Mexico Captures ‘Leader’ of Independent Cartel of Acapulco

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Mexico announced the capture of Gilberto Morales Castrejon, alias “Commander Gil,” the alleged leader of the Independent Cartel of Acapulco.

Morales was arrested, along with five others, by federal police in an operation in the Mexican city of Acapulco.

According to authorities, the men were spotted driving in convoy made up of two automobiles and a motor scooter in the port of Colonia Sabana. After a brief shootout, the police managed to detain the suspects. The vehicles, four armored vests, a pistol and two AK-47 assault rifles were also seized in the operation, along with small amounts of cocaine and marijuana.

According to authorities, the Independent Cartel is responsible for extorting scores of local businesses, and is thought to be responsible for several deaths in the Acapulco area. As InSight Crime has reported, the group is a relatively recent arrival to the Acapulco criminal scene, and is part of a wave of smaller local gangs that have emerged after officials dismantled larger criminal structures.

The Independent Cartel is comprised mostly of former members of the drug trafficking organization run by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie,” who was arrested in September 2010 and is currently being held in a Mexico City prison.

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