Photo: Jose Maria Chavez Magaña
Authorities apprehended a reputed leader of the Familia Michoacana drug cartel, a source in the Mexican Attorney General’s Office told Efe Wednesday.
Jose Maria Chavez Magaña was arrested Tuesday night in a joint operation by the navy and the AG’s office, the source said.
He was caught in Tejupilco, a town in the southern part of Mexico state near the boundary with Guerrero.
The arrest followed a deadly clash Monday between gunmen and military personnel in Tlatlaya, another municipality in southern Mexico state.
Troops killed 22 gunmen in the battle in Tlatlaya, which, like Tejupilco, lies in the Tierra Caliente, a region straddling the states of Guerrero, Michoacan and Mexico.
The Familia Michoacana fractured in late 2010 and the remaining elements of the original cartel have been muscled out of the drug trade in most of their native Michoacan by a breakway group calling itself the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar).
With the Templarios dominant in much of Michoacan, the Familia has shifted its focus to Mexico state, though authorities say the gang seems to expend most of its energy on fights with other criminal outfits.