MEXICO CITY – Mexican security forces captured a regional leader of a drug cartel who controlled illegal trafficking of drugs, guns and money as well as kidnapping of migrants in a frontier region bordering Texas, Mexico's government said Sunday.
Federal security commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido identified the suspect as Juan Manuel Rodriguez Garcia, but did not specify the cartel for which he allegedly worked.
But an official for the U.S. government told The Associated Press that Rodriguez Garcia was the Gulf Cartel's commander along the Rio Grande and was competing for control of the gang's operations in all of Tamaulipas state. The official agreed to discuss the arrest only if not quoted by name because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
Rubido said Rodriguez Garcia was arrested peacefully while with his wife and children near a hotel in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a town in the neighboring border state of Nuevo Leon. He said Rodriguez Garcia had gone there seeking to avoid being detected by security forces.
The detainee was responsible "for the movement of drugs, money and weapons" for his own gang and for other criminal organizations that paid to use Tamaulipas' border with U.S., Rubido said.
In addition, Rubido said, "There are indications that he ordered mass kidnappings of undocumented migrants, who were forced to work for his group or, if they refused, were killed."