Mexico Captures Zetas Boss "El Talibán" | The Fix
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Mexico Captures Zetas Boss "El Talibán"

Will the arrest of the cartel's infamous leader help diminish Zetas-driven violence south of the border?


Velázquez Caballero is the latest of more
than 20 drug lords captured since 2009.
Photo via

By Bryan Le


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Mexican authorities claim to have caught Iván Velázquez Caballero, known as “El Talibán,” one of the leaders of the infamous Zetas drug cartel. "A person who is presumed to be, and acknowledges being, Iván Velázquez Caballero, was captured in the state of San Luis Potosi" reads a statement by the Mexican navy. The drug boss had a 30 million peso ($2.25 million) reward on his head; with his capture, Mexican authorities hope for an end to the inhumane violence the cartel is known for, which included decapitating 49 people and leaving their headless bodies by a highway earlier this year. El Talibán is believed to be responsible for recent infighting with rival Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano and his right-hand man Miguel Trevino Morales, which has left bullet-ridden bodies stuffed in vans and hanging from bridges in multiple cities. If the reign of El Talibán is in fact over, this could signal an end to one brutal chapter of Mexico's drug war—but new rumors have surfaced of tensions between Lazcano and Trevino Morales, suggesting that the violence may be far from over. Enrique Pena Nieto, who will replace Felipe Calderón as president of Mexico on December 1, faces the daunting task of how to handle the ongoing threat posed by violence between rival drug gangs.

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