Photo: Juan Manuel Rodriguez Rodriguez
Two “priority objectives” were among five organized crime figures apprehended in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the head of Mexico’s National Security Commission said.
Monte Alejandro Rubido told a press conference that the five detainees include Juan Manuel Rodriguez Rodriguez and Ricardo Ivan Santillan Trejo, identified by media outlets as local bosses of the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels, respectively.
Rodriguez, who was arrested Tuesday in Reynosa, just across the border from McAllen, Texas, is wanted for homicide, kidnapping, extortion, drug smuggling and illegal weapons possession, Rubido said.
“He was considered the priority objective within the new phase of security of the federal government, being the highest-ranking criminal in one of the criminal groups in Tamaulipas,” the commission chief said.
Rodriguez, according to Rubido, “created divisions in the (criminal) group and provoked an increase in violence in Reynosa and Tampico” by ordering the murders of rivals and rebellious underlings.
Authorities captured Rodriguez during one of his periodic visits to a Reynosa clinic for medical treatment.
Santillan was nabbed with two other suspects on Sunday when marines on patrol in Mante, Tamaulipas, detected armed men traveling in two SUVs, Rubido said.
Tamaulipas has suffered for years from violence among warring drug cartels and between the gangs and security forces.
The Gulf cartel and the ultraviolent Zetas outfit are battling for control of drug trafficking in the state.
The Zetas, who are also involved in migrant-trafficking, extortion and kidnapping, are blamed for the August 2010 massacre of 72 undocumented immigrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.
Amid a recent increase in violence in the state, the Mexican government last month sent additional federal troops and police to Tamaulipas and vowed a “complete” purge of corrupt officers from state and local law enforcement agencies.