Agence France-Presse

Mexico: Zetas drug cartel leader 'El Taliban' arrested

More than 50,000 people in Mexico have been killed in drug-related violence in the past six years.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Mexican authorities have captured one of the country’s most wanted drug lords, CNN Mexico reported

Ivan Velazquez Caballero, also known as “El Taliban,” is a leader of the brutal Zetas drug cartel.

Marines said Wednesday they had arrested Velazquez Caballero in the central state of San Luis Potosi, which has been the scene of deadly violence in recent months, El Universal reported.

An eyewitness told Reuters that Velazquez Caballero surrendered to marines in the city of San Luis Potosi "without a shot being fired." 

A leadership split in the Zetas has been blamed for the recent increase in massacres and shootouts across the country.

The Associated Press said Velazquez Caballero had been feuding with Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, who is believed to have seized control of the Zetas from founder Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano.

On August 9, the bodies of 14 men were found in a Mercedes-Benz van in San Luis Potosi. Authorities believe the victims belonged to the Zetas and were killed by fellow gang members. 

A few days later a newly elected mayor in San Luis Potosi was shot dead along with his campaign manager. 

More from GlobalPost: Mexico President Felipe Calderon urges United Nations to lead debate on alternative drug policy (VIDEO)




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