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

DRUG POLICY / 16 AUG 2018

New data shows synthetic opioid drugs are driving a sustained increase in overdose deaths in the United States, and booming…

MEXICO / 17 JUL 2011

Some 59 prisoners escaped and seven died during a riot at a prison in the town of Nuevo Laredo, north…

GENDER AND CRIME / 10 MAR 2017

In our March 9 Facebook Live podcast, Co-director Steven Dudley and Senior Investigator Deborah Bonello talked about how the media…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…