Mexico captures leader of drug gang in violent state

MEXICO CITY Sat May 17, 2014 8:31pm EDT

Leonor Nava, 45, boss of Los Rojos (The Reds) is seen in this handout photo released to Reuters on May 17, 2014 by the Secretaria de Gobernacion. REUTERS/Secretaria de Gobernacion/Handout via Reuters

Leonor Nava, 45, boss of Los Rojos (The Reds) is seen in this handout photo released to Reuters on May 17, 2014 by the Secretaria de Gobernacion.

Credit: Reuters/Secretaria de Gobernacion/Handout via Reuters

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican government said on Saturday it had captured the leader of a drug gang allied with a dangerous cartel in the violent southwestern state of Guerrero.

Mexican police arrested Leonor Nava, boss of Los Rojos (The Reds) in Tecpan de Galeana northwest of the beach resort of Acapulco, the biggest city in Guerrero, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido told a news conference.

Known as "El Tigre" (the tiger), Nava is suspected of trafficking drugs to the United States, extortion and kidnapping. He is also being investigated in connection with the murder of eight army soldiers in December 2008, Rubido said.

Los Rojos are allies of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, which fractured into several groups after its leader Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed by marines in 2009.

Rubido said Nava, 45, was the main leader of Los Rojos.

Guerrero is one of Mexico's most violent regions and borders the Pacific state of Michoacan, which the government has had to reinforce this year to beat down another drug cartel.

(Reporting by Christine Murray and Noe Torres; Editing by Dave Graham and David Gregorio)

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