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Mexican police arrest cartel’s 'Devil Commander'

Police in Mexico have arrested the prominent leader of the deadly Gulf drug cartel in the city of Monterrey. Known as "The Devil Commander," David Rosales Guzman is wanted in connection with a series of killings.

Rosales Guzman was arrested in the district of Guadalupe, the Office for Public Safety said on Sunday. He had been in a van when he noticed a police presence, but his attempt to flee failed.

Guzman had been responsible for organizing the murders of members of rival groups, carrying out extortion operations against bars and night clubs and distributing drugs.

Rosales Guzman was infamous for allegedly having some victims hanged from bridges in busy parts of cities.

Among other offenses, he was wanted in connection with the murder of nine people in August in an attack on a bar in Monterrey.

President claims success, despite deaths

Outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon embarked on an anti-drug offensive at the start of his presidency in 2006. Although Mexican troops and police concentrated their efforts on arresting gang leaders, the number of deaths in violence between gang members has soared.

Calderon, who finally leaves office in December, submitted his last report to congress on Saturday, claiming that his war on drugs had cost drugs gangs $14.5 billion (11.5 billion euros).

"During this administration, the federal government was committed to returning peace and calm to Mexicans," his report said.

One theory is that the increase in the number of killings came as turf wars were sparked between rivals vying for power in the wake of a number of high-profile arrests.

rc/av (AFP, dpa)