In news overshadowed by the capture of Zetas leader Z40, Mexican officials announced the arrest of Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) leader Victor Hugo Delgado Renteria, alias “El Tornado” in Jalisco state.
On July 18, Mexico‘s Attorney General, Jesus Murillo Karam, announced that federal forces had detained Delgado on July 10 in Guadalajara, reported the New York Times. Delgado is accused of killing 12 drug dealers whose decapitated bodies were found in Yucatán in 2008.
Another CJNG member, Domingo Medina Mogel, was also arrested, reported El Economista. Both Delgado and Medina were apprehended on March 21, 2010, but were released months later.
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Much like with Z40’s arrest, Mexican officials were low-key about announcing Delgado’s capture: the Attorney General waited over a week to tell press that Delgado had been detained, and he declined to offer any details. Although the capture of two major drug traffickers in such a short time is a coup for Peña Nieto’s administration, the president has continued to publicly emphasize that his goal is to reduce violence rather than arrest kingpins.
In Jalisco, however, violence remains high. According to data from Mexico’s National Citizen Observatory, criminal homicides in Jalisco increased 6.2 percent in the first third of 2013 in comparison to the same period in 2012. This means that in the part of 2013, Jalisco had the third highest number of criminal homicides of Mexico’s 32 states, after Guerrero and Chihuahua.
A large part of this violence stems from the fact that multiple gangs are battling for control of Jalisco. CJNG, which is led by many of slain Sinaloa Cartel capo Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel’s former associates, is a regional gang allied with the Sinaloa Cartel, although in August state authorities announced the two groups may have split. In Jalisco and other states along Mexico’s Pacific coast, CJNG has fought against the Zetas and their allied local group the Milenio Cartel, as well as the Knights Templar (Caballeros Templarios), the remnants of the Familia Michoacana, and smaller local gang the Resistance.