Authorities in Mexico say they have captured the son of the alleged leader of the country's most dangerous drug cartel. It is the second time the suspect has been taken into custody.
Federal forces announced Ruben Oseguera, alias "El Menchito," was arrested early on Tuesday in the western state of Jalisco. Oseguera is the son of Nemesio Oseguera, who heads up the Jalisco New Generation drug gang.
It is the second time Oseguera has been taken in by authorities, after he was detained in January 2014. At the time he was suspected of ordering executions and coordinating drug trafficking.
Officials say the arrest is a significant blow to the gang, which has a history of violently defying authorities. Since March it has killed around 15 police officers and soldiers, and even downed a military helicopter using a rocket launcher in May. Later that month federal authorities killed more than 40 suspected gang members on a ranch in the neighboring state of Michoacan.
Although officials have claimed the deaths occurred during a gunfight, the massively skewed death toll has led the National Human Rights Commission to launch an investigation. A member of the police was also killed in the shootout.
According to the US Treasury Department, New Generation has grown from a small branch of the powerful Sinaloa cartel to become one of the most feared gangs in Mexico. It now also has a presence in the United States, Africa, Europe and Asia. New Generation has also seized territory that used to belong to its rivals, taking advantage of the government's efforts to crack down on gangs.
The nation's government has struggled to deal with the increasing influence of cartels, as well as a weakening economy.
an/cmk (AP, AFP, Reuters)