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Mexican drug cartel La Familia boss held

Last Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 00:48

Mexico City: The head of Mexico`s notorious drug cartel La Familia has been arrested, officials said.

Jesus Mendez was captured Tuesday by the federal police in the central state of Aguascalientes.

Mendez, a.k.a. "El Chango", was "responsible for murders, kidnappings, extortion and corruption", said Alejandro Poire, technical secretary of the National Security Council.

Mendez`s arrest is the latest blow to La Familia, whose ideological leader, Nazario Moreno, was killed in a shootout with police last year.

The security forces have arrested several cartel bosses in the past few weeks, Poire said, adding that President Felipe Calderon`s administration remains committed to fighting drug cartels.

Calderon deployed thousands of army troops and federal police officers across Mexico to fight criminal organizations after taking office in December 2006.

Mendez was "one of the most-wanted criminals" in Mexico, Calderon said.

La Familia was created in 2006 and is based in the southern state of Michoacan.

More than 15,000 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and nearly 40,000 people have died since Calderon declared war on the country`s drug cartels shortly after taking office.


First Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 00:48

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