One of the main leaders of Los Zetas Cartel who ruled over various southern states in Mexico was arrested by authorities. The cartel leader was born in California.

The arrest of Jose Maria “El Charly” or “Z43” Guízar Valencia took place in a Mexico City operation led by the Mexican Navy, authorities revealed. According to information released by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior, Guízar Valencia is now identified as one of 122 priority objectives sought by Mexican authorities. Guízar Valencia was identified as the regional leader of the Zetas in Tabasco with a presence that includes Veracruz, Chiapas, and the border with Guatemala.

According to data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 38-year-old Guízar Valencia is originally from Tulare, California, but established his criminal empire in Mexico with Los Zetas. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice has offered a reward of $5 million for his capture. He is facing multiple drug trafficking charges in a U.S. court. 

As Breitbart Texas reported, for years, the Mexican government did not identify or publicly mention Guízar Valencia as a priority objective. The lack of attention allowed the cartel boss to operate with impunity. 

Guizar Valencia is responsible for murdering several Central American migrants and the 2017 execution of Anita Contreras, Benjamín Montejo, and Álvaro Navarrete, authorities say. The two victims were local cops in Veracruz that Los Zetas kidnapped and decapitated in Tabasco. 

Federal police sources revealed to Breitbart Texas that Guizar Valencia was initially known in northern Mexico under the nickname “El Chema” after being caught in 2003 with nine kilos of cocaine at the Reynosa Airport. After his capture, a team of gunmen rescued him during a transfer to a local hospital, thus allowing him to escape a possible 10-year 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 Tony Aranda from Nuevo Leon and “J.M. Martinez” from Coahuila.