Felipe de Jesús Alonso Olmedo, AKA “La Pawa,” captured in strategic operation in Tamaulipas

Operation that lead to arresting 'La Pawa', Zetas Vieja Escuela's feared leader, marks significant progress in dismantling drug cartel's stronghold in Tamaulipas.

The Mexican Army operated in the state of Tamaulipas, which led to the arrest of Felipe de Jesús “A,” identified as La Pawa, the regional leader in San Fernando the Zetas Vieja Escuela, a remnant of the Zetas cartel.

The arrest came to light this Wednesday morning, although it occurred Tuesday morning, as indicated in the National Registry of Arrests of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC).

It was through social networks that the arrest of the alleged offender transcended. In them, he is seen face down, leaning on his elbows, identifying himself to the authorities, and giving information about his position within the organization.

“What are you,” he was asked: “In charge of the guard (…) they took my family in the morning, and I came to see my wife”.

La detención de Felipe de Jesús Alonso Olmedo, alias el Pawa, ya aparece en el Registro Nacional de Detenciones de la SSP. Foto: SSPC
The arrest of Felipe de Jesús Alonso Olmedo, alias “El Pawa”, already appears in the SSP’s National Registry of Arrests. Photo: SSPC

Reports indicated that during his capture, other alleged Gulf Cartel members (CDG) members were also arrested, including the subjects identified as Carlos Roel Collazo Rodríguez, alias Chuy 7, and Pablo Misael Ramos Lara, Pantera 24. However, these captures have not been confirmed by the authorities.

This arrest reportedly occurred in the Las Fuentes neighborhood in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, an area where they are known to operate.

In 2021, La Pawa was identified as one of the 10 priority targets within the Security and Prosperity campaign “Wanted,” which was implemented in coordination between Tamaulipas and Texas security authorities. It detailed the characters in control of the state’s different regions.

There, Juan Gerardo Treviño Chávez, alias El Huevo, was identified as the Nuevo Laredo operative, who was arrested in March of last year; El Pawa was also identified as the regional boss in San Fernando, and Ernesto Sánchez Rivera, alias El Metro-22, who was arrested in March of last year.

La detención de La Pawa habría ocurrido durante la mañana del martes. (Twitter/@LPueblo2)
La Pawa’s arrest reportedly took place on Tuesday morning (Twitter/@LPueblo2).

Also included were Hector Sanchez Rivera, alias La Mimi, an alleged leader of Los Metros, an arm of the Gulf Cartel, as well as Pablo Misael Ramos Lara, alias El Pantera, a Gulf Cartel operator in the municipality of Jimenez; and Cesar Martin, alias Primito or El R-8, a Gulf Cartel leader in the municipality of Camargo.

El Pawa was linked to the kidnapping and murder of Luciano Leal, a 14-year-old minor who disappeared in the San Fernando region in July 2020 after visiting the Parque Linea in downtown San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

The media highly publicized the case as her family started searching for her through regional brigades. Her parents even started a negotiation with the kidnappers, reaching the payment of the money requested by the criminals as part of a ransom.

Circuló en redes sociales un supuesto interrogatorio realizado a La Pawa por parte de elementos castrenses. 
(Foto: Twitter/@vigilantehuaste)
An alleged interrogation of La Pawa by military members circulated on social networks (Photo: Twitter/@vigilantehuaste).

It was on October 16, 2020, when it was reported that the minor had been found lifeless in a grave in the same municipality in the state of Tamaulipas.

Authorities were close to capturing La Pawa after the arrest of Eréndira Citlali “N,” identified as his wife, was reported in February 2021. However, this capture was not confirmed by the authorities.

The Old School Zetas Cartel has positioned itself as a partner of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG); both sought an alliance with El Chuy7, a member of the CDG in San Fernando and who allegedly allowed access to the state of Tamaulipas for the organization of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias El Mencho, intending to dispute the territory of the Grupo Escorpión faction. This situation generated a wave of violence in several municipalities of the state in recent days.