Mexican police arrest cartel member in probe of U.S. customs agent’s murder

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 8:18 EDT
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MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexican police have captured a member of the Zetas drug cartel who allegedly participated in a February attack on US customs agents that left one dead, officials said.

Jose Manuel Garcia Soto was arrested on Saturday in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, the Secretariat of Public Security said in a statement.

He is thought to be linked to the death of ICE agent Jaime Zapata, 32, who was shot and killed on February 15 while driving in the same state, wracked by drug violence. A second ICE agent was wounded in the ambush.

Zapata and his partner were not armed when Mexican gunmen attacked them.

Garcia, 30, told police he had operated under the command of Julian Zapata Espinosa, alias “El Piolin” (Tweety), in a Zetas cartel cell.

Mexican authorities have captured two other members of the cartel linked to the attack on the ICE agents.

The weapon used to kill Zapata came from the United States, according to US officials.

Los Zetas is one of seven major drug gangs operating in Mexico whose bloody clashes have left over 34,600 people dead since December 2006, when the government launched a military crackdown that has so far failed to stem the scourge of violence.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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