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Juarez Cartel kingpin detained in Nayarit

September 2, 2013

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Federal police arrested alleged Juarez Cartel boss Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, alias “Ugly Betty,” at a hotel in the popular resort of Bucerias, Nayarit on Sunday.

Carrillo Fuentes, 47, stands accused of drug trafficking, murder and organized crime, and is believed to have succeeded his brothers Vicente and Amado as head of the Nuevo Cartel de Juarez earlier this year. The Juarez Cartel was founded by Amado Carrillo Fuentes, also known as “El Señor de Los Cielos” or “The Lord of the Skies,” because of the large fleet of aircraft he used to smuggle drugs into the United States.

Vicente Carillo Fuentes, alias “El Viceroy,” took control of the cartel in 1997, when Amado died in mysterious circumstances while undergoing plastic surgery. The former is wanted for charges of drug trafficking, murder and organized crime, but reportedly relinquished control of the cartel earlier this year, amid rumors of poor health.

The Nuevo Cartel de Juraez is based in the notorious border town of Ciudad Juarez, a major corridor for trafficking drugs into the United States. Until recently, the city was considered the most murderous on earth as it became the site of a bloody turf war between the Juarez Cartel, backed by Los Zetas, and the Sinaloa Federation headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The level of violence has subsided in the last two years, although analysts believe this is most likely because the Sinaloa Federation has established hegemony in Juarez, rather than it being the result of the government’s efforts to restore order in the city.

The capture of Carrillo Fuentes is the third major scalp that the Enrique Peña Nieto administration has claimed in recent months, following the arrests of Zetas boss Miguel Angel Treviño in July and Gulf Cartel leader Mario Ramirez Treviño in August.

Upon taking up office last December, Peña Nieto suggested that his government would focus more on reducing levels of violence than bringing down capos. Yet there is little evidence that the present administration has abandoned its predecessor’s “kingpin strategy” and there has been no significant drop in the number of killings across Mexico in the last year.

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