US arrests hundreds in crackdown on Mexican drug gangFebruary 26th, 2009 - 5:58 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 26 (DPA) More than 750 members of a Mexican drug-trafficking cartel were arrested during a 21-month operation by US, Mexican and Canadian police, the US Justice Department said Wednesday.The department said it had dealt a “crushing blow” to the Sineloa cartel, also known as the Federation and one of the biggest drug gangs in Mexico.
“International drug trafficking organizations pose a sustained, serious threat to international safety and security,” said US Attorney General Eric Holder in a press conference. “They are a national security threat.”
The Justice Department said the 21-month operation led to more than 750 arrests, some 70 networks across the US had been shut down, 12,000 kg of cocaine and 150 weapons were seized and about $1 billion in revenue had been denied the cartel as a result.
Holder said there was an “ongoing effort” in Mexico and the US but that the operation, led by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, had severely restricted the cartel’s ability to operate.
“We simply cannot afford to let down our guard,” he said. “These cartels will be destroyed.”
The crackdown against drug gangs has resulted in a dramatic uptick in violence, murders and kidnappings in Mexico over the last year. Holder acknowledged many had sacrificed their lives in the drug war, but he was confident that standing strong against the gangs would ultimately bring peace to the region.
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