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Was top Zetas leader a DEA informant?

July 19, 2013

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Captured Zetas boss Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias “Z-40,” was working as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant since at least 2011, Mexican daily 24 Horas reported Friday.

Treviño, who was detained in Nuevo Leon on Monday, provided the DEA with information on his rivals within Los Zetas and in other cartels, according to 24 Horas. The U.S. agency reportedly knew of Treviño’s movements and the locations of his safe houses in Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Coahuila, but did not share such information with the Mexican government until very recently.

If proven, such revelations would reignite tensions between the United States and Mexico, for Treviño was one of the most powerful and ultra-violent criminals in Mexico. The subject of at least 12 criminal investigations in Mexico, he had seven warrants issued against him and faces charges of organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, torture and homicide.

There has no been no official comment on the allegations to date, but the DEA congratulated the Mexican government on Tuesday for Treviño’s arrest.

“Treviño Morales is of one of the most significant Mexican cartel leaders to be apprehended in several years and the DEA will continue to support the Government of Mexico as it forges ahead in disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations,” read the DEA statement.

Citing unnamed sources within Mexico’s federal government, 24 Horas indicated that Treviño may have provided the DEA with information that led to the death of Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, his predecessor and main rival for control of the Zetas cartel (Lazcano was shot dead by Marines in Coahuila last October following an anonymous tip-off).

Mexican authorities also suspect Treviño may have betrayed Enrique Rejon Aguilar, alias “El Mamito,” captured in Mexico City in July 2011 and Raul Lucio Hernandez, alias “Z-16,” detained in Veracruz in December 2011, 24 Horas reported. Likewise, the arrests of Luis Reyes Enriquez, alias “Z-12,” Jamie Gonzalez Duran, alias “El Hummer”, and Daniel Perez, alias “El Chachetes,” in 2008 and 2009 could also have been the result of information provided by Treviño.

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