Mexican Soldiers and Federal Police Capture Los Zetas Leader “Z-42”

By Dialogo
March 09, 2015




Mexican Federal Police (PF) and Army Soldiers on Wednesday captured Oscar Omar Treviño Morales, the alleged leader of Los Zetas. He is known as "Z-42."

The capture of Z-42 was the second major arrest of a drug cartel leader by Mexican security forces in a week.

Soldiers and PF agents captured Z-42 in San Pedro Garza Garcia, an upper-class suburb of the northern industrial city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon State, federal law enforcement officials said. He is wanted in the United States and Mexico on charges of drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder; the Mexican government had offered a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture while the U.S. offered a $5 million reward.

Mexican security forces used intelligence to locate Z-42


Troops and PF agents relied on intelligence to locate and capture Z-42, arresting him as he entered a two-story house where he had been living for about six months.

Authorities had been conducting surveillance on Carlos Arturo Jimenez Encina, a Los Zetas financial operative. Following Jimenez helped Soldiers and PF agents locate and capture Z-42, who had been spending time with his wife, Carolina Fernández González.

"Thus, two simultaneous operations were coordinated. The first, shortly after 3:00 a.m., where Omar Treviño was captured without a shot, near Via Colatina Street when he was about to enter his home," National Security Commission Director Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia said at a press conference.

“In the second operation, on San Agustin Street, in Jardines del Campestre, within the same municipality, the operator Jimenez Encinas was stopped," Rubido García said.

In addition to Z-42, security forces arrested four other alleged Los Zetas operatives at the home. Under heavy security, authorities transported Z-42 and the other suspects to Mexico City, where they were presented before TV news cameras.

Mexico captures or kills a series of drug cartel leaders


Z-42 succeeded his brother, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, who is known as "Z-40", when the latter was captured in Nuevo Laredo in July of 2013. Z-42 went on to found the Livestock Company 5 Springs to launder money with Fernández González and her father, Jesus Fernández de Luna, according to U.S. law enforcement authorities.

U.S. federal law enforcement authorities are seeking Z-42's extradition for conspiracy to traffic drugs.

While the capture of Z-42 is important, Mexican Military forces and police must remain vigilant.

“There will always be a successor,” acccording to Martin Barron, a criminologist from Mexico's National Institute of Criminal Sciences (INACIPE).

The new leader will continue the organized crime group's criminal enterprises.

“Los Zetas continue to maintain cohesion and strength despite the capture and death of their leaders. They continue their partnership in Guatemala for the smuggling of drugs and are still in businesses with Italian mafias. For now it is not known who will assume leadership of Los Zetas, but there will always be someone who takes over either by means of force, negotiation, or by any means whatsoever, there will always be a way to prevail in this.”



Mexican Federal Police (PF) and Army Soldiers on Wednesday captured Oscar Omar Treviño Morales, the alleged leader of Los Zetas. He is known as "Z-42."

The capture of Z-42 was the second major arrest of a drug cartel leader by Mexican security forces in a week.

Soldiers and PF agents captured Z-42 in San Pedro Garza Garcia, an upper-class suburb of the northern industrial city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon State, federal law enforcement officials said. He is wanted in the United States and Mexico on charges of drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder; the Mexican government had offered a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture while the U.S. offered a $5 million reward.

Mexican security forces used intelligence to locate Z-42


Troops and PF agents relied on intelligence to locate and capture Z-42, arresting him as he entered a two-story house where he had been living for about six months.

Authorities had been conducting surveillance on Carlos Arturo Jimenez Encina, a Los Zetas financial operative. Following Jimenez helped Soldiers and PF agents locate and capture Z-42, who had been spending time with his wife, Carolina Fernández González.

"Thus, two simultaneous operations were coordinated. The first, shortly after 3:00 a.m., where Omar Treviño was captured without a shot, near Via Colatina Street when he was about to enter his home," National Security Commission Director Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia said at a press conference.

“In the second operation, on San Agustin Street, in Jardines del Campestre, within the same municipality, the operator Jimenez Encinas was stopped," Rubido García said.

In addition to Z-42, security forces arrested four other alleged Los Zetas operatives at the home. Under heavy security, authorities transported Z-42 and the other suspects to Mexico City, where they were presented before TV news cameras.

Mexico captures or kills a series of drug cartel leaders


Z-42 succeeded his brother, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, who is known as "Z-40", when the latter was captured in Nuevo Laredo in July of 2013. Z-42 went on to found the Livestock Company 5 Springs to launder money with Fernández González and her father, Jesus Fernández de Luna, according to U.S. law enforcement authorities.

U.S. federal law enforcement authorities are seeking Z-42's extradition for conspiracy to traffic drugs.

While the capture of Z-42 is important, Mexican Military forces and police must remain vigilant.

“There will always be a successor,” acccording to Martin Barron, a criminologist from Mexico's National Institute of Criminal Sciences (INACIPE).

The new leader will continue the organized crime group's criminal enterprises.

“Los Zetas continue to maintain cohesion and strength despite the capture and death of their leaders. They continue their partnership in Guatemala for the smuggling of drugs and are still in businesses with Italian mafias. For now it is not known who will assume leadership of Los Zetas, but there will always be someone who takes over either by means of force, negotiation, or by any means whatsoever, there will always be a way to prevail in this.”
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