Zetas Leader Captured, Probably Won’t Reduce Cartel ViolenceBy: Zach Walton - July 16, 2013
Zetas Leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales was recently captured in Mexico. His arrest is a major win against the drug cartels that have terrorized Mexico for the past few years.
It’s being reported that Morales was arrested when Mexican Marines pulled over a pickup truck near Nuevo Laredo. The truck contained not only Morales, but also a bodyguard, an accountant, eight guns and $2 million in cash.
Now that Morales is in state hands, he’ll be tried by a court for charges of murder, torture, kidnapping and other crimes related to the drug trade. The murder and torture charges will be the easiest to prove as his cartel – the Zetas – left hundreds of bodies in its wake, including a recent event where 49 headless bodies were found, over the last few years. In fact, his position as a leader has him being charged with ordering the kidnappings and deaths of 256 people.
Unfortunately, his arrest will probably not make a dent in the amount of violence that continues to rock Mexico on an almost daily basis. The cartels are not deterred when a leader is captured or killed. They just put somebody else in charge, and business continues as usual.
In the case of the Zetas, it’s suspected that Morales’ brother, Omar, will become the next leader. He isn’t known to be as brutal as Morales, but that could all change with his ascension to power. He will have to prove that he has what it takes to fill his brother’s shows, and doing so could lead to even more violence.
Of course, there’s always the chance that Omar will be weak. Under his leadership, the Zetas may even begin to diminish and lose its power. Unfortunately, other cartels are more than willing to step in and take over territories lost by once dominant cartels. In this case, the Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is expected to grow in power if the Zetas cede power under Omar.
Either way this goes, Mexico is not any safer from the drug cartels that continue to perpetuate violence throughout the nation. In fact, things may become more dangerous if the Zetas and the Sinaloa go to war over territory.[h/t: AP via USA Today]