The Mexican Navy has arrested multiple gang members thought to be responsible for the mass killings that have been taking place in Veracruz.
At least 12 members of the Zetas cartel and 8 members of the New Generation cartel were arrested for the murders of 67 people whose bodies were found throughout the city as well as dumped on a main road near the city last month.
New Generation cartel members refer to themselves as “Matazetas” or “Zetas-killers” because of their ongoing battle for territory with the rival gang.
Recent videos were released showing masked gunman promising “to free Veracruz from kidnapping, murder and extortion by the Zetas.”
However, the navy dismissed rumors that New Generation was a paramilitary organization that had been assembled by the Mexican government to liberate Veracruz from the Zeta cartel.
“We stress that this is just another organised [sic] crime gang that opposes the Zeta, with whom they are fighting for control of illicit incomes,” navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara said.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon heralded the arrests, tweeting: “The violence in Veracruz is lamentable. But the navy has delivered a major blow by capturing members of the Zetas and Zetas-killers.”
Mexico’s security forces have been criticized, both domestically and abroad, for being ineffective against the drug warfare that has killed 40,000 people since Calderon initially deployed troops to fight the gangs in 2006.
The first set of bodies was discovered mere days after the government unveiled a plan to boost security in the increasingly volatile Veracruz.
New Generation also has links to the Sinaloa drug cartel whose leader, Joaquin Guzman, is Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord.
Read more at BBC News.