The Los Angeles Times reports that an informant’s tip of a cell phone number four years ago was a key to the apprehension this week of one of Mexico’s most brutal crime bosses. The informant wanted money, he told four Drug Enforcement Administration agents, but that wasn’t his primary motivation. The Tijuana drug cartel insider said he had grown disgusted by the savagery of Teodoro “El Teo” Garcia Simental — the pudgy kingpin whose criminal mayhem was generating headlines around the world.
That meeting, not previously disclosed, set off an investigation that quickly culminated with Garcia’s arrest during a predawn raid on his hideout in La Paz, in southeastern Baja. In a drug war plagued by setbacks and mistrust between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement, the capture was an example of binational cooperation that brought instant, lasting results. The hunt for cartel chieftains yielded another major success Monday, when Mexican marines seized Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the notorious commander of the Zeta organization. Like Garcia, he was known for extreme brutality.