Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mexico announces capture of one of the founders of Los Zetas

Flavio Mendez Santiago, alias "El Amarillo," founding member of the Zetas drug cartel, was arrested in southern Mexico.

By the CNN Wire Staff

One of Mexico's most-wanted fugitives, an original member of the violent Zetas drug cartel, has been arrested in southern Mexico, officials said Tuesday.

Flavio Mendez Santiago, alias "El Amarillo," was arrested Monday in a federal police operation in Villa de Etla, Oaxaca. Mexico's public security ministry said.

The Zetas is one of Mexico's major drug trafficking organizations, which are involved in various turf wars throughout the country that have resulted in thousands of violent killings.

Mendez, 35, was on a list of Mexico's 37 most-wanted fugitives. There was a 15 million peso ($1.2 million) reward for his capture. It was not immediately known if someone would claim that money.

Arrest warrants were out for Mendez in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and the federal district where Mexico City sits.

He is being investigated for attempted murder, organized crime, and crimes against health, the ministry said.

At one time, he was the personal bodyguard for Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the now-imprisoned leader of the Gulf cartel. The Zetas were created as an enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel, but have since split into their own organization at odds with their former employers.

In 1993, Mendez was recruited as a founder of the Zetas. He rose to lead the group's informal spy network of "hawks" in northern Mexico, and most recently was in charge of cartel operations in southern Mexico, the ministry said.

He is also believed to be in charge of controlling the flow of illegal immigrants coming into Mexico from Central and South America.

Mendez was arrested together with Carlos Alejandro Rodriguez, his personal bodyguard.
The arrest is a blow to the Zetas operations, though the organization's top leadership, including bosses Heriberto Lazcano and Miguel Trevino, remain at large.

According to the government, there have been more than 34,600 drug-related deaths since President Felipe Calderon began a crackdown on cartels in December 2006.

Youtube: Gobierno Federal de Mexico


  1. not important figure

  2. Hopefully he rats out lazcano and z-40.

  3. @January 18, 2011 12:48 PM

    "not important figure" says who, you? I'll take your word for it (sarcasm)

    January 18, 2011 1:17 PM
    He prob will rat them out. One of my predictions this year is that Z-40 and el Lazca will be either killed or detained this year. You heard it from me first.


  4. maybe he should be sent to the place where most of the 72 migrants the Z's killed came from...along with some rusty razors and good tequila

  5. Glad they caught this scum bag Z. I also forsee plenty of Z's being caught this year. Operations are underway and US intel is at work. Look for plenty Z's to be exterminated and or imprisoned.

  6. I too have the power to forsee the future. My crystal ball tells me many more Zetas will fall this year...pshh Get the fuck outta here with that crap.

    I've met some folks who work at an ICE detention center tell me that they once caught a butt-load of aliens along with one of their Zeta kidnappers. When ICE found out the kidnapper had been incarcerated in the same room with his victims they acted quickly and moved him to another cell lest the Zeta be torn to pieces. Apparently the human trafficker did not want to leave his cell and claimed he was not afraid of dying at the hands of his tortured victims.

    Can you believe the good treatment these scumbags receive here in the U.S.? Not only do we feed and provide medical help to regular aliens but we also protect suspected Zetas from any harm that might come to them.

    And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Word has it that the detention center over at Bayview once had a Zeta and released him over to supposed Mexican authorities without the proper verification. Apperently four helicopters showed up with heavily armed Mexican federal police demanding the center hand over a captive Zeta. They had what appeared to be the right documents leading the directors of the detention center to believe that the Federales had the authority to receive and transport the detainee back to Mexico.

    Well when the detention center at Willacy recieved a visit from the same group of Mexican armed federal police they refused to give up their Zeta prisoners noting there was no proper verifications. Pissed-off the armed men left empty-handed.

  7. @3:40

    Why do you feel sorry for the Zetas? Do they give a sh!t about you? You must be like the people that write Serial Killers in prison. WTF! Are you in the Zeta fan club?

  8. El Memin another Zeta leader went down today, he was killed by the Mexican Marines in Quinatana Roo.

  9. @3:40pm
    I do hate zetas and all those who support them because they kidnap and kill innocents. The are shitbags who are destorying mexico and have killed on u.s soil. All must know about this scumbag zeta group must be the bullshit you here in corridos. Inform yourself.

    Los zetas son una mierda.

  10. a good reason to keep any information that might be used to identify or position you secret

  11. @ 3:40 PM Do you hate Mexico? Then why are you so sympathetic to these cowards when they wouldn't hesistate to slaughter your family. People don't need to live in Mexico or be Mexican to know that all these cartels are scum.

  12. Have any ya been keeping count just how many Cartel members are being arrested since the US has put in a small part of our intelligence in the country. Its like Mexico forces never used any intelligence before WTF. Maybe this is all we will have to commit is intelligence. I know that I don't want to be called back up to go kill zetas its a waste of time these punks who think they are trained are not worth our Time. Let the Mexican Navy keep putting them away and the Mexican Marines. But, if I am called back up to handle this stuff hopefully we will go to Guatemala and cut the snake off at the head. Taking out the Immigrant smugglers and choking off the main entrance of drugs coming into Mexico.

  13. Yes, have to credit that, even if it's not the most effective strategy, it's a total departure from the mid nineties, or the early-mid 2000's. This article makes a good point, that they need to arrest large group of Zeta's, instead of just figureheads. Although, they do good work hitting cells too. 4-8 people, though, not 30.

    Also, taking it a step further, which will show whether or not the Z's drug business in the US has legs, is start hitting them here, like they got at La Familia. That effects the bottomline, and def. lead to the state that LFM is in presently. I suspect their drug business in the US is not on scale with other organizations, making them harder to hit.

  14. why do u i hate the zetas? for all the crap they're doing in mexico and in my home town. the narco messages they send out are fake THEY ARE terrorizing mexican citizens and doing horrible acts to ANYBODY please dont be fooled. in the state of Nuevo Leon the marines, cartel del golfo, and familia michoacana are all trying to get rid of these idiots.


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