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Top drug cartel leader arrested

Latest update : 2009-03-19

Amid mounting drug-related violence in the country, the Mexican army arrested Vicente Zambada Niebla, son of Sinaloa drug cartel Ismael Zambada Garcia. Known as "El Vicentillo", he is supposed to have run operations and logisitics for the cartel.

AFP - Mexican security forces said Thursday they have detained the son of the notorious Mexican drug lord Ismael Zambada Garcia, who is also a leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
The army detained Vicente Zambada Niebla, known as "El Vicentillo," in Mexico City on Wednesday.
The Sinaloa cartel is one of the major drug gangs involved in bloody feuds over Mexico's lucrative trafficking routes into the United States, in which more than 1,000 people have died so far this year.
"El Vicentillo" led operations, logistics and security for the cartel, and had replaced another leader, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, who was arrested last year, said Luis Arturo Oliver, deputy head of the military chief of staff, at a news conference.
"That places him on the same rank as Joaquin Guzman," Oliver said, referring to a fugitive leader of the Sinaloa cartel who was last week listed in Forbes magazine as the world's 701st richest person, with a reputed one billion dollar fortune made from cocaine trafficking.
The latest arrest came ahead of visits to Mexico by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US President Barack Obama amid mounting US concern over Mexican cartel violence.
Obama said last week the government was considering deploying the National Guard to the border to prevent spillover from drug-related attacks which claimed more than 5,300 lives in Mexico in 2008.
Despite some high-profile arrests in the past two years, Mexican President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels, involving some 40,000 troops deployed across the country, has so far failed to stem the violence.

Date created : 2009-03-19