‘El Taliban’ Is Gone, But His Rival Mexican Drug Lord Is Worse

The Mexican marines just took down an infamous capo for Mexico’s most brutal cartel. But they may have accidentally cleared the decks for an even more vicious one to take his place.

Ivan Velazquez Caballero, known by the alarming name “El Taliban” — a likely reference to the way cartels glorify lopping off the heads of their enemies — was captured Wednesday in the city of San Luis Potosi apparently without firing a shot, according to Reuters. But “El Taliban” was doing more than smuggling drugs and fighting the authorities. He was waging a civil war within the Zetas and against Miguel “Z-40? Trevino Morales, a brutal assassin.

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