One morning earlier this summer, on a dirt road outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexican authorities stopped a pickup truck carrying Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the legendarily sadistic leader of Los Zetas, an ultraviolent criminal organization that has become one of the dominant players in Mexico’s drug trade. The origin story of the Zetas is telling: the first members were defectors from Mexico’s élite special forces, who traded allegiances in the drug war and went into business with the cartels. With the destructive imagination of a serial killer, Treviño Morales, who was known as Z-40, presided over innumerable acts of torture, murder, and dismemberment, and became, in the process, a symbol of the recent reign of terror in Mexico. His capture was celebrated as an indication that Mexico’s new President, Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office last year, might be capable of truly confronting the cartels.

via Mexico’s New Drug War: Catch and Release? : The New Yorker.