Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mexican army captures leader of Gulf Cartel

The new PRI government scores again, with latest takedown of a key narco boss

*Updated Aug. 18*
Guadalajara -
Mexican authorities reported late this afternoon that federal security forces earlier today captured Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño, leader of the powerful Gulf Cartel, one of the country's largest drug trafficking and criminal organizations.

A joint communique issued by the secretaries of government, national defense and by the attorney general said Ramírez Treviño, 51, whose aliases include El Pelón and X20, was captured by Mexican army units in Río Bravo county in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, bordering Texas. The area, thick with U.S. bound drug trafficking routes, has long been an epicenter of narco violence. A U.S. Marine was kidnapped in the region on May 14 and has yet to be found.

No shots were fired in the incident, according to the government.

The secretary of defense said that ground troops were assisted by 10 helicopters in this morning's operation, which resulted in Ramírez Treviño's arrest about 10:00 a.m. There is a heavy presence of federal troops this evening in and around nearby Reynosa and Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, to deter cartel counterattacks.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had offered a $5 million dollar reward for Ramírez Treviño's arrest, and Mexico 30 million pesos, or about $2.3 million dollars. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Colombia in November 2007, on drug manufacturing and trafficking charges.

Ramírez Treviño is now in Mexico City, where he will appear before the Public Ministry to be advised of the charges against him and afforded the opportunity to make a statement in his own defense.

Ramírez Treviño assumed command of the Gulf Cartel in September 2012, after its previous head man was arrested. Mexican authorities claim that he is just as dangerous and violent as the former leader of the Los Zetas, a competing cartel, who was detained on July 15. Top Los Zeta boss, Z-40, arrested near Nuevo Laredo.

On July 11 a Mexican army batallion on patrol in the north central state of Zacatecas was attacked by Gulf Cartel gunmen. Troops repelled the aggression, killing all of the assailants. Mexican army kills 13 sicarios in Zacatecas shootout.

Today's arrest of a major cartel boss is the third success of its type by Mexican military forces in the last 120 days, and represents another strategic victory for the nine month old administration of PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto (Sen. Patrick Leahy blocks $95M in Mérida Initiative funds). The new government is following an almost identical strategy to that of previous PAN president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who put the army on the front lines of the drug war and focused on decommissioning key cartel capos. Calderón's term ended Dec. 1, 2012. Struggle against drug cartels and organized crime will be his legacy, Felipe Calderón says.

Aug. 18 - Finally, belatedly, the Associated Press admits that Peña Nieto's drug war strategy is a virtual clone of Calderón's: Estrategia contra narcos sigue igual. It took the mainstream press well over a year to acknowledge that they completely miscalculated the new president. New York Times finally figures it out: in drug war, Enrique Peña Nieto = Felipe Calderón Hinojosa; Medios de EE.UU. comparan estrategias de Peña con las de Calderón.

Felipe Calderón, the first Mexican president to go after the cartels and organized crime by using the military to spearhead the effort, was right all along

July 16 - Mexican army shines again in Treviño Morales takedown
Apr. 30 - Mexico captures father-in-law of Sinaloa Cartel boss El Chapo Guzmán
Feb. 1. - Thank God for the Mexican army

Dec. 19 - Enrique's challenging homework
June 11 - New York Times got Mexican presidential candidates' drug war strategies wrong

Dec. 30 - Why the Calderón strategy has been the right one
Nov. 21 - Why the L.A. Times just doesn't get it
Sept. 24 - The Daily Obscenities of Mexico
Aug. 27 - Mexico's Continuing Agony

National headline, Aug. 18

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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