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Zetas' Bosses Pressure Judges To Avoid Extradition To The U.S.

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“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

Federal judges fear they will be killed if they authorize the extradition of Zetas leaders to the US.

The brothers Miguel Ángel and Óscar Omar Treviño Morales, El Z-40 and El Z-42, founding leaders of Los Zetas, have managed to delay their extradition to the United States through a strategy of intimidating the judges handling their cases, because although detained, they continue to operate and maintain their power inside and outside of prisons, according to intelligence sources revealed to MILENIO.

They added that the United States government has already conveyed to the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador that the extradition of these two drug lords is a top priority issue for Joe Biden’s administration.

The sources revealed that the Treviño Morales brothers continue to head the Los Zetas cartel and are responsible for the murder of at least 10 guards of the different prisons in which they have been.

In addition, they receive regular conjugal visits and enjoy various concessions within the Federal Centers for Social Rehabilitation (Cefereso).

The above has caused federal judges to fear being assassinated if they authorize the extradition of Zetas leaders to US territory.

A few days ago, the Second District Judge in Matters of Amparo and Federal Trials in the State of Mexico, granted a suspension that prevents the extradition to the United States of Miguel Ángel Treviño.

Z-40 was detained on July 15, 2013, by the Navy Special Forces, in the municipality of Anáhuac, Nuevo León. The then Attorney General’s Office (PGR) accused him of ordering the kidnapping and murder of 265 migrants, whose bodies were located in clandestine graves in the municipality of San Fernando, Tamaulipas, in 2010.

He was also linked to the murder of José Eduardo Moreira, son of the former governor of Coahuila, Humberto Moreira Valdés, in October 2012, and to dozens of disappearances in the municipality of Allende, Coahuila. The United States authorities want him for murder and drug trafficking.

​Z-40; drug dealer difficult to control

An example of how difficult it has been to control Z-40 is that since his capture he has been in seven federal prisons. He was first admitted to maximum security prison number one, Altiplano, but in 2015 he was transferred to the Federal Social Rehabilitation Center number 11 in Hermosillo, Sonora.

Later, in 2018, he was relocated to Cefereso 9 in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and two years later, in 2020, he was transferred to the maximum security prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco.

After the closure of that complex, Treviño Morales was in the Buenavista Tomatlán prisons, in Michoacán, and Villa Comaltitlán, in Chiapas, but in 2023 he returned to the Altiplano prison.

In the first days of this year he was transferred to the Northeast Federal Center for Social Readaptation in Tepic, Nayarit, where he is currently located.

In July 2021, MILENIO published that, in the Buenavista Tomatlán prison, Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales had various privileges, such as having fresh fruit for breakfast and having newspapers every day, in addition, he lived in the ECO dormitory, with four people, while the other inmates live in overcrowded  cells with up to 15 inmates.

The Z-42; crimes involved

Meanwhile, El Z-42 is accused by federal authorities of being behind the fire at the Casino Royale that left 52 dead, recorded in August 2011 in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and is also related to the clandestine graves located in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

According to the investigations, Óscar Omar began criminal activities under the tutelage of his brother Miguel Ángel Treviño, and, after his arrest, assumed the leadership of Los Zetas.

According to US officials, Z-42 claimed to have killed more than a thousand people. Under his leadership, Los Zetas dedicated themselves to drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, theft of hydrocarbons, human and arms trafficking, illicit activities that spread in some Central American countries, such as Guatemala and Honduras.

Óscar Omar was arrested in 2015 in San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, and was later admitted to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation number 1, Altiplano.

In 2016 he was transferred to Cefereso 12 in Ocampo, Guanajuato, but two months later he returned to the maximum security prison in the State of Mexico.

In July 2019, a federal judge sentenced Óscar Omar Treviño Morales to 18 years in prison for the illegal possession of firearms for the exclusive use of the armed forces and operations with resources of illicit origin.

In the United States, he is wanted for the crime of criminal association to commit crimes against health.

However, the legal team of both drug traffickers continues to file various legal appeals to avoid the conclusion of the extradition processes in federal courts.



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