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Cartel leader captured

Cartel leader captured
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 5:23pm

MEXICO CITY — Mexican federal police caught one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords, the alleged leader of the La Familia cartel, authorities said Tuesday.

Federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire said police arrested Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, alias El Chango, or "The Monkey," in the central state of Aguascalientes without firing a shot.

A posting by Calderon on his Twitter account says the arrest "is a big blow" to organized crime. The government has offered a $2.5 million reward for his capture.

"With this arrest, what remained of the structure of this criminal organization has been destroyed," Poire told a news conference.

With La Familia's top leader killed in a shootout in December, Poire said Mendez was "the last remaining head of a criminal group responsible for homicides, kidnappings, extortion, corruption and even cowardly attacks on the authorities and the civilian population."

According to the reward statement issued by the Attorney General's Office, Mendez was "responsible for the transfer and sale of cocaine, marijuana, crystal methamphetamine in various states of Mexico and the United States of America. He is the alleged mastermind of kidnappings and killings, mainly of members of other criminal organizations."

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