Will the real Z-16 please stand up?
Less than 48 hours after revealing its new strategy for combating organized crime violence in the border state of Tamaulipas, the PRI administration of president Enrique Peña Nieto announced yesterday that it had captured one of the 12 most wanted drug traffickers in the country. Feds announce security plan for bleeding Tamaulipas.
In a late afternoon press conference, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido García said that federal security forces detained Fernando Martínez Magaña, 42, in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Martínez Magaña, also known as Z-16, was boss of the plaza in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, where he supervised Zetas trafficking operations which included narcotics and undocumented persons from all over Latin America headed north to the United States.
The successful take down of one of Mexico's most wanted was based upon months of investigation and monitoring, authorities said, carried out primarily by marine and other military intelligence units. Martínez Magaña may have fled Tamaulipas - now under hypervigilance by federal and state forces - and traveled to Monterrey as recently as three days ago. But units quickly tracked him down there.
He was taken into custody without a shot fired and offered no resistance, according to Rubido García. Vehicles, drugs, weapons and communication devices also were seized, the commissioner said.
Z-16 became boss of Nuevo Laredo in December, 2011, after the arrest of another key Zeta operative during the administration of former president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. That man, whose nickname was "El Lucky," was in fact the real Z-16. But when Lucky was decommissioned Martínez Magaña adopted the moniker Z-16 "to sow confusion about his real identity," commissioner Rubido García told reporters yesterday. Top boss of Los Zetas arrested in Veracruz - a co-founder of dreaded cartel.
May 17 - Mexico takes down Guerrero organized crime boss
May 20 - Los Zetas boss of Ciudad Victoria captured by Mexican troops, government reports
May 25 - Mexican security forces capture Gulf Cartel kingpin in Tamulipas
This man was the original Z-16. Now there are two of them in federal custody.
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