The Mexican navy said Wednesday it had arrested the alleged local chief of the Zetas drug cartel in the Gulf coast port of Veracruz, and said he is tied to the dumping of eight bodies in a rural town a week ago.
The navy said Carlos “The Bam Bam” Pitalua and five other men were arrested on Tuesday. One of the five is suspected in helping break 32 inmates out of three Veracruz prisons in a well-planned, simultaneous escape.
One day after the jail break, gunmen dumped 35 bodies on a busy avenue of Veracruz last month. Some of the victims were reported at the time to have been escaped inmates.
And in central Mexico State, outside Mexico City, prosecutors announced Wednesday they had arrested Adrian Ramirez, alias “The Mushroom,” the alleged leader of the Cartel del Centro.
The gang is believed to be one of the spin-off groups from the Beltran Leyva cartel, which has been decimated by the arrests or deaths of its leaders.
Mexico state Attorney General Alfredo Castillo said the Cartel del Centro has been linked to at least 26 killings, and operated mainly in Mexico City suburbs.
The suspects were arrested last week, Castillo said.
Almost one-quarter of the police chiefs and top commanders tested so far have also failed, as had about 10 percent of midlevel police commanders and officers. The agency said in a statement that all those who fail the vetting process should be fired, but left open the possibility that some might be reassigned.
Mexico has set a goal of vetting all of its police officers by the end of 2012. However, only 71,079 have been tested so far, equal to about 18 percent of the total police force of 431,739 officers.
- Mexico nabs alleged Zetas local chief, 5 others (seattletimes.nwsource.com)