A federal judge sentenced the former leader of the infamous Los Zetas cartel to 18 years in prison for operations involving illegally-sourced funds and for possession of illegal firearms.
Óscar Omar Treviño Morales, known as “El Z42,” once bragged he had killed 1,000 people. He has several other criminal charges pending.
Treviño, 45, took over leadership of the Zetas after his brother Miguel Treviño Morales was arrested in July 2013. He ranked near the top of the previous federal government’s most-wanted list and was considered to be one of Mexico’s most violent cartel leaders, leading Mexican authorities to offer 30 million pesos (close to US $2 million at the time) for information leading to his capture. North of the border, United States authorities offered $5 million.
Omar Treviño was captured by federal forces in 2015 at one of his homes in San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, one of the wealthiest municipalities in Mexico.
The judge also handed down sentences to several other former members of the Zetas.
The gang was formed in the 1990s by former military personnel as the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel. The gang later broke off and engaged in a bloody and enduring feud with its parent organization, battling the Gulf Cartel and others for control of drug routes and territory in Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León. The conflicts led to a record increase in homicide, drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping in those states.
Los Zetas had a reputation for being one of Mexico’s most vicious cartels, often torturing and beheading their victims before hanging them from bridges and other public spaces. The organization began to fragment after Miguel Treviño’s arrest.
Omar Treviño was thought to be less intelligent than his brother but he did have a reputation for ruthlessness. The former is believed to have been responsible for the 2010 massacre of 72 undocumented migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, and the 2011 fire at the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Nuevo León, that killed 52 people.
Source: Milenio (sp)