Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Today another Mexican cartel leader was taken off the street and is no longer able to carry out his bloody turf war

Teodoro Garcia Simental, blamed for a years-long campaign of massacres, beheadings and kidnappings that chased away tourists and caused social upheaval in northern Baja California, was arrested by Mexican federal police without the suspect firing a shot, and immediately flown to Mexico City.The heavyset Garcia, believed to be in his mid-30s, with close-trimmed hair and a goatee, scowled and dabbed at his mouth as he was paraded before television cameras at a police base wearing a zippered warm-up jacket.Better known for savage killing rampages than narco-business acumen, the man nicknamed "El Teo" bedeviled Mexican authorities for years and narrowly escaped capture several times. Last January, authorities arrested the man they said admitted being Garcia's body disposal expert. Known as El Pozolero, or "the stew maker," he claimed, authorities said, to have dissolved 300 bodies in barrels of caustic chemicals.Mexican federal authorities, acting on intelligence provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said they tracked Garcia down after a five-month surveillance operation. He was captured in an upscale area in the southern part of the city."Today another Mexican cartel leader was taken off the street and is no longer able to carry out his bloody turf war," said Michele Leonhart, acting administrator of the DEA. "This was not an isolated event: It exemplifies the growing effectiveness of our information sharing with [Mexican President Felipe Calderon's] administration, and our continued commitment to defeat the drug traffickers who have plagued both our nations."Though Garcia was not considered to be in the top echelon of Mexican drug lords, few reputed crime bosses have had such a ruinous effect on a region. Mexican authorities say he was responsible for hundreds of killings during a nearly two-year power struggle with rivals in the Arellano Felix drug cartel, in which he had once been a top-ranking lieutenant.Garcia is said to have branched out from traditional drug trafficking and focused his criminal empire on extortion and kidnapping, targeting all levels of society. During his reign, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Tijuana residents moved out of the border city to avoid being kidnapped, and more than 42 police officers were killed.


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