2014-05-13 14:00:03

Mexican soldiers kill Zetas founder

(Vatican Radio) One of the founding members of the fearsome Zetas drug cartel, has been shot dead along with four comrades, during a gun battle with the Mexican Army in the State of Tamaulipas, bordering Texas.

Galindo Mellado Cruz who was known as Z9, was one of the original 30 founding members of the Zetas. On the run after a jail break, he was tracked down by the Mexican Army and shot dead in a gun battle. Forensic experts have formally identified his body. A Tamaulipas State Official confirms he wasn't part of the Zetas' current leadership.

The Zetas were Mexican Army Special Forces, who received specialist training by the US and Israeli military. This involved sniping, ambush, rapid deployment, intelligence gathering, explosives, evasion and counter surveillance techniques. They deserted in 1999, to become bodyguards and assassins for the Gulf drug cartel, but split off in 2010 in a bloody turf war to form their own cartel. Experts say the Zetas now have a presence throughout Mexico, as well as in Guatemala, the United States and in Italy.

Listen to the report by correspondent James Blears: RealAudioMP3

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