Mexican drug lord killed by troops

12:15, November 06, 2010      

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Antonio Cardenas Guillen, leader of Mexican drug trafficking gang the Gulf Cartel, was killed in a shootout on Friday, a government spokesman said.

"Intelligence operations seeking this person ended with this result today, following a confrontation in which three other criminals were killed," Alejandro Poire told Mexican radio.

Two Mexican marine officers also died in the shootout, he said, offering the government's condolences and thanks to the two men.

He said that the navy would give full details of the operation later on Friday.

The Gulf Cartel operates on Mexico's east coast, especially in the states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas. The group of organized crimes, which has existed since the 1970s, reportedly smuggles marijuana and methamphetamines into U.S. state Texas, which neighbors Tamaulipas to the north. It also has protection and kidnap rackets and has been linked to the murder of 72 migrants at a Tamaulipas ranch in August.

Earlier Friday, Mexico' s Public Security Ministry announced the arrest of Colombian citizen Harold Mauricio Poveda Ortega, better known by his nickname El Conejo (the Rabbit), and said it would charge him with importing a total of 150 tons of cocaine.

Povedo had served as the link between Colombia' s Norte del Valle Cartel and Mexico' s Sinaloa Cartel led by Joaquin Guzman.

The Norte del Valle Cartel, based in Colombia' s Valle de Cauca department, exported some 500 tons of cocaine out of Colombia, according to figures published by the United States.

Guzman, who escaped jail in 2001, is Mexico' s most wanted man. His organization, based in Pacific coast state Sinaloa, has smuggled more than 200 tons of cocaine from Mexico into the U.S. market.



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