The Beltran Leyva Gang is another member short as the second in command, Arnoldo Villa Sanchez, was arrested by federal police on Tuesday.
National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said that Sanchez and one bodyguard were captured while they visited family in Mexico City for Holy week.
Rubido said they “both tried to resist but they were detained without a shot being fired.”
The notorious Beltran Leyva Gang had been weakened in recent years due to a war with rival gang Sinaloa as well as the capture of its leader Alfredo Beltran Leyva in 2008 and his brother Arturo’s killing by soldiers in 2009, according to AFP.
However, after having blacklisted Arnoldo Villa Sanchez last year for committing “numerous acts of violence on behalf of his cartel bosses”, the US Treasury department warned that the Beltran Leyva gang had “re-established itself and begun to expand its influence in parts of Sinaloa” state in the last couple of years.
Tuesday also saw the arrest of Uriel Chavez Mendoza, mayor of Apatzingan, which is a Michoacan city once controlled by the Knights Templar criminal gang. The Knights Templar is a cult-like criminal organization that has been causing trouble and tension with armed citizen militias.
These armed militias, which entered the city in February to push back against the Knights and were backed by federal military and police, ended Knights Templar control. As the regained control of the city, they reported that Mayor Mendoza was a well-known collaborator with the Knights Templar, an accusation which he adamantly denied.
Whether or not the kingpin strategy Mexico’s government and President Peña Nieto have been enforcing works remains to be seen. The government says that homicides are down 16% from 2012 numbers, however, many observers seriously doubt those numbers. Also, though murders have declined, kidnappings and extortion are on the rise.
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