Mexican police have arrested the alleged leader of the Los Rojos (The Reds) cartel, a dangerous criminal gang in the southern state of Guerrero.
Leonor Nava Romero, known as “El Tigre” (The Tiger), was arrested by police in Tecpan de Galeana, near the beach resort of Acapulco, the National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said at a news conference on Saturday.
Mr Nava Romero has been arrested on suspicion of trafficking drugs to the United States, extortion and kidnapping. Police said he was carrying an assault rifle and ammunition.
Authorities said he is believed to be linked to the arms smuggling operations of another cartel, known as Beltran Leyva, and he is also being investigated in connection with the murder of eight army soldiers from 2008.
Los Rojos are reportedly allies of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, whose leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in 2009 by marines.
Mr Rubido said Mr Nava Romero allegedly ordered the killings of the Beltran Leyva gang’s opponents.
His arrest comes months after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, the leader of the world’s largest drugs cartel known as Sinaloa, was arrested in a joint US-Mexican operation in February.
Mr Guzman Loera, nicknamed “El Chapo” or “Shorty”, was captured during a raid, in which 97 large guns, 36 handguns, two grenade launchers, a rocket launcher and 43 vehicles, many of which were armoured, were seized.