MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican security forces on Saturday caught the leader of the cocaine-trafficking Gulf Cartel, local media reported, the second major gang boss capture in just over a month as President Enrique Pena Nieto fights cartel violence.
Mario Ramirez Trevino, known as X-20 or “The Bald One,” was captured in Mexico’s northern Tamaulipas state by the Mexican military, media reported.
Ramirez had not long been the leader of the Gulf Cartel, whose former boss Jorge Costilla, alias “El Coss,” was caught in September.
The Gulf Cartel’s power has waned in recent years in a feud with Mexico’s most brutal gang, the Zetas, which began life providing protection to the cartel’s operations in northeastern Mexico.
The U.S. government had offered a $5 million bounty for Ramirez, as Washington says his cartel controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking to the United States from Matamoros in Tamaulipas state.
Mexico’s marines last month arrested the leader of the Zetas, Miguel Angel Trevino, a few miles (km) from his hometown of Nuevo Laredo on the U.S. border.
More than 70,000 people were killed during former president Felipe Calderon’s six-year offensive against drug cartels and over 6,000 have died since Pena Nieto took office in December.
(Corrects name of former cartel leader in 3rd paragraph to Costilla from Cardenas)
Reporting by Anahi Rama; Writing by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Simon Gardner and Sandra Maler