Mario Ernesto Villanueva Madrid, ex-governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, was extradited to the US on May 10 to face charges of accepting some $20 million in bribes from the notorious Juárez Cartel in exchange for allowing in the transport of over 200 tons of cocaine through his state towards North American markets. US prosecutors say the money was laundered through accounts at Lehman Brothers in New York. Appearing in federal court in New York the day of his extradition, Villanueva pleaded not guilty to all charges. (AHN, AOL News, May 10)
On April 26, Mexican federal authorities announced the arrest of Dagoberto Jiménez Díaz de Leon, AKA “El Cantante”, considered a leading operative of the crime machine led by Edgar Valdez Villareal AKA “La Barbie”, which is fighting for control of territory in Morelos and Guerrero states against the Beltran Leyva group. Also arrrested was Gabriel Gacitua Godoy AKA “Don Gabriel”, in charge of security for Gerardo Alvarez Vázquez AKA “El Indio”, who was arrested April 21. (Poder360, April 26)
Alvarez Vázquez, also known as “El Chayán”, was arrested following a shootout at Huixquilucan on the outskirts of Mexico City that left at least three people dead. Mexican officials say Alvarez-Vazquez had been waging war to succeed crime boss Arturo Beltran Leyva, who was killed by Mexican marines in the city of Cuernavaca late last year. Alvarez Vázquez may also face extradition. (AlJazeera, April 23; Houston Chronicle, April 22)
See our last post on Mexico’s narco wars.