HomeNewsBriefZetas Member Linked to 2010 San Fernando Massacre Captured
BRIEF

Zetas Member Linked to 2010 San Fernando Massacre Captured

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 1 APR 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

Mexican authorities have captured an alleged member of the Zetas implicated in the 2010 massacre of 72 immigrants, which arguably marked a tipping point in Mexico's war against organized crime. 

Federal police arrested Jose Guadalupe Reyes Rivera, alias "Sasi," on March 31, at a mechanic's garage in the eastern state of Tamaulipas, local media reported. He is now reportedly being held in a federal prison there. 

Reyes is accused of participating in the killing of dozens of immigrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, with Mexico offering over $300,000 for information leading to his capture. 

15-04-01-mexico-massacremigrantZetas

Jose Guadalupe Reyes Rivera, alias "Sasi"

In August 2010, Zetas members kidnapped a group of immigrants on a highway in Tamaulipas. The group was taken to warehouse and slaughtered -- possibly for refusing to work for the Zetas. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Although particularly horrific, the San Fernando massacre was not an isolated incident for the Zetas. At the height of their power -- around 2010 to 2012 -- the group was synonymous with beheadings and bodies in the street. However, the killings in San Fernando put the international spotlight on the plight of immigrants journeying through Mexico, and helped turned the Zetas into Mexico's public enemy number one. And after after the Zetas were implicated in the killing of a US agent in Mexico, they became public enemy number one for international law enforcement as well. 

SEE ALSOZetas News and Profile

Following the San Fernando massacre, the Mexican government committed large numbers of troops to areas where the Zetas operated and captured or killed much of the group's top leadership. The result was an accelerated fragmentation of the Zetas into many smaller groups -- these continue to operate under the Zetas name, but at a smaller scale than at the Zetas' peak. 

In contrast to groups like the Sinaloa Cartel -- which rely more on bribery than bloodshed -- the Zetas' business model is dependent on the use of violence and intimidation. Instead of primarily relying on transnational drug trafficking as their source of funds, the Zetas charge a "piso," or tax, for any criminal activity in their territory. Those who don't comply must be dealt with brutally, as a message to others. At the time, the San Fernando massacre was the most chilling indication yet of the kind of violence this business model could unleash. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL SALVADOR / 16 SEP 2011

Nicaragua, along with its neighbors Panama and Costa Rica, is often described as a country that dodged the wave of…

ARGENTINA / 25 APR 2019

Argentina officials are investigating the financial arm of a powerful Mexican cartel -- showing the country's eagerness to shed its…

JALISCO CARTEL / 25 APR 2016

Uruguayan authorities have arrested several suspects linked to Mexico crime group Los Cuinis, a move that could shed light on…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.