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Published: Tuesday, 6/21/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

Report: Mexico catches top leader of La Familia drug cartel


MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Felipe Calderon says federal police have caught one of Mexico’s most-wanted drug lords.

An official in central Aguascalientes state who was not authorized to be quoted by name says authorities have captured Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, the alleged leader of the La Familia cartel.

A posting by Calderon on his Twitter account says the arrest “is a big blow” to the drug cartels, but does not name the detainee.

Mexican newspapers also reported that Mendez had been detained. He is known by the nickname “El Chango,” or “The Monkey.” The government has offered a $2.5 million reward for his capture.

The cartel’s top leader was killed in a shootout in December.

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