Mexico nabs top cartel suspect; 21 police detained

MEXICO CITY - Mexican soldiers captured a drug cartel suspect accused of helping procure the la...

Saturday 06 June 2009

Mexico nabs top cartel suspect; 21 police detained
MEXICO CITY - Mexican soldiers captured a drug cartel suspect accused of helping procure the largest illegal weapons cache found in the country, authorities said Tuesday.
The federal government also moved forward in its campaign to root out corruption, rounding up 21 more police officers in several northern cities for questioning on suspicions they had ties to drug trafficking. A total of 58 officers have been detained since the operation began Monday.
Acting on a tip from a citizen, soldiers captured suspected Gulf cartel member Sergio Garcia Trevino on Monday in Reynosa, a city across the border from McAllen, Texas, said Brig. Gen. Luis Arturo Oliver, the Defense Department's deputy chief of operations.
Oliver said the suspect, also known as Sergio Raul Arteaga, coordinated drug trafficking in the northern cities of Matamoros and Valle Hermoso for the Cardenas Guillen organization, a branch of the Gulf cartel.
He also allegedly helped procure a cache of 540 rifles, 165 grenades, 500,000 rounds of ammunition and 14 sticks of TNT seized from a house in Reynosa in November, Mexico's biggest weapons seizure.
Garcia Trevino, wearing a button-down blue shirt and black pants, frowned as federal police in ski masks paraded him before reporters in Mexico City on Tuesday. He was being questioned but has not been charged with any crime, said organized crime prosecutor Marisela Morales.
Meanwhile, federal agents detained 21 police officers — including the police chiefs of the northern cities of Guadalupe and General Escobedo — on suspicion they had ties to drug trafficking, the Nuevo Leon state government announced in a statement. The detentions brought to 58 the number of police detained in two days of sweeps in several northern cities, including the industrial hub of Monterrey.
The state government has said soldiers found proof linking them to drug dealers arrested last month, but it has not provided any details.
The government said 37 of the officers have been formally placed under arrest pending investigations, and the rest are being held for questioning.
President Felipe Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 soldiers in a U.S.-backed offensive against Mexico's brutal drug cartels, but he acknowledges that corruption is a major obstacle. Last week, federal officials arrested 10 mayors and 20 other officials in the western state of Michoacan on suspicion of protecting the La Familia cartel.
In northern Durango state, meanwhile, gunmen killed the mayor of the small town of Ocampo, Luis Carlos Ramirez, as he chatted with a mechanic at his home, said Ivonne Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the state prosecutors' office.
The mechanic and two other people were also killed in Monday night's attack. A motive has not been determined.
Rodriguez said Ramirez survived a similar attack in November, but declined to comment further.
Also Tuesday, a state police officer and his bodyguard were found shot to death in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, police said.
More than 10,750 people have been killed in drug violence since Calderon launched his crackdown in 2006.

  Posted by Tom 3 days ago drug war mexico

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