A presumed regional chief of the notorious Los Zetas cartel in southern Veracruz was arrested in Oaxaca on Thursday.
José Carmen N., also known as “El Comandante Reyes,” was believed to be in charge of the gang’s operations in 12 municipalities in Veracruz, including Acayucan, Minatitlán and Coatzacoalcos, known as the state’s most violent towns.
Veracruz Public Security Secretary Hugo Gutiérrez Maldonado recognized the Oaxaca government’s efforts in the apprehension of the gang leader and said the two states maintain a close relationship to combat crime.
Confrontations between criminal groups, among them the Zetas, have been cited as central to the rise in insecurity in southern Veracruz.
The cartel’s territorial conflict with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel was believed to have been the cause of the massacre of 14 people at a party in Minatitlán last April. In August, a group of armed men killed 25 people when they burned down a bar in Coatzacoalcos.
Both towns were under the control of José Carmen N., according to the Veracruz Public Security Secretariat.