Mexico nabs Knights Templar leader

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 08:17

Mexico City: Mexican troops on Monday seized a high-ranking leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel, blamed for much of the crime in troubled Michoacan state, prosecutors said.

Dionicio Loya Plancarte, alias "El Tío" ("Uncle"), was arrested in Morelia, a prosecutors` office official told AFP.

Groups of civilian vigilantes had been demanding federal authorities arrest him as a condition for laying down their own arms.
Federal forces have moved into Michoacan, in western Mexico, in recent weeks to disarm vigilantes and flush out the Knights Templar gang, which controls large areas of the state.

Self-defense groups of farmers and other local people first took up arms in February 2013 to oust the cartel, claiming local police were either colluding with the gang or unable to stop its violence, kidnapping and extortion rackets.

Poverty-stricken Michoacan has become the most pressing security issue facing Mexico`s President Enrique Pena Nieto.

He inherited a bloody war on drugs from his predecessor in 2012 that has left more than 77,000 people dead since 2006.
Federal forces have moved into Michoacan, in western Mexico, in recent weeks to disarm vigilantes and flush out the Knights Templar gang, which controls large areas of the state.

Self-defense groups of farmers and other local people first took up arms in February 2013 to oust the cartel, claiming local police were either colluding with the gang or unable to stop its violence, kidnapping and extortion rackets.

Poverty-stricken Michoacan has become the most pressing security issue facing Mexico`s President Enrique Pena Nieto.

He inherited a bloody war on drugs from his predecessor in 2012 that has left more than 77,000 people dead since 2006.

AFP

First Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 08:17

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