Familia Michoacana Leader Arrested in Morelia, Admits Truce Offer was Fake

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The Mexican federal police on Monday arrested José Alfredo Landa Torres, alias “El Flaco,” an alleged leader of the Familia Michoacana in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacan.

When questioned by officials, Landa confessed that the organization’s recent call for a “truce” in November was simply a ruse to improve the group’s image in the state.

He explained that the organization’s strategy was to increase the number of petty crimes such as extortion, kidnapping, theft of property, and others to create a sense of “vacuum of authority and the need for their presence as a measure of crime control,” reports the Spanish news agency EFE. Landas is accused of managing the organization’s finances, bribing corrupt officials and distributing drugs. He is rumored to have been recruited into Familia on the recommendation of Servando Gómez, a top leader in the group.

Acting on intelligence gathered from surveillance, Mexican officials were able to track Landa to a safe house in Morelia, where authorities arrested two other people and seized an AK-47 assault rifle, two pistols, vehicles, communication equipment and several property deeds. EFE reports that since 2008 the Federal Police have arrested seven Familia leaders in Morelia, one of whom was Arnoldo Medina Rueda, alias “La Minsa,” a regional coordinator for the organization.

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