Jailed Zetas accused of David Hartley murder, San Fernando massacres

Photo from Semar_Boletin

A Zetas leader arrested in the streets of Nuevo Laredo is being accused of masterminding the Falcon Lake murder of American tourist David Hartley and the massacres in San Fernando.

Mexican marines arrested Salvador Alfonso Martnez-Escobedo in Nuevo Laredo around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Martinez-Escobedo, who goes by the nickname "La Ardilla" or "The Squierrel", is reported to be a regional commander for the Zetas drug cartel.

Mexican Navy officials report he escaped from gun battle with marines that left one person dead in the San Agustin subdivision early Saturday morning.

Marines found Martinez-Escobedo hours later in an SUV in the Colonia El Campanario where he surrendered.

Martinez-Escobedo was take to Mexico City where he is being charged with long list of crimes.

Mexican Navy officials report that he is accused of masterminding the kidnapping and murders of bus passengers in San Fernando,Tamaulipas where a series of mass graves with 200 bodies was found.

Authorities believe Martinez-Escobedo personally murdered at least 50 people who were later buried there.

Mexican Navy officials said Martinez-Escobedo is also accused of being responsible for the murder of American tourist David Hartley on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake.

Authorities belive the jailed Zetas leader also ordered the murder and decapitation of Rolando Armando Flores-Villegas, a police commander investigating Hartley's disappearance.

Mexican Navy officials also believe Martinez-Escobedo is also responsible for a Nuevo Laredo jail break where 151 prisoners escaped and another recent one in Piedras Negras.

Authorities said Martinez-Escobedo started off as a drug cartel scout in Nuevo Laredo but later climbed the ranks.

He was arrested in Veracruz back in 2008 but was freed by a group of armed commandos.