By Tracy Wilkinson
July 16, 2013
The capture of the top leader of Mexico's most bloodthirsty and bloodcurdling drug cartel will have surprisingly little effect on trafficking of cocaine and other illicit substances to the U.S., and on the violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives here in recent years.
If anything, the violence, at least in the short term, may surge as rivals and potential successors of Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias Z-40, head of the Zetas paramilitary gang, battle to take his place or his turf.
But for President Enrique Peña Nieto, the capture is a small coup. The 7-month-old government, marking its first major strike against organized crime, probably hopes the early-Monday arrest near the border town of Nuevo Laredo will score points in the theater of public opinion and especially among skeptics who doubt the new leader's vague and sporadic security policy. Read more.
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