Only days after seven bodies were found in clandestine graves near Linares, Nuevo Leon, authorities have detained seven alleged members of the Zetas drug cartel.
Working alongside the Mexican Military, State authorities captured five presumed adult members of the Zetas, as well as two minors. The group is accused of participating in at least twelve homicides and kidnappings in the citrus-growing region of the state, which borders with the neighboring state Tamaulipas.
At a press conference the security spokesman for the state, Jorge Domene Zambrano, said that the capture took place in an army checkpoint which had been put in place to support State forces. The checkpoint was near the town of Linares.
Domene Zambrano assumed his post in December, 2010
The subjects were detained initially after two rifles were found in a vehicle. Alongside the rifles, authorities seized 29 magazines, more than 800 cartridges of various calibers, 100 bags of marijuana, 14 bags cocaine (eight with crack cocaine), five cell phones, and three vehicles: a Ford Avenger, a Ford Ranger, and a Dodge Stratus.
"They have been saying that they worked with the criminal group Los Zetas,” said Domene Zambrano. “They are allegedly connected to at least 12 known murders, committed along with other individuals, some of whom are still at large.”
The group of five adults ranged in age from 19 to 41. The two minors were each 14 years of age; one of these was identified as a drug pusher, and the other as a lookout.
The last murder allegedly committed by this group occurred on December 23, when Rolando Gonzalez Rodriguez, aged 40, a “drug dealer for rival groups” was killed in Linares. Other victims of this organized group apparently include police officers in the municipalities of Linares and Hualahuises.
In related news, a few days before these arrests the bodies of seven people were found in three different graves in between Montemorelos and Linares. The information that led to the discovery was given to authorities by a gang of Zetas kidnappers who had been arrested a week before the graves were discovered.
The search for more bodies in the area continues, as authorities are unsure if there are more than seven victims connected to this incident.
The recent finding of the Nuevo León graves is yet another addition to a long list of discoveries. On December 14, ten bodies were found buried in Durango, bringing that state's yearly total to almost 300 victims.
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