Crime and Violence

Zetas, and Gulf Cartel members captured in Nuevo León, solving two past crimes

José Valdez Perales “La Vaca”, leader of Los Zetas in Apodaca, Guadalupe and Juárez. Photo: Vanguardia/Milenio

The Nuevo León State Agency of Investigations (Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones, AEI) presented 14 detained cartel members to the media, including ten members of the Zetas Cartel and four members of the Gulf Cartel (Cártel del Golfo, CDG). Among the captured Zetas was José Valdez Perales, known as “La Vaca,” the leader of the Zetas in the municipalities of Apodaca, Guadalupe, and Juárez. La Vaca was once an agent for the Secretary of Roads and Transit (Secretaria de Vialidad y Tránsito) in the municipality of Juárez, where he resided. He revealed the names of several Zetas contacts, and he confessed working for the Zetas, first as a “hawk” or “halcón,” meaning a spy or accomplice that acts as a lookout for cartels and crime groups.  Later, he worked as a “stake” or “estaca,” a role dedicated to kidnapping and executing rival groups seeking to operate in the area.

Valdez confessed his involvement in the disappearances and murders of Milton Alvarado Rojas, police chief of the city of Apodaca, Nuevo León, ten of Alvarado’s guards, and Tomás Betancourt Gaytán, councilman or “regidor” of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD)  in the Benito Juárez municipality. According to Terra, in the wake of the murder of Alvarado and his guards, La Vaca made two Dodge Ram trucks “disappear,” trucks that the security guards supposedly traveled in. He also indicated where the bodies could be found, where forensic experts subsequently found two bodies, according to Jorge Domene Zambrana, a Nuevo Leóon state public security spokesman. He is being held in arraigo (a form of preventative detention that authorities use to hold suspects while gathering more evidence in the case) at a detention facility (Casa de Arraigo) in Nuevo León.

Along with Zeta Cartel member Valdez, four members of the CDG were also captured and confessed to 13 homicides and 10 kidnappings. Among the captured CDG members were Fransico and César Alejandro González Rojas, brothers of Alan Josué González Rojas, the ex-leader of the Gulf Cartel in the city of Allende who was captured January 31, 2012, and assassinated ten days later in the Topo Chico prison in Nuevo León. Victims of the four include four Allende policemen, as well as subjects who worked as “hawks” (term described above) to the Zetas. Two of these “hawks” were allegedly hung from a bridge, a phenomenon that has continued to occur in Mexico.


La Jornada. “Presentan a diez ‘zetas’ y a cuatro del cártel del Golfo detenidos en NL.” Vanguardia. November 7, 2012.

Staff Sexenio. “Cae ‘La Vaca’ por secuestro del director de Apodaca y homicidio del regidor de Juárez.” Sexenio Nuevo León. November 7, 2012.

Tamayo, Carlos. “Presunto Zeta vinculado a 11 homicidios cae en NL.” Terra. November 7, 2012.

2 thoughts on “Zetas, and Gulf Cartel members captured in Nuevo León, solving two past crimes”

  1. Pingback: Four Zetas Operatives Captured in Coahuila and Aguascalientes « Justice in Mexico

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