An alleged cartel leader linked to the murder of three businessmen this year was arrested in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, on Wednesday.
César Alejandro Silva Delgado, identified as the Northeast Cartel’s plaza chief in Nuevo Laredo and the main instigator of violence in the city, was detained early Wednesday by soldiers and National Guard personnel and subsequently flown to Mexico City on an Air Force plane.
Reports say Silva, known as “El Tartas,” was in possession of two firearms, weapons paraphernalia and at least 2,000 fentanyl pills when he was arrested.
He is accused of a range of crimes including homicide, the trafficking of drugs, weapons and people, extortion, fuel theft, kidnapping and money laundering.
Silva allegedly ordered the murder in June of José Luis Palos Morales, who headed up a Nuevo Laredo association of gas station owners. He is also believed to be linked to the murders of two other businessmen earlier this month
In addition, Silva is accused of ordering attacks on the army that resulted in injuries and loss of life.
Shortly after his arrest on Wednesday morning, the United States Consulate in Nuevo Laredo said on social media platform X that it was “receiving reports of increased government of Mexico activity in Nuevo Laredo” and that “out of an abundance of caution” it had instructed U.S. government employees in the city to shelter in place.
The consulate reported in the early afternoon that the shelter in place order for its employees had been lifted. Cartels commonly respond to the arrest of high-ranking members with violence, but there were no reports of incidents in Nuevo Laredo on Wednesday.
Silva, who was turned over to the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City, allegedly worked under Juan Cisneros Treviño, who has led the Tamaulipas-based Northeast Cartel since the arrest of his cousin and former leader Juan Gerardo Treviño Chávez in early 2022.
The criminal group is said to be in an alliance with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), led by the elusive Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes.