Zetas lieutenant “El Loco” arrested for massacre
The Mexican army this week accused top leaders from the ultra-violent Zetas drug cartel of ordering the dumping of 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexico town square, then hanging banners around the country denying responsibility in an effort to have their enemies blamed for the massacre.
The charges were announced in a news conference presenting the alleged Zetas local leader detained in the killings, Daniel Jesus Elizondo Ramirez. He allegedly got his orders from Zetas leaders Miguel-Angel Trevino Morales and Heriberto Lazcano to dump the bodies in the town square of Cadereyta in the border state of Nuevo Leon.
Brigadier General Edgar Luis Villegas said that Elizondo Ramirez, in spite of being known as ”El Loco,” or the Crazy One, got nervous about depositing the hacked-up bodies in town so left them on a highway outside Cadereyta instead. The bodies with their heads, hands and feet hacked off were found on May 13.
A video later posted on a Mexican drug crime news site showed gunmen dumping the bodies in the dark and unrolling a banner claiming responsibility for the killings signed by the Zetas, who are fighting a turf war with the competing Gulf and Sinaloa cartels. Villegas said another suspect who made the videotape is still at large .
After the bodies were found, banners were hung on freeway overpasses in other Mexican states denying that the Zetas were responsible. Villegas said the denials were a Zetas strategy to “cause confusion among authorities and the public” and blame the cartel’s rivals.
Elizondo Ramirez tried to escape arrest Friday by throwing a hand grenade at troops who captured him in the northern city of Monterrey, the general said. He is now being held without charge at a special detention facility while prosecutors gather evidence against him.
Villegas said Elizondo Ramirez had confessed to killing members of the Gulf cartel and burning or burying their bodies in another area of Nuevo Leon. He said Elizondo Ramirez also acknowledged accompanying Zetas second-in-command Miguel-Angel Trevino Morales to Guatemala in 2008 to assassinate a rival drug capo, Juan Jose “Juancho” Leon. Leon was killed in an ambush that year in the neighboring country, where the Zetas have expanded their operations in recent years.
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