- Title: MEXICO: Mexican army arrests drug lord working with Beltran Leyva cartel
- Date: 20th May 2009
- Summary: MONTERREY, NUEVO LEON, MEXICO (MAY 18, 2009) (REUTERS) ARRESTED MEN AND WOMEN POSING WITH SEIZED WEAPONS, DRUGS AND CASH ALLEGED DRUG CARTEL LIEUTENANT RODOLFO LOPEZ IBARRA BEING TOLD TO STAND STILL/ LOSES TEMPER ARRESTED MEN POSING FOR MEDIA LOPEZ IBARRA ARRESTED MAN AND WOMEN POSING FOR MEDIA VARIOUS OF ARRESTED MEN AND WOMEN POSING WITH SEIZED DRUGS AND WEAPONS
- Embargoed: 4th June 2009 13:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVACSYU0OXRMXO027KC60IXH3KB2
- Story Text: The Mexican army arrested a drug cartel lieutenant allegedly working for the Beltran Leyva cartel on Monday (May 18) in the northern city of Monterrey together with another 12 people - five women and seven men.
Upon receiving an anonymous tip, soldiers arrested Rodolfo Lopez Ibarra as he disembarked from a private plane after returning from the coastal resort of Acapulco where he had gone to a baptism party held by his boss - Arturo Beltran Leyva, a one-time ally of Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, considered Mexico's most wanted man. The Beltran Leyva and Guzman gangs are waging a turf war for control of the Sinaloa cartel. Beltran Leyva's hitmen reportedly killed one of Guzman's sons in May last year.
Lopez Ibarra allegedly told soldiers he had received orders at the baptism, to take over cartel operations in the wealthy suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia.
A convoy of armed men in two vehicles waited for him at the airport car park. They were questioned by soldiers and were then led to a luxury house and set of offices in a swanky area, where another four accomplices were arrested in the possession of weapons, drugs and cash.
The soldiers also seized seven guns, seven rifles, a grenade, ammunition, drugs, cash and a banner warning Mexican President Felipe Calderon to: "Avoid getting involved with the family which is sacred or face the consequences of our people who are tired of atrocities."
On Saturday (May 16), suspected members of a Mexican drug cartel disguised as federal police swept into a prison in the northern state of Zacatecas and freed 53 inmates. The early-morning jailbreak, which took less than five minutes and involved no violence, was carried out by 20 heavily armed men who arrived in 10 vehicles and a helicopter. All of the escaped prisoners are believed to be members of the armed wing of Mexico's Gulf Cartel, one of the country's most powerful criminal organizations.
It is believed some 40 guards and administrators who were on duty at the time - and are in custody - were accomplices.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has staked his presidency on crushing drug gangs that killed 6,300 people last year across the nation. The United States is increasingly alarmed by the violence, fearing it could spill across the border.
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