A former mayor from the northern Mexican state of Coahuila was arrested on Thursday for allegedly participating in one of the worst massacres perpetrated by the brutal Zetas cartel, the state attorney general’s office said.
Sergio Lozano, who served as mayor of the town of Allende in 2011, was arrested on kidnapping charges, the attorney general’s office said in a statement, without clarifying his alleged role in the deaths of up to 300 people in the town and its surroundings. A spokesperson from the state of Coahuila’s center-right National Action Party (PAN), the political party of Lozano, could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to a government report, the Zetas targeted people in the town to get back at members of the gang who were suspected of stealing drug profits. The report said the killings were likely ordered by former Zetas boss Miguel Angel “Z-40” Trevino, and his brother Omar, both of whom were subsequently captured and imprisoned.
The report published in October alleges that between 160 and 200 heavily armed gang members, supported by municipal police, abducted Allende residents, and noted that it would have been “inconceivable to accept” Lozano had no knowledge of events.
Hector Moreno, a Zeta who fled to Texas to escape the gang, testified that up to 300 people were killed in the massacre. He also said the Zetas moved five tons of cocaine a year across the border between 2007 and 2011, and paid local authorities in Coahuila to protect them.