Mexico captures Zetas cartel leader: Officials

MEXICO CITY, Distrito Federal - Mexican marines captured the head of the ultra-violent Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino, in a city bordering the United States on Monday, officials told AFP.

Trevino, alias "Z-40," was detained in Nuevo Laredo, the northeastern Tamaulipas state city bordering Texas, along with two other people, officials said.

"They carried out an important arrest, of Miguel Angel Trevino, in the early hours of Monday," an official from the federal attorney general's office said on condition of anonymity. An interior ministry official also confirmed the arrest.

The Zetas are considered one of the most powerful and feared organised crime groups in Mexico, founded by former soldiers and known for their brutality.

Originally, the Zetas acted as the armed enforcers of the Gulf Cartel, but the two groups split in recent years, sparking brutal turf wars in the north of the country.

Trevino's capture comes eight months after Mexican troops killed his predecessor, Heriberto Lazcano, in a gunfight in the northern state of Coahuila, only to lose Lazcano's body hours later.

After Lazcano was killed last October, gunmen burst into a funeral home and stole his body, which has never been recovered.

Trevino is the highest-profile drug kingpin detained since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December.

During the six-year term of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, authorities captured or killed two dozen of the 37 most wanted drug capos.

But Calderon's time in office was marked by a staggering more than 70,000 drug-related murders between 2006-2012.