“Ivan” for Borderland Beat 

Óscar Omar Treviño Morales, alias “El Z-42”, former leader of the Los Zetas cartel, challenged, on March 1, 2023, the decision of Abigail Ocampo Álvarez, head of the First District Court for Amparo and Federal Trials in the State of Mexico, who denied him an injunction against the arrest warrant against him for his alleged responsibility in the massacre of Allende, Coahuila, which occurred in March 2011.

The drug lord, originally from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, alleged due process violations by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) in said criminal case, for which his defense filed an appeal for review, which was referred to the Collegiate Court in Criminal Matters of the Second Circuit, which will decide on the matter.

The former leader of Los Zetas requested the protection of justice under the argument that the Coahuila authorities violated his right to a hearing and due process, because he was not summoned to the investigation and was deprived of offering evidence and appointing a defense attorney, in addition to the fact that there are statements of “self-incrimination”.

“The appeal for review filed by the complainant was deemed to have been filed. Consequently, the written statement of grievances extracted from the electronic file, as well as the amparo trial in which the case is being heard, be forwarded to the Collegiate Court in Criminal Matters of the Second Circuit, in turn, for the substantiation of the means of challenge asserted by the complainant,” states the judge’s ruling.

Ocampo Álvarez declared the allegations of the complainant unfounded and considered that the arrest warrant that was issued by the Second Judge of First Instance in Criminal Matters of the Judicial District of Río Grande, in Coahuila, was a competent authority. “Facts that, in his opinion, fall under the crime of aggravated kidnapping,” the sentence states.

The judge also clarified that the FGR did not exercise its power of attraction to continue with the investigation of the aforementioned crime. In addition to the fact that there was a complaint filed by several persons, who went before the corresponding authority to report the facts about which they had knowledge, as well as the disappearance of their relatives.

Ocampo Álvarez pointed out that there are means of evidence that are suitable to prove the aggravating circumstance under study, “since from these it can be appreciated the way the investigated persons acted once the deprivation of the victims’ freedom was achieved; since from said testimonies it can be appreciated that once the victims were deprived of their freedom, they were taken to a warehouse where they were deprived of their lives and later they were incinerated with fuel.”

“Here it is important to point out that, although the material existence of a corpse was not corroborated, there are indications of the violence exercised, since the declarants stated that the victims were deprived of their freedom, that they were taken to a warehouse, that they were physically abused and that they were later incinerated, in such a way that the result is unquestionable,” said the judge.

On the other hand, the judge of the Second Court of First Instance in Criminal Matters of the Judicial District of Rio Grande, in Coahuila, analyzed the witnesses’ versions, in relation to the evidentiary material in the preliminary investigation, for which he determined that the existence of the crime and the probable responsibility of “El Z-42” was accredited.

“Consisting of the fact that as head of the organization known as Los Zetas, he ordered several of his hired killers “and other unidentified” to deprive members of the […] families of their freedom, for having betrayed the criminal organization, which was carried out on March 18, 19 and 20, 2011, since they violently proceeded to prevent the physical movement of […] to later deprive them of their lives and incinerate their bodies”.


According to FGR investigations, on March 18, 19 and 20, 2011, Oscar Omar Treviño Morales, alias “El Z-42”, and his brother, Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, “El Z-40”, ordered their hitmen to take over the municipality of Allende, Coahuila, in search of four of their members who allegedly betrayed them, and stole five million dollars from them.

The leaders of the Zetas Cartel ordered the massacre of their family members, burning them and melting them in acid. Of the 300 victims documented by US media and Raul Vera Lopez, then bishop of Saltillo, the file of the now-defunct Coahuila State Attorney General’s Office only recognized 26, based on 61 testimonies and no expert evidence, as revealed in a report by the Center for International Studies of El Colegio de Mexico (COLMEX), published in October 2016.

In November 2011, a Federal Court granted an injunction to “El Z-42”, a sentence that ordered to reinstate the process initiated against him for the events that occurred in Allende. However, the FGR points out that Treviño Morales is also behind the fire at the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Nuevo León, which took place on August 25, 2011 and killed 52 people, as well as the massacre in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, in which 72 migrants were killed in August 2010, among other crimes.

Together with his brother Miguel Treviño Morales, also known as “El Z-40”, Óscar Omar was considered one of the main generators of violence in Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León, however, he was arrested on March 4, 2015.

Elements of the Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR) apprehended “El Z-42” in a residence located in the Fuentes del Valle neighborhood, in the municipality of San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, and since then he was interned in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO) Number 1 “El Altiplano”, located in Villa de Almoloya de Juárez, State of Mexico, where four criminal proceedings were initiated against him.

In July 2019, Treviño Morales was sentenced in a trial to 18 years in prison for the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin. The United States was offering a reward of up to US$5 million for the drug lord, known for his extremely violent profile.

The U.S. is seeking the extradition of “El Z-42” based on an arrest warrant issued on May 15, 2009 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, based in Washington, D.C., on charges of exporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana.

“El 42” is one of the 19 Los Zetas commanders against whom the U.S. Federal Court ordered the capture, among them his brother Miguel Treviño Morales, “El Z-40”, as well as Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar, “El Mamito”, and Jaime González Durán, “El Hummer”.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the alleged criminal leader coordinated the trafficking of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana along the Coahuila border, in addition to receiving cash from the profits in US territory.
With the capture of Omar Treviño Morales, who in turn succeeded “Z-40”, the Zetas organization split into two factions: one led by Omar Lormendez Pitalua, alias “Z-10”, and the other by Juan Francisco Treviño Morales, another of the brothers, whose cell was renamed the Northeast Cartel (CDN).