Mexico arrests drug lord 'El Taliban'



Mexico City: Mexican law enforcement authorities have arrested drug kingpin Ivan Velazquez Caballero, nicknamed "El Taliban", dealing a serious blow to the nation's biggest drug cartel, Los Zetas, the government said.

Velazquez Caballero had a $2.4 million bounty on his head. He is one of 37 people on Mexico's most wanted list in the drug war launched by President Felip Calderon's government in 2006.

Velazquez Caballero, who helped found Los Zetas in 2010, was captured by navy marines in San Luis Potosi in central Mexico.

Los Zetas had become Mexico's biggest drug cartel by the end of 2011, with criminal groups in 16 of Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City. The cartel, which included former members of elite army units, was suspected of engineering last week's escape of 131 inmates from the Piedras Negras prison in northern Mexico. Police have managed to recapture only a few of the fugitives.

But recent infighting, which resulted in two massacres in August-September that left 23 people dead, has weakened the cartel.

IANS