MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican police have captured the second-in-command of one of the country’s main drug gangs, who was operating in Mexico City, the government said on Wednesday.
Arnoldo Villa Sanchez of the Beltran Leyva cartel was arrested by federal police on Tuesday while traveling in an undisclosed location in the city where he had been holding business meetings, the government said.
“The center of his operations was in Mexico City, with presence also in the states of Mexico, Chiapas, Guerrero, Puebla and Tlaxcala,” national security commissioner Alejandro Rubido told a news conference.
Rubido said Villa, 40, had operated in expensive hotels and upscale parts of the capital. The attorney general’s office of Mexico City has in the past rejected the idea that organized crime has a significant presence in the city.
Founded by a family of brothers, the Beltran Leyva gang has lost many of its leaders in recent years, but Hector Beltran Leyva, believed to be the current boss, is still at large.
More than 85,000 people have died in gang-related violence since former President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led offensive against drug cartels at the end of 2006.
Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, writing by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Tom Brown