MONTERREY, Nuevo Leon — Gunmen from the Los Zetas cartel who broke out of the state prison in Tamaulipas traveled to this border state to push drugs and carry out ransom kidnappings.
Authorities from Nuevo Leon report that police arrested three members of the Los Zetas cartel in Nuevo Leon in connection with multiple crimes and kidnappings almost four months after their brazen escape from prison.
This week, state authorities arrested Jose Salvador “El Apa” Rios Tamez and Jose Humberto Luna after a shootout at a cartel stash house where the gunmen had been holding 70-year-old Maria Ofelia Samaniego, a city commissioner in the state of Chihuahua. The rescue came almost two weeks after cartel gunmen kidnapped her in Chihuahua and demanded more than $6 million in pesos, approximately $320,000 in U.S. dollars.
In April dozens of cartel gunmen from Los Zetas escaped from the state prison in Ciudad Victoria after digging a tunnel to freedom, Breitbart Texas reported.
The arrest took place when state police in Nuevo Leon fought the kidnappers and found Samaniego tied up in a small room inside a house in the rural community of General Teran in the southern part of Nuevo Leon, one of the regions that Los Zetas have historically used as a hideout.
According to information provided by the attorney general’s office, during the rescue operation, Luna received a gunshot wound to one leg. The other gunman known as “Apa” was un harmed even after the shootout with authorities. Both gunmen have been linked to the Vieja Escuela Z faction of the Los Zetas who escaped in an apparent effort to join the ranks of the criminal organization in Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, and other areas.
A law enforcement official who asked not to be named revealed to Breitbart Texas that authorities also arrested a corrupt Mexican soldier in connection with the kidnapping of Samaniego. Police also arrested a city commissioner in the town of Bocoyna in the Tarahumara region of Chihuahua. Two gunmen kidnapped her was kidnapped on July 1st and demanded a ransom from her family.
During the investigation, authorities determined that kidnappers moved the victim by car more than 650 miles through the Mexican border states of Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon. The woman was ordered to claim that she was the mother of the two kidnappers in case police questioned them at a checkpoint.
While two other suspects had been arrested and questioned in Chihuahua in connection to the case, Rios and Luna had tried to continue the negotiations with the family from their stash house in Nuevo Leon in an attempt to collect a ransom. It was through those negotiations that authorities were able to track them down.
Just one month before, authorities arrested 22-year-old Eder Roberto “La Pomada or The Ointment” Vasquez Castillo another fugitive Los Zetas gunman. At the time of his arrest, authorities found a suitcase with cocaine and marijuana and an assault rifle in the suburb of Pesqueria. As part of their investigation, authorities determined that La Pomada was one of the inmates who broke out of the Ciudad Victoria prison. He had been trying to avoid serving time for a kidnapping sentence.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Nuevo Leon’s Tony Aranda.