EL PASO -- Mexican federal agents detained four kidnapping suspects in Juárez who claimed to be Zetas, a feared enforcement arm of drug cartels, authorities said Tuesday.

The federal public safety secretariat in Mexico City announced details of Monday's detentions and a high-speed chase, which ended with the rescue of an alleged kidnapping victim. Officials identified three of the suspects as Eduardo "Lalo" Hernandez Rodriguez, 20, of Juárez; Juan Manuel Artalejo Orozco, 21, of Chihuahua City; and a 16-year-old, "Cristian," of Juárez. They also said that Ramon Benito Limas Cordero, 52, allegedly drove one of the vehicles seized in connection with the case, but they did not classify him as a suspect.

Three of the suspects seemed to be younger than typically hardened Zetas, who often are former soldiers and ex-police officers. Officials did not provide any details about Limas. In a news release, Mexican authorities described the suspects as "alleged kidnappers linked to the criminal organization known as the Zetas."

Criminal cooperation - Indictment details new Gulf-Zeta relationship

Jeremy Roebuck, The Monitor
July 1, 2009 - 11:45 PM

The Gulf Cartel recruited the Zetas in the 1990s to help muscle its way into a highly competitive Mexican drug market. But over the past three years, the paramilitary organization - made up of former special operations soldiers and rural street thugs - has grown in stature, engaged in independent criminal endeavors and has become an equal partner in the business once dominated by its creator.

An uneasy truce now exists in smuggling corridors from Nuevo Laredo to Matamoros, according to recently unsealed court documents. An indictment in a federal case against the leadership of both groups describes for the first time the hierarchy between the two, who refer to themselves collectively as "The Company."

Bloody Veracruz and the Mata Zetas

June 30, 2009...11:01 am

On Monday two bodies were found in Veracruz –one a branch leader of the PRI–with a narcomensaje that stated: “We’re here to clean the streets of Zetas.”

Another two bodies wrapped in black plastic were later discovered near the Veracruz port with another note. This one read: “The war is just beginning.”

On June 28, Rick Grabman picked up on another anti-Zetas story unfolding in Cancun at The Mex Files . The bad boys down there are identifying as “Mata Zetas”.

Veracruz is Zetas territory. In fact, the entire eastern coast of Mexico is under their hands. Who would be pushing on them? It’s uncertain right now if such a group formally exists. But something is afoot. Homegrown rivals leftover from the old Gulf cartel?