Transparency & accountability

Drug Cartel Leader “El Kilo,” 22 Zetas, and 16 Police Officers Arrested in Connection with the Mass Graves in Tamaulipas

"El Kilo" who was arrested on Saturday by Mexican authorities. (Photo Credit: CNN)

04/19/11— On Saturday, Mexican authorities announced that they had arrested drug cartel leader Martín Omar Estrada Luna, also known by his alias as “El Kilo.” He is the alleged drug cartel leader of the Zetas in San Fernando, a town in the border state of Tamaulipas and is the presumed mastermind behind the killings of more than 100 people found in mass graves in Tamaulipas earlier this month. He and six others were arrested during a Navy operation.

Along with Estrada Luna, a federal judge ordered 16 police officers  last week to remain detained for 40 days over their alleged involvement with the Zetas cartel and their connections to the mass graves found in Tamaulipas. The police were transferred to Mexico City on Monday and are under investigation for involvement with organized crime, kidnapping, as well as murder.

The Justice Ministry has also announced that 22 more people were arrested for suspicion of being Zeta drug cartel members in connection to the mass graves. They have now been detained until further information can be proven. Marines were able to detain the 22 suspects, including 5 women, in an operation on Friday. They have been accused of involvement in organized crime, murder, kidnapping, and violation of fire arms laws. With this recent arrest, there are now 55 people who have been arrested with connection to the mass graves found in Tamaulipas.

In addition to the mass graves, authorities suspect the Zetas’ involvement in the deaths of 72 migrants whose bodies were found last August at a ranch in Tamaulipas. The Zetas have been called one of the most violent organized crime groups in Mexico today.

** Updated on April 20, 2011 to include the increased amount of detainees, which has now climbed to 55 people arrested in connection to the mass graves in Tamaulipas.


“Mexico gang leader ‘captured over killings.'”AlJazeera.  April 17, 2011.

CNN Wire Staff. “Government: Drug Cartel Leader ‘El Kilo’ Caught in Mexico.” CNN. April 18, 2011.

AFP. “16 Mexican police held over alleged drug link.” AFP. April 18, 2011.

AFP. “22 Zeta suspects held in Mexico mass graves probe.”AFP. April 19, 2011.

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