenio editor being interviewed states that in the more that 4 years since President Calderon declared war on the drug cartels 236 Army troops have been killed in action and 94 have been abducted. Of the 94 abductees only 38 bodies have been recovered, and 14 were released alive after being tortured. The fate of the others remains unknown.
During this same period the editor states that 223 soldiers and officers have been prosecuted or are being tried for human rights abuses.
In another Semar communique dated September 28th, three Zetas were arrested at a Marine highway checkpoint on September 27th in the municipality of Tuxpan.
The Zetas were in possession of documents related to extortions in progress and also a "narco manta" or banner similar to those hung in municipalities throughout Veracruz on Monday.
The banners, addressed to the Mexican Senate by a group calling itself "desperate citizens", accused the Marines of major human rights abuses and of being the military arm of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa cartel.
The Marines have approximately 2,000 troops in Veracruz leading the Mexican government's efforts against Los Zetas.
An operation by Marines and Federal Police undertaken early Friday morning in the municipalities of Cultizingo, Ciudad Mendoza, Nogales and Río Blanco resulted in the arrests of approximately 50 municipal policemen suspected of having links to organized crime.
As of Friday afternoon federal forces continued to occupy the police stations as spouses and families of the detained police officers grew desparate for information of the whereabouts of their family members.