Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

World Cup humiliation for host nation

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

Americas

Police arrest notorious drug trafficker known as 'la Barbie'

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-31

Mexican police captured notorious drug trafficker Edgar Valdez (photo), known as "La Barbie", on Monday as authorities take on the drug cartels behind an upsurge in gang violence and the kidnappings or killings of several Mexican politicians.

REUTERS - Mexico captured major drug trafficker Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez on Monday in a new victory for President Felipe Calderon's high-stakes war on murderous cartels that threatens the country's image among investors and tourists.

Federal police caught Valdez, a leader of the Beltran Leyva cartel based in central Mexico, in a residential area near Mexico City, the government said.
 
Valdez, a 37-year-old Mexican-American born in Texas, put up little resistance, a police spokesman said.
 
"Valdez has connections with organized crime groups operating in Central and South America to smuggle drugs to the United States, where he is also wanted," national security spokesman Alejandro Poire told a news conference.
 
Nicknamed "La Barbie" for his fair complexion, Valdez is believed to have been behind a surge in bloodshed in central Mexico as he fought for leadership of his cartel. U.S. authorities put a $2 million bounty on his head but Poire did not say if Valdez would be sent to the United States.
 
After tracking Valdez for more than a year, the capture by Mexican officials on Monday follows the killing last month of another major drug boss, Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel.
 
"This is clearly an important capture and will take some pressure off Calderon in the short term but the impact will only be partial unless the government moves to arrest La Barbie's hitmen and dismantles his gang," said Pedro de la Cruz, a security analyst at Mexico's National Autonomous University.
 
"Unfortunately for Calderon, his capture could provoke even more violence if the Sinaloa cartel, the Zetas and La Familia try to move into his territory, which is very likely."
 
Calderon is struggling to contain growing alarm in Mexico and abroad over his drug war. More than 28,000 people, mainly traffickers and police, have been killed amid vicious turf battles sparked by the army-led crackdown in the 3-1/2 years that the austere former lawyer has been in power.
 
Butchery overshadows captures
 
Backed by Washington, Calderon has made it the central goal of his presidency to crush the powerful cartels that earn an estimated $40 billion a year. But the bloodshed, including the torture and butchering of captives by rival gangs, has overshadowed most of Calderon's successes.
 
Officials announced this week they had fired nearly 10 percent of the federal police force as Calderon seeks to rein in the cartels and curb widespread police corruption.
 
But in a sign violence has not abated, a shootout on Monday between the army and drug hitman lasted for more than 12 hours and killed eight people, terrorizing the town of Panuco in the Gulf state of Veracruz.
 
Recent drug-related violence has included the killing of 72 people, thought to be migrant workers, near the U.S. border, the murder of a candidate for governor in the same region and slayings of groups of people at rehabilitation centers and parties.
 
Drug hitmen have also used small car bombs for the first time in recent weeks as they also target mayors and step up their intimidation of newspapers and television stations.
 
Valdez has been a leading contender to head the Beltran Leyva cartel since soldiers killed its former boss, Arturo Beltran Leyva, in December 2009, triggering a power struggle within the organization.
 
Valdez was once close to top drug fugitive Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa alliance based in northwest Mexico, after growing up selling marijuana in the United States and developing a taste for luxury cars, nightclubs and designer clothes. Guzman is also a former ally of the Beltran Leyva brothers but the two gangs are now bitter rivals.
 
"It's a good score for the government but it's also good news for the Sinaloa cartel," Mexican drug trade expert and columnist Jose Reveles said of Valdez's arrest.

 

Date created : 2010-08-31

  • MEXICO

    Mexico sacks 10% of police force in corruption crackdown

    Read more

  • MEXICO

    Chief investigator of cartel-suspected killings goes missing

    Read more

  • MEXICO

    Santiago's mayor found dead in latest violence by suspected drug cartels

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)