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Mexico arrests suspected criminal leaders, proposes Latin American alliance against drug trafficking

By Dialogo
October 21, 2014



Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed creating a multinational common front to fight drug cartels and other organized crime groups operating in Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

“Drug trafficking cartels are present at the transnational level, and we need to create a common front with countries with whom we share information and collaborate,” Peña Nieto said in a meeting organized by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on September 23.

“Security policies are showing good results in the country, [but] we cannot assume a triumphant stance towards organized crime.”

The president has not yet elaborated further on the proposal.

“It is important to know how and what elements would be used in the cooperation initiative against criminal activity,” said Armando Rodríguez Luna, security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Meanwhile, Mexican security forces won major victories on October 16 by arresting leading members of two violent criminal organizations.

That morning, Federal Police (PF) agents captured Mario Alberto Romero Rodríguez – allegedly a high ranking member of violent international drug trafficking organization the Knights Templar – in the Condesa district of the Federal District, near Mexico City. They also seized during the capture a handgun and a kilogram of suspected synthetic drugs.

Romero Rodríguez is suspected of maintaining close ties to Knight Templar kingpin Servando Gómez, who is also known as “La Tuta”. He’s also accused of participating in multiple violent actions – among them a 2013 grenade attack on federal law enforcement agents staying at a hotel in the city of Los Reyes, and attacks against the military in the state of Michoacán. One of those, an ambush outside the city of Apatzingán, killed one soldier and injured five others.

In January, Mexican President President Enrique Peña Nieto sent federal troops to Michoacán to confront the Knights Templar. The criminal group is a transnational organization that engages in narco-trafficking, murder, kidnapping and the extortion of large businesses as well as transportation companies.

The same day of Romero Rodríguez’s capture, federal law enforcement agents also arrested alleged Guerreros Unidos kingpin Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado in Mexico City. He’s allegedly involved in the disappearance of 43 college students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in the southern state of Guerrero on September 26. The school trains teachers in rural Iguala.

The International Red Cross is assisting in the search for the missing students, and it has become a top government priority, according to Peña Nieto. Consequently, the government purchased full-page advertisements featuring pictures of the 43 young men in newspapers, in addition to offering a reward of $1.5 million pesos for information identifying those responsible for the their disappearances or deaths of the students. Federal forces have also vigorously investigated allegations that some corrupt local police conspired in the disappearances, and have so far arrested 36 officers. In total, about 50 suspects have been detained.

Julieta Pelcastre also contributed to this report.



Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed creating a multinational common front to fight drug cartels and other organized crime groups operating in Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

“Drug trafficking cartels are present at the transnational level, and we need to create a common front with countries with whom we share information and collaborate,” Peña Nieto said in a meeting organized by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on September 23.

“Security policies are showing good results in the country, [but] we cannot assume a triumphant stance towards organized crime.”

The president has not yet elaborated further on the proposal.

“It is important to know how and what elements would be used in the cooperation initiative against criminal activity,” said Armando Rodríguez Luna, security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Meanwhile, Mexican security forces won major victories on October 16 by arresting leading members of two violent criminal organizations.

That morning, Federal Police (PF) agents captured Mario Alberto Romero Rodríguez – allegedly a high ranking member of violent international drug trafficking organization the Knights Templar – in the Condesa district of the Federal District, near Mexico City. They also seized during the capture a handgun and a kilogram of suspected synthetic drugs.

Romero Rodríguez is suspected of maintaining close ties to Knight Templar kingpin Servando Gómez, who is also known as “La Tuta”. He’s also accused of participating in multiple violent actions – among them a 2013 grenade attack on federal law enforcement agents staying at a hotel in the city of Los Reyes, and attacks against the military in the state of Michoacán. One of those, an ambush outside the city of Apatzingán, killed one soldier and injured five others.

In January, Mexican President President Enrique Peña Nieto sent federal troops to Michoacán to confront the Knights Templar. The criminal group is a transnational organization that engages in narco-trafficking, murder, kidnapping and the extortion of large businesses as well as transportation companies.

The same day of Romero Rodríguez’s capture, federal law enforcement agents also arrested alleged Guerreros Unidos kingpin Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado in Mexico City. He’s allegedly involved in the disappearance of 43 college students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in the southern state of Guerrero on September 26. The school trains teachers in rural Iguala.

The International Red Cross is assisting in the search for the missing students, and it has become a top government priority, according to Peña Nieto. Consequently, the government purchased full-page advertisements featuring pictures of the 43 young men in newspapers, in addition to offering a reward of $1.5 million pesos for information identifying those responsible for the their disappearances or deaths of the students. Federal forces have also vigorously investigated allegations that some corrupt local police conspired in the disappearances, and have so far arrested 36 officers. In total, about 50 suspects have been detained.

Julieta Pelcastre also contributed to this report.

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