Mexico Arrests Local Criminal Boss, ‘Police Protector’

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Mexican authorities pulled off a double coup in the violence-addled state of Morelos, arresting a police commander on accusations of helping the South Pacific Cartel just hours after picking up a local boss for the gang.

As Excelsior reports, the army arrested South Pacific leader Victor Manuel Valdes Arteaga, alias “El Gordo Varilla,” early Thursday morning. During his interrogation, Valdes Arteaga apparently said that Juan Bosco, the director of operations in municipal police department in the state capital of Cuernavaca, had been protecting his network. This which led to Bosco’s arrest.

The South Pacific Cartel grew out of the fractured remnants of the organization belonging to Arturo Beltran Leyva, who was killed in December 2009. It has been engaged in territorial battles both in Morelos, which lies an hour or so south of Mexico City, and in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco. Violence in both regions has spiked as a result.

Valdes Arteaga was the second-ranked member of the group, according to Excelsior, behind only Raul Diaz Roman, a former director of public security in Cuernavaca. He is also the immediate boss of Jesus Radilla Hernandez, who stands of accused of orchestrating the murder of Juan Francisco Sicilia, the son of a famous author, and six others in late March.

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