Mexico Arrests La Familia Leader
VOA News June 22, 2011
Mexican President Felipe Calderon says police have arrested the leader of a powerful drug cartel, dealing a major blow to organized crime.
Calderon congratulated police for the arrest of one of Mexico's "most wanted criminals" on his personal twitter account Tuesday.
A government spokesman identified the gang leader as Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, also known as El Chango, or "The Monkey." He said Mendez had been apprehended without violence in the central state of Aguascalientes.
The spokesman told reporters Mendez' arrest destroyed the last remnants of the La Familia drug cartel's command structure.
Authorities say Mendez had been running the cult-like La Familia cartel since its founder and leader Nazario Moreno Gonzalez was killed in a shoot-out with police in December.
But the gang has splintered into factions since Gonzalez' death, and rival leaders remain at large.
The government had been offering a more than $2 million reward for Mendez' capture.
President Calderon launched an offensive against the cartels in 2006 when he took office.
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