Mexico arrests mass murder suspect
The Mexican Navy on saturday captured one of the prime suspects in the mass murder of 145 people whose bodies were exhumed from mass graves in the northern state of Tamaulipas.
Omar Martin Estrada -- a/k/a El Kilo -- is the alleged local leader of Los Zetas, arguably the most deadly and brutal drug cartel in Mexico. He was nabbed in San Fernando, where the buried bodies were found. A $1.2 million reward had been offered for his arrest.
Most of the victims are thought to have been abducted bus passengers traveling through the area.
In addition, Estrada is accused of being involved in the murder of 72 Central and South American immigrants whose bodies were found in the same area last year. The illegal aliens refused to work for Los Zetas as "mules" carrying drugs and contraband for the cartel, a U.S. crime scene expert working as a consultant for the police told the Public Safety Examiner.
Five other suspects were also arrested, the source said, and forensic scientists and pathologists have been working to identify the bodies, some of which were taken to Mexico City for examinations and autopsies.
Security forces have already arrested at least 16 suspected members of Los Zetas in connection with the mass graves, but it's not known how much or what type of evidence prosecutors possess at this point in the case.
There were also 16 local police officers accused of protecting the drug cartel members, and they are being interrogated by the Mexican national police (Federales).
Most of the victims are thought to have been abducted from long-distance buses traveling north in the direction of the US-Mexico border. The motive for the murders remains unclear.
According to U.S. law enforcement officials, Los Zetas and their former employers, the Gulf Cartel, are in the midst of a bloody gang war for control of the area because of its close proximity to the United States.
Founded by former members of the Mexican special forces, Los Zetas cartel is widely believed to be one of the most dangerous crime groups operating in the Western Hemisphere.
Well-trained and well-armed they first acted as hired gunmen and protection for the Gulf Cartel, before setting up their own criminal organization, according to a National Association of Chiefs of Police published report.
Hundreds of people whose relatives have gone missing have gone to see if they can identify their family members among the dead.
More than 35,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon began deploying the army to fight the cartels in 2006. The Human Rights Commission estimates the number of missing people in Mexico since 2006 at 5,000.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.
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Tags: Drug War , Mass Graves , Narco-terrorism
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