Mexico nabs most wanted drug cartel member

May 1st, 2009 - 12:32 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, April 30 (EFE) Mexican authorities have arrested a key member of the country’s most ruthless drug cartel during a raid in the northeastern border city of Matamoros, the public safety secretariat said Thursday.
Federal police officials managed to locate the whereabouts of Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa, one of the top members of the notorious Gulf cartel, at a home in that city’s Tlaxcala district.

Two other suspects were captured along with the 44-year-old ex-police officer, a suspect on a list of Mexico’s 24 most-wanted drug traffickers, including a woman who is believed to be Sauceda’s wife, officials said.

Police confiscated five assault rifles, a rocket launcher, 30 ammunition clips, more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition of different calibers and an all-terrain vehicle from their possession.

According to Mexican intelligence reports, Sauceda played a key role in the founding of the Gulf cartel in 1996.

Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence, with powerful cartels battling each other and the security forces, as rival gangs vie for control of lucrative smuggling and distribution routes.

Armed groups linked to the cartels murdered around 1,500 people in 2006, 2,700 in 2007 and 5,630 in 2008, according to a tally by the Mexico City daily El Universal.

More than 1,800 people have died so far this year.

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