Mexican navy: Zetas leader captured

Suspected members of the Zetas drug cartel wait in court for a judgment in Guatemala City on June 27, 2012.

Story highlights

  • The navy says its marines captured Ivan Velazquez on Wednesday
  • He is one of Mexico's 37 most-wanted traffickers
  • More details on the arrest are expected later Thursday

Mexican forces scored a potentially strong hit against the Zetas drug cartel with the capture of one of its top leaders, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, alias "El Taliban."

Mexican marines arrested the person "presumed to be and who says he is" Velazquez in the north-central state of San Luis Potosi on Wednesday, officials said.

Velazquez is "one of the principal leaders of the Zetas cartel," the Mexican navy said in a statement.

Gulf cartel boss arrested

Additional details were to be released Thursday.

Velazquez's name appears on the list of Mexico's 37 most wanted traffickers. Authorities were offering a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.3 million) for information leading to his arrest.

Bodies dismembered in cartel violence
Bodies dismembered in cartel violence


    Bodies dismembered in cartel violence


Bodies dismembered in cartel violence 02:06

The Zetas are one of Mexico's major drug cartels, known for its violence.

Recent reports indicated that Velazquez was in a power struggle with another Zetas leader, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.

If confirmed, the capture would be another success for Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on the drug cartels, which has left tens of thousands dead, but done little to reduce the amount of drugs transported through the country.

More: Venezuela drug lord captured

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.