Mexico claims blows against Gulf, Sinaloa cartels
Mexican soldiers March 21 captured high-level Gulf Cartel boss Sigifredo Najera in the northern city of Saltillo. Najera is accused of attacking a US consulate and a TV station of the national network Televisa, as well as killing nine soldiers. "He is directly responsible for the torture and killing of the soldiers, the attacks on the US consulate and Televisa in Monterrey," President Felipe Calderón said in a speech in the Mexican capital.
In October, gunmen shot at the US consulate in Monterrey and threw a grenade that failed to explode. The attacks came as nine soldiers were killed over several days in the same month in the northern industrial city. In January, gunmen threw a grenade and opened fire at the local Televisa studios during an evening broadcast in Monterrey.
In another boost for Calderón, soldiers and the federal police on March 19 arrested the son of top Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, who is wanted in the United States. "El Mayo" is said to run the Sinaloa Cartel along with the country's most-wanted fugitive, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzmán. Last week, Forbes magazine estimated Guzmán's wealth at $1 billion. El Mayo's son, Vicente Zambada Niebla, 34, was arrested in an exclusive neighborhood in the south of Mexico City. Charges against him are pending, officials said. Ismael Zambada's brother and a nephew were arrested last year. (Reuters, March 21; NYT, March 20)