Mexico arrests leader of drug cartel

Mexican soldiers patrolling in Morelia, the capital of Michoacan State (file photo)

Mexican officials say the countryâ„¢s security forces have captured a prominent leader of the Gulf drug cartel in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

The Mexican Interior Ministry said in a statement that soldiers detained on Saturday Mario Ramirez Trevino in the border town of Rio Bravo.

The ministry also announced that a press conference is scheduled for Sunday to discuss the details of the arrest.

Ramirez became the head of the Gulf cartel, which controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking from the city of Matamoros located by the Rio Grande River, after its former leader, Jorge Eduardo Costilla, was arrested in 2012.

This was the second major arrest against Mexicoâ„¢s leading drug trafficking organizations after the head of the paramilitary Zetas cartel Miguel Angel Trevino was arrested last month.

The Zetas were originally elite anti-drug commandos but became a criminalized group when it was hired to work as Gulf cartelâ„¢s enforcement arm.

However, in 2010, the Zetas turned on their employers in a series of violent battles, which took place across the country.

The two arrests came as President Pena Nieto has experienced some major setbacks, including the release on August 9 of jailed drug leader Rafael Caro Quintero.

On July 25, Nieto admitted that organized criminal gangs have gained the upper hand in several parts of the country, including the states of Michoacan, Mexico and Guerrero, despite increased military troops in the areas.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since former President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against Mexicoâ„¢s drug cartels in December 2006.

Nieto has vowed to reduce crime as he continues the campaign against drug cartels.

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Republished from: Press TV