A menacing leader within the brutal Los Zetas criminal organization was captured by Mexican authorities in Monterrey, the capital city of Nuevo Leon, on Thursday.
Mexican officials say 33-year-old José Enrique Mendoza Rodríguez, the presumed regional leader or “plaza boss” of the Zetas cartel faction known as the “Old School Zetas” was arrested around 4:30 p.m. by members of the Mexico’s Civil Defense Force.
According to Proceso, Mendoza, who is also known as “Güero,” has been linked to a number of crimes and horrific acts of violence, including numerous murders in the municipalities of Santa Catarina and Garcia, located west of Monterrey, where he oversaw criminal operations for the cartel.
Law enforcement officials said Mendoza was allegedly responsible for the horrific murders of several people whose bodies were mutilated, stuffed in garbage bags and dumped in the Garcia neighborhood of Bosques de la Huasteca back in March.
The Mexican Attorney General’s Office also said Mendoza collected extortion payments in both cities on behalf of the Zetas and is linked to multiple attacks on businesses including car dealerships and bars, whose owners had failed to pay.
n addition, “Güero” was reportedly tasked with overseeing an installation dedicated to the training of cartel hitmen in the Las Praderas area of Garcia.
According to sources with the Mexican Federal Police, the detained capo was working directly under the command of Édgar Iván Silva Guevara, also known as “El Garo” or “Commander 25,” one of the highest-ranking leaders of the Old School Zetas operating in Nuevo Leon.
Authorities recovered 20 bundles of marijuana and firearms during the operation.
In recent years, the Los Zetas have split into warring factions following the arrest of several senior leadership figures.
For over a year, the Old School Zetas and their rivals, the Cartel Del Noreste or CDN, have been gripped in a brutal turf war for control of drug trafficking territories in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas.
The spiraling violence has since spread to the neighboring states of Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, which has resulted in horrific murders including gruesome decapitations, daylight gun battles, and attacks on businesses.