On Monday, the Mexican navy announced the capture of a suspected Zetas cartel leader who has his fingerprints on everything from jail breaks to the murder of American jet-skier David Hartley in 2010. The suspect, Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, is also thought to be responsible for the brutal killing of 72 migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas and countless other deaths across the north of Mexico. Based on what Mexican authorities are saying about this guy, he's one of the truly despicable masterminds of Mexico's horrifyingly violent drug war. His friends call him "Commander Squirrel."
There's nothing funny about a druglord called "Commander Squirrel," because frankly, there's nothing funny about drug lords. Some of those keeping track estimate the death toll on Mexico's drug war from the beginning of Felipe Calderón's presidency to top 100,000 this year, and it's seemed like nobody is safe from the violence. Escobedo is the Zetas lieutenant responsible for some of the most gruesome atrocities. In the migrant killings, for instance, Escobedo allegedly ordered his men to stop tour buses passing through the area and slaughter anyone who either wouldn't pay extortion money or refused to join the gang.