Mexico’s Navy has detained six alleged members of the Zetas drug gang, including Carlos Pitalua, alias “El Bam Bam,” in the Gulf port city of Veracruz.

Pitalua, detained along with five other suspected Zetas, is the alleged head of the group’s drug trafficking operations in Veracruz, and is believed to have participated in a massacre that left eight dead last week in Paso de Ovejas, a town northwest of Veracruz. Another detained suspect, Jose Ramon Perera Reyes, alias “El Cuate,” was one of 32 inmates who escaped a Veracruz prison in September.

Veracruz has been hit by a wave of violence as competing cartels fight for dominance of the valuable drug trafficking plaza.

After 35 bodies were dumped in downtown Veracruz in September, President Felipe Calderon sent federal forces to restore order in a state where local police forces are widely perceived as corrupt and in league with drug trafficking organizations.

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