Latin America & Caribbean

'Juarez cartel boss' Alberto Carrillo caught in Mexico

Map of Mexico

The security forces in Mexico have arrested the alleged leader of the Juarez drug cartel, Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, also known as Ugly Betty.

He was detained in the western state of Nayarit without offering resistance.

Mr Carrillo Fuentes, 47, is the third alleged top cartel leader to be caught this year in Mexico, where the authorities have been waging an intense campaign against drug gangs.

He faces charges of drug trafficking and organised crime.

'Family business'

Investigators say Alberto Carrillo Fuentes took over the leadership of the Juarez cartel from his brother Vicente, who is also wanted on charges of drug trafficking, murder and money laundering.

Another brother, Amado, led the cartel until his death in 1997. Known as Lord of the Skies for his large fleet of aircraft used to smuggle drugs to the US, died after undergoing plastic surgery.

Considered one of the most powerful drug gangs in Mexico in the 1990s, the Juarez cartel has lost many of the drug routes it controlled to its rivals from the Sinaloa cartel, analysts say.

Many of the murders in the border state of Chihuahua and the city of Juarez are blamed on the rivalry between the two groups.

The arrest on Sunday came a day before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is due to give his state of the union speech.

The detention of Alberto Carrillo Fuentes is the third high-profile arrest in three months, following that of the alleged leader of the Zetas, Miguel Angel Trevino in July, and the detention of the suspected leader of the Gulf cartel, Mario Ramirez Trevino, in August.

About 70,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of drug-related violence in Mexico over the past six years.

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