Posted: Jan 13, 2012 11:54 AM
Updated: Jan 13, 2012 12:32 PM
Mexican authorities make another arrest in connection with the murder of ICE special agent Jaime Zapata of Brownsville.
Mexico's third-highest ranked Zeta leader is in the hands of the Mexican military Friday afternoon. Luis Jesus Sarabia, aka "El Pepito," was arrested near Monterrey this week without a single shot fired. He's believed to have been the head of cartel operations in San Luis Potosi. Zapata was killed there last February.
Mexico's defense secretary says he ordered one of his cartel hitmen, Julián Zapata Espinoza to turn himself in to authorities last year. Espinoza was extradited to the United States to faces charges in Zapata's killing. Intelligence analysts say these arrests show a shift in Zeta cartel operations across the border.
Meanwhile, the Mexican government has updated its drug war death toll figures. More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderón began a military assault on cartels in 2006.
The new official tally includes data only from January 2011 through September 2011. It shows an 11 percent increase; that's 12,903 more compared with the same nine-month period in 2010.