Mexico's highly feared Zetas drug cartel finds itself back in the international headlines once again, after an alleged regional head was arrested in connection with the murder of Jaime Zapata, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, which took place last month.
As the New York Times is reporting, navy spokesman José Luis Vergara said the suspect, Sergio Antonio Mora, controlled the Zeta organization in the state of San Luis Potosí, where the attack took place.
Unfortunately, the lethal reputation of "Los Zetas" doesn't stop with Zapata's death, as members have previously been blamed for some of the most gruesome atrocities in Mexico's drug war, including the brutal slaying of 72 migrants last August.
View key facts about Mexico's Zetas here. All captions courtesy of Reuters.
In the late 1990s, about 40 soldiers deserted the Mexican army special forces to work as muscle for the Gulf Cartel. After the cartel's leader was arrested, they branched out into their own, independent operation.
Los "Zetas" take their name from the police radio code for top army commanders, "Z1."
Heriberto Lazcano, also known as "The Executioner," heads the Zetas drug cartel. The U.S. has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.
The Zetas are responsible for some of the worst atrocities in Mexico's ongoing drug war, including allegedly dumping 35 bodies on an avenue in Veracruz and igniting a casino fire that killed 52 people in Monterrey.
According to Mexican officials, the Zetas may have has many as 10,000 members across Mexico, Central America, and the United States.